North Korea

Ghana, North Korea, Robot Delivery, William Barr, Uber, Champion, ‘Drake Curse’

MRD July.png


What I am watching today = April 19, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


TOP FIVE

✔️ Ghana is world's fastest growing economy

✔️ Carmakers eye the moon

✔️ AG Barr will hold a presser on the Mueller report at 9:30 am ET

✔️ Daimler invests $100m in battery start-up

✔️ How the ‘Drake curse’ became a thing in sports

ROSS RANT

Business Schools = Less Math and Management. More Policy and Politics.

With an endless news cycle, a continuous flow of global trade, protectionist laws, and committed geopolitical powers, global politics and global business is being shaped from many directions and far beyond a nation’s borders and a company’s boardroom. Decisions made in Beijing now affect events in Brussels which in turn compels policy in Ottawa and then again impacting Santiago.

The ability to manage this dynamic, globalized political environment, particularly at the intersection of public policy global business, coupled with an underlying cultural phenomenon rejecting the establishment, this new environment is more challenging for business leaders and global companies.

The pace involved in addressing global business challenges has increased as well as, with the scale of the problems expanding to an ever-growing globally diverse network of stakeholders. Disenfranchised and left-behind voters around the world have spoken and demanded a greater share of the profits. The traditional capitalist ideal of being responsible solely to shareholders in under threat and business going forward will involve numerous stakeholders, including governments, media, bloggers, consumers, non-governmental organizations, investors, employees, and citizens.

For future business leaders, simply put, there are a lot more people that will hold you accountable and want a say in the process. Having a genius marketing plan and solid accounting skills won’t be enough.

The time is now for MBA programs to recognize this challenging global public affairs environment. It is critical that classes utilize case studies that explore the nexus between multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, government officials, institutions, investors, and recent elections.

World-class business leaders will need to excel with a foundation of fundamental business management skills, but they must be equally deft at grasping the intersection of history, politics, geography, culture, and economics to manage this new global business paradigm.

MBA programs must prepare future business leaders with the hard and soft skills to understand and engage global problems, comprehend economic development challenges and opportunities, and connect how these issues spread in a globally interconnected marketplace all influencing and disrupting global politics and global business like never before.

-Marc

GLOBALIZATION

The world's fastest growing economy is located in Africa: Ghana's economic strength is expected to soar in 2019. Many other African countries lag far behind, says the IMF report. http://bit.ly/2Va0AzO

The IMF talks of a growth rate of 8.8% in its World Economic Outlook, which would make Ghana the fastest growing economy in the world in 2019. Last year, the country's economy only grew by 5.6%, putting it in sixth position.

AP: NKorea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks

North Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.

430,000: Japan's population is shrinking by the equivalent of a medium-sized city each year due to a rapidly declining birth rate. The native-born Japanese population fell by 430,000 in 2018, while 161,000 migrants entered the country, partially offsetting that loss.

China and Japan inch closer for insurance against Hurricane Trump: Nikkei reports, Asia's two biggest economies accelerate diplomacy but produce few results.

Trump stirs alarm that he may be giving China a new trade weapon: Bloomberg reports, details of the US commitments and how the enforcement mechanism will operate remain scant. But Mnuchin’s comments have caused plenty of raised eyebrows from legal scholars to the business community and Congress. If the US allows China reciprocal enforcement powers, it would make China “judge, jury and executioner as to whether we have honored our obligations,’’ said Daniel Price, who served as a senior economic adviser to President George W. Bush and is now at Rock Creek Global Advisors in Washington. “I don’t think the US business community is sufficiently alert to the risk of constantly being exposed to unilateral enforcement action by China.”

US firms no longer 'positive anchor' for Beijing ties: AmCham in China: Reuters reports, Frustrated US businesses can no longer be counted on as a “positive anchor” in US-China relations, a top US business lobby said on Wednesday, arguing any deal to end trade tensions must address structural problems in China’s economic system.

"The media is getting very excited about the fact that Chinese GDP data was somewhat stronger than expected. This data is presented with all the quality and accuracy we have come to expect from China. China's GDP is not necessarily very important to the global economy – it is the integration, not the size of an economy that gives it global importance." --- UBS' Paul Donovan

US and China set tentative timeline for new trade talks: WSJ reports, the US and China have tentatively scheduled meetings as they seek to close out a trade deal, with negotiators aiming for a signing ceremony as soon as late May.

State Department approves new deal with Taiwan for F-16 training, maintenance: UPI reports, the US State Department has approved a $500 million possible contract renewal for training of Taiwanese F-16 pilots and maintenance support. 

Army secretary reveals weapons wish list for war with China and Russia: Defense One reports, US Army leaders revealed Tuesday that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields of the future. 

Poland and US closing in on deal to build ‘Fort Trump,’ sources say: Bloomberg reports, Poland is nearing a deal with the US to establish an American military base in the former Communist bloc country, according to people familiar with the matter -- an outpost the Poles see as a deterrent to Russian aggression and that the Kremlin would likely consider a provocation. 

Trudeau challenged: Alberta became the third major Canadian province over the past year to elect a conservative-leaning government. The trend threatens to check Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party agenda as he prepares to face the electorate later this year, trailing in the polls.

US-Canada rift widens over training for 737 MAX pilots: WSJ reports, a rift between the US and Canada is growing over how to ensure the safety of Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX planes, as Ottawa’s focus on additional pilot training could lead to a delay in getting the jet back in the air.

Bogota the new city of spies: Geopolitical crises tend to create unexpected centers of refuge and espionage: West Berlin in the Cold War, Amman, Jordan in the buildup to the conflict in Iraq. Now a shift in the world’s attention to Venezuela — which has seen the departure of US diplomats and an influx of Russian military advisers — has made neighboring Colombia's capital, Bogota, a proxy battleground thronged with mercenaries, agents and clandestine operations.

FT: Moderate Conservatives eye challenge for party leadership

Amber Rudd says it is ‘entirely possible’ she could run as One Nation candidate.

Bloomberg: Brexit delay spurs UK frenzy for summer breaks in EU

Brexit: How it came to this: How the Irish backstop emerged as May's Brexit nemesis. Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit. http://bit.ly/2Vc8gBF

The roots of the UK’s political and constitutional crisis spread far and wide: decades of anti-EU propaganda, a Tory party civil war, a reckless Cameron gamble, a dogged, blinkered successor, a divided Labour party. And with a starring role, the backstop.

Ted: Facebook's role in Brexit - and the threat to democracy: In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election -- Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past? Watch - here

DISRUPTION

Carmakers eye the moon: The next frontier for carmakers could be the moon. China’s BAIC Group is developing joint technology with the country’s Lunar Exploration Project for lunar exploration. Toyota is also teaming up with Japan’s space agency to build a lunar rover, expecting to put it on the moon by 2029. 

The coming obsolescence of animal meat: Companies are racing to develop real chicken, fish, and beef that don’t require killing animals. Here’s what’s standing in their way. http://bit.ly/2KLdxw7
 
HBR: Does higher education still prepare people for jobs?http://bit.ly/2KMlW2t

'More and more students are spending more and more money on higher education, and their main goal is largely pragmatic: to boost their employability and be a valuable contributor to the economy. Even if the value attached to a university degree is beneficial to those who obtain it, companies can help change the narrative by putting less weight on “higher education” as a measure of intellectual competence and job potential, and instead, approach hiring with more open-mindedness."

French supermarket tests robot delivery: Reuters reports, Casino’s Franprix chain will test the delivery robots on the streets of Paris’s 13th arrondissement for a year. In the French capital, where Amazon has been running its Amazon Prime Now express delivery service since 2016, the speedy and convenient delivery of food has become a battleground among retailers.

POLITICS

Mueller report will be lightly redacted, offering detailed look at Trump’s actions: WP reports, the report is said to show that the special counsel decided he could not come to a conclusion on obstruction because it was difficult to determine the president’s intent.

Mueller Report: Attorney General William Barr will hold a press briefing on the Mueller report at 9:30 am, with Congress expected to receive the report between 11:00 am and noon.

Enjoy the ride and plan accordingly.

The White House already knows some of the details of the report.


Pelosi, Schumer call for Mueller to testify ‘as soon as possible’: WP reports, the Democratic leaders criticized Attorney General William P. Barr for his handling of the special counsel’s report.

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to leave the Trump administration.

In some US counties, more than 40 percent of all arrests are for marijuana possession.

FT: Sanders leads Democrats in fundraising for 2020 race

Contenders build up war chests to challenge Trump for US presidency.

2020 defense: Twenty-two House districts represented by freshman Democrats that Trump won in 2016 are emerging as key battlegrounds for both parties, as Republicans seek to regain ground in a presidential election year and Democrats try to extend the majority they won in 2018.

COMMERCE

Daimler invests $100m in Californian battery start-up: FT reports, the German carmaker announces move for 10 per cent stake as part of electric vehicles push.

Uber nears investment deal for self-driving car unit: WSJ reports, $1 billion investment by group including SoftBank would value division at $7.25 billion.

Some drivers for Uber in DC found it ‘unsustainable,’ study finds: WP reports, the Georgetown University study conducted in 2016 found 33 percent of drivers fell into a “debt trap” working for the ride-hailing service, taking on debt to drive, and all of them lamented its “slippery” wage.

Champion - owned by HanesBrands — hit jackpot, as the teens have bestowed their favor upon it. Last year Champion booked $1.4 billion in sales, and the company hopes to dial those up to $2 billion by 2022. Male teens consider it a top-15 brand, and Champion is worn by 9 percent of upper income boys and 5 percent of girls

Everlane jumps into the $20 billion US sneaker market: Bloomberg reports, the startup famous for environmentally conscious clothing is going after planet-friendly sneaker heads.

FT: Blackstone to ditch partnership structure and become corporation

CULTURE

'It's an absurd profession': the world's most infamous bouncers tell all: Guardian reports, they have a fearsome reputation for excluding eager clubbers – but as a documentary about Berlin’s doormen is released, three of them explain why their policies are ‘all about tolerance.’

See the trailer for Berlin Bouncer - here

Caroline Bullock: Flexible working for parents is great. But child-free people need it, too: The office-bound 9-5 job is an anachronism. All workers, whatever their family status, need greater control over their lives. http://bit.ly/2KUp6Bk

Selfie seaths are an epidemic: Outside reports, a recent report found that 259 people died between 2011 and 2017 while stepping in front of the camera in often dangerous destinations. Our writer went deep on the psychology of selfies to figure out what's behind our obsession with capturing extreme risk-taking.

How Paris firefighters saved Notre Dame: Decisions to focus on belfries and to dial back water pressure were key to preserving structure and artwork. https://on.wsj.com/2VfRX77

The chaplain, the cathedral fire and the race to rescue Notre-Dame’s relics: By the time the Paris Fire Department’s chaplain made his way inside Notre-Dame, flames had already consumed most of the cathedral’s roof and its spire had smashed onto the nave. “I had two priorities: to save the crown of thorns and a statue of Jesus,” Father Fournier said. https://nyti.ms/2KOcLyu

"It was a task emergency workers had prepared for. Firefighters held exercises focused on saving its treasures."

Candice Carty-Williams: 'The swag is limitless': why Beyoncé's Beychella Homecoming film is so radical: The singer’s Coachella concert documentary reveals her intimate humanity, celebrates the culture that built her, ousts stereotypes and redefines blackness. 

See the trailer for Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé - here

SPORT

Cracking his whip, musher Michael Inuarak keeps his dog team in line as he prepares to take part in the annual Nunavut Quest. CBC reports, for the past few weeks, the 22-year-old Inuarak has been preparing for the Quest — a gruelling, weeklong traditional dog sled race where competitors traverse an unforgiving sea of ice and tundra. This year, the race starts in Inuarak's hometown of Pond Inlet and ends more than 300 kilometres away in Arctic Bay. Running a dog team is about family and keeping the Inuit way of life strong, Inuarak said. "My happiest moment was dog sledding with two of my other brothers and my grandfather, all at the same time," he said. "That's what I always wanted to do — run my dogs with my family." http://bit.ly/2KIUsdX

Alliance of American Football files for bankruptcy: WSJ reports, the Alliance of American Football, a professional football league that suspended operations after less than two months of competition, has filed for bankruptcy.

How the ‘Drake curse’ became a thing in sports https://lat.ms/2L24Ldp

Champions League - Final Four:

Ajax
Barcelona
Tottenham Hotspur 
Liverpool

Tottenham v Ajax: 30 April + 8 May
Barcelona v Liverpool: 1 + 7 May


Ajax (NED) | UEFA ranking: 20: They dethroned champions Real Madrid, and then stopped Cristiano Ronaldo in his tracks, so what else is left to fear?

Barcelona (ESP) | UEFA ranking: 2: Messi has never had to wait more than four years between European titles – why start now?

Liverpool (ENG) | UEFA ranking: 12: Last season's runners-up have lost none of their attacking edge, but now have added steel at the back.

Tottenham (ENG) | UEFA ranking: 18:  Having eliminated both Dortmund and Manchester City, this looks to be a side primed for knockout football.

How Pep Guardiola lost control of the Champions League: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola helped set new standards for what is possible in English soccer, but his squads have failed to get anywhere in Europe. https://on.wsj.com/2V1b5Wj


Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.

-Marc 

North Korea, Ireland, Estonia, Samsung, Netflix, Real Madrid v Liverpool

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North Korea, Ireland, Estonia, Samsung, Netflix, Real Madrid v Liverpool

Marc Ross Daily
May 25, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here
https://goo.gl/bSQKwA

TOP FIVE

✔️ Trump’s gamble hits reality check in North Korea

✔️ Is Kim Jong-un back in Beijing?

✔️ Relations between Australia and China are buckling

✔️ The death of retail is greatly exaggerated

✔️ People in their 20s and 30s are drinking less alcohol

GEOECONOMICS

NYT: Trump’s gamble hits reality check in North Korea negotiations

The North Korea summit crumbled after China lined up against it:
 NBC News reports, Xi became increasingly anxious about the potential reunification of the Korean Peninsula, with China on the sidelines.

Is Kim Jong-un back in Beijing? High-ranking North Korean official reportedly visiting Chinese capital: AP reports, the North Korean official arrived in Beijing by air before being picked up by a Chinese government vehicle, the source said.

After summit pullout, South Korea and China have little appetite for Trump’s ‘maximum pressure': WP reports, Trump credited his “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions and threats with bringing North Korea to the negotiating table to discuss its nuclear weapons program. Now, having abruptly decided to call off an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore next month, Trump looks poised to revert to a hard-line approach. There’s just one problem: “The multilateral pressure coalition has fallen apart,” says Mira Rapp-Hooper, an East Asia expert at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.  

@TheEconomist: Donald Trump's decision to cancel the meeting had come to seem almost inevitable econ.st/2GOuNJt

WP: ‘A lot of dial tones’: The inside story of how Trump’s North Korea summit fell apart https://wapo.st/2s64eLd

The weird zigzags of a ship trying to navigate the US-China trade war: CBC reports, the travels of an 80,000-tonne shipment of an obscure American feed crop symbolize everything wrong with Trump's trade fight with China.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will travel to China from June 2 to June 4.

Then there was eighteen: Taiwan lost its second diplomatic partner in less than a month as the West African state of Burkina Faso severed relations. Taiwan now only has diplomatic recognition with just 18 states.

Relations between Australia and China are buckling as suspicion grows over the latter’s political meddling.

Turbulent week for Trump's trade tactics puts the world on edge: Bloomberg reports, over five days, the U.S. called off a trade war with China, cast doubt over the framework of talks with Beijing, and threatened tariffs on car and truck imports to protect national security. In other words, it’s been just another week for the volatile trade policy of President Donald Trump. The coming days aren’t looking much calmer.

@sallyshin: who's ready for GDPR!!!

Today: St Petersburg Forum begins in Russia

Crude has slipped back under $70/bbl.

Bankers may have moved $13 billion through Baltic laundromat: Bloomberg reports, banks operating in the Baltic nation of Estonia may have laundered considerably larger sums than first thought. Estonian police now estimate that bankers in their country were involved in suspicious transfers of money and securities, mainly from Russia, totaling more than $13 billion from 2011 to 2016.

Europe is ready to move on from Brexit: Leavers hoped to start a continent-wide revolution. Turns out there are more pressing problems. https://bloom.bg/2kqySuw

As Brexit clock ticks, the UK tries to agree on a plan: WSJ reports, an idea being considered could avoid a disruptive exit from the EU, but London may not unite behind it before a critical June summit.

"Since Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016, politicians on both sides have committed to preserve the status quo on the island of Ireland. But the British government has also said it plans to leave the EU customs union and its single market, which would necessitate customs checks along the Irish border with Britain."

Telegraph: Theresa May needs to quit as Prime Minister over 'Greek tragedy' Brexit talks - major Tory donor

Scotland's bid for another shot at independence is creeping back
: Bloomberg reports, After championing the cause for staying in the European Union, Scotland’s nationalists are reigniting their effort to leave the U.K. with plans for a new currency, economic regime and an open door for immigrants. A report published on Friday by a Scottish National Party commission made the case that Scotland should look to emulate small, better-performing economies such as Denmark and New Zealand. 

You can read the report here: http://bit.ly/2IO0G6T

Ireland votes: Irish voters will decide today whether to remove a ban on abortion from the country's constitution.

Italy’s new coalition government presents Europe with a difficult choice: pacify populists or pull no punches.

Military looks at foreign recruits to boost ranks: CBC reports, Canada's military is considering lifting a longstanding citizenship requirement as a way to boost its numbers. Right now, Canadian citizenship is a key requirement for enlistment, with waivers offered in exceptional cases.

Escaping Venezuela: Migrants are pouring into Brazil by the thousands looking for work and a chance at a new life. 

AMERICAN POLITICS

Roger Stone sought information on Clinton from Assange, emails show: WSJ reports, ex-Trump adviser urged intermediary to ask WikiLeaks for specific dates of rival candidate’s communications.

"Please ask Assange for any State or [Hillary Clinton] e-mail from August 10 to August 30--particularly on August 20, 2011" 

Today: Trump delivers commencement remarks at the US Naval Academy

Trump 2020: Donald Trump's 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee wrote to Facebook and Twitter to ask how they will "guarantee that conservative voices are no longer censored."

@parscale: We won’t tolerate bias toward conservatives or @realDonaldTrump supporters. We’re standing up for you and demanding answers. @GOPChairwoman and I have sent the following letter to @facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and @Twitter’s @jack Dorsey. #StopTheBias

US house prices: Home values have jumped 8.7% since last April, per Zillow. That's the fastest pace since 2006.

Senior Republicans blast Trump’s auto tariff threat: Bloomberg reports, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said Thursday the move would amount to a tax paid by American car buyers. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said Congress should take back some of the powers it has given the president to impose tariffs on national security grounds, while Bob Corker of Tennessee said the administration “is using trade policy maybe too transactionally.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement it "strongly opposes" the Trump administration’s threat of tariffs. If carried out, the proposal would “threaten to ignite a global trade war,” the group said.

Trump identifies his trade weapon of choice, to the dismay of Congress: WSJ reports, the president’s use of a national security law to threaten tariffs, most recently on imported cars, has lawmakers, the auto industry and foreign trade partners worried.

WSJ - Editorial: Trump’s trade confusion

"Auto tariffs, NAFTA bullying and China disarray, oh my."

The Trump trade - Why corporate America loves Donald Trump: The Economist reports, American executives are betting that the president is good for business. Not in the long run. https://econ.st/2kqUAPm

Where US manufacturing is thriving in 2018: The ‘80s futurist John Naisbitt once called manufacturing “a declining sport,” and to be sure the share of Americans working in factories has fallen far from the 1950 peak of 30% to roughly 8.5% last year. Yet, manufacturing’s contributions to the economy are far out of proportion to its shrinking share of employment. In 2013, the manufacturing sector employed 12 million workers, but generated an additional 17.1 million indirect jobs. http://bit.ly/2J5Ezfu

ENTERPRISE

Lego has partnered with Tencent to offer videos for the Chinese market.

Samsung has been ordered to pay Apple $539 million in a patent infringement case.

Netflix briefly surpassed Walt Disney Co. in market value Thursday to be the most valuable global media brand.

I am long DIS and short NFLX.

StumbleUpon will shut down June 30.

The great sneaker race: Gucci, Prada, and Balenciaga are increasingly looking to sneakers for growth, putting them in direct competition with sportswear giants like Nike and Adidas.

Uber announced today that it plans to invest €20M ($23.5M USD) in France over the next five years to develop aerial mobility.

Kellogg’s cereal brand Froot Loops is rolling out its first new flavor in 10 years: Wild Berry.

Publicis Groupe is no longer a holding company. As of today, it's a "platform." Meet Marcelhttp://bit.ly/2IIzxpO

TRENDS

33 industries that could be transformed by driverless carshttp://bit.ly/2kpL7HN

Drinking: People in their 20s and 30s are drinking less alcohol. One in 5 millennials doesn’t drink, and 66% say that alcohol isn’t important to their social lives, according to a survey by Demos.

No phone vaca: According to a survey of 2,000 US travelers from Asurion, a mobile device insurance company, and OnePoll, a UK-based marketing research company. more than 20 percent of respondents said they checked their smartphones once per hour during their most recent vacations while about 14 percent said they checked it twice per hour.

The death of retail is greatly exaggerated http://bit.ly/2IL6tya

CULTURE

Harvey Weinstein facing arrest in New York following sex assault inquiry: NYT reports, Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul, is expected to surrender to investigators on Friday after a monthslong inquiry into allegations that he sexually assaulted numerous women. Mr. Weinstein is to be charged by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, according to two law enforcement officials.

Scientists plan to scour loch ness in search for the mythical monster's DNA: NDTV reports, the project's leader, Neil Gemmell of New Zealand's Otago University, doubts that the Loch Ness monster actually exists.

Today: National Wine Day

Barry Ritholtz's 10 books for a summer reading listhttps://bloom.bg/2knXfcn

SOTD

Jamie T - Sheila http://bit.ly/2GP7z6b

SPORT

UEFA Champions League - Final

Real Madrid v Liverpool @ 2:45 ET on Saturday

All you need to know about the Champions League finalhttp://bit.ly/2konEqD

The French Open is already mired in controversy even before play starts on Sunday: Bloomberg reports, Serena Williams, resuming her comeback after maternity leave, is unseeded and will open against a tough opponent in 70th-ranked Kristyna Pliskova. Ivanka Trump blasted the Women's Tennis Association, saying the three-time champion is being penalized professionally for having a child.

2018 World Cup Jerseys (photos) http://bit.ly/2kqtxUo

BBC's World Cup promo ad: The BBC was inspired by the centuries-old Russian tradition of tapestry for its World Cup 2018 promo -- it has created an incredible, intricate animated tapestry of the tournament's history, as well as a real-life work of embroidery. The animated launch film "The Tapestry," created by BBC Creative with BBC Sport Marketing and directed by Nicos Livesey of Blinkink, takes the viewer on a journey through iconic moments from World Cup's past, from Diego Maradona's ball skills to Paul Gascoigne's tears and through to the current team lineup. You can see the ad here: http://bit.ly/2kqxGaw

The British bookmaker betting big on American sports gambling: William Hill’s early wager may soon pay off. https://bloom.bg/2IIVqFv

US-China, North Korea, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, European Union, Shoplifters

Marc Ross Daily.png

US-China, North Korea, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, European Union, Shoplifters

Marc Ross Daily
May 21, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here
https://goo.gl/bSQKwA

TOP FIVE

✔️ US and China step back from brink of trade war

✔️ US college degrees lose mystique among Asian students

✔️ Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro won a new six-year term

✔️ Trump grappling with risks of proceeding with North Korea meeting

✔️ Ford’s Hackett faces tough test in trying to drive change

GEOECONOMICS

US and China step back from brink of trade war: FT reports, the US has stepped back from the brink of a trade war with China after Washington halted plans to impose tariffs on up to $150bn of imports, according to the US Treasury secretary. “We’re putting the trade war on hold,” Steven Mnuchin said in a television interview on Sunday. 

The Dow set to leap 200+ points, amid easing U.S.-China tensions that have roiled global markets this year.

@JessicaStoneTV: NEXT STEP: @SecretaryRoss heading to #China at end of June after #oecd for next round of #china #tradetalks @cgtnamerica

@sdonnan: Reminder: Donald Trump has proclaimed this World Trade Week!


US and China tout trade talks as success, but leave the details for later: NYT reports, Trump administration officials had said during negotiations this week that China was prepared to make up to $200 billion in additional purchases. Notably absent from Saturday’s announcement were any dollar figures — or a sense of the scale of the agreed-upon increases. The White House said that China had committed to buying more agriculture and energy exports, but noted that American officials would at some point go to China to work out the details of their agreement.

Treasury, USTR send mixed messages over tariffs on Chinese imports: WSJ reports, mixed signals from officials could further complicate the Trump administration’s trade agenda. Several hours after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News on Sunday that the US was “putting the trade war on hold” and wouldn’t assess tariffs on Beijing while the two sides talked, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer put out a statement saying that tariffs remained an important tool to “protect our technology.”

Reuters: China air force lands bombers on South China Sea island

“The United States remain committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Christopher Logan said in response, saying that reports of Chinese militarization “only serves to raise tensions and destabilize the region.”

Trusted Xi ally a rising influence on China’s foreign policy: AP reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping is increasingly turning to friend and trusted confidant Wang Qishan to help guide the country’s foreign relations as he prepares for a potentially bruising trade fight with the US and competition for leadership in Asia. The 69-year-old Wang was appointed vice president in March, but exercises outsized influence in the historically symbolic position despite standing down from the ruling Communist Party’s leading body due to age restrictions.

Bulgaria to host contentious China summit: FT reports, gathering likely to stoke EU fears over Beijing’s influence in central and eastern Europe.

US college degrees lose mystique among Asian students: FT reports, Trump, guns and access to quality education at home affect enrolment.

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro won a new six-year term on Sunday in an election deemed illegitimate by the opposition and foreign governments. 

Venezuela in 2018:

Inflation: Rose 2,400% last year, and it's projected to reach 13,000% this year. The bolivar lost 99% of its value.

Unemployment: Expected to hit 30%.

Population decline: 600,000 have fled Venezuela over the last
coupleyears, and 5,000 people are getting out daily.

Mexico: Thirty-six candidates for various offices have been killed since September, and dozens of other politicians and campaign officials have been slaughtered.

Italy's two populist leaders have agreed on a prime minister and are set to propose a cabinet as early as today. 

Newspapers in the country reporting that Giuseppe Conte, a 53-year old law professor with no political experience, is the leading candidate.

The populists' ascension in Rome crystallizes a real danger for Europe's liberal establishment. 

Matteo Salvini, a populist on the verge of power: The leader of Italy’s League party has prospered by attacking Brussels rather than Rome. https://on.ft.com/2rWl13l

Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon is set to “restart” her campaign for Scottish independence. The Scottish National Party will revamp its economic blueprint for independence, which may include a plan to phase in a new Scottish currency. 

Modern Tory: Michael Gove and Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson launch Onward, a think tank aimed at attracting more voters from the center. The name has echoes of French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! party and its mission is to unite and modernize the party.

Space race: Britain is pressing forward with plans to set up its own rival satellite system to Europe’s Galileo project and hopes to team up with Australia as a partner in the project.

Jeremy Warner: Brexit has become a farce, risking an outcome that will satisfy no one http://bit.ly/2rXsteM

By far the best summary so far ventured of the Brexit negotiations came from the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel. “They were in with a load of opt-outs,” he said. “Now they are out, and want a load of opt-ins.”

BRIGADOON EVENTS

Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Lectures = Sep. 20-21, 2018

Brigadoon Detroit | Salon Dinner = Oct. 11, 2018

Brigadoon Cincinnati | Salon Dinner = Nov. 1, 2018

Brigadoon Scotland 2018 = Nov. 11-13, 2018

Brigadoon Sundance 2019 = Feb. 24-26, 2019

More info @ http://thebrigadoon.com

AMERICAN POLITICS

Trump Jr. and other aides met with Gulf emissary offering help to win election: NYT reports, three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor.

WP: Secret FBI source for Russia investigation met with three Trump advisers during campaign

Trump grappling with risks of proceeding with North Korea meeting: NYT reports, Trump, increasingly concerned that his summit meeting in Singapore next month with North Korea’s leader could turn into a political embarrassment, has begun pressing his aides and allies about whether he should take the risk of proceeding with a historic meeting that he had leapt into accepting, according to administration and foreign officials.

Today: Trump will attend the swearing in of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA.

South Korea: Moon is due to meet Trump in Washington on Wednesday and the two leaders will discuss security assurances and economic incentives for denuclearizing North Korea, with Moon hoping to advise Trump on the proposed June 12 summit.

AP: Mnuchin says NAFTA negotiations could spill into 2019

Ryan's power begins to ebb: House Republicans grow restive head of midterm elections. http://bit.ly/2wtHAjd

AP: 2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?http://bit.ly/2GATxEQ

"The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren to up-and-comers including California Sen. Kamala Harris — don’t necessarily put it that way. But the potential 2020 candidates are making the rounds, raising and distributing campaign cash among fellow Democrats, endorsing candidates and meeting political activists." 

ENTERPRISE

General Electric is nearing a deal to sell its transportation business to railroad equipment maker Wabtec possibly for more than $20B.

Facebook, Uber execs top guest list for Macron's tech huddle: Bloomberg reports, Tech should do good. And Emmanuel Macron, though busy with climate change, Europe, Iran, reforming the French economy and trade tensions with the U.S., will see to it. France’s president wants to become the go-to head of state for global tech and will host the bosses of Alphabet Inc.’s Google to Uber in Paris next week to talk about social responsibility, eyeing an opening as the industry’s relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump proves complicated.

Facebook is launching a tool that connects marketers to relevant influencers.

Zuck and the EU: The Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will meet with the European Parliament today to discuss privacy and the misuse of user data.

Ford’s Hackett faces tough test in trying to drive change: FT reports, carmaker’s share price has barely budged in the chief executive’s first year at the helm.

The age of every company in the Fortune 500https://for.tn/2KDTb2T

The oldest one was founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton = The Bank of New York Mellon

The oldest member of the household products industry, Colgate-Palmolive, dates to 1806.

A majority of the 500—360 companies to be exact—were started in the 20th century, 136 launched since Jan. 1, 1980, and 26 in this century.


TRENDS

Satellite data strongly suggests that China, Russia, and other authoritarian countries are fudging their GDP reportshttps://wapo.st/2IIk1cP

@BoF: Women's sneakers sales have increased by 37 percent last year, while high heels fell 11 percent. http://bof.bz/gixL30k65vK 

CULTURE

Michael Curry’s royal wedding sermon will go down in history: Guardian reports, the American bishop did it black. And he shocked the congregation by refusing to tone down his passionate message on power and love.

Lucy Kellaway grills the world’s ‘best teacher’ https://on.ft.com/2ISitx7

AP: 'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

SPORT

U17 Euro Championship: Italy lost the European Under-17 championship to the Netherlands on Sunday in a penalty shootout.

A new Atlanta, united by soccer: Smart signings, massive crowds and a stealthy bus ride before home games have helped an MLS team foster an immediate connection with its fans. https://nyti.ms/2k5wBor

North Korea, China, Tariffs, ZTE, Ireland, Starbucks, Pot

Marc Ross Daily.png

North Korea, China, Tariffs, ZTE, Ireland, Starbucks, Pot

Marc Ross Daily
May 16, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here
https://goo.gl/bSQKwA

TOP FIVE

✔️ North Korea abruptly postponed talks with South Korea

✔️ US business groups bash Trump's China tariffs plan

✔️ Jacob Rees-Mogg refuses European Economic Area

✔️ Women sweep to victory in House primaries

✔️ China is Facebook's second largest market after the US

MR IN THE NEWS

US-China trade relations: Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Asieh Namdar with CGTN-America. We discussed the state of US-China trade policy and the future of trade between the two countries. You can see the clip here: http://bit.ly/2InHcda

GEOECONOMICS

North Korea abruptly postponed talks with South Korea to protest US-South Korean military exercises and threatened to scrap a summit next month between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if there is “a one-sided demand for us to give up our nukes.”

Welcome to The Bigs, Mr. Trump.

FT: Asia markets soften as Korea talks collapse

US firms seek tariff relief as US and China try to mend rift
: AP reports, corporate America is seeking relief from President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese goods as negotiators seek to prevent a trade war between the world's two biggest economies. As the US government began three days of hearings on the tariffs Tuesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He traveled to Washington to seek a resolution to the trade dispute. A similar high-level US delegation made a trip to Beijing earlier this month and returned empty-handed.

NYT: Businesses race to Washington to sway Trump on China tariffs

Bloomberg: US business groups bash Trump's China tariffs plan


Just about everything is odd about Trump’s support of Chinese firm ZTE: WP reports, just about everything is odd about President Trump's recent tweet that he wants to help Chinese technology company ZTE “get back into business, fast” because its failure costs “too many jobs in China.” It's odd that Trump, who campaigned on saving millions of U.S. jobs, suddenly says he cares about a few thousand Chinese jobs. It's odd that Trump, who championed “America First,” is worried about a single Chinese firm.

FT: US and China ‘still very far apart’ on trade, says US ambassador

Is China straight-up bribing Donald Trump? Vanity Fair reports, the president suddenly softens on a Chinese business after Beijing bankrolls a Trump Organization project.

"So it was a bit odd to see Trump pull a complete 180, suddenly insisting that the company and its 75,000 Chinese jobs must be saved, though to be fair, tweeting “Look, China just pumped $500 million into a Trump Organization project so I had to do them a solid” might not have gone over so well."

NAFTA: Negotiators from Canada, Mexico, and the United States are unlikely to strike a deal for a revised North American Free Trade Agreement deal by Thursday.

Pot in Canada: On Monday, the world’s largest marijuana producer was formed when Aurora Cannabis, which is headquartered in Vancouver, bought medical-marijuana firm MedReleaf for about CA$3bn (€2bn) in stock. The acquisition is the latest in a string of maneuvers in Canada’s cannabis economy ahead of new legislation that could legalize the drug on 1 July – Canada’s national holiday. 

WSJ: Trump's goal for NAFTA rewrite looks unattainable in 2018

Spain’s top economists vow to boycott all-male panel discussions. 

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg refuses European Economic Area: Rees-Mogg met PM Theresa May yesterday and assured her that the 60 or so Tory Brexiteers that he leads in the European Research Group will not back down over the customs partnership. He argued that abiding by EU rules without having a say in how they were made would completely undo the purpose of the Brexit vote.

Why the future of Northern Ireland is crucial to Brexit negotiations: The Times reports, as a recent poll causes grave concern among senior Tories on all sides of the argument, Sam Coates, the Times deputy political editor, breaks down ten key reasons the province has become critical to the debate.

BRIGADOON EVENTS

Brigadoon Annapolis | Salon Dinner + Lectures = Sep. 20-21, 2018

Brigadoon Detroit | Salon Dinner = Oct. 11, 2018

Brigadoon Cincinnati | Salon Dinner = Nov. 1, 2018

Brigadoon Scotland 2018 = Nov. 11-13, 2018

More info @ http://thebrigadoon.com

AMERICAN POLITICS
 

CIA: Gina Haspel is on track to be confirmed by the US Senate.

Today: Trump will meet and hold a working lunch with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. 

Novartis has announced the departure of general counsel Felix Ehrat over his role in a $1.2M contract it struck with Michael Cohen.

Related: Marc Ross: CEOs need to learn lessons from the AT&T and Michael Cohen scandal http://bit.ly/2rMzX39

Election 2018: Democratic women had a good night, winning seven primaries for House seats in Pennsylvania and threatening the state's all-male congressional delegation.

Women sweep to victory in House primaries: Politico reports, voters decide key battleground contests in 4 states.

Top Dem presidential hopefuls audition for 2020: Politico reports, the first cattle call of 2020 drew a host of big names, The Center for American Progress’ Ideas Conference allowed possible 2020 candidates to test out messages on progressivism in the Trump era.

A reckoning for Obama's foreign-policy legacy: Veterans of the last administration are learning a hard lesson: Policies constructed by executive order and executive agreement are just as easily blown up by them. https://theatln.tc/2IMEkFY

Hurricane Genesis and Outlook Project report predicts that there will be 11 to 18 named tropical storms this year.

ENTERPRISE

Starbucks is looking to double down on the Chinese market as traffic growth comes under pressure in the U.S. The coffee chain hopes to more than triple its revenue and almost double its store count in China over the next five years. It currently has around 3,300 stores in 141 cities across the country.

China is Facebook's second largest market after the US: AdAge reports, nearly 10 percent of Facebook's global revenue, or about $5 billion, comes from China, despite being banned from operating in the country, according to a new report by Pivotal research analyst Brian Wieser. This means China is the second-largest ad spender on Facebook, only behind the US.

No Facebook for you: As part of its purge of bad content from its platform, Facebook deleted 583 million fake accounts and 865.8 million posts during Q1 2018.

Facebook’s blockchain move raises eyebrows: FT reports, Zuckerberg flirts with decentralization of his very centralized social network.

Amazon is debuting a Prime loyalty program that includes an extra 10% off on sales items and weekly discounts at Whole Foods.

Kellogg has discontinued its operations in Venezuela due to the ongoing social and economic distress in the nation.

Lime, the e-scooter company, is raising $500 million.

How China's tech revolution threatens Silicon Valley: A look inside Beijing's booming start-up scene shows how ubiquitous the country's tech culture is. https://theatln.tc/2wKkiHn

TRENDS

Great things take time: Why focusing on the long-term is more important than ever http://bit.ly/2IlN0E4

CULTURE

RIP: Tom Wolfe employed literary techniques in his magazine articles, pioneering the New Journalism of the 1960s and ’70s. He wrote books such as “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” and “The Right Stuff”; his first novel, “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” was a bestseller.

Tom Wolfe, writer, 1930-2018: FT reports, American literary and journalistic iconoclast who Norman Mailer said was the hardest working writer of his time.

The Tom Wolfe syllabus: The pioneer of New Journalism died at the age of 88 on Monday. From ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’ to ‘Bonfire of the Vanities,’ the Ringer staff looks back on his most striking work. http://bit.ly/2IJRgMV

Royal Wedding: UK Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins has today signed the order relaxing pub licensing laws for the royal wedding this weekend. UK subjects will be permitted to toast the happy couple in pubs across the land until 1:00 am on both Friday and Saturday night.

SPORT

Today @ 2:45 pm ET: UEFA Europa League Final = Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid