Pakistan, Canada, Philippines, Japan, Venezuela, Netherlands

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Pakistan, Canada, Philippines, Japan, Venezuela, Netherlands

Marc Ross Daily
March 1, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


TOP FIVE

✔️ Japan grows nervous about the US

✔️ Russia vows to continue support for Venezuela

✔️ The MBA myth and the cult of the CEO

✔️ This is what peak car looks like

✔️ MA bill would ban tackle football until after seventh grade
 

GLOBALIZATION

WSJ: Pakistan to release captured Indian pilot, easing tensions

Chinese factories
: Factory activity in China has been plummeting thanks to falling export orders. The latest PMI figures suggest activity has now contracted for three straight quarters, and is now at a three-year low. 

US readies final China trade deal as hawks urge caution: Bloomberg reports, debate continues in Washington over whether to push Beijing for more concessions.

Reuters: Trump warns he could abandon China trade deal as advisers tout progress

Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou retreats from public eye in Vancouver
: FT reports, founder’s daughter is under house arrest awaiting an extradition hearing to the US.

Canada seen approving extradition hearing against Huawei executive: Reuters reports, Canada is likely to announce on Friday that an extradition hearing against a Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive can proceed, legal experts said, worsening already icy relations with Beijing.

MSCI hands Chinese stocks bigger role in global markets: FT reports, the decision by the index provider could send up to $125bn into the Chinese market.

Reuters: Pompeo says world should have eyes wide open about Chinese tech risks

Pompeo pledges to defend Philippine forces in South China Sea
: WSJ reports, the Philippines shelved a planned review of its military alliance with the U.S. in return for a verbal commitment that American forces would defend the country’s vessels in the South China Sea, removing a major irritant between the longstanding partners.

Robert Kaplan: Japan grows nervous about the US: It fears China’s advance, America’s retreat, and South Korea and Taiwan becoming compromised. https://on.wsj.com/2EpHivV

France, Netherlands seek to douse Air France-KLM controversy: DW reports, the French and Dutch finance ministers have met amid tensions over the Netherlands' move to increase its stake in the airline. The share purchase had sparked concerns of a tug of war between the two governments.

Air France-KLM shows Dutch taste for French statism: FT reports, Dutch state stake in airline shows rise of industrial nationalism in EU.

The Times: US aims to include chlorinated chicken in UK trade deal

The United States has indicated that it will push to get food including chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef on to British supermarket shelves under a post-Brexit trade agreement.

AFP: Russia vows to continue support for Venezuela, including with aid

NYT: As Huawei’s influence in Canada grows, some fear spying. Others just want fast internet.


Trudeau’s party is behind him for now after bombshell testimony: Bloomberg reports, the Canadian prime minister plowed ahead Thursday after his former attorney general alleged, in explosive testimony aired on national television, that he interfered in the justice system by pressing to end a criminal case against an iconic Quebec construction firm. Speaking to reporters in Montreal, Trudeau insisted again his government had every right to consider the job losses that could result from a guilty verdict for SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy official trailer: From the director of The Big Short and Vice and executive producer Will Ferrell comes an 8-part globe-spanning exploration of the most compelling topics impacting the global economy. Through the curious mind of host Kal Penn, see firsthand all the surprising ways the economy interconnects and impacts the lives of people all over the planet. Watch here: https://amzn.to/2ElBYcZ

DISRUPTION

Dan Rasmussen + Haonan Li: The MBA myth and the cult of the CEO: Three decades ago, an influential Harvard Business School professor made the argument that CEO pay should be tied to stock performance. Was he horribly wrong? http://bit.ly/2T8iSkG

"What if the “best and brightest” — those executives with the most dazzling CVs and track records — don’t perform any better than less credentialed executives?"

The Times: Polymaths wanted at London Interdisciplinary School, Britain’s first new university in 40 years

LIS is building a new university that prepares students to tackle the most important and complex problems.

For those who want to shape the world, not just fit in.


Dopamine: Beyond the rush of a reward: The neurotransmitter famously provides the thrill we get from a surprise, a phenomenon known as reward prediction error. But growing evidence suggests the chemical also tracks movement, novelty and other neurobiological factors. http://bit.ly/2T79o9i

The NFL is drafting quarterbacks all wrong: No franchise or GM has shown the ability to beat the draft over time, and economists Cade Massey and Richard Thaler have convincingly shown that the league’s lack of consistent draft success is likely due to overconfidence rather than an efficient market. https://53eig.ht/2TbPyKs

Email message I received from Google: "March 1–2 is National Day of Unplugging. So unwind and take a break from the screen. When you return, check out these apps that boost digital wellbeing."

David Welch + Keith Naughton: This is what peak car looks like: The automobile—once both a badge of success and the most convenient conveyance between points A and B—is falling out of favor in cities around the world as ride-hailing and other new transportation options proliferate and concerns over gridlock and pollution spark a reevaluation of privately owned wheels. Auto sales in the U.S., after four record or near-record years, are declining this year, and analysts say they may never again reach those heights. Worldwide, residents are migrating to megacities—expected to be home to two-thirds of the global population by midcentury—where an automobile can be an expensive inconvenience.

POLITICS

Garrett Graff: 5 key takeaways from Michael Cohen's prepared testimony to Congress http://bit.ly/2T5m9kJ

"The Trump Organization was a small family business—and the campaign was run like one. There were few serious executives or players either not named Trump or, in Jared Kushner’s case, married to one—and in terms of the Trump Organization, perhaps the only two meaningful staffers not named Trump, Cohen, and CFO Allen Weisselberg are both cooperating with investigators. It’s never seemed all that believable that Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner—three central figures who were with him every day, people who were in constant contact with him and in constant competition for his affection and gratitude—would have hosted a meeting a meeting in Trump Tower, the building where the candidate lived and worked, with Russians promising gifts and not mention it either before, during, or after."

Peggy Noonan: Michael Cohen makes history: There’s no precedent for such an attack on the essential nature of an American president. https://on.wsj.com/2EpHnQf

NYT: Trump ordered officials to give Jared Kushner a security clearance

Trump overruled concerns from intelligence officials and the top White House lawyer about giving his son-in-law access to sensitive information, four people briefed on the matter said.

Democrats vow to investigate White House security clearances: FT reports, top lawmakers show concern over report of Trump intervention for son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Holman Jenkins: The media will re-elect Trump: They would rather believe tall tales about Russia than hear what voters said in 2016. https://on.wsj.com/2ElznzQ

LAT: Democrats, facing a big candidate field, ask: Who is most electable over Trump?

Election 2020: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee enters 2020 presidential race

Jay Inslee is a fourth tier candidate.

Election 2020: Crystal Ball Electoral College ratings:

-- Crystal Ball's initial Electoral College ratings reflect a 2020 presidential election that starts as a Toss-up.

-- Crystal Ball starts with 248 electoral votes at least leaning Republican, 244 at least leaning Democratic, and 46 votes in the Toss-up category.

-- The omissions from the initial Toss-up category that readers may find most surprising are Florida and Michigan.

-- Much of the electoral map is easy to allocate far in advance: About 70% of the total electoral votes come from states and districts that have voted for the same party in at least the last five presidential elections.


OTD: In 1872 Yellowstone, America’s first national park, was established to protect 2.2 million acres in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

COMMERCE

Walt Disney Co. is in active discussions with AT&T Inc. to acquire the 10 percent stake in Hulu that is currently controlled by WarnerMedia.

AMC Theatres' Stubs A-List program, the subscription service that allows customers to see three movies a week for $19.95 a month, has hit 700,000 subscribers.

Luckin Coffee, which has ambitions to overtake Starbucks in China this year, has tapped three banks including Credit Suisse to work on a US IPO, Reuters reports. The Beijing-based startup, which is targeting a valuation of about $3B, opened over 2,000 cafes last year and aims to launch 2,500 new outlets in 2019. Luckin is said to have chosen New York for the listing, as Hong Kong generally requires IPO applicants to have a track record of three financial years.

Gap said it plans to split itself into two independent publicly traded companies, one unnamed company consisting of the iconic Gap brand and Old Navy.

Tesla said it would begin shutting stores and move to selling vehicles only over the internet.

Tesla cuts price on Model 3 again to $35,000.

Royole displays flexible approach to foldable phones: NIkkei reports, startup takes on Samsung, Huawei with home-grown technology.

HBO Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Plepler is stepping down in the wake of new owner AT&T seeking to put its own stamp on the premium cable channel. 

Come back to Queens: Open letter to Bezos from:

- Ajay Banga
- Ken Chenault
- James Gorman 
- Robin Hayes
- Joey Levin 
- Bill McDermott 
- Robert Rubin 
- Fred Wilson 
(and many more) 

To reverse the decision to pull New York campus. This full-page letter to run today in the NYT. 

See it here:
 https://buff.ly/2Vre1I3

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who was staggered by Amazon’s decision to pull out of its plans to come to New York City, is working intensely behind the scenes to lure the company back, even connecting with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, to make a personal pitch. 

CULTURE

Back to the water: After "Aquaman" smashed the box office last year with over $1 billion worldwide, a sequel was inevitable. On Wednesday, the studio Warner Bros. set its release date for December 16, 2022.

5 tips to starting a daily creative practicehttps://buff.ly/2sOfxaT 

SPORT

The truth according to Zlatan: ‘I’m not an act,’ the Los Angeles Galaxy’s star striker declares as he begins his second season in Major League Soccer. ‘I am the real deal.’ https://nyti.ms/2EqelQs

He was absolutely not joking when, upon signing with the Galaxy last March, he bought a full-page advertisement in The Los Angeles Times.

“Dear Los Angeles,” it read. “You’re welcome.”


How FC Barcelona are preparing for the future of football: FT reports, science and sport intersect in the Catalan giant’s new ‘innovation hub.’ https://on.ft.com/2Enbyrf

Bryce Harper signs $330 million deal with Phillies.

Ross Rant Flashback: The Nats don't play in baseball town:

"the city is waking up to another Nats season cut short and not matching expectations. In a town full of type A personalities and high school class presidents, victory and success are deemed a birthright."

https://buff.ly/2H6dWpn

Massachusetts bill would ban tackle football until after seventh grade:  NYT reports, the bill, which moved to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health this week, follows attempts by legislators in five other states who have tried — but failed — to pass similar measures to protect growing brains from traumatic injury. The bipartisan bill, known as No Hits, would impose financial penalties for any school league or other entity that does not comply.


Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.

-Marc 

Kashmir, Jeremy Corbyn, North Korea, Beto O'Rourke, Illumina, Puma

MRD July.png

Kashmir, Jeremy Corbyn, North Korea, Beto O'Rourke, Illumina, Puma

Marc Ross Daily
February 28, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


TOP FIVE

✔️ Pakistani military says it shot down 2 Indian warplanes 

✔️ Glastonbury festival bans sale of single-use plastic bottles

✔️ Toledo votes to give Lake Erie personhood status over algae blooms

✔️ FedEx will soon start testing robots that could make same-day deliveries 

✔️ Puma will become official uniform supplier for Manchester City
 

GLOBALIZATION

NYT: Pakistani military says it shot down 2 Indian warplanes 

Guardian: India calls forimmediate return of pilot shot down by Pakistan over Kashmir


CNBC: Pakistan claims it shot down 2 Indian planes, captured pilot

DW: Nuclear fears abound after India-Pakistan military escalation


India's ambassador to France, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, told France 24 on Wednesday that Pakistan is "100 percent responsible for where we are right now", saying there is zero evidence that Islamabad has taken action against terror groups.

Pakistan’s ambassador to France, Moin ul Haque, told France 24 on Wednesday that despite the decision to shoot down two Indian jets in retaliation for air strikes on Pakistani soil, Islamabad is committed “not to escalate" but rather "to defuse the situation". Pakistan's response to what he called an "unfortunate act of aggression" was "clearly part of ourself-defence", he said.


WSJ: US drops threat of 25% tariffs on Chinese goods

US official: Much work remains to reach US-China trade deal
: AP reports, “Much still needs to be done before an agreement can be reached,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said. “If we can complete this effort, and again I say if, and can reach a satisfactory solution to the issue of enforceability ... we might have an agreement that turns the corner in our economic relationship with China.”

Bloomberg: Trump’s trade czar urges patience on China deal president craves

Senate inquiry finds problems with China-funded Confucius Institute at US campuses
: LAT reports, after an eight-month probe, the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations described systemic problems in the institute’s language programs, saying they lack transparency, threaten academic freedom and give the Chinese government access to the U.S. education system that China does not extend to American programs.

German cyber chief backs ‘no spy’ deal over Huawei: FT reports, remarks suggest Berlin could allow Chinese company to take part in network roll-out.

EU scrambles to stop Russian interference in elections: FT reports, cyber security experts report sudden uptick in state-sponsored hacking activity.

WSJ: Trump, Kim end summit early with no pact

‘I am never afraid to walk away from a deal,’ Trump says

Trump and Kim failed to reach an agreement at a second summit aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program.


NYT: Trump’s talks with Kim Jong-un collapse over North Korean sanctions

FT: Trump and Kim fail to reach denuclearisation deal 

Hanoi summit abruptly cut short on second day of talks.

LAT: ‘Sometimes you have to walk’: Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un ends without a deal

FT: Labour party formally backs new referendum on Brexit


Jeremy Corbyn announces shift after his own plan is defeated in parliament

UK Parliament to decide between 'no deal' and delay: DW reports, UK lawmakers have voiced their support for a three-step plan that could allow them to delay the UK's departure from the EU. MPs rejected an alternative plan that had been proposed by the opposition Labour Party.

Martin Wolf: A second Brexit referendum is now essential: If democracy means anything, it means a country’s right to change its mind.

DISRUPTION

Glastonbury festival bans sale of single-use bottles: The Glastonbury festival will ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles this year, it said yesterday. Plastic bottles will not be supplied backstage, in dressing rooms or to production and catering staff, according to its website.

US companies put record number of robots to work in 2018: Reuters reports, US companies installed more robots last year than ever before, as cheaper and more flexible machines put them within reach of businesses of all sizes and in more corners of the economy beyond their traditional foothold in car plants.

Venice imposes entry fee for day-trippers: DW reports, from May, millions of day trippers to Italy's ancient, lagoon city will have to pay an entry fee. The price is set to double in 2020 and be used to keep the ancient islands clean.

There are 25 million visitors to the city of Venice in northern Italy each year. Of these about 14 million stay just for a day, and often bring their own picnics. 

POLITICS

AP: Cohen says Trump behaved 'much like a mobster would do'

NYT: Michael Cohen accuses Trump of expansive pattern of lies and criminality

LAT: Cohen delivers warning to GOP lawmakers now attacking him: Don’t ‘blindly’ follow Trump


CNBC: Michael Cohen: 'I fear' Trump won't peacefully give up the White House if he loses the 2020 election 

WP: The economy expanded 2.9 percent in 2018, beating previous years but missing Trump’s goal


US economy grew 2.6% in the fourth quarter.

Bloomberg: Beto O'Rourke says he's decided on 2020, will announce plans soon  

As Biden weighs 2020 bid, Democrats ask: 'Does he meet the moment?' Reuters reports, former US Vice President Joe Biden said this week he was “very close” to deciding whether to make a 2020 White House bid and will run only if he thinks he can win the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Jonathan Bernstein: How to handicap the 2020 race: Forget polls and fundraising totals. Here’s how to tell who’s really a contender. https://bloom.bg/2T5E2zX

High-profile endorsements are one useful measure.

Another metric to follow is which candidates have signed up campaign professionals with deep ties to the party; a strong candidacy will draw staffers who have worked for a range of same-party candidates, demonstrating a coalition-style campaign.


WP: The popular vote could decide the 2020 presidential election, if these states get their way

Colorado is set to become the latest member of a group of states banding together to bypass the electoral college system.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact — which already has 11 states and the District of Columbia on board — would hand the 2020 presidential election to whoever wins the popular vote. But it would only take effect if states representing at least 270 electoral college votes pass the law.


Toledo votes to give Lake Erie personhood status over algae blooms: Guardian reports, this week, more than four years after the devastating algae bloom in 2014 that cut off drinking water for 500,000 people, Toledo voters passed the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, a unique charter amendment that establishes the huge lake as a person and grants it the legal rights that a human being or corporation would have.

New law will allow people of Toledo to act as legal guardians for Lake Erie, and polluters could be sued to pay for cleanup costs.

The final results weren’t even close, as it passed by a 61% to 39% margin.


COMMERCE

Southwest gets FAA OK for flights to Hawaii from California.

Uber + Lyft are planning to give some drivers the chance to take part in their initial public offerings.

FedEx will soon start testing robots that could make same-day deliveries of medicine, pizzas and other items to consumers’ homes.

How Huawei tried to sell itself to Motorola for $7.5bn: 2003 deal between Chinese group and US partner would have changed course of telecoms history. https://on.ft.com/2T7rf04

Huawei racked up a slew of deals to sell 5G equipment at the world's top mobile fair in Spain despite Washington's campaign to convince its allies bar the firm from their next-generation wireless networks.

Weight Watchers calls on Oprah to help sell wellness after abrupt name change to WW left people confused.

OneWeb launches first internet satellites in race with SpaceX.

Illumina's first machines, introduced in 2006, could decode a full human genome for about $300,000. A model released in 2014 can do so for about $1,000 and has made DNA sequencing widespread, helping diagnose diseases and find new drugs. The company’s latest machines could one day bring the cost close to $100.

British Airways announced a multi-billion dollar order for up to 42 Boeing 777 fuel-efficient passenger jets, just two weeks after Airbus said it would no longer make its A380 superjumbo.

CULTURE

WP: ‘Februburied:’ Up to 25 feet of snow has fallen in mountains on the West Coast this February

Rembrandt in the blood: An obsessive aristocrat, rediscovered paintings and an art-world feud: No one had spotted a new painting by the Dutch master for four decades — until the scion of a storied Amsterdam family found two.https://nyti.ms/2T7qpjW

‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ is being revived by Fox — with a twist: LAT reports, members of the original cast of “Beverly Hills, 90210” are returning for a six-episode event series on Fox. Nineteen years after the popular young adult drama wrapped its run, Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling are reuniting on TV.

SPORT

AP: Johnny Manziel released, barred from other CFL teams

Angels
 owner Arte Moreno says he is interested in buying the two local Fox Sports outlets — FS West and Prime Ticket.

Puma will become the official uniform supplier to reigning English Premier League soccer champions Manchester City.

Puma CEO says the partnership with the team is "the largest deal that we have ever done." 

Cuba, China, Cohen, California

Marc Ross Daily June.png

Cuba, China, Cohen, California

Marc Ross Daily
February 21, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


TOP FIVE

✔️ US, China sketch outlines of deal to end trade war

✔️ Four-day week: Trial finds lower stress and increased productivity

✔️ DOJ preparing for Mueller report in coming days

✔️ Vox Media is expanding tie-in with podcast company Stitcher

✔️ Samsung unveils foldable and 5G phones

ROSS RANT

"Hollywood is now irrelevant. Netflix has won this game. No one can get, I believe, to their level of subscribers, which gives them real dominance." -- Barry Diller
 

GLOBALIZATION

Reuters: Cuba denies military in Venezuela, charges US readies intervention

Three pro-EU Tory MPs defect to independent parliamentary group: FT reports, move by Europhiles is a big setback for Theresa May and her Brexit policy.

FT - Editorial: Honda sounds a further Brexit warning to Britain: Leaving the EU will imperil decades of success in UK carmaking. 

Soft China deadline: March 1 is supposed to be the end of the new-tariff truce between the US and China, but Trump now says it is "not a magical date," suggesting it isn't much of a deadline after all—even though USTR Lighthizer has characterized it as a "hard deadline." 

US, China sketch outlines of deal to end trade war: Reuters reports, the United States and China have started to outline commitments in principle on the stickiest issues in their trade dispute, marking the most significant progress yet toward ending a seven-month trade war, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

Bloomberg: US, China are working on multiple memorandums for trade deal

"The MoUs would cover areas including agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer and intellectual property."

The US and China fear their leaders will cave in on trade: WSJ reports, despite their sharp differences in style, background and policies, Xi Jinping and Trump share a common problem: growing concerns on the home front that they are going to cave in to the other side.

Janan Ganesh: US shift to Asia is more than a short-term pivot: Trump is the third president in a row to focus on the world’s largest continent.

Manila warns of China threat after US nuclear pact exit: FT reports, defense minister reflects regional fears over balancing Beijing and Washington links.

DISRUPTION

Four-day week: Trial finds lower stress and increased productivity: Guardian reports, the study of pilot at New Zealand firm finds staff were happier and 20% more productive.

Designers in demand like never before: In 2012, IBM employed one designer for every 72 engineers. Today, IBM has eight engineers to every designer, and that ratio goes to 3:1 on mobile.

POLITICS

Justice Department preparing for Mueller report in coming days: WP reports, with dwindling personnel, the special counsel appeared to be close to ending his investigation of the president and alleged Russian election interference.

Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for Trump, agreed to go before the House Oversight Committee for an open hearing on February 27.

Trump officially organizes the Space Force under the Air Force ... for now: Defense News reports, Trump on Tuesday signed a directive centralizing all military space functions under a new Space Force, which will be overseen by the Department of the Air Force. 

LAT: Bowing to Congress, Trump scales back proposed 'space force'

"The scaled-down plan would still establish a new military service focused on war-fighting in outer space — the first new branch since 1947 — with a four-star commander who would become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

@kaylatausche: NEW: House Ways & Means to hold China trade hearing next Wednesday, Feb. 27. Amb. Lighthizer is the only witness.

Possible O'Rourke White House bid spurs action to mobilize students: Reuters reports, a Democratic group seeking to persuade former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke to run for president will launch mobilization efforts on college campuses nationwide to coincide with what they believe will be his entry into the race by month's end.

Your phone and TV are tracking you, and political campaigns are listening in: LAT reports, welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech — a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading a weather app or game, connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell it to a political candidate who can use it to surround you with messages.

COMMERCE

Hyatt is making a dramatic push into the wellness segment. The company is increasingly focused on tapping into a quickly growing segment at the intersection of tourism and everyday life by developing offerings for its employees to maintain their well-being and for its customers to be able to continue their wellness and mindfulness practices from the comfort of Hyatt’s hotel rooms.

American Airlines is offering helicopter rides to the airport and private lounges in Los Angeles and New York for super VIPs.

Honda says up to 7,000 jobs at risk from closure of UK plant: FT reports, carmaker says electric cars and small size of Europe market responsible for shutdown.

Ford is shuttering a factory in Brazil that it's operated for more than half a century. The closure of the Sao Bernardo do Campo plant, which involves the loss of 2,800 jobs.

How Huawei lost its PR battle in the west: Foreign advisers say they were ignored and undermined by Chinese management. https://on.ft.com/2SVvtrG

Google will next month launch a game-streaming service to rival those from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Tesla will have all of its self-driving car tech ready to roll by the end of the year, Elon Musk said.

Vox Media is expanding its tie-in with podcast company Stitcher to launch a new tech news podcast as part of a multimillion-dollar deal.

THR: Amazon chief unveils plan to battle Netflix: 30 films per year

Lyft
 is preparing to list shares on the Nasdaq around the end of March.

Samsung's new Phone Folds in Half and Costs Nearly $2,000.

Nikkei: Samsung unveils foldable and 5G phones days ahead of Huawei

Nike takes a beating after Zion Williamson’s shoe explodes
: WP reports, unfortunately for Williamson and college basketball fans everywhere — and very unfortunately for Nike — Williamson didn’t last long against the Tar Heels, because he was forced from the game in the first minute with a knee injury. The mishap occurred as the 285-pound forward was planting his left foot to pivot — and his shoe exploded.

CULTURE

Laurene Powell Jobs is investing in Reese Witherspoon’s production company, marking her latest push into entertainment. Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective is joining AT&T Inc.’s Otter Media, an earlier backer, in financing Witherspoon’s company, Hello Sunshine.

California’s winter: Storms have dumped an estimated 18 trillion gallons of rain — nearly half the volume of Lake Tahoe — in February alone.

Who killed Tulum? Greed, gringos, diesel, drugs, shamans, seaweed, and a disco ball in the jungle. http://bit.ly/2SRMT8e

Ren Zhengfei, Sleepmore in Seattle, Bernie Sanders, Karl Lagerfeld

MRD July.png

Ren Zhengfei, Sleepmore in Seattle, Bernie Sanders, Karl Lagerfeld

Marc Ross Daily
February 20, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


TOP FIVE

✔️ The US cannot crush us, says Huawei founder

✔️ Has Narendra Modi been good for business?

✔️ Farms under the sea could feed the world in 2050

✔️ “Sorry, I’m just trying to get some ranch"

✔️ The Future of Capitalism by Oxford economist Paul Collier

ROSS RANT

"I remember Apple breaking into the creative world. Bringing them out of tech and Tomorrow’s World and into cool." -- Vicki Maguire, chief creative officer, Grey London on Apple '1984.'
 

GLOBALIZATION

The US cannot crush us, says Huawei founder: BBC reports, Ren Zhengfei described the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, as politically motivated. The US is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei and Ms Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets. Huawei denies any wrongdoing.

"There's no way the US can crush us. The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit."

Germany follows UK in casting doubt on US Huawei ban: Nikkei reports, allies not convinced on security threat as 5G rollout looms.

Shanghai to launch first 5G railway station.

China to Combine Africa, Latin America investment funds: Caixin: two Belt and Road-focused funds under foreign exchange regulator to get unified management.

North vs South

Trump eases off hard deadline for China tariffs: WSJ repports, Trump gave his firmest indication yet that the U.S. may not increase tariffs on Chinese goods on March 1, despite statements by his top trade official that the US should stick to a firm deadline.

Reuters: Amid trade talks, China urges US to respect its right to develop, prosper

FX pledge sought as part of deal for Trump and Xi to consider
: Bloomberg reports, the US is asking China to keep the value of the yuan stable as part of trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, a move aimed at neutralizing any effort by Beijing to devalue its currency to counter American tariffs.

China’s Vice Premier to Washington to chat trade deal: Liu He will hold two-day talks with US negotiators starting Thursday. Vice Premier Liu He scheduled to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Feb. 21-22.

As China talks resume, Trump seeks a win on trade: WSJ reports, as trade negotiations with China resume, the Trump administration is racing to strike a deal that will result in long-term reforms—and prove that tariffs are an effective battering ram to open markets around the world. 

Gary Greenberg: Will 2019 see an end to ‘Made in China’? US-China relations continue to be tense and superpower rivalry is here to stay.

"The ongoing US-China trade war and subsequent spotlight on the MIC2025 strategy is merely a symptom of the rising strategic competition between the two nations. The Chinese cannot and will not make the wholesale changes in their political economy that the US is demanding."

China's antics in South China Sea could change deployments for US troops: Military.com reports, the US military is eyeing new spots in the Asia-Pacific region where it could forward-deploy troops and equipment to counter China's rise, the top commander overseeing operations in that region said this week. 

Joseph Nye: China will not surpass America any time soon: Exaggerated fears about growing Chinese power are counter-productive.

"No country — including China — is about to usurp the US’s place in the world in terms of overall power."

"If the US were to maintain its alliances, the prospects are slight that China could drive it from the western Pacific, much less dominate the world."


Alexander Görlach: Xi Jinping is taking China down a dangerous path: As the world focuses on developments in China's coastal regions, the one-party state is flexing its totalitarian muscle in the northwest of the country. We should not look the other way.

Shuli Ren: The US, not China, is the real currency manipulator: The yuan has been tracking the dollar, so any volatility begins at home in Washington.

Michael Schuman: Why the US and China Can’t Make a Deal: They’ve turned trade talks into a test of strength, and both are overestimating their own. 

Trump + Kim = Meeting number two: Washington and Pyongyang have dispatched several teams to Vietnam ahead of the summit in Hanoi on February 27-28.

End-of-war declaration in sight, but N Korean denuclearization still appears a long shot.

US weighs opening liaison office in North Korea: WSJ reports, the proposal, likely part of a package, comes as President Trump prepares to meet later this month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang ain't Paris.

Has Narendra Modi been good for business? Tough reforms have recharged confidence, but protectionism and demonetization stain his record. https://s.nikkei.com/2SMtMfT

The Times: Eighth Labour MP quits, blaming ‘Corbyn culture of antisemitism’ 

Brexit = 37 days

Nicola Sturgeon has told French politicians that Scotland must vote for independence because the UK is incapable of accommodating Scottish views.

This city once ruled the Mediterranean. Now it’s eyeing a comeback: In the wake of tragedy, Genoa’s mayor sees an opportunity.https://bloom.bg/2SKuAC0

The Italian Tourist Board spends an astounding 98 percent of its budget on salaries.

Only 13 percent of tourists who come to Italy go to the Mezzogiorno, as the south is known.


Party that promised to clean up Italian politics finds it a messy business: WSJ reports, Italy’s 5 Star Movement rose from a grass-roots campaign against political corruption to an election-winning party. The realities of life in government since last summer, however, are putting it under growing strain.

Italy’s Renzi insists Europe’s populists will not last: FT reports, centrist former PM hails Emmanuel Macron and laments Rome’s loss of influence.

DISRUPTION

The ocean is the new farm: Farms under the sea could feed the world in 2050 (video): http://bit.ly/2SQzde0

30 legendary startup pitch deckshttp://bit.ly/2SMNA2C

Stomach-churning challenges: Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock are presenting the food industry with many challenges. Here’s one: gassy cows. “Burping cows are more damaging to the climate than all the cars on this planet,” Barclays said in a report.

Sleepmore in Seattle: A study in Seattle shows the power of starting the day later. The study is already having an impact. School boards in Orlando and Philadelphia are already looking at this example to see if it should make similar changes. In France, backed by advocates pushing the study’s findings, Parisian teenagers will be allowed an extra hour’s sleep before school in a move to improve their health. 

South Korea’s cosmetics industry takes aim at the super young: WP reports, the effort by the industry — known as K-beauty — to reach out to girls as young as 4 is stirring concerns that touch on many core social debates in South Korea, a country that is famous for its exacting beauty norms and has one of the highest rates of plastic surgery in the world.

POLITICS

NYT: Inside Trump’s two-year war on the investigations encircling him

A Times examination revealed the extent of President Trump’s sustained, secretive assault on the machinery of federal law enforcement.

Trump’s efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice in the inquiry by the special counsel.


Judge Andrew Napolitano on FNC: If NYT report is accurate, Trump may be implicated in attempted obstruction.

Biden’s polling lead shaky ahead of 2020 decision: Politico reports, new surveys question whether the former vice president is a real front-runner or just has big name-recognition.

@nytimes: Breaking News: Senator Bernie Sanders is running for president again, saying his 2016 policy ideas now have support from many more Americans

Bernie's cash: Sen. Sanders (I-VT) raised more than $4 million on Tuesday from almost 150,000 individual donors after announcing another White House run, according to his campaign.

Politico: ‘Are you with us?’: Bloomberg calls in his chits

The billionaire looks to his philanthropic network for support as he considers 2020 bid.

Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy has given away $6.4 billion and earned the love and respect of progressive-minded activists across the country.


LAT - Editorial: Relax: Bernie Sanders and the Democrats aren't trying to turn the US into Venezuela

Election 2020 campaign mantra: “Sorry, I’m just trying to get some ranch"

The campaign trail for president is just one long slog to get better condiments.

So you’re running for president in 2020 — now what? A guide to campaigning in South Carolina: Post and Courier reports, not only does the Palmetto State get to call itself the first-in-the-South primary, it will also be a pivotal test for the most diverse field of Democratic candidates in history. And it will happen on Feb. 29, 2020 — just three days before Super Tuesday when California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and a slew of other states weigh in on who they want to keep running.

LAT: Trump administration to cancel $929 million in California high-speed rail funding

Veep (2019) final season - official trailer http://bit.ly/2SIDa4e

THOUGHT LEADER TACTIC OF THE DAY

Get interviewed on a podcast - do this five times in 2019

COMMERCE

Ericsson chief warns Huawei fears will add to Europe’s 5G delay: FT reports, Focus on Huawei, regulation and high costs risk region falling further behind, says Börje Ekholm.

Hong Kong Disneyland posts $6.88 million loss in last fiscal year, its fourth straight year in the red.

Can capitalism be fixed? In his new book, The Future of Capitalism, Oxford economist Paul Collier lays out a path to restore the ethical foundations of the free-market system in the US and Europe. http://bit.ly/2SNylXt

"The US economy is on the verge of its longest expansion ever, and unemployment sits at a half-century low. Yet public discontent remains high. More than 60 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track."

"Europe and the US as riven with geographic, educational, and moral ruptures that have eroded a sense of common destiny. Economic gains, are increasingly monopolized by degree-carrying urbanites whose distinctive morality privileges minorities while less educated rural dwellers languish."


Holman Jenkins: Airbus’s lesson for young socialists: Its A380 debacle shows how hard it is for state planners to outguess markets.

$28 billion = The size of the US toy industry.

Amazon said it aims to make sure that half of its shipments are carbon neutral by 2030.

Apple to target combining iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021.

Glencore vows to cap global coal production: FT reports, trading and mining group has faced investor pressure over polluting fossil fuel.

CULTURE

Karl Lagerfeld, the prolific fashion designer who turned around the fortunes of Chanel and Fendi, has died in Paris.

@voguemagazine: Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and widely popular designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, has died in Paris at 85.

RIP Karl Lagerfeld: Eccentric fashion designer known as ‘Kaiser Karl’ who reinvented Chanel.

AFP: New Universe map unearths 300,000 more galaxies

Lara Logan, who joined CBS News as a foreign correspondent in 2002, left the network last year.

SPORT

The Daytona 500 earned a 5.3 rating and 9.2 million viewers on FOX, per Nielsen fast-nationals — flat in ratings and down 1% in viewership from last year (5.3, 9.3M) and down 20% and 23% respectively from 2017 (6.6, 11.9M).

Chelsea has reportedly identified Derby County manager Frank Lampard and Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane as potential replacements for Maurizio Sarri.  

Manchester City's owners have bought a stake in Chinese third-tier club Sichuan Jiuniu FC - their 7th club.

Soccer Matches: Champions League - Round of 16 - Leg 1 of 2:

Atletico Madrid v Juventus @ 3:00 pm ET
Schalke 04 v Man. City @ 3:00 pm ET

Canada, Venezuela, Germany, World Bank, Citi, Hollywood, South China Sea

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Canada, Venezuela, Germany, World Bank, Citi, Hollywood, South China Sea

Marc Ross Daily
February 19, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


TOP FIVE

✔️ Canada PM's chief secretary resigns amid SNC controversy

✔️ Trump urges Venezuelan military to desert 'Cuban puppet' Maduro

✔️ Cuban cigars hit record sales thanks to increasing Chinese demand

✔️ 13 states file lawsuit over Trump’s ‘national emergency’

✔️ Tiny South Africa beach restaurant crowned best in world

ROSS RANT

Uber isn't remarkable, it's better

Few ideas are new. Uber is executing the 17th century idea of taxis and the 19th century idea of telephones.

What is new are the tactics Uber is employing to execute these old ideas.

Having a service or product that allows you to be global from day one.

Having a service or product that allows you to reduce end-users burdens.

Having a service or product that allows you to reduce end-users uncertainties.

Read full post here: http://bit.ly/2SHOKMW

GLOBALIZATION

Senior Aide to Canada’s Trudeau resigns amid political storm: WSJ reports, Gerald Butts stepped down from his role as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s principal secretary as the fallout from a political storm focused on SNC-Lavalin continued to reverberate in the Canadian capital.

Reuters: Canada PM's chief secretary resigns amid SNC controversy

Conrad Black: The SNC-Lavalin affair is overblown, but the Liberals still bungled it: By accepting her change of positions, Wilson-Raybould has largely disqualified herself from complaining now about the motives for her so-called demotion

NYT: Venezuela’s border showdown could shift crisis

The government and the opposition face a decisive moment on Saturday, when President Nicolás Maduro’s foes have promised to bring in US aid.

Trump was expected to ask Venezuela’s military to break ranks with Mr. Maduro and to call for the immediate delivery of the shipments.


Reuters: Trump warns Venezuela military they are risking their lives and future

Guardian: Trump urges Venezuelan military to desert 'Cuban puppet' Maduro


AFP: Cuban cigars hit record sales thanks to increasing Chinese demand

Boosted by growing demand from China, sales of Cuban cigars reached a record $537 million in 2018, a seven percent increase over the previous year despite global laws against tobacco, the partially state-owned Habanos said Monday.

"China has surpassed France as the second biggest market for Habanos" behind Spain, said the cigar company's vice president Jose Maria Lopez Inchaurbe.

Minxin Pei: Why a US-China trade deal is not enough: If the US and China fail to reach a comprehensive trade agreement, bilateral trade will plummet, and the unraveling of the US-China economic relationship would accelerate. But even if an agreement is reached, that unraveling will continue, because, at its core, the trade war has always been about security.

Trump will decide if auto imports are a national security threat, as EU retaliation looms: LAT reports, companies and governments from Europe to Asia have warned Trump that tariffs on car imports would hurt the US economy and disrupt the global auto industry, which is already mired in a slump.

FT: EU threatens retaliation if US imposes punitive car tariffs

European Commission to ‘react in a swift and adequate manner’ to any levies.

US insists Europe is following Trump’s lead. Cue awkward silence: Bloomberg reports, a former German ambassador to the U.S. offered a bleak conclusion: “We have a real problem.’’

Germany's Angela Merkel makes arms export pact with France: DW reports, Germany is prepared to compromise its arms export guidelines to facilitate joint defense projects with France, according to an internal government document. France wants to continue selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

@britainelects: Westminster voting intention:

CON: 39%
LAB: 34%
"A new centrist party opposed to Brexit": 8%
LDEM: 6%
UKIP: 5%
GRN: 2%


No need for Shinzo Abe: Trump already nominated for Nobel Peace Prize: Reuters reports, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not saying whether or not he nominated Trump for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but the question may be moot: the US president has been put forward by others for the prestigious award.

WP: Japan’s Abe won’t confirm Trump Nobel Prize nomination, but media reports say he made it

Kaushik Basu: Ending America’s World Bank monopoly
: David Malpass, Trump's nominee to lead the flagship development bank, appears distinctly unsuited to the job. To protect the World Bank 's work– and the interests of the world's poor – it may be time to end the tradition whereby the American candidate always wins.

DISRUPTION

A real tube carrying dreams of 600-MPH transit: NYT reports, Virgin Hyperloop One is testing a system that would put passengers in pods hurtling through vacuum tubes. Other companies are moving ahead with similar plans.

High street ‘not dead’ and could be industry hub, says report: FT reports, Britain’s high street “is not dead” and struggling town and city centres could be transformed by becoming industry hubs instead of places to shop, according to new research refuting claims that a crisis in bricks-and-mortar retail is killing then off. The Centre for Cities, an independent think-tank, said on Tuesday that local councils should shift town centre economies away from an “overreliance on retail” towards high-skilled industry, and said the belief that high streets were “dying” was misplaced.

The shrinking middle class: By the numbers: Fortune reports, the American middle-class ideal was forged in the decades after World War II, when economic growth and wage increases climbed in lockstep for nearly 30 years. That pairing dissolved abruptly in the 1970s. Between 1973 and 2017, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the productivity of the economy grew 77%—but average compensation rose only 12.4%, adjusted for inflation. This divergence coincided with a shift in economic gravity, away from manufacturing and toward services and “knowledge industries.” That shift weakened the labor unions that had helped rank-and-file workers in many professions claim a bigger share of the bounty. Just as important were tax reforms that favored investment and real estate earnings over wage income. The upshot: an economic order in which the capital-owning class enjoys great advantages—and the costs of admission to and the exclusion from that class grow ever higher.

eSports revenue: Global revenue from eSports is expected to reach a record $1.1B this year, topping $1B for the first time, up 27% from 2018 driven by advertising, sponsorship and media rights, according to a just-released report from industry research and consulting firm NewZoo.

POLITICS

White House defends Trump’s emergency declaration amid mounting challenges: WP reports, critics have seized on recent comments by President Trump as proof that he did not need to declare an emergency at the southern border. “I could do the wall over a longer period of time,” he said last week.

13 states file lawsuit over Trump’s ‘national emergency’

America's UN Ambassador? Trump is considering four people to be his next UN ambassador: Goldman Sachs partner Dina Powell, the current ambassadors to Canada and Germany, Kelly Craft and Richard Grenell, and John James, a former Republican US Senate candidate from Michigan, according to people familiar with the matter.

@thehill: Obamas expected not to endorse anyone in 2020 Dem primary: report 

Auto industry lines up against possible US tariffs: Reuters reports, the US auto industry urged President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday not to saddle imported cars and auto parts with steep tariffs, after the US Commerce Department sent a confidential report to the White House late on Sunday with its recommendations for how to proceed.

"Aluminum tariffs are costing breweries nearly $350 million a year and putting around 20,000 beer-related jobs at risk."  

THOUGHT LEADER TACTIC OF THE DAY

Get interviewed on a podcast - do this five times this year.

COMMERCE

Amazon in NYC: Despite scratching plans for an HQ2 in Queens, the company has more than 800 open positions in New York City.

Apple is shaking up leadership and reordering priorities across its services, artificial intelligence, hardware and retail divisions as it works to reduce the company’s reliance on iPhone sales.

Facebook joins Amazon and Google in AI chip race: Company needs faster hardware for smart digital assistant and real-time video moderation.

Facebook targeted in scathing report by British parliament: NYT reports, after 18 months investigating Facebook and online misinformation, a British parliamentary committee issued a scathing report on Monday, accusing the company of breaking data privacy and competition laws and calling for new regulations to rein in the technology industry. Repeated scandals involving Facebook and other tech companies demand more government oversight, the committee concluded, including laws making internet companies legally liable for content shared on their websites.

“The era of self-regulation for tech companies should come to an end,” said Damian Collins, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which published the report.

Hollywood faces uncertainty in China as the film business slows: LAT reports, many film executives and producers are increasingly frustrated by the restrictions and unpredictability of the world’s second largest film market.

Citi CEO says machines may cut thousands of call center jobs: US bank can use tech to serve customers better and more cheaply, says Mike Corbat.

Call centers...... 

Honda set to close Swindon plant in blow to UK manufacturing: Move would place 3,500 jobs at risk just weeks before Brexit.

CULTURE

Tiny South Africa beach restaurant crowned best in world: AFP reports, The Wolfgat -- whose six mostly female staff have no formal training -- opened just two years ago in a 130-year-old cottage and cave on the beach at Paternoster. Chef Kobus van der Merwe, who did not begin to cook seriously until he was 30, forages every day for ingredients on the wild Atlantic shore of the Western Cape near his Wolfgat restaurant, where he also makes his own bread and butter.

Book a table here: https://www.wolfgat.co.za/

SPORT

Mikaela Shiffrin won her fourth consecutive world championship in the slalom.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy to retire after this season.

@AP_Sports: Man United defeats Chelsea, advances to FA Cup quarterfinals

Soccer Matches:  Champions League - Round of 16 - Leg 1 of 2:

Lyon v Barca @ 3:00 pm ET
Liverpool v Bayern @ 3:00 pm ET

Atletico Madrid v Juventus - Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET
Schalke 04 v Man. City -Wednesday @ 3:00 pm ET