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 

Bloomberg Sound ON: Trump tariffs, national emergency, and Amazon (Podcast)

SoundOn.png

Bloomberg Chief Washington Correspondent Kevin Cirilli delivers insight and analysis on the latest headlines from the White House and Capitol Hill, including conversations with influential lawmakers and key figures in politics and policy.

Kevin discussed the fallout from Amazon’s decision to drop their NYC expansion plans, Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall and the progress on trade talks with China with guests Marc Ross, founder of Caracal Global and Bloomberg News Congressional reporter Anna Edgerton.

Listen here: https://bloom.bg/2SHtOFS

Lithuania, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Gambia

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Lithuania, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Gambia

Marc Ross Daily
February 18, 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

✔️ Pence and Merkel offer contrasting visions of global security

✔️ War on plastic will dent oil demand

✔️ Obama quietly gives advice, but no endorsement

✔️ Northern Virginia is keeping Amazon’s 25,000 jobs

✔️ NBA announces new Africa basketball league

ROSS RANT

Bloomberg Sound ON: Trump tariffs, national emergency, and Amazon (Podcast): Bloomberg Chief Washington Correspondent Kevin Cirilli delivers insight and analysis on the latest headlines from the White House and Capitol Hill, including conversations with influential lawmakers and key figures in politics and policy. Kevin discussed the fallout from Amazon’s decision to drop their NYC expansion plans, President Trump’s national emergency declaration to build a wall and the progress on trade talks with China with guests Marc Ross, founder of Caracal Global and Bloomberg News Congressional reporter Anna Edgerton. Listen here: https://bloom.bg/2SHtOFS

Bloomberg-radio.png

GLOBALIZATION

Pence and Merkel offer contrasting visions of global security: FT reports, discord and division between US and allies on show at Munich conference.

Trump policies unite allies against him at security forum: Reuters reports, in 2009, then Vice President Joe Biden came to Munich to "press the reset button" with Russia. A decade later he came again to offer the world better relations, this time with his own country.

WP: Trump foreign policy under attack from all sides at European security conference

Rana Foroohar: Donald Trump’s ill-timed rift with Europe: There is an opportunity for a new transatlantic alliance to benefit both US and EU.

Lithuanian spy case recalls Soviet-era practices: DW reports, Lithuania has been stunned by the arrest of a scion of the country’s most controversial political dynasty. The repercussions could impact the result of an ongoing trial in Vilnius. 

German export machine braced for global shocks: With free trade and open borders under threat, a debate on how to protect businesses is set to divide coalition politicians.https://on.ft.com/2SGZPhs

Trade war hits SE Asia, growth down for first time in 3 years: Nikkei reports, US-China dispute weighs on Singapore and Thailand economies in 2019.

FT: Data leak reveals China is tracking almost 2.6m people in Xinjiang

Security researcher’s discovery suggests extensive use of facial recognition.

NYT: Chinese and Iranian hackers renew cyberattacks on US companies

Dozens of corporations have been hit, including Boeing, T-Mobile andGeneral Electric, along with multiple US agencies, according to people briefed on the episodes.

Security experts believe the renewed aggression is a result of Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal last year, and his recent trade conflict with China.


Australian political parties hit by cyber attack: FT reports, ‘sophisticated state actor’ to blame for intrusion just months before election, PM says.

Nikkei: 'State actor' hit Australian parliament in cyberattack, says PM

FT: Australia to fast-track UK trade pact in event of no-deal Brexit

Minister pours cold water on British ambition to join TPP.

New Zealand tourism faces Huawei backlash from China: Nikkei reports, Wellington's 5G snub puts the economy at risk, experts say.

Seven MPs resign from Labour in challenge to Corbyn: FT reports, split by pro-EU moderates comes ahead of crucial parliamentary votes on Brexit.

Scotland dreads Brexit. But is it enough to boost sentiment for Scottish independence? https://wapo.st/2N0hSc2

Saudi crown prince pledges $20bn to Pakistan: FT reports, Mohammed bin Salman kicks off tour that is expected to include India and China.

DW: US military planes carrying aid arrive near Venezuelanborder

As US amasses aid on Venezuelan border, Colombian city braces for showdown
: WP reports, Cucuta, population 750,000, has for years been overwhelmed by the massive migration over its border. Now there is concern about a massive protest and a benefit concert set for next weekend.

Venezuela’s opposition reaches out to Russia and China: FT reports, Juan Guaidó wants to establish diplomatic ties with Nicolás Maduro’s biggest allies.

Bloomberg: Trump to ramp up pressure on Maduro to leave Venezuela

OTD
: In 1965 the Gambia became independent from the UK.

Indian soldiers killed in clashes with militants: DW reports, a gunbattle with militants in disputed Kashmir has left four Indian troops dead. It comes just days after the worst attack on government forces in the region's history, to which India promised a "jaw-dropping" response.

DISRUPTION

Christof Ruhl: The war on plastic will dent oil demand more than anticipated: Companies are underestimating the importance of changed consumer attitudes.

POLITICS

Heather Nauert, who was Trump’s pick to serve as US ambassador to the UN, has withdrawn from consideration.

Timothy O'Brien: In Trump’s world, he never loses: His Rose Garden speech declaring a national emergency and his decades of self-aggrandizement are more closely related than you might think.https://bloom.bg/2DNeWLS

WP: Bill Weld defends decision to run against Trump, says Republicans ‘want to have no election’

@GovBillWeld: "It is time for all people of good will to take a stand and plant a flag...It's for this reason that I have today established an Exploratory Committee to pursue  the possibility for my running for the Presidency of the United States as a Republican in the 2020 election."

NYT: Obama quietly gives advice, but no endorsement, to Democrats

Former President Barack Obama has counseled more than a dozen candidates on how to win the White House in 2020 — but he has no plans to pick a favorite.

The discreet role he has taken on reflects his longstanding ambivalence about acting as a partisan political leader.


Minouche Shafik: Populists have a point, the system has to change: The economic insecurity and fears about identity that they exploit must be addressed.

THOUGHT LEADER TACTIC OF THE DAY

Submit four opinion editorials engaging both national and regional news outlets.

COMMERCE

FT - Editorial: The chastening fallout of Amazon’s hunt for HQ2: Companies and politicians can learn from the ill-fated New York deal.

WSJ: Amazon’s New York project foundered on labor organizing, opposition to subsidies

Amid backlash, talks to resolve differences failed to allay company’sgrowing unease.

LAT: Amazon's New York retreat heralds a new era of corporate welfare fights

Northern Virginia is keeping Amazon’s 25,000 jobs, and wants you to know it
: NYT reports, Their message: Their region has its act together, they have been far more prepared, and they were free of drama.

Amazon’s New York ‘disaster’ reminds leaders to address gentrification https://wapo.st/2SWVBBx

In bid to conquer Oscars, Netflix mobilizes savvy campaigner and huge budget: NYT reports, Lisa Taback, who worked on awards campaigns for best picture winners like “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech,” is in charge of the lavish effort behind “Roma.”

Porsche customers in the UK should brace for a price hike of up to 10 percent in case of a hard Brexit, the carmaker warned.

Flybmi is shutting down due to rising fuel prices, carbon costs and uncertainty around Brexit.

Payless ShoeSource is closing its roughly 2,100 US locations in what is likely to be the largest-ever retailer liquidation by number of stores.

CULTURE

Israeli Film 'Synonyms' wins 2019 Berlinale Golden Bear award: DW reports, Nadav Lapid's quasi-autobiographical quest for identity on the silver screen takes the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2019. Meanwhile, "So Long, My Son" by Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai won two Silver Bear awards.

SPORT

Today: Chelsea play Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round @ 2:30 pm ET

Female German referee causes Bundesliga broadcast to be canceled in Iran: DW reports, Iranian state TV did not broadcast a Bundesliga soccer match because of the presence of a woman as referee, media say. The Islamic country censors the showing of women in "revealing" clothes such as football shorts.

Barack Obama reportedly set for role with NBA-backed African basketball league: WP reports, the NBA is helping to establish a new professional basketball league in Africa and it has the enthusiastic support of Barack Obama. In fact, the former president will reportedly have a role with the league, although the extent of his involvement has yet to be announced. Over the weekend, before the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, the league announced a partnership with FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, to create the Basketball Africa League. Set to debut in 2020, the BAL will feature 12 teams from across the continent, with qualifying tournaments to be held later this year.

NBA announces new Africa basketball league: DW reports, the 12-team professional league in Africa will start playing in January 2020. The NBA said the new league will help develop basketball in Africa and create economic opportunities.

Uber, Amazon, Cat Ladders, Rice Krispies

Marc Ross Weekly February.png

Uber, Amazon, Cat Ladders, Rice Krispies 

Marc Ross Weekly
February 17, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Weekly  = Emerging issues shaping commerce + culture


ROSS RANT

Uber isn't remarkable, it's better

The practice of hiring vehicles for transportation goes back to the 17th century. 

Dateline London 1635, the Hackney Carriage Act was the first legislation passed controlling horse-drawn carriages for hire in England.

Dateline Paris 1640, Nicolas Sauvage offers horse-drawn carriages and drivers for hire.

The taximeter was invented by the German inventor, Wilhelm Bruhn in 1891. The taximeter measured the distance or time a vehicle traveled and allowed an accurate fare to be determined.

It is widely believed Gottlieb Daimler built the world's first dedicated taxi in 1897 called the Daimler Victoria. The vehicle came equipped with the newly invented taximeter and was delivered to Friedrich Greiner, a Stuttgart entrepreneur who started the world's first motorized taxi company.

By the end of the 19th century, automobiles began to appear on city streets throughout America. It was not long before a number of these cars were hiring themselves out in competition with horse-drawn carriages.

Soon horsepower was removed from horses, and natural resources would be the horsepower to move vehicles. Gas-powered taxis came first to Germany, Paris, and London, and then to New York in the year 1907.

The Travis Kalanick of his day was Harry Allen.

Allen created The New York Taxicab Company and imported 600 gas-powered taxis from France in 1907, and he borrowed the word "taxicab" from London.

To ensure his vehicles were full and quickly recognized, he painted his taxis yellow.

Flash forward over 100 years later, and we now have Uber.

A company which owns no vehicles.

A company which employs no drivers.

A company with a valuation of $120 billion.

This valuation makes the company one of the most valuable transportation companies operating anywhere on the planet.

Consider Uber's valuation is more than General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles combined.

At a $120 billion, Uber's is worth more than double the average of companies in the NASDAQ 100 Index on a price-to-2018 sales basis. It gives the ride-hailing company a multiple of about 12 times, compared with an average of 4.8 times for the index.

Big numbers for sure, but why?

Three reasons:

1. Global scale
2. Reduced friction
3. Reduced anxiety

Uber's global scale is stupendous.

Where Harry Allen was limited to the five boroughs of New York City, current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi can provide transportation in 65 countries and over 600 cities worldwide, plus the company completes 15 million trips each day. 

Uber has access to 3 million drivers who can move passengers from airports to city centers, from nightclubs to after-hour parties.

Also, as a consumer of the service, your experience and expectations can be harmonized regardless if you are in Indianapolis, London, or São Paulo.

Uber has dramatically reduced friction.

The premier etiquette organization, The Emily Post Institute, yes there is such an institute, recommends tipping your taxi driver between 15 and 20 percent of the total trip fare. Plus If you've traveled with luggage and your driver has helped you, it's proper etiquette to tip more. Beautiful, no set guidelines.

Also, you'll need to find out ahead of time if your cabbie accepts a credit card. If you don't make sure and you don't have enough cash, you'll have to leave your luggage and gear as collateral as you stumble around Singapore's Changi Airport at o-dark-thirty to find an ATM.

Hop in Uber anywhere, anytime, and you'll never need cash. You'll never need to fumble with credit cards and swiping. You can tip as suggested and even add commentary on the state of the car's interior and the cabbie's choice of music.

Uber has significantly reduced anxiety.

Most places allow a taxi to be hailed or flagged on the side of the street as it is approaching. Another option is a taxi stand. Finally calling a central dispatch office for a taxi ride is an option. 

So ringing up a ride isn't new, even if it is via an app. Get an Uber is the same as call a taxi.

Uber didn't create new technology; it deployed consumer behavior tactics. Before 2009 users of taxis had no knowledge when a cab would appear on their street, when a taxi would arrive at your door, or who is behind the wheel.

Now with a comfort inducing screen and the anxiety-reducing Pac-Man-like vehicle avatar displaying your ride shuffling across a map to pick you up, you now have knowledge.

The knowledge that your ride will appear, when it will arrive, and who is behind the rule - plus the most anxiety reducing tactic - you can inform family and friends where you are in your journey and when they can expect you - further reducing their stress.

Lessons here for entrepreneurs and thought leaders:

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.

-Marc

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

FIVE TO READ

Adweek: Why a refocused emphasis needs to be put on AI and not on social http://bit.ly/2DLmY80

'History doesn't favor Facebook'

Lefsetz Letter: Amazon http://bit.ly/2DImqzy

Corporations are the enemy.

New Geography: Twilight of the Oligarchs? Amazon’s decision to abandon New York City—leaving a $3 billion goodie bag of incentives on the table—represents a break in the progressive alliance between an increasingly radicalized Left and the new technocratic elite. http://bit.ly/2DPrDpj

Rory Sutherland: We don’t need more technology, we need better technology http://bit.ly/2DLnh2E

Cat ladders: a creative solution for felines in flats – in pictures: Strategically placed ramps and ladders for urban cats are all the rage in Bern. Brigitte Schuster’s photo book Swiss Cat Ladders documents the phenomenon. http://bit.ly/2DP5eZu

EVENTS

Brigadoon Sundance 2019: February 24-26 | Sundance, Utah

PODCAST

Design Matters with Debbie Millman: Christina Tosi: From crafting custom Rice Krispies treats every single night as a kid to her Milk Bar empire today, Christina Tosi has long elevated the business of baking to a creative artform. http://bit.ly/2DLxDzE http://bit.ly/2DLxDzE