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


✔️ 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


"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.'


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: 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.

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.

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.


The ocean is the new farm: Farms under the sea could feed the world in 2050 (video):

30 legendary startup pitch decks

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.


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


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


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.

"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.


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.


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


✔️ 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


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:


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.


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.


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."  


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


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.


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:


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 

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


✔️ 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


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:



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.

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?

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

: 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.


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


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.

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.


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


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

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.


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.


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.

MOU, Munich Security Conference, Millennials, Michael Gianaris

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

MOU, Munich Security Conference, Millennials, Michael Gianaris 

Marc Ross Daily
February 15, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Munich Security Conference: A masterclass in backroom diplomacy

✔️ Wellbeing trend for healthier office furniture

✔️ First Democrat debates for 2020 set for June

✔️ 'Amazon isn't bigger than New York'

✔️ Atherton, California = The wealthiest town in the United States


Talk to strangers: It will change your life.


Munich Security Conference: A masterclass in backroom diplomacy: Every year, powerful global leaders gather in Munich to discuss peace and diplomacy. But the conference is not just a show of power, it is a diplomatic laboratory of possibilities that takes place behind closed doors.

Chinese, US trade negotiators inch toward an agreement: WSJ reports, negotiators concluded weeklong talks and made some progress on a memorandum of understanding that could serve as the basis for a deal that President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping could later finalize at a summit.

US-China trade talks finish with little sign of progress: FT reports, teams had hoped to produce ‘memorandum of understanding’ to facilitate Xi-Trump summit.

The Chinese love an MOU.

US and China will continue trade talks next week.

Chinese state media: “both sides are satisfied”...

Reuters: Mnuchin says US had 'productive' trade meetings with China

Wonderful. What does that mean?

Mnuchin calls US-China talks ‘productive’ as deadline nears: Bloomberg reports, the two sides have failed to narrow the gap around structural reforms to China’s economy.

@onlyyoontv: “We are willing to adopt a cooperative approach to resolve and promote an agreement acceptable to both sides. However, cooperation requires certain principles.” - President Xi’s reminder to the U.S. that #China has its own bottom line in trade talks, says state media @XHNews

Nigeria votes: Forecasters are split over who will win Saturday’s election between President Muhammadu Buhari and his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar. The nation of 200 million people has faced numerous election rigging, which has marred almost every vote since Africa’s biggest oil producer got independence from the UK in 1960.

Ecuador and the IMF have launched formal talks about a potential financial bailout for the South American country.

OTD: In 1965 Canada flew its newly adopted red maple leaf flag for the first time.

Spain votes: PM calls snap election for April 28. This will be Spain's third election in four years.

Theresa May suffers fresh Commons defeat: MPs voted by 303 to 258 - a majority of 45 - against a motion endorsing the government's Brexit negotiating strategy. The defeat has no legal force and Downing Street said it would not change the PM's approach to talks with the EU. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to "admit her Brexit strategy has failed" and to come forward with a plan Parliament would support.

FT: Brexit vote ‘shambles’ blows hole in May’s authority

The resurgent left: Millennial socialism
: The Economist reports, a new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems.

What is more problematic - populism or socialism?


Wellbeing and noise concerns fuel "accelerating" trend for healthier office furniture: Soundproof pods, saddle-shaped chairs, adjustable-height desks, and wobble boards were in abundance at Stockholm Furniture Fair last week, as privacy and wellbeing become essential aspects of office furniture design.

Pricing algorithms can learn to collude with each other to raise prices: If you shop on Amazon, an algorithm rather than a human probably set the price of the service or item you bought. Pricing algorithms have become ubiquitous in online retail as automated systems have grown increasingly affordable and easy to implement

NASA wants to get to the moon ‘as fast as possible.’ But countries like China and India are racing there, too.: WP reports, like the Cold War space race, the new lunar activity is fueled by national pride and a quest for scientific discovery. But this new Space Age also features a third factor: Greed.

End of fast fashion? Millennials are increasingly buying clothing that's characterized by durability and utility. This has led to a surge of interest in brands like The North Face and Patagonia.


It's an emergency: Trump plans to sign a spending bill that keeps the government open and will then declare a national emergency to seek more border-wall funding.

WP: ‘Off the rails’: Inside Trump’s attempt to frame a border wall defeat as a victory

Ted Cruz: Make ‘El Chapo’ pay for the border wall

William Barr 
Confirmed as Attorney General.

First Democrat debates for 2020: As many as 20 Democratic presidential contenders could qualify for the first two televised primary debates beginning in June. The DNC said the candidates will need to achieve at least 1% in a series of polls and show an ability to raise money online to qualify for the first two debates.

The first debate will be televised by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo while the second debate, in July, will air on CNN.

The DNC said the debate slots will be chosen at random and a maximum of 10 candidates will appear on stage during the individual debates. 

National Council For the American Worker: Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty are joining Trump’s business advisory board to help come up with solutions to prepare millions of Americans for the shift toward automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace. Cook and Rometty will be joined by other business executives, including the CEOs of Walmart, Lockheed Martin, and Home Depot. The group also includes two governors and leaders from trade groups. The board will be co-chaired by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump.

State Capitalism with American Characteristics.

I can't wait for Team Trump's Department of Software, Agency of Fintech, and AV Czar.

Peggy Noonan: Republicans need to save capitalism: Democrats have gone left, so they’re not going to do it. The GOP needs a renewed seriousness.

LAT: Trump's company scraps plans for new hotel chains, blaming politics 


Speak at three conferences - think adjacent possible when it comes to venues and topics.


CNBC: Amazon says it will not build a headquarters in New York

"We will proceed as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville, and we will continue to hire and grow across our 17 corporate offices and tech hubs in the US and Canada."

NYC tells Amazon no way and leave, but the city is totally cool with a Duane Reade and Rite Aide on every corner.

Congratulations citizens of Long Island City ... You stopped the future.

NYT - Editorial: New York returns 25,000 jobs to Amazon: As the company cancels its plans for a major Queens campus, anti-corporate activists got what they wanted at a great cost.

'Amazon isn't bigger than New York': meet the man who killed HQ2: Guardian reports, Michael Gianaris turned his outrage into leverage when he was appointed to an obscure state board – and soon after, the company called the project off.

@pkafka: Reminder that Google is buying approximately all the real estate in Manhattan south of 23rd street and it’s NBD.

Apple's plans to launch its new iOs TV streaming service in either April or early May. 

JPM Coin: JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform payments business. 

Richard Waters: Everything still to play for with AI in its infancy: IBM and Google’s differing approaches highlight extent to which field is wide open.


$450,696: That’s the average household income in Atherton, California, the wealthiest town in the United States for three years in a row now.

How the US has hidden its empire: The United States likes to think of itself as a republic, but it holds territories all over the world – the map you always see doesn’t tell the whole story.

Extension, EU, Exercise, Europe, Emerging

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Extension, EU, Exercise, Europe, Emerging

Marc Ross Daily
February 14, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

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


✔️ Trump considers 60-day extension for China tariffs

✔️ Europe's shrinking middle class

✔️ Exercise may help to fend off depression

✔️ Andrew McCabe: Every day is a new low in Trump's White House

✔️ How Michael Jordan became a brand


Risky ≠ Dangerous


Bloomberg: Trump considers 60-day extension for China tariff deadline

Trump said he was open to letting the March 1 deadline for more than doubling tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods slide, if the two countries are close to a deal that addresses deep structural changes to China’s economic policies.

A spokeswoman for US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer declined to comment.

Trump is so desperate for a big, we goin sizzler, blow out the candles on the birthday cake deal that it's hard to see how his art of the deal skills will be more successful with 60 more days.

US and China resume talks to resolve trade impasse: FT reports, Washington argues Beijing’s backing of Chinese companies distorts markets.

Politico: China aims to run out the clock to get Trump and Xi to the table on trade

“The Chinese looked at the State of the Union stare-down and the shutdown stare-down and could well be thinking to themselves that maybe Trump is an easier negotiator than Ambassador [Robert] Lighthizer,” said Scott Mulhauser, who served as chief of staff at the US embassy in Beijing under the Obama administration.

US trade demands have China fearful of 'color revolutions': Nikkei reports, 'structural reforms' touch the foundations of Communist Party rule.

Taiwan foreign minister: reunification with China 'not an option': Joseph Wu, the foreign minister of Taiwan, told DW that Taiwan could provide a model of democracy for China. However, China would need to accept that Taiwan is an "independent political entity" for relations to improve.

China’s 'ham-handed' PR moves hurt its global image: Nikkei reports, Chinese President Xi Jinping was hailed last year as the new keeper of the global economic order. This year he was denounced at Davos as a grave threat to freedom.

Europe's shrinking middle class: Since the recession of the late 2000s, the middle class has shrunk in over two-thirds of the European Union, echoing a similar decline in the United States and reversing two decades of expansion. 

France's unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2009.

EU heading for collapse just like the Soviet Union, warns Soros: The Times reports, George Soros has warned that the European Union is “sleepwalking into oblivion” and risks collapsing like the Soviet Union. Citing the spasms of upheaval in Italy, Britain and Germany, he said that Europe had drastically underestimated the threat from its “internal enemies” and was on the cusp of tipping into “the nightmare of the 21st century”.

The Times: Snap Spanish election looms as Catalans reject national budget

Bloomberg: Trump's foreign policy discord drives wedgebetween vital allies

“We have never seen anything like this. The problem with this administration is that they seem to have this genuine antagonism towards the European Union in ways that are frankly scary.”

Germany preps a plan B for Trump's foreign policy 'zigzag': One of Washington’s closest allies in a fractured Europe struggles to adapt to the Trump administration’s unpredictable policy moves.


Think big, work small: A new study finds that small teams of researchers do more innovative work than large teams do. The new research, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, is the latest contribution from an emerging branch of work known as the science of science — the study of how, when and through whom knowledge advances.

Exercise may help to fend off depression: Jogging for 15 minutes a day, or walking or gardening for somewhat longer, could help protect people against developing depression.


Manafort broke plea deal: A federal judge ruled that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to investigators about his contact with an associate linked to Russian intelligence.

“As part of his plea deal, he faced up to 10 years in prison ... But by breaching his plea agreement, he now likely faces the rest of his life in prison. His only hope of avoiding that fate is a presidential pardon.” -@PaulaReidCBS reports on Paul Manafort

Andrew McCabe: Every day is a new low in Trump's White House: The president steps over bright ethical and moral lines wherever he encounters them. Everyone in America saw it when he fired my boss. But I saw it firsthand time and time again.

60 Minutes: McCabe says he ordered the obstruction of justice probe of President Trump

The former FBI acting director tells 60 Minutes about the measures taken to ensure investigations into President Trump wouldn’t "vanish." 

.@ScottPelley's full interview with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will air this Sunday on @CBS' @60Minutes.

US CPI report which was stronger than expected. 

Two years into Trump's presidency, Pew reports Americans remain most satisfied with the state of US military strength and preparedness (78%) and the nation's security from terrorism (68%).

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland: US businesses paid an additional $2.7 billion in tariffs in November 2018, according to data from a coalition of business groups fighting Trump’s trade tariffs.

Voters 2020: Millennials and Gen Z will make up 37% of the 2020 electorate

Do you ever feel like Gen X doesn't exist?

Daniel Henninger: Maybe it’ll be Beto: The Democrats are going to lose if their nominee can’t hold a stage with Trump.

It's the age of personality trumping policy.

Reuters: Democrats swear off big money, but will it hurt their 2020 White House chances? 


Airbus pulled the plug on its slow-selling A380 superjumbo.

How Michael Jordan became a brand: Michael Jordan remains the OG signature shoe king 16 years after his last NBA game and 21 years after his last championship. His Air Jordan brand, introduced by the Chicago Bulls superstar in 1984 and launched by Nike in 1985, created the basketball sneaker branding market. In fiscal 2018, Nike revenue from the Jordan Brand line hit nearly $2.9 billion.

No endorsement deal? No problem. Spencer Dinwiddie created his own sneakers brand: Brooklyn Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie, ignored by the big sneaker companies early in his pro career, launched a self-endorsed brand, K8iros (pronounced “Kyros”), and debuted his new footwear this season. And each time he plays this season, he’ll be wearing a one-of-kind custom shoe designed by Los Angeles artist Troy “Kickasso” Cole.

Levi Strauss plans to go public — again. Files IPO under symbol LEVI.

Canada Goose to open new factory in Quebec as profit beats expectations.

Juventus tests ‘Ronaldo effect’ in global bond market: FT reports, the Italian football club seeks fresh funding after paying €100m for Portuguese star.


Jude Webber: ‘Roma’ is channelling a changing political zeitgeist: Alfonso Cuarón’s drama focuses on the ordinary Mexicans the new president has promised to represent.


Invite a reporter your admire to coffee - do this ten times this year.