jerryking + seismic_shifts   13

Opinion | The World-Shaking News That You’re Missing
Nov. 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman

** “Has China Won? by  Kishore Mahbubani

A new wall — a digital Berlin Wall — had begun to be erected between China and America. And the only thing left to be determined, a Chinese business executive remarked to me, “is how high this wall will be,” and which countries will choose to be on which side.

This new wall, separating a U.S.-led technology and trade zone from a Chinese-led one, will have implications as vast as the wall bisecting Berlin did. Because the peace, prosperity and accelerations in technology and globalization that have so benefited the world over the past 40 years were due, in part, to the interweaving of the U.S. and Chinese economies.

The messy, ad hoc decoupling of these two economies, driven by miscalculations by leaders on both sides, will surely disrupt those trends and the costs could be huge. We might want to talk about that.

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson gave a speech here a year ago trying to kick-start that discussion. “For 40 years,” Paulson noted, “the U.S.-China relationship has been characterized by the integration of four things: goods, capital, technology and people. And over these 40 years, economic integration between the two countries was supposed to mitigate security competition. But an intellectually honest appraisal must now admit both that this hasn’t happened and that the reverse is taking place.” That reversal is happening for two reasons. First, because the U.S. is — rightly — no longer willing to accept China’s unfair trade practices. Second, because, now that China is a technology powerhouse — and technological products all have both economic and military applications........“after 40 years of integration, a surprising number of political and thought leaders on both sides advocate policies that could forcibly de-integrate the two countries across all four of these baskets.” the digital Berlin Wall took a big step up on May 17, when Trump blacklisted China’s Huawei.......Lots of Chinese tech companies are now thinking: We will never, ever, ever leave ourselves again in a situation where we are totally dependent on America for key components. Time to double down on making our own......similarly, U.S. manufacturers are thinking twice about building their next factory in China or solely depending on a supply chain from there.....this is the sound of two giant economies starting to decouple.....the State Department has been restricting visas for Chinese graduate students studying in sensitive fields — like aviation, robotics and advanced manufacturing ....
What to do?
Friedman is worried that by imposing more and more export and visa controls we will be cutting ourselves off from the access we need to the global investment pools, customers and collaborative scientists and engineers to maintain our technological lead.

I still believe that the most open systems win — they get all the signals of change first, they attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers/innovators and they enrich and are enriched by the most global flows of talent, ideas and capital. That used to be us.....

China is our economic competitor, economic partner, source of talent and capital, geopolitical rival, collaborator and serial rule-breaker. It is not our enemy or our friend.

The only effective way to manage a relationship this complex is:
1) with an all-of-government approach. You can’t have the Justice Department doing one thing, the Pentagon another, the Treasury another, the trade negotiators another, the State Department another and the president tweeting another. And
2), we need as many Pacific and European allies as possible so it’s “The Whole World Versus China”
blacklists  books  China  China_rising  co-ordinated_approaches  decoupling  Donald_Trump  dual-use  economic_disengagement  economic_integration  espionage  future  Hank_Paulson  Huawei  miscalculations  new_tech_Cold_War  open_borders  security_&_intelligence  seismic_shifts  self-sufficiency  signals  students  supply_chains  technology  Tom_Friedman  undermining_of_trust  U.S.-China_relations  visa_students  walled_gardens  Xi_Jinping 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
The U.S. is sinking. Maybe it's time for Canada to jump ship.
Oct 30, 2019 | Macleans.ca | by Scott Gilmore.

Things are not going well for American foreign policy. At the geopolitical level, tectonic shifts in world power are leading to a relative decline in American dominance.......Institutionally, the U.S. State Department is in utter disarray......Donald Trump is steering from one collision to another.....we can speculate whether the U.S. decline is an inevitable result of historical political and demographic trends. Or whether it's entirely due to Donald Trump.....whether incompetence or fate, there is no question the American ship of state is leaking badly. The question we should now be asking ourselves, as Canadians, is whether we should help bail or build our own raft.....The instinctive answer is to grab a bucket......In the halls of Global Affairs Canada, the orthodoxy is that we sink or swim with Washington, and therefore, when the Trump circus finally leaves town, we should undoubtedly be there to help rebuild American prestige and influence wherever we can.

But—what if we didn’t? What if we simply boarded our own raft, or paddled over to another ally? What if we decided to “Trump-proof” Canada? What if we consciously and ambitiously began to build a new foreign policy alignment in anticipation of the next American wreck?.....Who else supports human rights, a rules-based international system and strong Western institutions like NATO? The obvious answer is the EU......we are far more likely to achieve our common goals of multilateralism and the rule of law if we join forces more closely. As Canada’s diplomats begin to brief Canada’s next government on the menu of foreign policy options, it would be nice to think that there is a tiny footnote that points out this one small but true idea—when it comes to Washington, there are other options.
America_in_Decline?  Canada  Canadian  crossborder  beyondtheU.S.  Donald_Trump  EU  foreign_policy  generating_strategic_options  geopolitics  Global_Affairs_Canada  imperial_overstretch  international_system  middle-powers  multilateralism  retreats  rules-based  rule_of_law  Scott_Gilmore  seismic_shifts  Trump-proofing  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S._State_Department  Washington_D.C. 
november 2019 by jerryking
After 20 Years of Financial Turmoil, a Columnist’s Last Shot - The New York Times
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON NOV. 10, 2017

For the past 20 years or so, as a business columnist for The New York Times, I’ve had a front-row seat for bull and bear markets, scandals, crises and management mischief.

But I am leaving The Times, and this is my last shot at Fair Game. So it seems a fitting moment to look back at what’s changed and what hasn’t in the financial world, for better or worse.

In addition to a string of garden-variety banking and business scandals, four seismic financial events occurred during my time as a columnist: the collapse of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the accounting scandals of Enron in 2001 and WorldCom in 2002, and the mother of them all — the mortgage debacle — in 2008. That one brought world economies to the precipice and wiped out Lehman Brothers and a raft of troubled banks.

......“Sarbanes-Oxley came into effect 15 years ago, and there have been fewer accounting scandals and more accountability,”...It’s too bad that the mortgage crisis six years later didn’t result in heightened accountability.

Here’s another sign of progress: Believe it or not, corporate directors are more active in their oversight than they used to be. Egregious board practices and chummy appointments are less common......Something else that hasn’t changed over the decades is analyst and investor reliance on companies’ creative earnings calculations. These figures, which do not conform to generally accepted accounting practices, typically exclude costs that companies incur in their operations.....Inventive earnings calculations, while more prevalent today, were very popular in the lead-up to the dot-com crash. Back then, analysts valued companies based on imaginative, nonfinancial metrics like the number of page views a retail website received or the percentage of “engaged shoppers” visiting a site. ....My search for truths on Wall Street and elsewhere over the years has sometimes raised hackles. That’s to the good. It wasn’t my job to be part of a company’s spin machine.
financial_communications  farewells  NYT  women  retrospectives  Wall_Street  seismic_shifts  LTCM  bubbles  scandals  SOX  truth-telling  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
november 2017 by jerryking
Why traditional retail hasn’t hit rock bottom — yet
October 4, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ERIC REGULY.
.....it's fashionable—and not wrong—to blame Amazon for most of the retailers' woes, other factors, from stale retail formats to the new anti-stuff movement, are at play too. Put together, the financial and cultural forces battering the retailers seem relentless.

The outlook is so grim that Bespoke Investment Group of Harrison, New York, invented a "Death by Amazon" list of 54 retail stocks that it thought would get whacked by Amazon and other forces conspiring against the sector......Traditional retailing, of course, is not entirely doomed because only the brave or bone-headed would buy some expensive items—diamond earrings, high-end suits, musical instruments, mattresses, Persian carpets, prescription sunglasses—without hands-on examination. And some shoppers, me among them, like the pleasure of propping up independent stores that sell high-quality goods.

But I don't shop much for general merchandise any more, because I am sick of clutter and, with university fees for my kids, don't have the spending power for non-essential items..... blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress........ blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress...money spent on smartphones and wireless services is unavailable to be spent on T-shirts and shoes.....middle-class incomes have stagnated, healthcare costs have climbed, and highly leveraged consumers are more interested in paying off debt than buying new TVs. Something had to give, and it was the department stores, whose shares are down by 40% or more in the last year or so (Macy's, J.C. Penney)......Amazon's endless virtual aisles sells Fiat cars in Italy, Nike shoes and and Sears' Kenmore appliances. Amazon recently bought Whole Foods and dropped its prices, which put the mainstream supermarkets into a panic........ 55% of product searches start on Amazon, far more than the 28% that start on search engines. The popularity of Amazon Prime (which provides free, two-day delivery as well as TV and movie video streaming) and the construction of massive warehouses have accelerated its growth. .....captures an estimated 40% of every shopping dollar spent online and is already the second-biggest apparel seller in the U.S., behind Wal-Mart. No wonder the traditional retail sector is in free fall.
And here's another question: As traditional retailers weaken or go out of business, and anchor stores disappear from North America's crazily over-malled shopping geography, can the real estate investment trusts be far behind? Betting against Amazon seems a fool's game.......
Eric_Reguly  retailers  decline  bricks-and-mortar  shifting_tastes  Amazon  REITs  shopping_malls  bankruptcies  department_stores  seismic_shifts  high-quality 
october 2017 by jerryking
Advertising: Facebook and Google build a duopoly
JUNE 23, 2016 | Financial Times | by Matthew Garrahan.

Google and Facebook compete in some areas such as digital video advertising but are present “across every part of the food chain”, according to one ad executive. This seismic shift to a digital and mobile ad landscape effectively controlled by two companies has wide repercussions for agencies, media buyers, publishers and the brands that want to sell more products.

Advertisers like the targeting they get with Facebook and the trove of data it has on its 1.6bn users, just as they like the efficiency of Google search. But they are worried about a concentration of market power in two companies that not only own the playing field but are able to set the rules of the game as well.

Facebook and Google “are hegemons” that could soon be taking campaigns away from television, says Brian Wieser, analyst with Pivotal Research. Paul Frampton, chief executive of Havas Media Group UK, says they are “black boxes” that have too much power. “They don’t give agencies or the brands access to their algorithms and the data being mined are for Google and Facebook — and not for the brand.”
advertising  advertising_agencies  Facebook  Google  Amazon  WPP  duopolies  media_buyers  dislocations  Mary_Meeker  seismic_shifts 
february 2017 by jerryking
A Seismic Shift in How People Eat - The New York Times
By HANS TAPARIA and PAMELA KOCHNOV. 6, 2015

....Consumers are walking away from America’s most iconic food brands. Big food manufacturers are reacting by cleaning up their ingredient labels, acquiring healthier brands and coming out with a prodigious array of new products. ....Food companies can’t merely tinker. Nor will acquisition-driven strategies prove sufficient, because most acquisitions are too small to shift fortunes quickly. ....For legacy food companies to have any hope of survival, they will have to make bold changes in their core product offerings. Companies will have to drastically cut sugar; process less; go local and organic; use more fruits, vegetables and other whole foods; and develop fresh offerings. General Mills needs to do more than just drop the artificial ingredients from Trix. It needs to drop the sugar substantially, move to 100 percent whole grains, and increase ingredient diversity by expanding to other grains besides corn....a complete overhaul of their supply chains, major organizational restructuring and billions of dollars of investment, but these corporations have the resources.
abandonment  food  foodservice  brands  supply_chains  innovation  shifting_tastes  Nestlé  Perdue  Tyson  antibiotics  trends  Kraft  supermarkets  fresh_produce  OPMA  consumer_behavior  General_Mills  iconic  consumers  McDonald's  ingredient_diversity  seismic_shifts  new_products  Big_Food 
november 2015 by jerryking
Why retailers love customers who shop on their smartphones - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 18 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY.
The study found that, unsurprisingly, even the most plugged-in consumers do not tend to click on digital ads. Of the smartphone owners surveyed, two-thirds said they “rarely” or “never” click on online advertisements, with the minority reporting that they do so regularly. It helps when an ad is personalized. In that case, 49 per cent said they would regularly click on ads. But even then, just over half still said they would rarely or never consider it. The greatest opportunity for marketers is arguably not in advertising to those digitally connected consumers; it is in offering them something they will find useful....“We are witnessing a seismic change in consumer behaviour due to the emergence of social and digital platforms and the significance and ubiquity of mobile as a consumer platform,” Mr. Schultz told analysts on a conference call in April to discuss the company’s earnings. The data Starbucks can now collect on those users are crucial for it as a marketer.

“Retail has historically been a rather anonymous transaction for many,” said Lori Bieda, executive lead for consumer intelligence at SAS Canada. “… Mobile makes a consumer known to retailers.”...The SAS research showed that people want their phones to act as “personal shoppers.” Those surveyed said they would be more likely to return to a store that sent them offers on their mobile devices – but that’s highly contingent on those offers being relevant and targeted to that person’s preferences.
bricks-and-mortar  consumer_behavior  customer_loyalty  Indigo  market_research  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  online_advertising  personal_shoppers  retailers  seismic_shifts  smartphones  Starbucks  Susan_Krashinsky 
july 2013 by jerryking
A tech-powered end to the middle class
Feb. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.
One way to divide people is into those who think this time is different and those who believe there is never anything new under the sun. That split can be a matter of temperament, of politics or even of religion. But today it is relevant for another, more urgent reason: It describes how people think about the most critical economic problem in the industrialized world – the dearth of well-paying middle-class jobs....
"thanks to the tech revolution, the traditional link between rising productivity and a rising standard of living (i.e. wages) for the middle class has been broken. Gore worries that severed link may be causing the economic slowdown in the developed economies: A weakened middle class lacks the spending power to drive growth.

One of the smartest academics studying this phenomenon is Erik Brynjolfsson, a management professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The co-author of a new book, Race Against the Machine, believes the tech revolution is having a powerful and unprecedented impact. “Most of the debate … is missing the tectonic changes in the way the economy works, which are driven by technology,” he said recently. “This is the big story of our time, and it is going to accelerate over the next 10 years.”

Like Mr. Gore, Mr. Brynjolfsson thinks the canary in the coal mine is the decoupling of gains in productivity and in wages. “Productivity since 2000 has grown faster than in the 1970s, ’80s or ’90s,” he said. “But starting in the late 1990s, we’ve had this decoupling of wages from productivity.” He sees this as a historic watershed, noting that there is “no economic law” that productivity and jobs go together.

That change has tremendous implications. Productivity and innovation, the focus of policy makers and business leaders, no longer guarantee widely shared prosperity. “Digital technologies are different in that they allow people with skills to replicate their talents to serve billions,” Mr. Brynjolfsson noted. “There is really a drastic winner-take-all effect because every industry is becoming like the software industry.”

The danger isn’t structural unemployment (as many feared during the depths of the financial crisis). The problem is what kind of jobs, at what kind of salaries, the tech-powered economy of the future will generate.
Chrystia_Freeland  Albert_Gore  books  Erik_Brynjolfsson  MIT  downward_mobility  seismic_shifts  middle_class  winner-take-all  Al_Gore  Kleiner_Perkins  Luddites  productivity  innovation  hollowing_out  the_Great_Decoupling  economic_stagnation  '90s  This_Time_is_Different 
february 2013 by jerryking
Wondering How Far Magazines Must Fall
August 12, 2012 | NYT | By DAVID CARR.

Because of changes to the informational ecosystem, weeklies have been forced to leave behind the news and become magazines of ideas. Ms. Brown understood that; it’s just that some of her ideas weren’t always very good...The problem is not Tina Brown or her conceptual obsessions, or even the calcified formula of the weekly magazine.

The problem is more existential than that: magazines, all kinds of them, don’t work very well in the marketplace anymore.

Like newspapers, magazines have been in a steady slide, but now, like newspapers, they seem to have reached the edge of the cliff. Last week, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported that newsstand circulation in the first half of the year was down almost 10 percent. When 10 percent of your retail buyers depart over the course of a year, something fundamental is at work....It’s not just consumers who are playing hard to get: advertising is down 8.8 percent year to date over the same miserable period a year ago, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. With readership in such steep decline and advertising refusing to come back, magazines are in a downward spiral that not even their new digital initiatives can halt.
reinvention  magazines  David_Carr  future  digital_media  Tina_Brown  ideas  newsstand_circulation  advertising  downward_spirals  structural_change  print_journalism  seismic_shifts  newspapers  decline  digital_disruption 
august 2012 by jerryking
Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn Has Become the Go-To Guy of Tech - NYTimes.com
November 5, 2011 | NYT | By EVELYN M. RUSLI.

Hearing Mr. Hoffman wax philosophical about technology, it’s easy to understand why so many here seem to view him as something of a yoda. When he talks about “scale” — Internet-speak for having enough people use a network to make the network actually useful — he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece.

According to lore, Archimedes created a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade to pump water against gravity: the Archimedes screw. Mr. Hoffman urges his followers to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt their technologies. Entrepreneurs, he says, often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them....“When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time,” he said. “But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly.”...Today, LinkedIn, the professional social network, is a rising giant, a monument to the emergence of the social Web. Founded in 2002, the company has ballooned to more than 1,700 employees. It has more than 135 million registered members across 200 countries. It has turned a profit in six of the last seven quarters. ...In the same way that social media redefined the Internet, he sees another tectonic shift on the horizon.

This one, he believes, will be driven by data. Mr. Hoffman has been investing in companies that are data-driven or starting to work with data in interesting ways. For instance, even though two Greylock investments, Shopkick and Groupon, focus on retailing, both aggregate a huge volume of information on user spending habits. LinkedIn, too, has been trying to leverage the data on its site by, for example, making it more searchable.
Reid_Hoffman  LinkedIn  profile  entrepreneur  Silicon_Valley  data_driven  analytics  data  massive_data_sets  Greylock  scaling  searchable  network_effects  habits  spending  customer_adoption  seismic_shifts  Archimedes  Greek 
november 2011 by jerryking
No Rice, No Water-- Can You Hear Me Now?
By: Marjorie Valbrun | Posted: May 21, 2008.

Mobile phones are helping people climb out of poverty, spurring small-scale entrepreneurship, promoting development and even helping farmers and market women work more efficiently and earn more money.

The story of what is happening in Haiti is part of a larger trend taking place in developing countries around the globe, particularly in Asia and Africa. The world is witnessing a seismic social, cultural and technological shift that is changing how people work, live and thrive – all because of cell phones.
Haiti  mobile_phones  economic_development  tools  remittances  ZoomPesa  seismic_shifts  developing_countries 
october 2011 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: Government Drops the Ball on Patents - WSJ.com
JULY 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. Without guidance from Congress or the Supreme Court, industry
turns to self-help. "Patent law is a few years behind copyright when it
comes to self-help. Patents are at the tectonic plate shift between the
Industrial Age and the Information Age. That's because so much new
technology, especially software, becomes valuable only when combined
with other innovations. This is very different from protecting a new
plowshare or cotton gin."....The pharmaceutical industry, which must
invest fortunes to clear regulatory hurdles for new drugs, needs a
different approach to patents than do software companies. (See also
Larry Downes, author of "The Laws of Disruption.")
patents  patent_law  intellectual_property  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  copyright  DIY  books  seismic_shifts  industrial_age 
july 2010 by jerryking
When work quits before you do
October 17, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by Margaret Wente. "But
now, the aging creative class has more in common with laid-off
manufacturing workers than you might think. The recession has bashed
them hard. Their age is working against them. And seismic shifts in
technology and the marketplace have made their skills and experience
increasingly irrelevant."
baby_boomers  self-employment  creative_economy  creative_class  economic_downturn  cheap_revolution  seismic_shifts 
october 2009 by jerryking

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