Monitoring

Tesla’s delivery report isn’t terrible, yet stock priced for perfection. Considering the degree to which Tesla Inc. (TSLA) has been a company valued, analyzed and judged based on the sales potential of mass-market cars that haven’t launched yet, a major selloff on account of a slight quarterly delivery shortfall for the company’s existing, costlier vehicles is a little strange at first glance. (The Street, 7/6/2017)

Lyft gets a lift from Uber’s struggles. Uber’s upheaval has helped propel its underdog rival, Lyft. The smaller ride-hailing company has surged by several measures, including market share, number of rides and ride revenue, according to reviews of US credit card data from Second Measure and Superfly. (GovTech, 7/6/2017)

Nvidia expands partnership with Baidu to “democratize AI”. Nvidia Corp. announced that it is partnering with Chinese tech giant Baidu on four new initiatives related to artificial intelligence (AI). “Our strategy is to democratize AI everywhere from the data center, to the “edge” (of networks, i.e. the Internet of things) to the self-driving car,” said Ian Buck, vice president of accelerated computing at Nvidia. (Silicon Valley Business Journal, 7/6/2017)

Real threat posed by President Trump? Trade war, not Twitter. With the G20 summit in Hamburg (Germany), it’s time for Trump and the media to focus far less on his tweets than his policies, which could result in the summit kicking off a disastrous global trade war. Indeed, tougher trade policies could trigger retaliatory responses from G20 countries. (The San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/6/2017)

US and South Korea confirm ICBM test, launch joint military exercises. The US army and the South Korean military responded to North Korea’s July 4 test missile test by hosting joint military exercises, firing missiles off the eastern coast of South Korea in what Pacific Command called an “ironclad” show of resolve. (The Washington Post, 7/5/2017)

UK services slow as economy shows signs of losing momentum. Britain’s dominant services sector expanded the least in four months in June 2017.  IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 53.4 from 53.8 in May. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey had predicted a reading of 53.5, above the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction. (Bloomberg News, 7/5/2017)

Massive iPhone leaks confirm 25 new features. Apple’s iPhone 8 may already be the most leaked iPhone in history and we have learned a huge amount about what this potentially game changing phone will deliver. This could mean Apple is clearly gearing up for an iPhone release well beyond the scale of anything we have seen to date. (Forbes, 7/5/2017)

Lower-priced Tesla is about ready to roll. Tesla’s first Model 3, the long-awaited electric car that’s priced for the mass-market is expected to roll off the factory floor on July 7, 2017, the company said. The USD 35,000 Model 3 passed regulatory requirements two weeks ahead of schedule.  (Omaha World-Herald, 7/5/2017)

Geely’s Volvo to go all electric with new models from 2019. Geely-owned Volvo Car Group said all new models launched from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids, spelling the eventual end to nearly a century of Volvos powered solely by the internal combustion engine. (CNBC, 7/5/2017)

German MPs approve gay marriage in snap vote. A clear majority of German MPs have voted to legalize same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote. The reform gives gay men and lesbians full marital rights, and allows them to adopt children. (BBC, 6/30/2017)

US targets Chinese bank, company, two individuals over North Korea. The United States imposed sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang. (Reuters, 6/30/2017)

US has cleared a USD 1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan. The US government has approved a USD 1.42 billion arms sale to Taiwan, the first of the Trump administration. The deal is expected to enhance the country’s air and navy defense system, as well as early warning capabilities, according to the Ministry of National Defense. (The China Post, 6/30/2017)

ISIS revenue falls 80 percent as Militants lose ground in Iraq, Syria. ISIS has seen its income drop by 80 percent in two years. The self-declared caliphate has seen average monthly income plunge from USD 81 million in the second quarter of 2015 to just USD 16 million in the same period this year, according to IHS Markit, a global data monitoring company. (NBC News, 6/30/2017)

Trump, Putin face high-stakes meeting in Germany. Trump will meet with Putin along the sidelines of the annual G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. Trump will be under pressure to side with the US intelligence agencies and press Putin on the issue of election meddling, something he has thus far been reluctant to do. (The Washington Post, 6/30/2017)

ROK President Moon to underscore importance of alliance with US. The South Korea-US summit, which will be held in Washington on June 30, is taking place 51 days after Moon’s inauguration, earlier than any previous South Korean president. This reflects the view that the South Korea-US alliance and mutual trust are essential for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. (The Kankyoreh, 6/29/2017)

The original iPhone had its share of haters in 2007. “The iPhone will be a major disappointment.” That was the sage wisdom from Advertising Age just days before its release. The story, titled “Why the iPhone Will Fail,” argued that the single-use (music) success of the iPod wouldn’t be mirrored by the iPhone because it’s a multi-function “convergence” device. (Mashable, 6/29/2017)

Officials struggle to convince Trump that Russia remains a threat. As President Donald Trump lashes out at former President Barack Obama for failing to take a harder line against Russia for election meddling, Trump’s own advisers are struggling to convince him that Russia still poses a threat, according to multiple senior administration officials. (CNN, 6/28/2017)

Staples to sell for USD 6.9 billion, and its new owner has an uphill battle. As online shopping claims ever more casualties, Staples, a mainstay of office supplies, has agreed to sell itself to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The deal is the latest instance of a once-prominent name in retailing being laid low by the powerful forces reshaping how people shop, in other words: Amazon. (NYT, 6/28/2017)

Petya ransomware slams Windows PCs shut in massive attack. Another widespread ransomware attack is threatening to wreak havoc across the world. Businesses and government agencies have been hit with a variation of the Petya ransomware – that is, malware that holds crucial files hostage. The malware is demanding USD 300 in bitcoin before victims can regain access. (Cnet, 6/28/2017)

US brands China as among worst human trafficking offenders. The US State Department placed China on its global list of the worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor, a step that could aggravate tensions with Beijing that had eased under President Donald Trump. (Reuters, 6/28/2017)

2 billion users means Facebook’s responsibility is expanding. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the milestone on the social network. “As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!” Zuckerberg said in his post. “We’re making progress connecting the world, and now let’s bring the world closer together.” (Forbes, 6/28/2017)

Another financial crisis isn’t likely in our lifetime. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that banks are “very much stronger” and another financial crisis is unlikely anytime soon. Yellen added that the Fed has learned lessons from the financial crisis and has brought stability to the banking system. (CNBC, 6/28/2017)

UBS: Chinese companies are getting more careful about debt. China’s government and companies are “rationalizing” their use of debt amid concerns over growing leverage on the mainland, Eugene Qian, chairman of UBS’ China strategy board, told CNBC. (CNBC, 6/27/2017)

“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli goes on trial on Securities fraud charges. Jury selection begins in federal court as 34-year-old Shkreli goes on trial: securities fraud charges. Prosecutors say he was swindling investors in his hedge fund well before he became “the most hated man in America.” (NPR, 6/27/2017)

Brazil’s crisis deepens as president accused of corruption. Brazil’s attorney general formally accused President Michel Temer of corruption, making him the first sitting president in Latin America’s largest nation to face criminal charges. (ABC News, 6/27/2017)

Donald Trump causes ‘major’ shift in global view of US: Pew. The survey, by the Pew Research Center, interviewed more than 40,000 people in 37 countries this year. It concluded that the US president and his policies “are broadly unpopular around the globe”. (BBC, 6/27/2017)

Italy’s Center-Right wins in local elections, in blow to Renzi. Italy’s center-right parties hammered their center-left rivals in mayoral elections, official results showed, putting pressure on the ruling Democratic Party (PD) ahead of a national vote due in less than a year. (Reuters, 6/26/2017)

EU’s fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force. The European Commission’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force. It strengthens the existing rules and will make the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing more effective. It also improves transparency to prevent tax avoidance. This entry into force comes as discussions with the European Parliament and the Council on extra measures further reinforcing the Directive are already at an advanced stage. (EC, 6/26/2017).

Protectionism on the rise, EU successful in countering barriers. European exporters reported a 10% increase in the number of trade barriers they encountered in 2016 alone. 372 such barriers were in place at the end of last year in over 50 trade destinations across the world. The 36 obstacles created in 2016 could affect EU exports that are currently worth around €27 billon. (EC, 6/26/2017)

Italy commits USD 19 billion for veneto banks in biggest rescue. Italy will commit as much as 17 billion euros (USD 19 billion) to clean up two failed banks in one of its wealthiest regions, the nation’s biggest rescue on record. The intervention at Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca includes state support for Intesa Sanpaolo to acquire their good assets for a token amount, Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said after an emergency cabinet meeting in Rome. (The Salt Lake Tribune, 6/26/2017)

Japanese airbag maker Takata files for bankruptcy, gets Chinese backing. Japan’s Takata Corp, the firm at the center of the auto industry’s biggest ever product recall, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Japan, and said it had agreed to be largely acquired for $1.6 billion by the Chinese-owned U.S.-based Key Safety Systems. (Reuters, 6/26/2017)