David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Mexico's young democracy is facing its sternest test yet

    This article by Ana Campoy for Quartz may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The most troubling and tragic threat to Mexico’s democracy is violence. Since campaigning began in September 2017, 132 politicians (jpg), including 48 official and aspiring candidates, have been killed, according to Ellekt, a consulting firm.

    The most recent murder happened on June 25 in the southern state of Oaxaca. Emigdio López Avendaño, a candidate for local representative from AMLO’s party, MORENA, was gunned down along with four of his supporters.

    The level of violence represents a huge spike from the run-up to last presidential election, in 2012, when less than a dozen politicians were killed, according to Ellekt. The firm’s director, Rubén Salazar, attributes the increase to state governors’ waning control over municipalities. Thanks to free elections, voters have been kicking out incumbents from governor’s offices around the country—a step forward for democracy. But at the municipal level, it’s had the perverse result of clearing the way for local strongmen to hijack the election process, sometimes at gunpoint.

    “These changes have happened faster than the transformation of the political and democratic culture at the local level ,” he said in an interview in Artistegui Noticias (link in Spanish).

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    China Rebound's Gone Within a Day as Even Biggest Stocks Crumble

    This article from Bloomberg News may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The list of negatives facing the $6.6 trillion stock market is growing. The economy is already showing signs of vulnerability to a U.S. trade war before new taxes are levied at the end of this week. Analysts and investors alike are struggling to keep up with the yuan’s descent, while there’s been little sign of heavy state intervention to stem the slump in either stocks or the currency. Concern is also growing over the health of the country’s massive property market.

    "Sentiment will remain bad in the near term," said David Qu, economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Shanghai. "The market doesn’t hold high hopes that China and the U.S. will find a way out before the tariffs are imposed."

    The Shanghai Composite has only risen on four days out of the past 15, and on each occasion the gauge has closed lower the following trading session. A momentum indicator is near a five- year low, while losses in Chinese bourses have topped $2 trillion since January’s peak. In percent terms, the Shanghai measure is the world’s worst after Argentina with a 22 percent retreat in the period.

    "It would be a bad time to buy right now as pessimism prevails," said Liang Jinxin, Shanghai-based strategist with Tianfeng Securities Co.

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    How Tesla is doing everything to get Model 3 cars out the door

    This article by Dave Gershgorn for Quartz may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    In an effort to drastically ramp up production, Tesla employees are now tinkering with the core designs of the Model 3 car and the production process, detailed by a New York Times report (paywall), something that experts say is unprecedented. Executives at Tesla decided that the car didn’t need so many spot welds holding the underbody together, so engineers found 300 “unnecessary” welds and reprogrammed the welding robots cut them from the production process.

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    Now Merkel's Adversaries Face Ultimatum to Back Down on Migrants

    This article by Arne Delfs, Birgit Jennen and Patrick Donahue for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Merkel and other European Union leaders defied expectations to forge an accord early on Friday, putting the onus on Bavaria’s ruling CSU party that sought the clash. Its leaders must now decide at a meeting Sunday whether to risk a historic breakup of the party bloc that’s governed Germany for most of the time since World War II or beat a face-saving retreat.

    With migration hard-liners Italy and Austria backing a coordinated European approach at the summit, the CSU appeared increasingly isolated before deciding whether to defy Merkel and start sending back asylum seekers at the German border who already registered in another EU country. Polls suggested public support for the Bavarians’ stance is waning.

    “At this point, the CSU can’t afford to dig in against a compromise,” Juergen Falter, a political scientist at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, said by phone. “They’d come across as troublemakers.”

    As investors welcomed the summit result, the CSU said the deal addressed concerns about migration it has raised for a long time. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the biggest party in her governing coalition, rallied behind the chancellor.

    “Now these measures actually need to be implemented,” Alexander Dobrindt, the CSU caucus leader in the German parliament, said in a statement. The Bavarian party will review the summit deal “very thoroughly,” he said.

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    Kevin Rudd on Xi Jinping, China and the Global Order

    I view this transcript of a speech delivered at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore on Tuesday as required reading for anyone interested in China. Here is a section:

    It is deeply significant that at the 2018 Work Conference, Xi Jinping states boldly that a core component of his new ideology of a “diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics” would be for China to: “lead the reform of the global governance system with the concepts of fairness and justice.” This is by far the most direct, unqualified and expansive statement on China’s intentions on this important question we have seen.

    China, like the rest of the international community, is acutely conscious of the dysfunctionality of much of the current multilateral system. It also sees the US walking away from much of the system as well: from the JCPOA which was agreed to by the UN Security Council; from the UN’s Paris Agreement on Climate Change; its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Commission; its open defiance of the Refugees Convention; and its challenging of the underlying fabric of the WTO.

    Nature, as we know, abhors a vacuum. International relations even more so. And we all saw Xi Jinping’s riposte to President Trump on climate change and trade at Davos 18 months ago just after President Trump’s election. If China is indeed serious about leading the reform of global governance, its attitude to various of these multilateral institutions will be radically different to the historical posture of the US. Take for example the Human Rights Council in Geneva, which China would like to see emasculated. Mind you, so too now, apparently, does the current US administration!

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    Email of the day on Amazon's impact on pharmacies

    Thank you for your superb service. Can you please advise your views on how vulnerable do you think the pharmacy shares are in the US after Amazon's entry to the field? Thank you in advance.

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