RECOMMENDED: BUSINESS ARTICLES
- August 30, 2018
Welcome. This is a resource page with all recommended business articles those in business nowadays should read. Every link shared here was personally read by PETERSON TEIXEIRA, hence the commentaries, the highlights and screenshots so you can know beforehand what you’re spending your time on before you click and read. Naturally, this resource page will be constantly updated and/or corrected to prevent any misleading information and to maintain a good, reliable list of top business articles.
TARGET AUDIENCE: CEOs, Entrepreneurs
IMPORTANT: The majority of the articles here are recent, but you may find resources that date from 2013. Nonetheless, everything is extremely valuable if you intend to master the market. The goal is to provide all the greatest insights and information in these last years, “business milestones” so to speak, so that you know everything there is to know from the Internet on Business in order to master Business today.
Read all the other recommended sections:
- Recommended: Marketing Articles
- Recommended: Cybersecurity Articles
- Recommended: Artificial Intelligence Articles
- Recommended: Secrets of The Market Articles
- Recommended: Market Facts
- Recommended: Market News
LAST UPDATE: This page was last updated in February 14, 2019
THE BUSINESS ARTICLES LIST
The list is decrescent, which means that the latest added article by PETERSON TEIXEIRA is the one on the top of the list. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the article’s publishing date is also recent because as said before, the objective is to collect all business-related masterpieces from the whole Internet. Finding the needles in the haystack is the goal, not be the news.
The Links below are just so you can jump straight to the article, its highlights and comments.
- Read #191: Farmer Who Lost Thousands of Cattle in Floods Urges Banks to Help…
- Read #190: Executives and Bloodshed: How Disney is Making 21st Century Fox Disappear
- Read #189: What 2,000 Job Cuts Tell Us: Free Market Kills Digital Journalism
- Read #188: Vice Media to Reorganize, Lay Off 10 Percent of Staff
- Read #187: Buzzfeed to Cut 15% of Staff in New Round of Layoffs
- Read #186: How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation
- Read #185: World’s 26 Richest People Own As Much As Poorest 50%
- Read #184: EU Copyright Directive Nearing Final Form + Google Tests New SERPs
- Read #183: The Challenge for Cryptocurrency Firms in 2019: Don’t Die
- Read #182: Netflix’s ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Leads to Trademark Lawsuit
- Read #181: Founder’s Big Idea to Revive BuzzFeed’s Fortunes? A Merger With Rivals
- Read #180: The Student Loan Debt Crisis is About to Get Worse
- Read #179: The Future of Work Won’t be About College Degrees, But About Job Skills
- Read #178: Silicon Valley’s Dirty Secret: Using A Shadow Workforce
- Read #177: Central-Bank Digital Currencies: Toward A Cashless Society?
- Read #176: Vice Media to Shrink Workforce By As Much As 15% As Growth Stalls
- Read #175: Some Amazon Workers Fear They’ll Earn Less With A $15 Minimum Wage
- Read #174: Europe’s New Copyright Law Could Change The Web Worldwide
- Read #173: Why Millennials Are Facing The Scariest Financial Future of Any Generation
- Read #172: 6 Reasons That Pay Has Lagged Behind US Job Growth
- Read #171: Facebook, Friend of Data Brokers, Becomes Their Stiffest Competition
- Read #170: Supermarkets Bankruptcies Are Beginning to Pile Up
- Read #169: How Amazon is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination
- Read #168: Why All Companies Fear Death by Amazon
- Read #167: Amazon Pushes Facial Recognition to Police, Critics See Surveillance Risk
- Read #166: Could Enemies Target Undersea Cables That Link The World?
- Read #165: Bigger, Faster, Stronger: China’s Ever-Evolving Military Tech
- Read #164: The Internet is Killing Israel’s Fashion Industry
- Read #163: More Companies Are Selling Assets to Raise Cash for Growth
- Read #162: Digital Agencies Struggle With A New Market Reality
- Read #161: Danone is Leading The Race to Feed China’s Babies
- Read #160: 2/3 of Marketers Considering Leaving Industry (Poor Workplace Wellbeing)
- Read #159: Verve to Focus on US As it Plans Closure of European Offices Ahead of GDPR
- Read #158: Most Miserable Economies of 2018 Stay Haunted by Inflation Beast
- Read #157: How US Interest Rates Move The World Economy
- Read #156: Big Brother in India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones & Finances
- Read #155: India Fake News Crackdown Crumbles Over Journalists Outrage
- Read #154: Paddy Power Buys FanDuel in Bid to Dominate Sports Betting
- Read #153: Global Dealmaking on Pace to Smash Record Books, Already +$2 Trillion
- Read #152: Sainsbury and Asda to Reveal Details of Shock £15bn Merger
- Read #151: Net Neutrality Has Officially Been Repealed
- Read #150: The Next Privacy Battle in Europe is Over This New Law
- Read #149: Your Next Car Might Be A Subscription
- Read #148: A.I. Researchers Are Making More Than $1 Million, Even at a Nonprofit
- Read #147: Robots Persuade Japanese Manufacturers to Bring Production Home
- Read #146: Turkey Will be Ground Zero in The Next Global Debt Crisis
- Read #145: Brexit Nightmare: 17-Mile Traffic Jams at The Dover Border
- Read #144: How Brexit is Set to Cause Chaos At Europe’s Ports
- Read #143: Brexit is Already Hurting The German Economy
- Read #142: Two Thirds of EU Marketers Considering Leaving The UK Because of Brexit
- Read #141: A Warning Cry From The Doomsday Vault
- Read #140: Apple Says It Will Buy Back $100 Billion in Stock
- Read #139: One Chinese Company Now Controls Most of The Lithium of The World
- Read #138: BMW, Ford and Tesla Brace for Nightmare Tariff Whiplash
- Read #137: President Xi Can Make Life Tough for US Companies From Apple to Walmart
- Read #136: Mysterious Sound Sickness Prompts Warning for Americans in China
- Read #135: China Boosts Military Spending 8% Amidst Ambitious Modernization Drive
- Read #134: China is Weaponizing Capital
- Read #133: China’s Plane Nonsense or Sovereign Right? The Airline Map Flap
- Read #132: China Has 9 of The World’s 20 Biggest Tech Companies
- Read #131: Russia In The Doldrums? New U.S. Sanctions to Weigh on Recovery
- Read #130: U.S. Charges, Sanctions Iranians for Cyber Attacks on Behalf of Tehran
- Read #129: Iran Sanctions: Their Impact at Home and Abroad
- Read #128: The Full List of US Products That China is Planning to Hit With Tariffs
- Read #127: Trade War: The Tipping Point for China’s $14 Trillion Debt-ridden Economy
- Read #126: China’s 1.2 Trillion Weapon That Could Be Used in A Trade War With The U.S.
- Read #125: Why Forcing Countries to Choose Sides in A Trade War Could Benefit China
- Read #124: Trump’s Betrayal of Iran Deal Brings U.S-China Trade War to A Scarier Level
- Read #123: Beijing Has More Weapons to Use Against US in A Trade War
- Read #122: Qualcomm May be Collateral Damage in A U.S-China Trade War
- Read #121: Faltering Chinese Soybean Demand Dents Brazil’s Changes of Trade War
- Read #120: Oh What A Stupid Trade War
- Read #119: Everything You Need to Know About The Oracle Lawsuit Against Google
- Read #118: Google Accused of using GDPR to Impose Unfair Terms on Publishers
- Read #117: North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms
- Read #116: A Ruling Over Embedded Tweets Could Change Online Publishing
- Read #115: Supreme Court’s Wayfair Decision Will Hurt Online Shopping
- Read #114: Here’s How Much It Costs to Mine A Single Bitcoin in Your Country
- Read #113: Worries Grow That The Price of Bitcoin is Being Propped Up
- Read #112: Is The World Running Out of Sand?
- Read #111: The Big One: Is California Ready for Its Next Major Earthquake?
- Read #110: Startup Got $114M to Help People By Finding Investors for Their Lawsuits
- Read #109: Here’s How The U.S. and The World Regulate Cryptocurrencies
- Read #108: Salon is Using Adblocking Readers’ CPU to Mine Cryptocurrency
- Read #107: Israel Likely to Change Tax Policies to Counter Trump’s Tax Reform
- Read #106: David vs Goliath: Israeli Entrepreneur vs Amazon in Brawl for Brains
- Read #105: The Mysterious Twitter User Drawing a Swarm of Japan Traders
- Read #104: If You’re Not Spending 5 Hours Per Week Learning…
- Read #103: Bitcoin Frenzy Helps Crypto Hedge Funds Reap 1,100% Gains
- Read #102: Kodak’s Stock Doubles After Camera Pioneer Boards Blockchain Trend
- Read #101: Someone Locked Away $150M Worth of Other People’s Ethereum Funds
- Read #100: Why Wages Aren’t Growing
- Read #99: This One Factor Could Tell How Far Bitcoin Will Plunge
- Read #98: Japanese Retailers Quickly Embracing Bitcoin Payments
- Read #97: Europe’s Central Banks Are Starting to Replace Dollar Reserves With Yuan
- Read #96: We’re Less Likely to Collaborate in Bad Economic Times
- Read #95: Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent
- Read #94: Whitney Tilson to Shut Hedge Fund After Sustained Poor Returns
- Read #93: South Korea Will Require Real-name Crypto Trading
- Read #92: Tiny Company Soars on Speculated Move into Bitcoin That’s Likely False
- Read #91: Germany’s Strict New Social Media Hate Speech Law Claimed Its 1st Victim
- Read #90: America’s “Retail Apocalypse” Is Really Just The Beginning
- Read #89: The Brutal Fight to Mine Your Data and Sell it To Your Boss
- Read #88: Mashable and Buzzfeed Are More Bad News for Online Media
- Read #87: The News App That Lets A. Huffington and Richard Branson Pick Your Reads
- Read #86: How The Guardian Found 800,000 Paying Readers
- Read #85: Expect Fewer Great Startups If The FCC Kills Net Neutrality
- Read #84: GDPR Will Lead to A Scramble to Pass Off Liability to Others
- Read #83: “We’re Giving The Business Away to Consultants”
- Read #82: How to Survive The Media Apocalypse
- Read #81: Mark Ritson: Why You Should Fear “The Digital Duopoly”
- Read #80: Can Websites use “Tracking Walls” to Force Consent Under GDPR?
- Read #79: The Booming, and Opaque Business of Dark Web Monitoring
- Read #78: The Times Says No More Than 10 Global News can Have A Paying Audience
- Read #77: Israel’s Ailing Teva to Cut 25% of Global Workforce in Recovery Effort
- Read #76: Why Being Great at Your Job is Harder Than it Used to Be
- Read #75: The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Own 40 Percent of The Market
- Read #74: Bitcoin Transactions Aren’t as Anonymous as Everyone Hoped
- Read #73: A Lack of Cybersecurity Talent is Driving Companies to Use AI Against Attacks
- Read #72: The New York Times is Now Available as a Tor Onion Service
- Read #71: McKinsey: Obesity Costs Global Society 2.0 Trillion a Year
- Read #70: The Running List of 2017 Retail Apocalypse Victims
- Read #69: Top Hedge Funds Predict How It All Will End
- Read #68: New Law Firm Seeks would-be Gov’t Whistleblowers
- Read #67: What is the IP Act and How Will it Affect You?
- Read #66: Banking Sector Will be Ground Zero for Job Losses from AI and Robotics
- Read #65: New European Rules Will Open Up Retail Banking
- Read #64: All You Need to Know About China’s Sanctions on North Korea
- Read #63: Exclusive: Russia Sanctions Disrupt Italian Bank’s 5 Billion Euro Loan Deal
- Read #62: Japan to Impose Additional Sanctions Against North Korea
- Read #61: U.S. Imposes First Economic Sanctions Against Venezuela
- Read #60: China to use ‘All Means necessary’ to Fight Trump ‘Protectionism’
- Read #59: Banks Are Scheming To Dominate A Future Cashless Society
- Read #58: 5 Top Financial Experts Are Warning That A Market Crash is Imminent
- Read #57: 40+ Commerce Startups Using AI To Adjust Pricing, Track Behavior, And More
- Read #56: 80+ Companies Using AI To Secure The Future In One Infographic
- Read #55: Google, Baidu, Intel, Apple In A Rush To Grab Artificial Intelligence Startups
- Read #54: 7 AI Chatbot Startups Giving Technology a Voice
- Read #53: 7 Startups Giving Artificial Intelligence (AI) Emotions
- Read #52: German Plan to Limit on Cash Transactions Met with Fierce Resistance
- Read #51: As War on Cash Escalates, Cash Lovers Fight Back
- Read #50: Things Just Got Serious in Europe’s War on Cash
- Read #49: The ECB Morphs into the Mother of All “Bad Banks”
- Read #48: Leaked: EU Plans to Freeze Deposits to Prevent Bank Runs
- Read #47: EU Proposes Account Freezes to Halt Bank Runs
- Read #46: European Regulators Are About to Kill The Digital Media Industry
- Read #45: What Happened When I Moved My Company To A 5-Hour Workday
- Read #44: New Law could Criminalise Uncovering Personal Data Abuses
- Read #43: Amazon Plans to Check Up on Your Price Checks
- Read #42: 90+ Market Maps Covering Fintech, CPG, Auto Tech, Healthcare, And More
- Read #41: Meet The Crowdfunding Consultants: ‘We Live or Die by Success’
- Read #40: Sell Your Personal Data for $8 A Month
- Read #39: DMCA’s Digital Locks Allowed A Company To Delete A URL From Adblock Lists
- Read #38: Digital Publishers can no Longer Afford to Procrastinate on Paywalls
- Read #37: The WAR on Cash
- Read #36: The Golem Project Aims To Decentralize Internet and Computing
- Read #35: The Pirate Bay is Hijacking Visitors’ Web Browsers to Mine Cryptocurrency
- Read #34: By Reading This Article, You’re Mining Bitcoins
- Read #33: Five Ways Work Will Change in The Future
- Read #32: The 5 QR Code Basics Every Company Should Know
- Read #31: What’s The Worst That Could Happen With Huge Databases Of Facial Data?
- Read #30: “The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst”: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017
- Read #29: Banks Could be Stung for €5bn Under GDPR
- Read #28: Bitcoin: Hackers’ ‘Anonymous’ Currency
- Read #27: Why Economic Incentive May Lead to the Failure of Bitcoin
- Read #26: Quant Funds: “We Need More Suckers At The Table”
- Read #25: Common GDPR Myths, Debunked
- Read #24: Verizon Looks to Become Dominant Advertising Force
- Read #23: The Best Defense is Attack: Eugene Kaspersky vs Patent Trolls
- Read #22: German Publishers are Joining Forces Against The Duopoly
- Read #21: News UK Looks to Startups to Unearth New Sources of Revenue
- Read #20: Bitcoin Users, The Taxman Wants to Know What’s in Your Piggybank
- Read #19: Bitcoin Tumbles as PBOC Declares Initial Coin Offerings Illegal
- Read #18: Kik CEO: Doing an ICO Is Our Only Way to Compete With Facebook
- Read #17: Content Doesn’t Need to be Free” Digiday Editor in Chief says
- Read #16: The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away
- Read #15: Tony Robbins: 6 Basic Needs That Make Us Tick
- Read #14: What Influencer Marketing REALLY Costs
- Read #13: EU Regulations Put AI Startups at Risk of Being Left Behind
- Read #12: 24 Industries Other Than Auto That Driverless Cars Could Turn Upside Down
- Read #11: Advertisers Warm to Amazon’s Increasing Ad Pitch
- Read #10: A Genius Hacker Explains How to Keep Your Business Safe From Hacks
- Read #9: Genius PR: Lessons From Walter O’Brien And ‘Scorpion’ (He’s Real!)
- Read #8: Why Luxury Brands Are Putting Microchips in Your Clothes
- Read #7: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer Has Ignited a Culture War
- Read #6: Here’s How You Can Send Money to a Friend Via Twitter (in France)
- Read #5: The $8,000 Mistake That All Bloggers Should Beware
- Read #4: The on-demand Economy is a Bubble—and it’s about to BURST
- Read #3: Hackers Stole My Website And I Did A $30,000 Operation To Get It Back
- Read #2: The Job Market: A Game of Musical Chairs Over Hot Coals
- Read #1: Why You Should Never Name A Company After Yourself
HEADLINE: Farmer Who Lost Thousands of Cattle in Floods Urges Banks to Help
PUBLISHER: The Feed
COMMENT: You may ask: “Wait, Peterson, why is that important?”. Well, first of all, if you’re human then that’s important. So I recommend you to read the following link and take some action to help: “She is pleading for more government relief and the local community has set up a Go Fund Me — called Sisters of the North — which has raised more than $130,000 for the farmers”. Now, for businesspeople around the world here’s why this is also important: Global chains. Just look at the data about Australia: “No other rural industry impacts more of Australia than our beef industry. More than 63,000 farming businesses are producing beef from 43% of the country’s landmass. We are also the world’s second largest beef exporter, which injects an estimated $8.4 billion into the Australian economy.” — SOURCE: Wildlife & Environmental Conservation Organization. That’s pretty big. Australia’s beef industry is a large economic contributor to its own economy, and to the world. You may see some data variations, like Australia losing to India as 2nd beef exporter sometimes (World Beef Exports: Ranking of Countries) but the bottom line is: Australia has a huge impact on the world’s beef industry and ultimately, on the world economy. If you cut that massive beef production out of the equation for the next years, a number of bad consequences arise, like: 1) Australia itself won’t have as much money (because it just lost all the taxes from that beef production/consumption supply chain) to spend with other countries (imports) in the long term, and the less you sell to the world, the worse it is for you; 2) Other countries may eventually see their exportations drop. At first, countries might adjust and buy beef from someone else but if you suddenly remove a big chunk of beef production from the global economic system, the cost of beef increases which directly impacts food businesses (especially barbecue-like businesses). Then with all those businesses making less money, overall Australian production drops and eventually, overall imports also might drop; 3) Businesses defaulting on their loans since they can’t pay back anymore as they just lost their profit-margins (after all they got a loan to either maintain the business alive or to try to grow it); 4) Australian Government debt increases as the government tries to inject money into this problem which can only come through loans (or higher interest rates). Obviously, that can later cripple overall consumption in the country; And this is just one catastrophic event we’re talking about. One. Just one. With natural disasters like this multiplying over time, just multiply these bad consequences for many other industries across the globe. For some perspective, here’s our current reality already regarding catastrophic events: “Wildfires relentlessly scorched dry land from California to Portugal. Super-strength hurricanes and tropical storms slammed homes from the Caribbean to Ireland. Famine continued in Somalia and Yemen, while avalanches killed more than a hundred people in Afghanistan. People around the world recorded record-breaking devastation, much of it caused by higher-than-usual temperatures on land and at sea. Climate experts say that in a warming world, these fatal events will continue to worsen. A November 2017 report released by the Trump Administration cautioned that ‘extreme climate events’ like heavy rainfall, extreme heatwaves, wildfires, and sea-level rise will all get more severe around the globe”. — SOURCE: Business Insider – Natural disasters set records around the world in 2017 (!). Yeah, very very worrisome, right? Finally, let’s not forget to add to all that pretty picture, the new, scarier problems: the world is running out of sand AND water (!). Now imagine this whole scenario getting worse and worse for the next years, and all at the same time. Something to think about, regardless of the business you own today. Enjoy your reads.
HEADLINE: Executives and Bloodshed: How Disney is Making 21st Century Fox Disappear
PUBLISHER: The Hollywood Reporter
COMMENT: Read this. And if you think this is no big deal, for a more global perspective about what is really happening to the marketplace, and what will happen to people’s jobs and therefore, the World Economy, read Business Article #77, Business Article #189, Business Article #188, Business Article #187, Business Article #176 and especially Business Article #181 and the card about record Global Dealmaking (Business Article #153) which will also bring even more massive layoffs worldwide. We have never seen so many M&A across the globe. Make no mistake: it’s time for you to prepare.
HEADLINE: What 2,000 Job Cuts Tell Us: Free Market Kills Digital Journalism
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Horrible headline. Free market is not the cause for this powerful attack on Journalism — and therefore, on Democracy. The corruption of the government + corrupt businesspeople is the real source of this matter. Big corporations feeding the government in return for government protection against competition is the problem. Because it’s in the best interests of both — corrupt governments and corrupt businesspeople — that newspapers stop producing high-quality journalism that holds them accountable to the people. No corrupt businessman or politician wants tons of traffic going to those who are showing all the wrongdoings that they’ve been practicing over the years to enrich themselves so they can stay in power. None. So they’ll team up with some businesses that will benefit them, and in return, they look the other way, letting companies grow up to a point when no competition is possible anymore, killing the good agents in the process. Then, they add more regulation when these big corporations are too “big to fail” in order to kill any new competition that may hold them accountable or cause a shift of power. It’s not that hard to understand, is it?! After all, do you think powerful people like to be featured in articles like How Corporations and The Wealthy Avoid Taxes (by The New York Times)? Do you think they like that Paradise Papers came out? Of course not. A Turkish Reporter was sentenced to jail over Paradise Papers reporting. If they could, they would shut down The New York Times also, along with The Guardian and other sources. But The US or The UK or any other democratic country is not Turkey. Democracy still exists in those places, so the way to shut us down is different. So in a country with “free markets”, the only way to kill such strong democracy is by letting certain handpicked businesses — by the government — thrive while creating anti-business laws in the process that block new competition from arising. Anti-business Laws that don’t affect their “favorite” businesses much since these businesses are now…too big to fail. In other words: Protected. Because tell me, how do you wait for a company to surpass 90% of search market share — globally — to THEN create some stupid law that will crush the internet? Answer: because it’s not about helping the markets, capitalism or journalism. It’s all about power. A game of power. It’s about STAYING in power. And one of the steps is not let people know what is really going on, which is the great job of Journalism. Remember: When there’s way too much dominance, you bet there’s something fishy going on behind the scenes. Free markets have nothing to do with it. Corrupt agents do. That said, this article still has value nonetheless. Read this.
HEADLINE: Buzzfeed to Cut 15% of Staff in New Round of Layoffs
COMMENT: Another warning. Read it along with Business Article #77 and you’ll see that massive layoffs have been piling up lately across the globe. That card I just linked gathers INTERNATIONAL cases which reveals a…pattern. So it’s not just the USA. Not just the UK. Not just Israel or whatever. Now, I ask you: what do you think will happen next? Think about it. And get ready.
HEADLINE: How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation
COMMENT: Just read this. I won’t add any additional comments or insights in here because I’ve already written a very precise comment about this exact article, but in the Quartz App, via Power Comment #34. Just check my comment. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: World’s 26 Richest People Own As Much As Poorest 50%
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Read this. Other important cards that also talk about the same subject: How The Top 500 Richest in The World increased Their Wealth by 1 TRILLION in 2017 and Richest 1% on Target to Own Two-thirds of All Wealth by 2030 and The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Own 40 Percent of The Market.
HEADLINE: EU Copyright Directive Nearing Final Form + Google Tests New SERPs
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Land
COMMENT: Folks, this is a BIG RED WARNING to the business community all over the world! First of all, here’s what the EU said about Article 11: Parliament’s position toughens the Commission’s proposed plans to make online platforms and aggregators liable for copyright infringements. This would also apply to snippets, where only a small part of a news publisher’s text is displayed. In practice, this liability requires these parties to pay right holders for copyrighted material that they make available. Parliament’s text also specifically requires that journalists themselves, and not just their publishing houses, benefit from remuneration stemming from this liability requirement. Links per se will apparently be exempted from licensing requirements and smaller start-ups will also not be subject to the strict provisions of the new rules. The directive provides that text links “accompanied by “individual words” can be shared freely without a arranged licensing agreement. “[M]erely sharing hyperlinks to articles, together with ‘individual words’ to describe them, will be free of copyright constraints.” — SOURCE: Search Engine Land. Now that’s pretty isn’t?! What a good government taking care of us! But unfortunately, the real world works in a very different way outside of their cute regulation bubbles where these monkeys we call government goes to work on a daily basis. So what this will do in PRACTICE is already shown below by Search Engine Land, so make sure to read that. However, there’s much more than the article says because this EU Copyright Directive will impact the whole internet and especially independent creators! The reason for that is simple: It’s a no-brainer business decision for businesses like Google. Think. If you own Youtube and Google, and you have a business that controls basically the go-to-places to search for any online video or online article IN THE WORLD, this also implies that you have basically all brands and business in the world providing you with content. Ok. Good. However, if all these businesses and brands had the chance to actually sue your business overnight because a random video that some random user uploaded to your platform had a picture of a copyrighted product they own somewhere in a piece of content you control, then no money in the world would save you. No business in the world could survive if everybody around the globe is feeding it Copyright lawsuits. So this leaves Google/Youtube with only two options in practice to keep the business alive: 1) create a very complex software that can automatically identify with 100% accuracy whether someone is using copyrighted material or not, and take the video/article down before it gets the chance to go online on its platforms OR 2) rush to take down everything that already exists today that may have copyrighted material to prevent any possible lawsuits. Now think, which one would you pick? That’s right: door number #2. Just for you to have a good idea of how destructive this is to the internet, here’s a quick explanation: If you’re a Youtuber and in the middle of your video, you drink some coffee from your pokemon mug, the owners of pokemon CAN SUE Youtube because YOU are using an image of their copyrighted material without permission (!!!). So Youtube becomes responsible by law for every single frame in every single video from every single Youtuber/Youtube Channel in the world regarding copyright infringement! Got a tattoo of Superman on your arm visible to the ones seeing your video? Copyright infringement. Are you using a car that shows its symbol/brand on your video? Copyright lawsuit baby! Now I ask you: Then how do you prevent your business from such sudden death!? Easy: take down all videos that present that kind of liability and block any new videos that appear to show stuff from other brands afterwards. Result: The Destruction of The Internet (and especially independent creators). All thanks to…the monkey government. Trust me when I say this: this is unprecedented. Youtubers — especially — are DESPERATE about the unfoldings of this stupid, incredibly destructive law. Brazil has a few of the top 10 youtubers in the world. A very famous one, called Felipe Neto (the 6th biggest youtuber in the world in terms of subscribers) recently made a very detailed video where he talks about it, and reads the — very dumb and clueless — response of someone from the European government about this matter. And he’s definitely right at the end of the video: ‘You guys actually want to protect THE BIG companies and not independent creators (14:35min – 15:13min)’. He’s right. They do. Because remember what I said here about maintaining social control? This is exactly it. Again. Another famous Youtuber from Brazil who has 11 Million subscribers (Felipe Neto currently has 30 million) made an even more detailed video explaining his overall experience over the years working on Youtube + the destructive impact of this EU Copyright Directive. The name of the video? “The End of Youtube and The Nostalgia Channel”. Yeah, that’s right. That’s precisely right. Stop everything you’re doing and read this.
HEADLINE: The Challenge for Cryptocurrency Firms in 2019: Don’t Die
COMMENT: Regardless of what you think about cryptocurrencies, you have to admit they dominated the news and headlines all over the world because cryptocurrencies provided a spark of hope to everyday people. Businesses were born out of it, and people got to leave their horrible jobs thanks to crypto. Why? Because it bypassed the current corrupt system (government + banks), removing from the financial chain agents that have been causing nothing but harm over the years, and who have been pushing anti-business laws to protect corrupt businessmen in exchange for money. However — and this is what many people fail to understand — these very agents do not want such alternatives to continue alive. Of course not. It attacks their lifestyle, crushing their evil empires and leaving them no room left in a society that actually wants to produce something of real value to other people and create wealth for others. But when you provide value to others, there’s a money transfer and therefore, transfer of wealth, which impacts…control. The possibility of new powers arising. So, in other words: Threats. So next, the government obviously came against the crypto community with full force, with countries with poor democracy levels putting people who were profiting from crypto in jail, and with more democratic, capitalist countries slowly trying to block or neutralize its growth in society. The people felt the hits, but never gave up. The reason for all that rage is pretty simple: whoever controls wealth controls everything. If new people can provide value, while the leechers are only stealing from us, eventually, they’ll cease to exist and the new, good folks will take over. But the corrupt system is obviously not stupid. So in order to protect their current position in society, all that needs to be done to prevent good people from taking over, is simple: just create more anti-business laws, anti-innovation laws and kill current innovation while it’s still in its infancy. Also, scary the people with hardcore laws that prevent them from taking any pro-democracy actions: link #1, link #2, link #3. Then, you finally ask: “So what all this comment has to do with the recommended article, Peterson?” Answer: if a huge alternative system that shook up the whole world, and woke up governments worldwide forcing them to take action, is now having its businesses closing doors because they cannot provide value anymore, it means that we’re at the last hour of capitalism and at the brink of collapse. Cryptocurrencies are one of the last lines of defense because if you can’t create value for others, then there’s no growth. And if there’s no growth, then the same empires remain untouched and dominant over us all. Make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: Netflix’s ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Leads to Trademark Lawsuit
PUBLISHER: The Hollywood Reporter
COMMENT: A while ago, I recommended in the Marketing section a great article by Bloomberg that shows how Netflix planned to use public interaction to decide the future of a series. That was simply genius marketing. Now, this marketing move just brought more drama to Netflix’s headquarters: A Trademark Lawsuit. So why am I recommending this article to you? Because it shows how FRAGILE is our business ecosystem. Seriously, how can you trademark something as common as a sentence like “Choose your own adventure”?! What’s next? Trademarking “Hello world”?! “Breaking News”?! There’s the book, which is another story which then would make more sense if it were about the book alone. But if you take a look at the article below, JEEP was also sued years ago for using “Choose your own adventure”. That makes ZERO sense. Zero. Because that’s just a simple sentence that was used in marketing material that fits Jeep customers’ profiles since that type of car is used for…adventures. End of story: As the financial crisis grows, unfortunately it looks more and more like the only way for people and businesses to survive and thrive is through fighting each other via stupid lawsuits. And whose fault is that? Once again, the stupid government who creates useless anti-business laws. This is all just very bad news for Capitalism, and with Capitalism under such heavy attack, get ready for a chaotic business reality where no one can do anything that grows their business without getting sued into oblivion first. Read this.
HEADLINE: Founder’s Big Idea to Revive BuzzFeed’s Fortunes? A Merger With Rivals
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: This is precisely the EXACT same behavior companies had back in 2007, the pre-crisis year. Everybody was merging or seeking ways to merge with rivals in order to survive the financial meltdown. However, 2008 is just a warm-up in comparison to what’s coming ahead in the next 2 years (2019 and 2020) because we have many additional problems that make everybody’s lives more difficult. We have the government turning against its people and businesses (link #1, link #2, link #3), we have advertising not working anymore, we have Google giving traffic just to 9% of content worldwide, we have Facebook cutting businesses’ attention while increasing ad prices at the same time, we have Apple News proving to be useless for businesses, we have massive layoffs happening worldwide, we have stupid banks buying junk debt with people’s money, we have 705 trillion euros in debt (globally) while the World’s GDP is just 75 trillion euros, and a lot more. Therefore, the NEXT CRISIS will be something much, much worse. Businesses today have to fight the government, banks and big tech platforms all at the same time. Hence why founders of big news outlets are considering M&A. Make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: The Student Loan Debt Crisis is About to Get Worse
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: The Future of Work Won’t be About College Degrees, But About Job Skills
COMMENT: A key article, especially for millennials. Furthermore, this adds to the subject: Why Wages Aren’t Growing — Business Article #100. Companies are now having to hire AI software instead of people simply because there’s no qualified personnel available on the market. Google published their machine learning and AI secrets not too long ago as a quick online course to whole the world. Why? Because no institution is preparing people fast enough for today’s crazy job market that evolves and changes every 3 MONTHS, and Google knows that. They need more AI professionals by yesterday if they want to keep dominating their industry and they know that the current system cannot provide these people fast enough. Why do you think A.I. researchers are making more than $1 Million, even at a nonprofit nowadays? Because the Educational system is broken. It doesn’t prepare anyone anymore for today’s market reality, where speed counts a lot for businesses who need competent employees with the right job skills to execute their business strategy in record time. There’s this need of getting “the next window of opportunity” today in order for companies to make money on the market now, but if businesses don’t have the right employees the probability of getting that edge drops substantially. Skills are bigger than diplomas now because the market is changing too fast. Therefore, Colleges are only good if they prepare you for the marketplace of a few months (or years) from now, teaching the skills that will position you in the market that’s yet to come. But if they’re preparing students for the marketplace of 5 years ago, then is pretty obvious that the whole educational system is already broken. Read this.
HEADLINE: Silicon Valley’s Dirty Secret: Using A Shadow Workforce
COMMENT: Think. If even the biggest companies in the world are using contractors how extremely competitive will the job market become in the next 2 years? Now add robots to the equation. Exactly. The gig economy is going to become the main economy, whether we like it or not.
HEADLINE: Vice Media to Shrink Workforce By As Much As 15% As Growth Stalls
PUBLISHER: The Wall Street Journal
COMMENT: Read this along with the Business Article #88 because it’s all connected. Likewise, the reason why Vice Media has been experiencing a huge hit on traffic is also connected with the Marketing Article #75 that predicts exactly that Vice Media would be the 4th publication most likely to suffer from social media algorithms updates. A few months later, here we are folks. This is additional evidence proving that social media latest algorithm updates are actually working against businesses and destroying everything for them at a serious pace. Sure, there’s the fact of our divided world. Too many heated discussions between right-wing and left-wing brands obviously reflect on the content agenda of a publication, resulting in drops of traffic if the narrative gets too extreme. However, that level of drop in traffic is NOT because of it but rather due to the latest changes in social media algorithms, killing their traffic and therefore their profits and turning the whole business landscape a lot worse. The evidence is piling up. Either brands unite or we’ll all die because, besides Social Media, Google hasn’t been helping brands as well (or didn’t you know that 91% of content gets no traffic from Google?). Wake up kids. Time to wake up.
HEADLINE: Some Amazon Workers Fear They’ll Earn Less With A $15 Minimum Wage
COMMENT: Ok, time to learn how shady business tactics work in the real world. First of all, Wired did a VERY GOOD JOB publishing this article. It was the most complete article among all major publications I could find on the subject, hence the reason why I’m recommending it. So before doing anything else, just read the article. Now, what Amazon just did by raising wages to $15 is actually a double move that will harm both their workers and competitors at the same time. I’ll explain. As Wired reveals, workers aren’t getting a raise but actually a downgrade instead — annually — as a result of performance bonuses and the stock unit program being cut off. That’s the part of Amazon workers. Now the bigger picture: the industry and competitors. You see, a VERY GOOD short Documentary — 13 min long — by ReasonTV exposed a very interesting reality: The $15 Minimum Wage Is Turning Hard Workers Into Black Market Lawbreakers. It’s about how Car Wash businesses went bankrupt, closed doors or laid off several workers as a direct consequence of the $15 minimum wage raise law created by politicians. Why? Because the smaller car wash businesses couldn’t even begin to compete once the $15 minimum wage became mandatory, resulting in blocking the rise of new car wash businesses, and in several of those already established businesses firing many employees and replacing them for automated machines (or simply going out of business due to lawsuits). The law did nothing except increase the costs for running such type of business. But then you say: “But Peterson, Amazon didn’t create any law mandating a $15 minimum wage for that type of worker, after all, it’s just a company”. Totally right, but here’s what they’re doing already: “The company announced Tuesday that it would start to lobby for a higher federal minimum wage. ‘We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage. The current rate of $7.25 was set nearly a decade ago’ Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president of global corporate affairs, said in a statement. ‘We intend to advocate for a minimum wage increase that will have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people and families across this country.'” – SOURCE: Variety. They’ll impact tens of millions of people alright. Here’s Reuters: “The increase pushes Amazon’s lowest wage above that at Walmart Inc and Target Corp. It is almost $3 shy of the average for a non-management worker in warehousing in the United States. The online retailer also said it would now lobby in Washington D.C. for an increase in the federal minimum wage and urged its competitors to follow its lead as the union-led ‘Fight for Fifteen’ movement pushes for higher remuneration.” – SOURCE: Reuters. Are you seeing the big picture for the business community now? Watch the documentary I just linked to you if you want to understand the domino effect that’s about to take place. Remember: Amazon doesn’t really care about its employees, it’s been proven over and over. It’s just a company aided by corrupt politicians to grab more market share and monopolize as many markets as possible.
HEADLINE: Europe’s New Copyright Law Could Change The Web Worldwide
COMMENT: I’ll open this with a preview of the Open Letter signed by 70 big “internet names”, like Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web and Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder of Wikimedia Foundation: “By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users. In particular, far from only affecting large American Internet platforms (who can well afford the costs of compliance), the burden of Article 13 will fall most heavily on their competitors, including European startups and SMEs. The cost of putting in place the necessary automatic filtering technologies will be expensive and burdensome, and yet those technologies have still not developed to a point where their reliability can be guaranteed. The impact of Article 13 would also fall heavily on ordinary users of Internet platforms — not only those who upload music or video (frequently in reliance upon copyright limitations and exceptions, that Article 13 ignores), but even those who contribute photos, text, or computer code to open collaboration platforms such as Wikipedia and GitHub.” – SOURCE: Eletronic Frontier Foundation. Isn’t that pretty? What will the Internet become after this law?! How will businesses survive in such a market reality?! Now we have one more piece of hard evidence supporting my constant claim that the government is against businesses and its people today. If you don’t believe it yet there are other shocking news here: link #1, link #2, link #3. Have you read those 3 links? Depressing, isn’t it? But at least now you know what the market will become and why there’s the urgency for businesses to unite more than ever before in human history. Otherwise, practically no one will survive. Make sure to read everything.
HEADLINE: Millennials Are Facing The Scariest Financial Future of Any Generation
COMMENT: Make no mistake, this is DEFINITELY A MUST-READ — especially for Millennials. I’m going to tell you a quick story. I was taught the dumb life plan since I was a kid: 1) Study hard in school to get into a great University; 2) Study hard in the University to then get a great job; 3) Work hard in your job to accumulate the money necessary to buy your house, your car, to get married etc. Ok, so that was in my head as the “Ultimate Life Plan” because my parents taught me that, and since they’re great parents, I should trust their advice. But here’s the thing: I’m from Brazil. I was born in a middle-class family (which is close to poor in Brazil). So once I started going to school, it was a public school, not a private one. In Brazil 99% of public schools are useless, there are gang members, kids getting searched for drugs by cops at the entrance almost every day, teachers are very weak and don’t know much because their salary is ridiculous etc. While private schools are the best there is where you can get the best education possible. Ok, so I was already playing the game in Hard Mode because I went my whole life to public schools, but that’s life. Deal with it. Fast forward, and in my final year of high school, at the last 6 months, I faced some bad kids who got together to try to kick my ass at the time. The problem is that a brazilian public school is mostly about kicking people’s asses all the time, because that’s all poor kids know in life. There was even a game we used to play while in break called “Malha” where we’d play football with a soda can and try to slip the can between someone’s legs. When that happens to someone, EVERYBODY has the “green light” to punch and kick the kid a lot for 5 seconds. Yeah, that’s Brazil my friend. But anyway, as I was telling you I faced too many bad kids at the same time which made my life miserable at school. The only way to actually focus on learning again, was to leave that school. And so I did. But since I had that stupid life plan in my head, I asked my grandparents — because they had more money at the time — to pay for a private school for me in my last 6 months of school. That way I’d be more prepared for College. And THAT’s when I got a HUGE reality check. My grandparents agreed, but as soon as I stepped a foot in that new private school, I felt like in MY WHOLE LIFE I had learned literally NOTHING. Trust me when I say this: private schools are light-years ahead of public schools in Brazil. That became another problem, and here’s why. You see, Brazil sucks. Everything is backwards. For instance, I told you that private schools are where you get the best education and public schools are the worst possible education someone can have. Now, if you’re a POOR KID that means you’ll go to a…public school. Ok, great. But here’s another fact: The best Universities in Brazil are the public ones, while the worst are the private ones. Therefore, a rich kid pays for a private school his whole life in order to get into a University where he doesn’t have to pay anything. And the poor kid has free “education” his whole life only to have to pay for college. See? This is why inequality in Brazil is almost unbeatable. Because once you reach the age of getting into college, you’re YEARS behind in terms of preparation because Brazil’s top Universities’ — the public ones — exams are very hard to pass. Very hard. So if a poor kid who studied his whole life in a ridiculous public school wants to get into a public University, he’s basically finished. It’s a T.K.O. baby. You’re done. Forget about it. The only way out of this situation is to do something I did: Buy a “cursinho” which is something like “a quick course that goes through every subject approached in your final years of school that may be tested in exams”. Those courses are usually a side-business of private schools because even rich kids fail to get into public Universities as soon as they get out of high school, and those courses are basically to remember them of everything they learned. Therefore, you get the same education of a whole lifetime in school in 1 year, 6 months…or 3 months. So ok, I registered for a 3-month course and once again….HUGE reality check! It was like 10x my last experience in the private school. I was literally lost. I knew nothing. All my years in public schools were just a whole waste of time (except for the friends I made). So as soon as I finished those 3 months, I tried to get into some colleges and then…failed. Obviously. While rich kids were recapitulating every subject…I WAS LEARNING THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME. So I got one final shot: 6-month course. So I used the books I got from the 3-month course to prepare myself for the 6-month course and then I was able to learn just like the rich kids (partially). Ok, so by this time I’m 17 years old. Keep a track of all this effort I’m making because you’ll understand why I’m saying all this once I’m finished. So, after finishing my 6-month course I managed to get in into a public University. HUGE WIN! Everybody in my family was happy because I couldn’t pay for college anyway (a good one) so if it wasn’t that…I’d be doomed in Brazil’s marketplace. There are some private Universities that almost match the public ones, but they’re crazy expensive. Now, here’s where you need to start really paying attention. Ok, so I started College in 2006 and I finished it in 2009. When I got in, my very first class was with an old lady with weird glasses, a teacher who said to all of us in her first “speech”: “You just go in into a very good College, congratulations. By the time you finish this whole course, you’ll leave here making already $8,000”. The reason that teacher said that was because the college I got in was built specifically to teach IT skills in 3 years to spit out capable IT professionals to the booming IT market. The problem was that education in Brazil gets no investment. Therefore she was repeating the same old speech she was saying since the 1990s. Guess what? After finishing college EVERYBODY was only getting job offers with salaries around $1000! Since I got two big reality checks already in my first year of College, I noticed what I was getting into, so I did the things I already said here which allowed me to land a position in the Federal Government in my last year of college. Now, notice that I graduated in 2009. That’s one year after the 2008 crisis. Meaning, by the time I executed the “perfect plan” that my parents taught me, I was 21 years old and entering a market that was already shred to pieces. Destroyed. Financial Crisis everywhere. At the same time, education was not keeping up with all the latest market trends, not even public Universities (with some rare exceptions). Therefore, that was a losing battle from the start. It took me years to realize that but I’m glad I did and embraced Entrepreneurship. People think this is happening just in Brazil. Those people know nothing. Brazil is definitely worse, but you can be sure that this is happening worldwide. Why do you think Huffpost published this article below? Why do you think A.I. professionals are getting so much money?! Simple: because almost no educational system is actually preparing youngsters for the market that’s coming ahead. And since the market changes every 6 months nowadays, people are investing money in something that won’t be a solution for them to make money in the near future. That’s the truth. The reality is simple: Millennials who train themselves in whatever the market is demanding, and take a very different approach than everybody else, are the ones who will make money in this destroyed economy. Period. Because besides the whole problem in the educational system, and the harsh reality of the job market no one is talking about, we still have to worry about the monkey government and stupid banks crushing the global economy and making everything worse. That’s what I wanted to say to you. This is why older people should not call millennials “whiners” because we have been playing a very different game than our parents where EVERYTHING is worse. Economy, crime rates, health plans, price of housing/rent, price of food etc. We work too hard for little money. We study too hard for ridiculous salaries. And our plans get postponed for years because of it. Finally, I’d like to show some evidence to support the sad reality of many young people today. You’ll see this is not happening only in a country or two, but instead it’s a worldwide problem: “TESTIMONIES – CASE STUDIES: Ed Lewis, 36, London – Lewis lives in a house-share with four other people while working fulltime for a campaigning organisation. ‘I have lived in this shared house for three years now. I couldn’t afford to rent on my own – I’m single, so renting with other people is what I expect for the future. ‘I know a number of people in their 30s who are in a similar situation. The biggest frustration is the lack of any security and lack of control over the conditions I’m living in. We’re subjected to the whims of the landlord, who is able to behave in a complacent way because of the power imbalance.Nia, 26, Cardiff – Nia, who didn’t want to give her last name, left university after a year and works on a zero-hours contract as a science communicator. ‘People don’t appreciate the constant pressure of zero-hours contracts, because it’s so difficult to say no to your employers when you want to be the first person available when a shift comes up. ‘It’s a constant worry when there are months where I won’t get much money at all. It varies so much month on month. Up until February, I was also on a zero-hours contract as a cleaner when my employers suddenly laid me off. They said ‘we’ve found someone who can do it cheaper’ and that was it. It really is as insecure as people think it is.’ – SOURCE: The Guardian. Wait, there’s more. Let’s talk a bit more about housing for millennials. Here’s more evidence of how the world really is today for younger people: “For those like Karkhanis, that means nothing because what qualifies as affordable depends on who you ask. An average one-bedroom apartment in the areas the Maharashtra government has identified for releasing land costs at least Rs 70 lakh, according to listings on property portal 99acres.com.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg – Mumbai’s Affordable Home Dream May Remain Just That – A Dream. That was just India. Here’s Hong Kong: “But in Hong Kong, the emerging sector is only still being viewed as a short-term solution to the city’s housing problem, offering affordable homes to those who could otherwise only afford to stay in the family home, share a rented flat or live in the city’s notorious subdivided flats, according to international property consultant JLL. ‘For those locked out of the residential market, the emergence of the co-living model offers an affordable housing solution’ said Denis Ma, JLL’s head of research. New projects such as Bibliotheque, SynBOX and Mini Ocean Park Station have emerged mainly to serve students and young professionals struggling to rent decent-sized flats around the HK$10,000 (US$1,280) per month mark.” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post – Co-living becomes short-term affordable housing option for young Hongkongers. And don’t think this is because “Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities” because as you can see in the article below, everybody is struggling to pay housing/rent. Everybody. Everywhere. Especially millennials. Finally, there’s one more article I want to show because it said the same thing I did, almost in the same words: “But the reality is more prosaic: ‘As more and more schooling becomes necessary for a good middle-class job, marriage gets pushed later and later, leaving more young people (men and women!) companionless and lonely’ writes Stone. He notes that this is an effect replicated around the world with different cultures. The rise of young male sexlessness isn’t about Chads and Stacies; it isn’t primarily about Tinder or Bumble; it’s not mostly about attitudinal shifts in what women want from relationships; and it’s not mainly about some new war between the sexes. It’s mostly about people spending more years in school and spending more years living at home. But that’s not actually a story about some change in sexual politics; instead, it’s a story about the modern knowledge economy, and to some extent exorbitant housing costs.” – SOURCE: Quartz. Got it? Show all this to whoever doesn’t understand the reality millennials are living today because they clearly know nothing. And show the chorus Eminem sings in this song too. Maybe they’ll understand someday. Thanks for reading.
HEADLINE: 6 Reasons That Pay Has Lagged Behind US Job Growth
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Remember this rule whenever someone mentions low unemployment: The government’s official definition of unemployment is pretty narrow: it excludes anyone who isn’t actively looking for work. Makes zero sense, right? If you got tired of looking for a job because you’re out there looking for 6 months, then you got depressed about it and stopped looking, then that’s it. You’re not unemployed anymore. Besides, how do you keep track of how a person is looking for a job or not? Do you monitor their email address to see if any resumés are being sent to companies? Follow them on the street every day? Ridiculous. Zero logic there. But leaving that aside, there’s still one thing: Questionable Data. This is another problem regarding wage data. Here’s The New York Times once more: “But the mixed messages also highlight the challenge of trying to figure out where wages are headed: Not only are the sources of the data volatile, but economists say they may also be declining in quality. In recent months, different sources have told sharply diverging stories about how quickly companies are raising employees’ pay. ‘We have trouble measuring any of these things’ said Tara Sinclair, an economist at George Washington University and for the job-search site Indeed. ‘This is definitely one of those situations where you can feed in the data and get out whatever response you’re looking for’. Most government statistics, for instance, have failed to adapt to the rise of the so-called gig economy and other trends that are changing the relationship between companies and workers. The hourly earnings measure in the monthly jobs report excludes Uber drivers and similar contractors. Moreover, Americans are increasingly refusing to respond to government surveys. Of the households that do respond, about a third refuse to provide information about their earnings” – SOURCE: The New York Times – Are Wage Gains Picking Up? Stalling? Questionable Data Makes It Hard to Say. Now that’s a real argument that does make sense because things like freelancers, Uber drivers and other similar jobs are already part of the economy, but aren’t being taken into account. Therefore…bad, incomplete data. Forget about it. People are really spitting out the data they want for wages. Finally, there’s some complementary reading for you: Why Wages Aren’t Growing and If You’re Not Spending 5 Hours Per Week Learning…. But it’s not pretty. You may not like it.
HEADLINE: Facebook, Friend of Data Brokers, Becomes Their Stiffest Competition
PUBLISHER: The Washington Post
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. If you’re a company and you’re still putting money on Facebook then you need to review your Marketing because Facebook is not to be trusted anymore [massive evidence in here (!)]. That’s a no-brainer. But by watching this new attack on Data Brokers it just shows how despicable Facebook is, proving that it hasn’t and won’t change its ways. They shoot some false, dishonest PR as soon as a new scandal pops up in mainstream media, and then go back to the basement to ruin more things for businesses while lying about it at the same time. But anyway, I want to show you what the CEO of ACXIOM said recently about this backstabbing move because it was very well-said: “All those third-party data segments that were previously used to target advertising on your feed are infringing your privacy. This of course means that Facebook will no longer target you based on that kind of data? — data like your income, your political affiliation, your propensity to be in the market for an automobile, or your zip code. Right? Ummmm…no. This just means Facebook has gotten good enough at inferring that same data, and it no longer needs third party partners to help it satisfy advertiser demand. It’s watched the behavior of all that third party data on its network, and it’s gotten good enough to rebuild exactly the same thing inside its own walls. It can now own the entire profit chain but under Facebook’s new rules, Acxiom is kicked to the curb, and Facebook alone will have direct access and control over Target’s data. By extension, that means that Target must trust Facebook to never misuse Target’s most sensitive and important data to, say, help train Facebook’s advertising algorithms to benefit other retailers who compete with Target, or to, I don’t know, game the entire retail sector to the benefit of Facebook shareholders. And we all know we can trust Facebook to never use data to its own advantage, right?” – SOURCE: Newco Shift. That finale was literally on point. No doubt. Facebook indeed can now use proprietary marketing data of a company who’s top in their industry to train its own algorithms, and once it has learned everything, provide the same level of advertising precision to that company’s competitors. Cute, right? Yes…and only a monkey would think this cannot happen next. But let me show you one last important preview about this subject: “Facebook is also shutting a popular Instagram application processing interface as part of its new privacy push. Without this, marketers have fewer ways to know who’s popular and what’s trending on Instagram. By making it more cumbersome to use outside data sources, Facebook can exert more control in the ad-buying process and keep some insights about consumers hidden from marketers, said Michael Horn, a managing director at ad agency Huge. ‘They can claim privacy while moving advertisers more deeply into their own systems’ Horn said.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg – Facebook’s Data Crackdown Has 2 Winners: Facebook & Google. There you have it. Do you still need any more evidence that Facebook is bad for business?
HEADLINE: Supermarkets Bankruptcies Are Beginning to Pile Up
COMMENT: OK, there are a few things you must realize that are contributing to this scenario and that will only make it worse. First, Amazon is definitely the one player that’s putting the most pressure on american supermarkets. The data and the technology they have is unmatchable. Use it wisely, and you can cut tremendous operational costs. Now they’re even going all the way into your home with your groceries, planning to put them on your refrigerator inside your house without help — read “How Amazon is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination”. That’s the level of automation they want to deploy, because they know what you shop online, what you want to buy, where you live (which helps planning logistics) and what you talk inside your house (Alexa). Yes, your house belongs to Amazon now (if you’re stupid enough). The issue is that it’s too convenient for consumers because Alexa makes shopping a lot easier (and faster). You just…”talk”. Done. No need to go to crowdy supermarkets, face lines, carry heavy groceries etc. You solve that just by talking inside your house. What supermarket can compete with that?! And thanks to the tons of money they have — especially now that they’re helping the government: the police with mass surveillance and the government in unmasking bitcoin users — competition offers little resistance (except for Kroger and Walmart) because you have to have gasoline (money) to innovate and try new costly ideas in retail. But once that’s mastered, competition is out of the picture. Naturally this overly dominant positioning is already resulting in resistance and boycotts from many big/medium/small companies from many industries, among them, brick-and-mortar AMAZON CLIENTS as you can see next: “Retailers that see themselves as direct competitors to Amazon don’t want to give the e-commerce giant even a small fraction of their ad spends, no matter how dominant Amazon becomes. ‘Why lend them a helping hand?’ said one executive at a large retailer, requesting anonymity. Lora Parker, vp of media services at agency PMG, said the majority of PMG’s brick-and-mortar clients, which include Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew, Journeys, Michaels and Ralph Lauren, have this opinion. ‘What we’re finding is that Amazon is dramatically increasing the number of ads it runs for its private-label brands’ said Smith, adding that this is a disadvantage to brand partners because it can decrease their rank in search results. ‘Other retailers have left it up to the consumer to make the decision [of] ‘I want this brand over that brand’ but on Amazon, they are shoving their private-label brands in the consumer’s face and making it difficult for them to even discover national brands’.” – SOURCE: Digiday – Why some retailers are averse to advertising on Amazon. Ok, but that’s just Amazon. Walmart is deploying its robots already. And in Europe we’re having enormous merger deals. Now, do you really think other supermarkets will have a chance in this brand new scenario? Likely not my friend. And don’t forget that all these supermarkets that are filing for bankruptcy will add a lot more people — just in America there are 3,5 million cashiers — to the Massive Layoffs Equation I mentioned here. Hard times are coming as you can clearly see. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: How Amazon is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination
COMMENT: DEFINITELY ANOTHER MUST-READ. Besides explaining the whole business strategy that Amazon is deploying in retail, it goes over all other industries that risk getting “Amazoned”. Great article to show you the true danger behind Amazon, giving you additional facts and data that will definitely make you understand the reality of why companies fear Death by Amazon.
HEADLINE: Why All Companies Fear Death by Amazon
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: Amazon Pushes Facial Recognition to Police, Critics See Surveillance Risk
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: America is turning more like China as you may have noticed. Mass surveillance is definitely underway, although these facts portrayed by this article are just baby steps. But by making it too cheap — as you can see in the article — maybe even businesses will embrace the technology to prevent robbery, and if the police embrace it too, americans will soon see this reality coming true (!) Besides, the downside of this technology and all its tremendous false positives are not usually published, but thank God for Wired: “For an extreme example of what can go wrong, take data recently released by an EU Freedom of Information request and then posted by the South Wales police. It shows that at the Champions League final game in Cardiff last year, South Wales police logged 173 true face matches and wrongly identified a whopping 2,297 people as suspicious—a 92 percent false positive rate. The South Wales police department says it has refined its algorithms and improved the quality of images in its databases since then, but it still describes that early deployment as successful. “The past 10 months have been a resounding success in terms of validating the technology, building confidence amongst our officers and the public whilst offering a potential area for growth for us with the technology in the future,” the department wrote in a defense of its facial recognition program. In one example in the US, a Denver man was arrested two separate times in connection with two bank robberies perpetrated by someone who looked like him in CCTV footage, but was later determined to be someone else.” – SOURCE: Wired – Facial Recognition Tech is Creepy When it Works, And Creepier When It Doesn’t. And if we rely on the government to stop this, forget it. Because they’re now clearly against us: link #1, link #2, link #3, link #4.
HEADLINE: Could Enemies Target Undersea Cables That Link The World?
PUBLISHER: The Associated Press
COMMENT: Interesting article. You can see that Russia is definitely investigating critical infrastructures of other countries in order to find ways to disrupt them, whether through cyber attacks or physical attacks. This is very worrisome, I must say. The evidence is piling up. Just take a look at all the latest — and very serious — russian activity: link #1, link #2. You’ll notice that Russia is not playing games anymore. That’ for sure.
HEADLINE: Bigger, Faster, Stronger: China’s Ever-Evolving Military Tech
COMMENT: Are you ready? Because it’s time to connect some very important dots. Ok, here we go. First, regarding China’s true military power you have to read these three cards: link #1, link #2, and link #3. Once you’ve read those, you’ll see how powerful China really is nowadays. The second link is very revealing, by the way, because it shows something that not too many people know about. So ok, with that alone you’ll already be pretty well-informed. However, it’s not complete because those links are just regarding China’s military power. And obviously, economic power matters too since it intersects with the military because the more money you have, the bigger your military budgets are. Therefore, we need to see how much money China has available to put into the military. Besides, in China some companies are used/borrowed for military/policing purposes which is another reason to look at it. So here we go, these are the cards you need to read to see why China is about to become the world’s biggest economy: link #1, link #2, link #3, link #4, and link #5. Finally, tons of money and military forces are nothing if your technology is inferior when compared to other countries. You don’t have the upper hand. Therefore, the final subject is obviously Intellectual Property. So here are the cards you must read: link #1, link #2. Now read everything and get ready to be scared. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: The Internet is Killing Israel’s Fashion Industry
PUBLISHER: The Times of Israel
COMMENT: Did you read the highlight: “With great sorrow we announce the dying of businesses and the layoffs of 400,000 workers” from the article below? Now put this whole consequence as another cause for massive layoffs by adding this to “The Massive Layoffs Equation”, meaning, everything that results in firing thousands of people like huge merger & acquisitions deals, the literal massive layoffs happening due to the global financial crisis and of course, the obvious effects of Artificial Intelligence which goes a long way, like Robot investors, Robot consultants, Robot managers, Robot truck drivers and a lot more. Finally, have you noticed that China is the main issue regarding competition? Well, if you read about the true power that China already has (link #1 | link #2) you’ll notice they’re not leaving the game so soon because they’ve too much to offer to a country’s economy. Besides, many politicians — influentiated by lobbysts — won’t do anything to block China anyway. Therefore, this market reality is only getting worse from this point forward.
HEADLINE: More Companies Are Selling Assets to Raise Cash for Growth
PUBLISHER: The Wall Street Journal
COMMENT: The headline alone shows how the global financial crisis is already here. If it were one or two companies, then ok. Just exceptions. But once you read “companies” — meaning a lot of them — you bet there’s a big struggle in order to get growth in the market today. Everywhere. To the point that companies are aggressively getting rid of their assets just to get some cash so they can put it somewhere else that will give them a competitive advantage. This market reality is also why I wrote that companies won’t care whether using A.I. is “safe for the market” or not. Because if stupid banks are using people’s money to buy junk debt, and the government is crushing businesses and democracy (link #1 | link #2 | link #3), and the whole digital advertising system is broken (link #1 | link #2), then you can bet that companies are already thinking “Forget it, this is every man for himself”.
HEADLINE: Digital Agencies Struggle With A New Market Reality
COMMENT: Read this article along with a great, concise answer I gave to someone on Reddit who asked about the viability of agencies in an economic depression. My answer provided a different option regarding business models for agencies other than strategy and consulting. Read both.
HEADLINE: Danone is Leading The Race to Feed China’s Babies
COMMENT: This is a good example of how a company can grow extremely fast once certain laws are taken down and the company exploits the new opening to make money. Thanks to this single change, billions of new customers just popped up out of thin air doubling or even tripling some markets (like baby products) just because Chinese parents now can have more than one baby. One law changed a whole market. This is why businesses need to monitor any changes in any laws that can help or hurt their businesses because that may be the only way to gain the advantage of being the first mover. Knowing something your competitor doesn’t know, allows you to exploit hidden opportunities that no one else is aware and enables you to take market share faster without much resistance. Read this.
HEADLINE: Marketers Considering Leaving Industry (Poor Workplace Wellbeing)
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Great warning for businesses and agencies. This article directly connects with something I wrote at the end of the Marketing Article #88 card where I talk about how companies will have to decrease the workload for their employees and reward them a lot better, should they intend to survive the next global financial crisis. Furthermore, it also connects with how millennials are giving their blood, sweat, and tears for no money, getting nowhere with their personal plans because many things in life depend on having money. Marriage costs money. Dating costs money. A house or apartment costs money. Trust me when I say this: not just marketers are thinking about leaving their industry. Because although the whole digital marketing game is completely broken (link #1 | link #2) and marketers have to work daily in this chaotic scenario to prove their worth, the whole global financial crisis is putting pressure on all jobs. When you have companies facing the reality of a tremendous rise in Cost per Acquisition, it obviously impacts the whole company and surely employees — especially salespeople — are requested to work harder to compensate a low flow of customers with more effort, since “marketing is broken” and not working anymore. Therefore, burnout is now everywhere. That’s the reality today for many businesses.
HEADLINE: Verve targets US As it Plans Closure of European Offices Ahead of GDPR
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: A quick article showing how international companies are viewing GDPR and its consequences for business viability in Europe.
HEADLINE: How US Interest Rates Move The World Economy
COMMENT: A great resource to understand how the United States interest rates impact the whole global economy. By changing the interest rates, many countries will see their debt soar tremendously overnight, so if a country had “x” of debt they’ll go to “5x” (just an example) because they borrowed too many dollars. Financial Times published a warning recently: “The world has become so used to cheap credit that higher interest rates could derail the global economic recovery, the Bank for International Settlements has warned. After cutting interest rates to all-time lows and pumping trillions of dollars into markets to boost growth in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, central banks are now preparing to tighten their monetary policies. The risk is that companies now face a debt trap, where they have built up so much credit in times when borrowing was cheap that they will struggle to repay it now rates are rising.” – SOURCE: Financial Times – BIS warns higher interest rates could derail global growth. Are you following? This is a big issue because many countries will suddenly face an economic reality quite different than they predicted. All because they don’t control the interest rates attached to their dollar-denominated debt. If you need more evidence, then here you go: “With U.S. short-term interest rates headed toward their highest levels in almost a decade, here’s something worth considering: The rest of the world has borrowed so many dollars that the global repercussions could be greater than ever. Within the U.S., higher rates might help the economy avoid overheating. But they’ll also have an effect abroad, where governments and companies have accumulated an unprecedented pile of dollar-denominated debt (which has kept growing since I looked at it several months ago). As of September, the total dollar obligations of non-bank entities outside the U.S. stood at $11 trillion, according to the Bank for International Settlements.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg – Why the World Is Watching U.S. Interest Rates. And here’s one final resource that shows dollar-denominated debt categorized by countries, published by Statista: China: $1.19 trillion, Japan: $1.04 trillion, Ireland $318 billion, Brazil: $286 billion, United Kingdom: $264 billion, Switzerland $245 billion, Hong Kong $196 billion, Taiwan $170 billion, Canada $93 billion, France $81 billion…. The list goes on, as you can see in the link which shows major foreign holders of US Treasury debt as of December 2017. This is no joke. Remember: America impacts everybody.
HEADLINE: India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones & Finances
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: India Fake News Crackdown Crumbles Over Journalists Outrage
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. This is the beginning of the end for Democracies. Ridiculous, subtle laws that appear to be helping society but that at the end of the day, are actually making everything worse. Here’s the same subject but involving Malaysia: “On Monday, the lower house of Parliament passed a bill outlawing fake news, the first measure of its kind in the world. The proposal, which allows for up to six years in prison for publishing or circulating misleading information, is expected to pass the Senate this week and to come into effect soon after. The legislation would punish not only those who are behind fake news but also anyone who maliciously spreads such material. Online service providers would be responsible for third-party content, and anyone could lodge a complaint. As long as Malaysia or Malaysians are affected, fake news generated outside the country is also subject to prosecution. What qualifies as fake news, however, is ill defined.” – SOURCE: The New York Times – As Malaysia Moves to Ban ‘Fake News’ Worries About Who Decides the Truth. And by the way, if you think this is just India or Malaysia, then have a look at what is happening in countries with a strong Democracy: link #1 | link #2. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Paddy Power Buys FanDuel in Bid to Dominate Sports Betting
COMMENT: Sports betting in the US is now allowed thanks to the recent ruling of the Supreme Court that took down the anti-gambling law. This is a big issue, it will impact job hunting, college applications, and ultimately the economy (in a bad way). You’ll understand why once I put the pieces together for you. First of all, millennials and generation Zs are struggling to get money for years and are getting nowhere. No results. None. Houses are way too expensive for them (and that includes rent), cars, and food too. Life is just too hard for most of them. Period. The reason why is because back in 2008 some stupid monkeys destroyed our economy and many of today’s youngsters began playing the game in an already wrecked economy. I finished college in 2009 and in my senior year I saw many friends of mine who studied with me looking for jobs and finding nothing. And we were in a very good college, respected in Brazil and in many corporations in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s top city for international businesses and the heart of the economy. I only managed to get a job in my senior year, which in fact was a position to work for the Federal Government because I predicted in my first year of college that in my senior year, that whole course would be of no help because I wouldn’t be up-to-date. So how I got that job? I decided to invent some professional projects to train my programming skills and I used Linux on my computer to fully understand how software works behind the scenes. Linux forces you to learn. I used Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu at the time. I learned a lot. Then, thanks to the knowledge I acquired on my own, I placed 4th in a public contest to get a job position working for the federal government (in Brazil you can only work for the government if you beat other contestants in a public contest — an exam). But it was all thanks to this additional effort I invented for myself. Moral of the story, the crisis of 2008 brought many big, bad consequences. Shortage of jobs, salaries reduced dramatically, overheated competition, harmed innovation, many businesses going bankrupt, and lack of entrepreneurship. All that was waiting for millennials. Fun stuff. So because of all of it, today the reality of the job market is a VERY different one (and much worse). Keep that in mind. So ok, youngsters are going through hell on earth to make money, and the educational system is failing to prepare them for the job market (worldwide). Now let’s look at the global market a little bit because you probably don’t know the reality I’m about to show you. Ready? Go! The whole digital advertising system is broken, many companies all over the world are doing massive layoffs, several huge companies are merging to prepare for the coming crisis and cutting personnel (which increases the number of massive layoffs), and artificial intelligence is mastering MANY things which will kill many jobs. What a pretty scenario. Now, if youngsters face all these realities at the same time, do you really think they’ll try to win the right way? Of course not. Because here’s what they’ll see a lot from now on thanks to the internet: “In 2007, I graduated from the University of Illinois, and spent the next two years traveling the world playing poker. You don’t have to be a professional poker player to live the lifestyle I’m living. Fast forward to 2012. I traveled to 45 cities, 13 different countries, and took 57 flights. I was working along the way, hitting major poker tournaments and playing online, but I was experiencing so much more.” – SOURCE: CNN Money – I’ve made millions playing poker, own almost nothing – and I’ve never been happier. And here’s another one: “He was an options trader in the 1980s; when the market crashed in 1987, he found himself out of a lucrative job. ‘I’m not going back to working 60 hours a week at a law firm’ she says. ‘I like playing games for a living'” – SOURCE: New York Post – We quit our jobs to become professional poker players. Just exchange the word poker for sports betting. Humans are reward-based creatures. The path of least resistance is what they’ll seek to make money. Why do you think cryptocurrencies exploded? It became a trend because you can really make some real money with it. Also, young people like to be viewed as smart, and “cool”. Jumping on the newest trend is smart and cool. That’s like a rule. But anyway, does this all mean we’ll absolutely lose people to gambling and the market will crash because of it? No, of course not. But you can surely bet — hey! — that people will prefer to become “professional gamblers” instead of going out and looking for a real job. People will drop out of colleges and quit their companies to seek higher returns from a gambling lifestyle. And a lot of money will shift directions, going from legitimate products/services to the sports betting industry, with people trying to “get rich quick” because a huge financial crisis is here and gambling is now “legal”. Wanna bet?
HEADLINE: Global Dealmaking on Pace to Smash Record Books, Already +$2 Trillion
COMMENT: Mergers and Acquisitions are exploding all over the world, but I’ll reveal why we’re seeing such level of activity with some data that will make you think: Dealmaking activity in 2007 — pre-crisis year — is very similar to dealmaking activity in 2018 (as shown on the CNBC article graph). What does this mean? This means that companies are now merging in order to have a better chance of surviving the next global financial crisis that will likely be 10x worse than the one of 2008 (because as you can see dealmaking in 2018 is higher). The top executives from all the world’s biggest companies know about the coming crisis, how big it is, how super-competitive is today’s market, and it’s all translating into headlines: AT&T Closes Acquisition of Time Warner, Germany’s Bayer closes $63 billion Monsanto takeover, T-Mobile and Sprint will merge to create a 5G powerhouse, BMW and Daimler to Form Mobility Company to Compete With Uber, Lyft, Disney and Fox Shareholders Approve $71.3 Billion Megamerger, and another merger I mentioned recently that connects with other important subjects due to bad domino effects: Sainsbury and Asda to Reveal Details of Shock £15bn Merger. But there are obviously others. And since we’re talking about bad domino effects, pay attention to what happens when mergers & acquisitions take place: “Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings said it is cutting 10,000 jobs globally at its joint venture with Xerox Corp (XRX, -0.50%) to cope with a decline in the photocopying business, amid speculation of a new deal between the two companies. Fujifilm owns 75% of the joint venture, called Fuji Xerox, which accounts for nearly half of the Japanese company’s sales and operating profit. Fuji Xerox had over 47,000 employees as of March 2017, according to its website, meaning the job cuts would likely slash its workforce by more than a fifth.” – SOURCE: Fortune – Fujifilm Says It Will Cut 10,000 Jobs at Its Xerox Joint Venture. That’s right: Massive layoffs. More of them. And do you know how many companies have been doing massive layoffs lately?!. Are you seeing the bigger picture now? That’s your market. Have fun.
HEADLINE: Sainsbury and Asda to Reveal Details of Shock £15bn Merger
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Read this with this other card to have the bigger picture of the future of the UK regarding food supply. Also, to reinforce the importance of this subject here’s a bit more on this: “A number of submissions have raised concerns about the prospect of fewer national players leading to ‘higher prices, reduced choice, or a loss of innovation within the supply of groceries’. They also flagged the risk of ‘tacit coordination’, where two companies recognise ‘they are mutually interdependent and can reach a more profitable outcome if they coordinate to limit their rivalry’. Such a move could cause suppliers to be squeezed or ‘exit the market completely’, according to the submissions to the CMA. Sainsbury’s said the majority of its suppliers are multinational brands which are capable of absorbing the impact of price cuts.” – SOURCE: Telegraph – Supermarkets and suppliers warn over £15bn Sainsbury’s-Asda deal. Are you noticing how the whole global economy is depending on fewer and fewer companies by the day? All that’s necessary for the whole economy to crash is simple: a small group of big companies needs to go bankrupt. Today’s reality is that the health of a few companies represent the stability of a whole market, and across industries, since some businesses own stakes on other main businesses of other industries. For instance, hedge funds control many newspapers across America when at the same time, they’re having huge financial problems, going bankrupt, and struggling to make a profit to stay alive (link #1, link #2, link #3). Everybody is merging and buying other businesses just to survive in an economy that’s already hanging by a thread.
HEADLINE: Net Neutrality Has Officially Been Repealed
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. A Nuclear Bomb was just dropped on the face of Democracy, free speech, American businesses, entrepreneurs — which impacts the whole world — and of course, on consumers too. If you read this article along with this other card you’ll realize how the government turned against its people and businesses. There’s just so much evidence now that even A MONKEY could notice that. But regarding Net Neutrality, I’ll start by showing you one of the best comments I found in this New York Times article: “ONYX – Washington DC – June 11 | I came from a country where the Great Firewall (GFW) prevents almost 2 billion people from accessing the majority of the world’s top 10 websites and their free information/opinions. It also uses its propaganda websites/machines to brainwash people. Now US companies finally got the approval to do the same. ISP’s got this big favor from politicians. Politicians will then use ISP’s to limit the voters’ access of information and brainwash the voters. We are at the beginning of the end of democracy! I can’t believe I spent all my life coming to America just for this…” – SOURCE: The New York Times – Net Neutrality Has Officially Been Repealed [comment]. Although I cannot prove whether this person is a real chinese person or not, the comment is definitely on point. The consequences are comunist-like, for sure. A complementary article you also must read is another one from CNET which has some very important info not published by The Times: “The FTC already oversees consumer protection and competition for the whole economy. But this also means the agency is swamped. And because the FTC isn’t focused exclusively on the telecommunications sector, it’s unlikely the agency can deliver the same kind of scrutiny the FCC would. More importantly, the FTC also lacks the FCC’s rule-making authority. This means FTC enforcement extends only to companies’ voluntary public commitments or to violations of antitrust law. Unless broadband and wireless carriers commit in writing to basic net neutrality principles, the FTC can only enforce antitrust issues, which must meet a high legal standard. Also, any action the FTC takes happens after the fact. And investigations of wrongdoing can take years. And groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union say it could affect your First Amendment right to free speech as big companies control more of what you experience online. ‘Internet rights are civil rights’ said Jay Stanley, an ACLU senior policy analyst. ‘Gutting net neutrality will have a devastating effect on free speech online. Without it, gateway corporations like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T will have too much power to mess with the free flow of information.'” – SOURCE: CNET – Net Neutrality is Really, Officially Dead. Now what?. Great, isn’t? Now you know the FTC won’t have the resources to protect you from ISPs’ bad behavior, and even if they try, that will be after the fact and until any wrongdoing is actually proved you’ve already suffered the damage of traffic manipulation, whether you’re a business or a customer. It’s like I always say: The government is playing against you. Businesses must understand this hard reality and unite, or else no one will survive.
HEADLINE: The Next Privacy Battle in Europe is Over This New Law
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Read this. One more very serious law that will kill many business opportunities in a market that’s already too difficult to create value. Once it takes effect, not only it’ll make things worse for new businesses but it will also hit hard the digital media industry. A great warning by Business Insider talks specifically about that: “Buried in pages of amendments to the European Union’s latest privacy proposal, the ePrivacy Regulation, members of the European Parliament recently recommended language that would strip European publishers of the right to monetize their content through advertising, eviscerating the basic business model that has supported journalism for more than 200 years. The new directive would require publishers to grant everyone access to their digital sites, even to users who block their ads, effectively creating a shoplifting entitlement for consumers of news, social media, email services, or entertainment” – SOURCE: Business Insider. Read both if you want to understand what it REALLY means for companies that do business online through advertising and ultimately, for journalism, essential for democracies. This is about understanding one rule: The Government is against businesses. We’re seeing many absurd laws and rulings lately that will kill businesses overnight, such as: people losing in court because they embedded someone else’s tweet that had a copyrighted photo (!), software APIs becoming something copyrightable (!), and finally, taxes that chase your online shopping business. And some brainless people still think this is only to address Google/Facebook and that the government is good. Just read and see it for yourself.
HEADLINE: Your Next Car Might Be A Subscription
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: There are several reasons why this business model will explode in the next decade. First, wealth is being concentrated in fewer hands which means ordinary people don’t have money to keep buying cars (or houses) anymore — especially millennials (!) — which is why this type of house will also likely explode. Second, there’s the time factor. People don’t have much time nowadays to live properly and take care of their stuff, thanks to the super competitive market which is forcing them to put a lot more hours at work leaving less time for trivial things, like cleaning and taking care of a car. I even recall a meme I once saw at 9GAG which said: “Just arrived from work. I now have to choose between Netflix or Masturbate. No time for both”. That’s today’s world, as comic as it may sound. And third, because it involves one of Tony Robbins 6 Human Needs: Variety. Humans need variety in their lives and a car subscription service provides that. You can ride many different cars once you get your subscription, as you’ll read in the article. A friend of mine keeps changing cars every 6 months but not because he needs to, but rather because he is seeking to fulfill his need for Variety, since everything else in his life doesn’t change. A relationship that stays in a routine for too long may lead to a breakup. Why? No variety. People need variety. Finally, many young people are realizing that chasing wealth is an illusion because you take nothing from here after you die. You don’t actually need to own a house, you just want to live in a place without worrying about bills (rent). This is why people usually buy a house. However, if I gave you the following choice: 1) You’ll get $2 million dollars but you’ll have to pay 4 years of rent in advance for whatever place you want to live, the rest is yours for traveling, clothing etc; 2) You’ll get $2 million and you have to buy one house. Which one would you pick? Probably option number #1. Because we don’t really NEED to owe anything, that’s the truth. The same is with cars.
HEADLINE: A.I. Researchers Are Making More Than $1 Million, Even at a Nonprofit
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: The reason why this is occurring is simple: the Educational System DOES NOT work anymore. The market is evolving in a much faster pace than the pace that colleges teach, and demanding more up-to-date knowledge than when you get your degree because in the market — the real world — it’s all about survival. It’s super competitive now. Companies constantly rely on their employees’ technical skills to keep the company sharp, making money, and crushing the competition. Someone who knows where the market is going and preparing for it, will be able to help companies. And that’s who companies employ: people who can help them get to the next level (or survive). Not diplomas. At the end of the day, this is all just about surviving. Entrepreneurs and businesspeople just want their companies in a winning streak, making money, and staying competitive so they can support for their families. And employees just want a good salary to do the same. But since the bar is getting higher and higher every day, everyone is in a big race to master the latest resource that will provide some unfair advantage over the next guy because the market is…super competitive. This is why I say that if you’re employed and you’re not either getting richer or smarter, then you better leave your job right now. Go find someone else to work for because the reality for employees is VERY scary (!). Those who are preparing for the next market, may earn in the millions, whether that’s a company or an independent contractor. Those who don’t, will likely cry.
HEADLINE: Robots Persuade Japanese Manufacturers to Bring Production Home
PUBLISHER: Nikkei Asian Review
COMMENT: Read this with another article talking about Amazon’s robots also taking over headquarters, not just warehouses. And something that I also shared there is this important preview: “Close to A MILLION INDIVIDUALS are projected to enter the workforce here, every month, for the next 2 decades. If automation reaches its potential, some countries could lose more than 80% of their garmon-textile and apparel-manufacture jobs” [3:22-3:40]” – SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal. You’ll see how businesses are putting a lot of money in A.I. to stay ahead, lower costs and grow. All at the same time. People think businesses will be afraid of deploying A.I. into production because it’s not yet “perfectly safe”. Well, guess what? In a monstrous financial crisis — a global one — cutting down costs beats everything and some companies are already putting much dangerous robots to work.
HEADLINE: Turkey Will be Ground Zero in The Next Global Debt Crisis
PUBLISHER: The Daily Reckoning
COMMENT: A very important article if you’re in business because apart from dealing about the consequences on the global economy, and the unprecedented coming financial crisis, it also connects with Brexit like I mentioned in this previous card. Helps you connect the dots. Great read.
HEADLINE: Brexit Nightmare: 17-Mile Traffic Jams at The Dover Border
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Read this along with this other article to see how deep is the rabbit hole when it comes to Brexit consequences.
HEADLINE: How Brexit is Set to Cause Chaos At Europe’s Ports
PUBLISHER: The Independent
COMMENT: Ok, this is DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. Definitely. For starters, read this article with this other one to widen your view of Brexit consequences. It will help you connect some important dots. Now let’s talk about supplies. To begin with, food prices are rising anyway regardless of the Brexit outcome: “In the best-case scenario, where Britain and the EU agree to no tariffs and few customs barriers, international rules would still oblige the U.K. to step up customs and borders checks, according to the report from the House of Lords’ EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee. This could choke the U.K.’s transport logistics and raise prices for food imports. ‘Regardless of the customs and border arrangements that the U.K. puts in place for imports, EU countries exporting food to the U.K. will have additional checks and documentation to complete,’ according to the report. Brexit is also likely to increase labor costs as food producers may no longer be able to hire EU workers, according to the report.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg – Food Bills set to Rise even in Best Brexit Outcome, Lords Warn. Besides, the UK cannot fix this new problem by trying to become more self-sufficient, since the UK needs a massive round of investments in people and technology to do so: “‘UK self-sufficiency has been declining for the past 30 years, and reversing that would require financial incentives, investment in new technology and skills, and continued access to the EU workforce (at least in the short term)’ it read. ‘It would also take time and, given the restrictions of landscape and climate, there are some foods that could not be grown here’. The UK imports just over half of its food and the EU is by far its biggest supplier.” – SOURCE: Euronews – UK food costs could rise after Brexit. Which foods will be affected?. And then there’s the likely case of NO DEAL which will make things a whole lot worse for the food and drinks industry: “In a new report they claimed that without access to European Union markets after the end of the transition period, in December 2020, exports of processed foods such as chocolate, cheese, beef, pork and soft drinks would suffer while UK consumers would face higher prices and less choice on the supermarket shelves. ‘The sector would undeniably suffer from reverting to WTO tariffs in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario,’ the MPs’ report states. The committee added British participation in the single market and customs union had led to an ‘over reliance’ on EU markets, which accounted for 60 per cent of the £22bn in processed food and drinks exports in 2017.” – SOURCE: The Independent – Brexit: No deal will be ‘disastrous’ for food and drinks industry, MPs warn. But wait…there’s more — man sometimes I hate being me — because workers are leaving and don’t really want to work in the UK anymore, remember?! Naturally, a shortage of employees is impacting farmers which are then, impacting food supply: “British farmers have been forced to leave thousands of pounds worth of vegetables to rot in their fields, because of a drop in the number of farm workers from the European Union (EU). Enough broccoli to feed 15,000 people for a year was wasted, he added. The UK farming industry is heavily dependent on pickers from the EU, particularly those from eastern Europe. Britain’s low unemployment rate and the the seasonal nature of the work makes it difficult to attract domestic workers. But the fall in the value of sterling against the Euro since the Brexit vote, means the UK has become less attractive to seasonal workers from Romania and Bulgaria.” – SOURCE: The Independent – UK crops left to rot after drop in EU farm workers in Britain after Brexit referendum. And to put a cherry on top of all this, there’s the EU agricultural policy which involves handing a good amount of money to farmers, resulting in more than half their income. The problem is that 1/3 of EU policies would be hard to transpose to UK law: “There are about 800 pieces of EU environmental legislation, covering wildlife and habitats, water quality, farming, food and fisheries. The government’s great repeal bill intends to transpose all those rules into UK law, but Leadsom told the EAC that about a third would be difficult to transpose. The EU’s common agricultural policy provides £3.5bn a year in subsidies to UK farmers, making up more than half of their income, and the MPs said Brexit posed a ‘triple jeopardy’ for farmers. Firstly the loss of subsidies would threaten the viability of some farms. Secondly, new export tariffs would cut farm incomes and, thirdly, new trading relationships could lead to competition with nations with lower animal welfare, food safety and environmental standards. If the UK chooses not to be part of the EU single market, Tim Breitmeyer of the Country, Land and Business Association told the EAC that lamb exports to Europe would face tariffs of 30% and that beef export tariffs could be above 50%.” – SOURCE: The Guardian – Brexit ‘zombie legislation’ could damage wildlife and farming, MPs warn. What a bomb of information, right? There’s definitely some hard times coming. Finally, in case you don’t know, even the energy sector in the UK will change likely boosting energy prices to consumers due to a recent monstrous merger: “The 22 billion-euro ($27.1 billion) deal that’s shaking up the world of German utilities also has a very British dimension. EON SE’s acquisition of Innogy SE will combine the two U.K. business they own, shrinking the country’s Big Six utilities to five at a time when both the government and main opposition party are pressing for lower bills. It also emphasizes Britain’s dependence on foreign companies for power and natural gas when it’s seeking to leave the European Union. Since 2014, the U.K. government has focused on increasing competition between energy suppliers following concerns that utilities were using their market power to boost consumer prices. While about 60 suppliers serve Britain, the biggest six companies still feed about 80 percent of households.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg – Britain’s Energy Industry Will be Shaken Up by German Mega-deal. If energy prices go up, the cost for farmers will also go up, and consequently food prices will go up. That’s my take. Now you read everything and make your own conclusions and predictions.
HEADLINE: Brexit is Already Hurting The German Economy
COMMENT: Patents, data privacy, approval procedures, manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, financial sectors and a lot more are things Germany relies on the UK (before Brexit). Thanks to the rules of the EU single market, both countries had many advantages in trade. Now, if only in Germany, about 750,000 jobs depend on trade with the UK — as the article below reports — you can be pretty sure that Germany will take a pretty big hit once Brexit takes full effect. Likewise, Britain too, since 250,000 jobs also depend on trade with Germany (and 1,400 companies’ branches). Obviously, some people will find new jobs later on after Brexit but ultimately this will result in more massive layoffs — and the world already has too many of them (!) — worsening the global financial crisis. And since everything is interconnected due to globalization, there are obviously other domino effects involving other countries when Brexit is the subject on the table. For instance, Japan has 1,000 Japanese companies operating in the UK, and it also employs around 140,000 people. That’s not just a bunch of people. Hundreds of thousands of workers are at stake here. Now here’s what Japan’s ambassador told reporters recently about all this: “Ever since the UK voted for Brexit in June 2016, Japan has spoken out about the nation leaving the EU single market, which would create costly problems for companies operating within Britain. Yesterday, Japan’s ambassador to the UK, Koji Tsuruoka, told reporters following a meeting between prime minister Theresa May and 19 top Japanese bosses that ‘if there is no profitability of continuing operations in the UK — not Japanese only — no private company can continue operations. So it is as simple as that’. Japan is being incredibly vocal over what it thinks about Brexit because of the close trade relationship it has with the UK. Currently, the UK imports around $13.7 billion in goods a year from Japan, making it Britain’s 10th-largest trading partner. The 1,000 Japanese companies that operate in the UK also employ some 140,000 people.” – SOURCE: Quartz. That’s Japan. However this is mostly about trade. Countries like Norway for instance, are relying on the UK for many different points because whatever the UK decides it has to take its decision. I’ll only put a few lines of the article that you should read to avoid making this card too long, so here you go: “Norway is in a more precarious position than EU member states. It’s not involved in the Brexit negotiations and so is a decision-taker. It has very limited ability to influence what the EU and UK decide between themselves, and it cannot automatically assume that any future agreements that the EU strikes with the UK will apply to it. Norway now faces several dilemmas. The fewer changes there are to the UK’s present relationship to the EU, the fewer problems there will be for Norway. At the same time, the more closely affiliated the UK becomes to Norway once it leaves the EU, the more likely it is that the UK will politicise and alter Norway’s current EU affiliation.” – SOURCE: The Conversation – After Brexit, Norwegians face dilemma over future of ‘Norway model’ with the EU. Finally, there’s Turkey. The beautiful country is going through a major crisis, both financial and geopolitical which Jim Rickards explains very well in the article Turkey will be ground zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis. And this very country with two time-bombs (read Jim Rickards’ article to understand) has the goal to become one of the greatest trading partners of the UK to stabilize both economies after Brexit because both countries will be needing it: “But then, tellingly, he added: ‘We are very ready to cooperate with the UK post-Brexit in every field… I see the strategic partnership between Turkey and the UK as a necessity, rather than a simple choice, for the interests of the two countries.’ It is a theme he has visited many times, saying in one recent speech: ‘The UK will need trade after Brexit, and rest assured Turkey is willing to help’. Trade between Turkey and UK currently stand at $16bn; Erdogan has declared that he wants to raise this to $20bn in the next few years. The UK doubled its export finance programme for Turkey last year to almost $5bn, and there are plans to increase cooperation on energy, healthcare, manufacturing and defence.” – SOURCE: The Independent. But if you read the article, you know Turkey is a very fragile economy nowadays (especially because of its geopolitical crisis). So even after Brexit, there’s not much financial security for the UK and many other countries will take a big financial hit as well.
HEADLINE: 2/3 of EU Marketers Considering Leaving The UK Because of Brexit
PUBLISHER: Marketing Week
COMMENT: Brexit is forcing working people to make harsh decisions that will ultimately impact the whole UK economy. Marketers are not the only problem, there are many professionals that are leaving and doctors and nurses too: In a survey at the end of last year, the British Medical Association discovered that almost half of the European doctors working in Britain were considering leaving following the Brexit vote, and that nearly 1 in 5 were taking concrete steps — selling homes, looking for jobs. The problem, said Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst for the King’s Fund, an independent health-care think tank, is ‘the worrying trends emerging that show these staff no longer want to work in the UK’. He pointed to sharp declines in the numbers of European nurses and midwives coming to Britain at a time when the country needs to hire tens of thousands of nurses.” – SOURCE: The Washington Post – Britain Braces for an Exodus of E.U. Doctors and Nurses Shaken by Brexit. Yes, doctors and nurses leaving the UK because of it. Pretty serious stuff, especially if new europeans aren’t considering to supply this demand since many aren’t willing to work in the UK anymore. And to make things worse, The Guardian reports that some people who left are talking as if it were the best decision of their lives, since countries like Germany have a better quality of life (according to people in the article). Of course, this should be taken with a grain of salt, since you can handpick a few families and make it look as if it’s the majority. But if you want a better source, go talk to your european/british friends. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: A Warning Cry From The Doomsday Vault
COMMENT: Great resource. This article connects with both the one about The Big One to some extent, and definitely with the one about The World running out of sand because all these subjects are interconnected since food depends on normalized nature to grow. But still on the food topic, I want you to know that food security is at risk practically everywhere. People mistakenly assume this is only a problem for third world countries. Wrong: “The latest food price inflation figures were in large part responsible for unexpectedly pushing up the overall rate of inflation to 3.5 per cent last month, stalling progress towards the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target figure. Not only that, but as food prices continue to rise, money is taken out of other sectors of the economy. As the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned last year, ‘under the assumption that wages don’t adjust to [rising oil and food prices], consumption will fall and growth will be lower’. The government no longer considers it necessary to maintain any food reserves whatsoever, and what reserves there are consist of whatever food remains unused in the food chain at a given moment, which market forces demand be as little as possible. There is currently enough food in the system to feed the UK for about 10 days.” – SOURCE: Telegraph – Why food security is not just a problem for the Third World. Besides, even in third world countries the real problem is something else, as you can see next: “The Nobel Prize winning Indian economist, in his groundbreaking work Poverty and Famines, in which he showed that famine was rarely the result of a lack of food, but rather the result of intervening economic factors, such as unemployment, declining wages, and, as is often the case in India, poor food distribution systems. The current problem in India is of that nature: it’s not so much a lack of nutrient-rich food, but rather a weakness in the food supply chain. For example, inefficiency in the tomato business, according to the editor of the Wall Street Journal Asia, results in as much as 20 percent of tomatoes rotting in transit, while the price for consumers is marked up by as much as 60 percent.” – SOURCE: The Diplomat – India’s Food Security Problem. And one more factor that will contribute to food shortage is the amount of investments being made in China and India, which are two countries with monstrous markets with room for explosive growth thanks to the money being put in the technology sector. Naturally, this is generating more jobs there pretty quickly, and the salaries of the tech sector are obviously higher than the other industries they previously had before those investments. With higher salaries, people who once never knew dairy products or red meat are gaining the ability to buy them now, which is…increasing demand: “While population is projected to grow by 2 billion between now and 2050, there are about 3 to 4 billion people on Earth already who are getting richer — mainly in China, India and some other countries — and, if recent history is a guide, these richer people are expected to eat richer diets. That means 3 to 4 billion more people eating more meat, more dairy products, and other rich foods, putting tremendous pressure on the global food system. The researchers suggest that roughly one-third of future food demand increases may come from population growth, and roughly two-thirds may come from increasing wealth and richer diets. But just as important is to focus on the changing diets of newly affluent people—for example, new middle-class people in the cities of China, India, Indonesia and elsewhere. Will they continue to eat a mostly plant-based diet, with little waste, or will they move toward a meat-rich Western diet? In fact, what these people choose to eat in the coming decades will determine much of the future of the world’s food system.” – SOURCE: Quartz – The global food supply has a demand problem. So if you see chinese, indian or indonesian people eating “fancy food” then get ready because food shortage is coming. And why shouldn’t they? They went through a lot. They deserve it.
HEADLINE: Apple Says It Will Buy Back $100 Billion in Stock
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Entrepreneurs and honest businessmen know that the only way to make money in the market is to have something of value to provide in exchange for money. But since money has been aggressively concentrating in fewer hands, there’s less money around for businesses and entrepreneurs to make. And if you make the things that have value — like stocks of profiting companies — a lot more expensive on purpose, you reduce the probability of someone smart cashing out on an investment that can later be used to build a business or something similar, creating a bigger gap among rich and poor. You’ll have less competition and fewer entrepreneurs, killing the odds of new “self-made men/women”. But of course, there’s also the probability that this is just another move by Apple to manipulate the market and make investors happy, after all, Warren Buffet made $2 billion dollars two months later. But I believe this move is ultimately to help Apple go after those people who really have money to invest on them because once their stocks reach a certain level, only a “handful” of people will keep buying them. And it’s a lot easier for a company to nurture 100 investors instead of 100.000. But anyway, just a thought. Make your own conclusions.
HEADLINE: One Chinese Company Now Controls Most of The Lithium of The World
COMMENT: China is holding a lot of economic power over the capitalist countries now, and it may not take too long for China to increase the prices of cars and smartphones by simply raising prices of lithium. This is a possible weapon to use in case the China-USA trade wars (and currency wars) get to a worrisome level, and they already have (!). That’s why you’ll read everywhere about deals being blocked on national security grounds — Canada just blocked another one from China — because in many cases they are. Once you discover about the real power of China today (link #1 | link #2) you’ll understand why these countries block chinese deals. Besides, there’s the surprising reality that if countries — like U.S. allies — begin to face the harsh decision to whether choose between China and The United States for exportation/importation, they’ll likely choose China for several reasons. If that happens, China will gain even more economic power over capitalist nations and we don’t know what to expect next.
HEADLINE: President Xi Can Make Life Tough for US Companies
COMMENT: Read this. This is another card China can play to destabilize businesses and economies, just like this other one. You’ll see why companies that lean too much on the chinese market for economic security, are actually always hanging by a thread. They’ll always depend on the mood of the chinese government to survive, regardless of who they are and how big they are.
HEADLINE: Mysterious Sound Sickness Prompts Warning for Americans in China
COMMENT: A New Weapon is here: HAARP Waves. Actually, it’s not that new, but only new to the news. It’s a powerful, invisible weapon and here you can see some of its effects on humans: “HAARP stands for High-frequency Active Auroral Research Project. HAARP is a joint project by the U.S. Navy and Air Force in Alaska to create a very large radio frequency transmitter which can transmit an electromagnetic beam into the upper atmosphere or ionosphere. This radio-frequency energy is broadcast through a field of 48 antennas which are 72 feet tall and they have a cross diapoled across the top. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto Earth and penetrate everything — living and dead. The problem is that external signals like the radio frequency signals of HAARP, and any electromagnetic signals from light and sound waves that can be pulsed in this ELF range will cause the brain to begin to lock onto that external signal and begin to mirror it. When it does so, it changes the character and chemistry of the brain during that period of time and your behaviour changes…” – SOURCE: Consumer Health. When you can alter the chemistry of the brain you can cause many physical effects as consequence (in depression, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells, for example). The waves can then, as you just read, alter human behavior and someone’s health once directed towards the individual. Some brainless people think this is connected to stupid conspiracy theories, but it’s a very real weapon. China is also exploring it: “The main purpose of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme, or HAARP, was to improve satellite performance and submarine communication, according to scientists funded by the US navy and air force. The largest devices can generate and beam extremely low-frequency waves over large areas. Because they have the power to penetrate water, the earth’s crust and the human skull, some observers have warned that the governments could use the technology to set off storms or earthquakes and even control the brain.” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post – Could this new Chinese radar system really be used to play God with the weather?. These are just the first tests in society that are luckily being reported. Cuba was also the stage for another test too: “The United States is pulling more than half its diplomatic personnel out of Cuba and warning Americans not to visit in response to mysterious sonic incidents that sickened 21 embassy staffers and their families. The union that represents foreign service workers says employees have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury and permanent hearing loss and have suffered from headaches, loss of balance and cognitive problems. They reported bizarre acoustic or sonic events at their homes and at a Havana hotel.” – SOURCE: NBC News – U.S. Pulling Embassy Staff From Cuba in Wake of Mystery ‘Attacks’. See? Nothing new here. Remember: groundbreaking technology is first available to the military, and only then we get to see it in movies or in society through businesses etc. The only reason I’m publishing this, is to add more evidence that countries are building up for war. And if you’re in business, you better prepare for a very different market because of that.
HEADLINE: China Ups Military Spending 8% Amidst Ambitious Modernization Drive
PUBLISHER: CNN Money
COMMENT: Ok, once again, this is DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. This article proves how China is putting heavy money into the military, losing only to the United States. Although, in case you don’t know, Chinese official numbers cannot be trusted because even The Chinese government finally admitted that its economic data was made up, inflating its GDP figures from 2011 to 2014 (which means the chinese military budget could be even bigger). But there’s a lot more happening behind the scenes. China is also preparing for war by weaponizing capital in order to get several economic and military advantages over other countries, like taking other nations’ lands through loans, grabbing shares in foreign companies/startups, and controlling much of the raw material used in the production of cars/smartphones batteries. And yes, there’s more: Chinese companies. You probably know that China doesn’t separate much its companies from the military. Everything is viewed as a resource to the chinese government, something that can be used for China’s best interests. The current most valuable A.I. startup in the world — a chinese one — is already being used to help the government with mass surveillance — although Amazon is slowly doing the same — which helps to spot infiltrated enemies, dangerous hackers, citizens who betrayed China etc. So chinese companies, have both an economic value and a military value to China. People only taking into account military budgets to monitor China’s true military power tend to forget about this reality, where companies are used for military purposes. Why do you think Google has been helping The Pentagon build military robots? The United States is doing the same because every “resource” that can be of help in winning the next war counts. Period. But leaving that aside, let’s talk about the real military power that China is after, and why. As a quick example, The United States has one military advantage on sea over China in a war, as you can see next: “Bryan Clark, a naval analyst at the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said: ‘US naval forces are going to have a really hard time operating in that area, except for submarines, because the Chinese don’t have a lot of anti-submarine warfare capability. ‘The idea is that we are going to rely heavily on submarines in the early effort of any conflict with the Chinese.’ China has made closing the gap in undersea warfare one of its three top military priorities, and although the United States still leads the field, China is making a concerted effort to diminish US superiority.” – SOURCE: The Independent. But then you see the latest chinese hackers activity and things start to make sense: “Chinese hackers are targeting U.S. engineering and defense companies with links to the disputed South China Sea. FireEye theorizes that it is the Chinese government conducting the hacks and not a private entity because ‘a private entity probably wouldn’t benefit from the sort of data that is being stolen. The hackers apparently sought data about radar ranges and how well a system could pick up undersea activity’.” – SOURCE: Fast Company. Now this is only what came to surface and I was able to pick up, but there are other military secrets that were published online — probably a mistake — and China quickly took them down: “For a brief moment, the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), put online China’s next big naval projects (but quickly pulled them down). The revelation, of which screenshots were taken before censors intervened, provided a picture of China’s ambitions for a world class navy. The big CSIC announcement also covers 21st century naval wish lists, like autonomous robot submarines. This is the first official confirmation of China pursuing armed unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), in addition to unmanned surface vehicles already offered for exports. Autonomous UUVs, armed with torpedoes and missiles, could act as expendable scouts or wingmen for manned Chinese submarines and surface warships, such as undertaking dangerous missions like probing enemy minefields, launching sneak attacks, and drawing away enemy forces.” – SOURCE: Popular Science – A Chinese shipbuilder accidentally revealed its major navy plans. Now, that’s a completely different beast. Autonomous robot submarines are a big jump from what the chinese hackers got from The United States. Or is it? Well, I’ll need some Snowden-level clearance to confirm that. So what you can take out of this info? Simple: China is putting the effort to match the military power of the United States. That gets confirmed if you monitor satellite images as well. Some smart analysts are discovering chinese war secrets thanks to it, allowing them to spot new chinese military bases that weren’t supposed to be there according to China’s official statements: “It started innocently enough, or so Beijing wanted the world to believe. In the mid-1990s, China built a small structure on stilts over a coral reef in the South China Sea, just 217 km (135 miles) from the coast of the Philippines’ Palawan island. It’s obvious now it was planning something much larger. This week a US think tank—the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies released satellite photos showing just how far things have progressed on the reef, part of the Spratly archipelago. According to the AMTI the reef now features ‘large anti-aircraft guns and probable close-in weapons systems.’ (The latter, CIWS, detect and eliminate short-range incoming missiles or aircraft). ‘This is militarization’ AMTI director Greg Poling told Reuters. ‘The Chinese can argue that it’s only for defensive purposes, but if you are building giant anti-aircraft gun and CIWS emplacements, it means that you are prepping for a future conflict.'” – SOURCE: Quartz. Any doubts left that every major nation is building up for War? Then feel free to see the Russian robot that shoots guns and russian autonomous combat drones in the making (!), and also check out the 15 countries with the highest military budgets in 2017. Your doubts will probably disappear.
HEADLINE: China is Weaponizing Capital
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: This article is DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. I commented before that China is very well-prepared for the scenario that comes next: lack of resources and war. And this is more hard evidence. So not only is China making the right and smart investments, like investing in american startups (link #1 | link #2 | link #3 | link #4) or putting tons of money ($300 billion) in A.I. or controlling half the world’s lithium, but they’re also making sure to get strategic land in other countries through contract clauses of loans that will likely default. As soon as economies all over the world start to crash — and they’ll crash — China will have access to strategic parts of the world. The problem is that no one really knows exactly when the economy is going to crash, and part of it has to do with China. That’s because many companies rely today on the chinese economy and there’s a $20 TRILLION shadow banking industry, and I quote: “No one knows who owes what to whom and how much”. If you don’t believe it then here’s another source: “‘Current international conditions are very uncertain, with lots of economic risks and large fluctuations for interest rates in newly emerged markets’ said Hu Xiaolian, the chairwoman of the Export-Import Bank of China, a state-controlled lender that plays a big role in financing the projects, at a forum this month in Shanghai. ‘Our enterprises and Belt and Road Initiative countries will face financing difficulties’. China has begun a broad, interagency review of how many deals have already been done, on what financial terms and with which countries, say people close to Chinese economic policymaking, who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity because the effort has not been made public. But part of the problem now is that no one — not even the Chinese government — has a comprehensive picture of the lending so far.” – SOURCE: The New York Times. Surprised? Yes, I was too the moment I read it. And make no mistake, China is really spreading itself all over the world and using this loan strategy: “Last year, with more than $1 billion in debt to China, Sri Lanka handed over a port to companies owned by the Chinese government. Now Djibouti, home to the US military’s main base in Africa, looks about to cede control of another key port to a Beijing-linked company, and the US is not happy about it. Beijing ‘encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt and undercut their sovereignty, denying them their long-term, self-sustaining growth’ said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson” – SOURCE: Quartz – Eight countries in danger of falling into China’s ‘debt trap’. And as you can see next, the strategy is actually working: “Testifying in front of the US armed services committee on Mar. 6, the top US general for Africa Thomas Waldhauser said they were ‘carefully monitoring Chinese encroachment and emergent military presence’ in Djibouti. The Horn of Africa nation is home to the only permanent US military installation in Africa. But last year, China opened its first overseas naval base there too, provided loans to the country, and built a railway connecting its seas to the Ethiopian hinterland to improve regional trade. Despite giving millions of dollars in aid, China has eclipsed the US in Africa in many ways: providing loans, financing much-needed infrastructure, competing for resources like oil and minerals, increasing its trade share, and spreading its ideological influence.” – SOURCE: Quartz – China’s growing African footprint could lock the US out from its lone Africa base. Are you seeing the full picture now? Everything is connected. Make sure to read everything.
HEADLINE: China’s Plane Nonsense or Sovereign Right? The Airline Map Flap
PUBLISHER: The Wall Street Journal
COMMENT: This may seem some nonsense and not worthy of this section but an important insight comes to surface once you read between the lines: China can close its whole market to international companies in a heartbeat for stupid reasons. But why is that a real issue? Simple: because suddenly a big company that relies on the chinese market may get its revenue cut by an enormous amount overnight. This generates several bad consequences, but the main ones are possible massive layoffs and increased competition in its home country. Why? Because now, after losing access to China, that big company will have to fight hard in a much smaller market to pay its bills that were once paid easily, which can result in massive layoffs and bankruptcy. Therefore, international companies relying too much on China have very weak foundations and the economies that rely on these companies too. Get t? That’s the danger few are monitoring.
HEADLINE: China Has 9 of The World’s 20 Biggest Tech Companies
PUBLISHER: Market Watch
COMMENT: Chinese people are really smart (japanese people too), I know this because I have some chinese friends. It’s like Jack Ma said in his original sales pitch in 1999: “Our chinese brains are just as good as theirs (americans)”. Therefore, there’s no doubt that many chinese companies are here simply because of merit. Period. However, China also evolved a lot in the last decade because of intellectual property theft and that’s pretty obvious already. Cisco even made an official statement about Huawei recently: “Two things are clear about the Cisco – Huawei dispute: The litigation was between two private companies, not between governments. It’s not about the US or China and we respect the efforts the Chinese government is making to increase intellectual property protection. Rather, this dispute involved a very simple claim that one company used the other’s trade secrets and copyrighted materials without permission. Unlike the smartphone patent battles, where parties try to protect and grow their market share by suing each other over broad patents where no direct copying is required, let alone even knowledge that a patent exists, this litigation involved allegations by Cisco of direct, verbatim copying of our source code, to say nothing of our command line interface, our help screens, our copyrighted manuals and other elements of our products.” – SOURCE: Cisco Blog. But in reality this is all much bigger than chinese companies stealing another company’s IP and trade secrets. The motivation here is truly about securing resources in a future where resources are very scarce, both natural resources and economic resources. All these high-level international companies know where the world is going next and high-level rich people are already building bunkers in New Zealand. So that’s what all this is about: Resources. And you can bet that China is very prepared for what’s coming, dominating many areas in the global economy to guarantee their resources (if you don’t believe it then READ THIS!). Got it? That’s it for now friend, enjoy the articles.
HEADLINE: Russia In The Doldrums? New U.S. Sanctions to Weigh on Recovery
COMMENT: Read this. This article shows that things are really getting serious now because this time U.S. sanctions on Russia will likely kill most of Russia’s economic progress, frustrating government efforts a lot. The next reality is War if Russia endures hard times for too long due to these sanctions because the relationship between the United States and Russia is hanging by a thread. Here’s Reuters: “The Trump administration on Thursday blamed the Russian government for a campaign of cyber attacks stretching back at least two years that targeted the U.S. power grid, marking the first time the United States has publicly accused Moscow of hacking into American energy infrastructure. Beginning in March 2016, or possibly earlier, Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing. The decision by the United States to publicly attribute hacking attempts of American critical infrastructure was ‘unprecedented and extraordinary’ said Amit Yoran, a former U.S. official who founded DHS’s Computer Emergency Response Team.” – SOURCE: Reuters. This will become once again Capitalism vs Comunism, the only difference is that we now have 2 big powerful communist nations to worry about (and another one with some big guns — North Korea).
HEADLINE: U.S. Charges, Sanctions Iranians for Cyber Attacks on Behalf of Tehran
COMMENT: Remember what I said in this previous card about tensions building up for World War 3? Then let’s go back in time a little to investigate what’s under the hood. This cyber attack is an older fact that many don’t know about, which reinforces that behind the scenes Iran has been acting with a WAR-like mentality long before the August sanctions take place. There isn’t any doubt about Iran’s objectives anymore, since iranian MPs burned an American flag right in the middle of parliament (!). You may see pretty headlines of peacemaking and new deals, but the reality is darker, whether we like it or not.
HEADLINE: Iran Sanctions: Their Impact at Home and Abroad
COMMENT: I’ll try to be quick, ok? First, one fun and direct consequence of the U.S. decision to withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and bring back some more nice sanctions is the price increase on Oil: “U.S. gasoline prices have already climbed to levels not seen since late 2014, but could rise to $3 a gallon or more this summer, analysts warned Thursday. The prediction follows a rally in oil prices following the U.S. decision to withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran, would raises the risk of further tensions in the Middle East and could tighten crude supplies from the oil-rich region. Venezuelan output also continues to see significant declines it suffer from an economic crisis.” – SOURCE: Market Watch. Great, what a homerun. And of course, with diesel it couldn’t be any different: “Prices for diesel fuel may revisit record highs within the next year or two, affecting many markets—from refiners to transportation to agriculture. The fuel is refined from crude oil, and prices for crude have also recently climbed to their highest levels since late 2014. ‘As crude-oil prices increase…diesel prices will, too’ says Jeff Klearman, portfolio manager at exchange-traded funds issuer GraniteShares. Diesel fuel is used, not surprisingly, in diesel engines, which can be found not just in personal vehicles, but also in shipping trucks, construction equipment, ocean vessels, trains, buses, and power generators. ‘Inflation will permeate the price of everything that moves over land, whether by truck or rail’ says Kloza. ‘We’ll see more fuel surcharges return, and this will impact individual truckers, agriculture, mining, and industry.'” – SOURCE: Market Watch. But wait, there’s one more thing I want you to know. The United States is crushing Iran with its sanctions as you already know, but take a look at the targets of those sanctions: “US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran deal in May, which lifted international sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. In August, the US will reimpose those sanctions on Iran’s ability to purchase US dollars, as well as any world trading in Iran’s gold, coal, steel, cars, currency, and debt. Later in the year, the US will also sanction Iran’s oil and energy exports and transactions with the central bank.” – SOURCE: Euronews. Now, with that in mind, you can conclude two things: 1) Almost EVERYTHING is about to get a lot more expensive around the world, thanks to oil price increases + China-USA Trade War; 2) Tension is definitely building up for a World War 3, with Iranian MPs burning an American flag in parliament , and as the biggest buyer of oil and gas from Iran, China has much at stake increasing the probability of a hostile alliance. There’s more to say, but I’ll leave it for another card. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: The Full List of US Products That China is Planning to Hit With Tariffs
COMMENT: I was literally training at the gym today and the Breaking News on TV came up to report that ALL chinese products will now become targets of tariffs. Good timing. Here’s today’s latest heated update: “A new round of U.S. tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports kicked in on Thursday, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own levies on American goods worth the same amount. At 12.01 a.m. EDT on Thursday, the U.S. began collecting additional 25 percent duties on 279 Chinese import product categories identified by U.S. Trade Representative. Key products that will be hit by the duties include semiconductors, chemicals, plastics, motorbikes and electric scooters. Beijing retaliated with its own fresh tariffs on $16 billion worth of additional imports from the U.S. including fuel, steel products, autos and medical equipment. The levies took effect the same time that the U.S. tariffs were imposed on Thursday, state news agency Xinhua reported – SOURCE: CNBC. Well, below you can check out what American products China may target next now that things have become pretty serious. That’s no joke. If you think the cost of living — worldwide — isn’t getting more expensive, guess again because Trump is even hitting allies with tariffs: “Mexico quickly said the US action was not justified, and vowed to retaliate with comparable penalties on American lamps, pork, fruit, cheese and flat steel. Europe also said it would start the process for enacting retaliatory tariffs. It did not announce details, but the bloc has previously threatened 25% tariffs on US products such as motorcycles, denim, cigarettes, cranberry juice and peanut butter.” – SOURCE: CNN Money – Trump hits allies with metal tariffs and Mexico, EU and Canada vow to retaliate. And relax, because there’s more great news about this, but now about cars: “Mexico and Canada are currently the biggest suppliers of US car imports, worth a combined $89 billion annually. There’s no doubt they’d feel a massive amount of pain if tariffs are enacted. Japanese and German car manufacturers are expected to feel the biggest impact since they ship the most cars to the US market in terms of sales value. The US imported $40 billion worth of Japanese-made passenger cars in 2017. It also imported $20 billion worth of German-made cars in the same year.” – SOURCE: CNN Money. And then, steel tariffs because the party must go on baby: “Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the United States, will impose tariffs covering C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) on imports from the United States, including whiskey, orange juice, steel, aluminum and other products, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.” – SOURCE – U.S. Allies hit back at Washington’s steel, aluminum tariffs. Finally, you may want to check out a great image titled: The U.S. imports more of these goods from China than it exports to China (The New York Times) just to have a better idea of the bigger picture, and how much the U.S. relies on China for its everyday products.
HEADLINE: The Tipping Point for China’s $14 Trillion Debt-ridden Economy
COMMENT: ANOTHER MUST-READ. You might want to read it with this in mind for better perspective, and to understand how much worse this may actually be in reality. Yes, I know, what a crazy world.
HEADLINE: China’s 1.2 Trillion Weapon That Could Be Used in The Trade War
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ due to the possible chaotic chain of events should China sell all its U.S. debt holdings. If this happens, the whole global economy would get punched in the face pretty quickly and the countries holding dollars will try to get rid of it as fast as possible. Huge problem. The dollar would experience a huge, massive drop thanks to countries that would get rid of it to save their wealth. However, some people don’t agree with this position very much: “The US authorities would quickly freeze China’s Treasury debt held by US custodians, and the Federal Reserve would step in to buy in whatever quantities necessary to stabilise the market. At best, China would suffer heavy losses on its Treasury portfolio. Certainly, Beijing would have no difficulty engineering either a shock one-off depreciation of the currency or a deep depreciation over several months. But both would be high-risk actions, and both would carry heavy costs for China’s ambitious global policy objectives. First, either a one-off devaluation of the yuan or a steady but significant depreciation would create the expectation among investors and businesses of further falls to come. That would almost certainly trigger capital outflows from China on a scale even greater than those that followed Beijing’s small 2015 devaluation and saw China’s foreign exchange reserves depleted by US$1 trillion.” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post. Does make sense that the Federal Reserve could come and “save the day” but in reality we’ve been seeing repeatedly the Federal Reserve actually making things worse, overheating the american economy etc. It’s hard to believe in the Federal Reserve as a force of good nowadays. Ok, that’s one problem, but there’s another one (slightly mentioned in the last paragraph). You see, usually, once a Trade War explodes, Currency Wars follow suit and suddenly the countries involved are devaluing their own currency to make their products cheaper to other countries (exportation) in an effort to get more “market share” and eat the other nation’s lunch fast. China has this other weapon available and ready to go, which is the next level in this geopolitical drama should things get worse. Of course, America can do the same but it’ll get hit harder by devaluating its own currency because a lot in the world economy is linked to the dollar. The losses would be pretty huge since many investments are dollar-based. So that’s it for now. And by the way, if you’re still lost about how a trade war actually works, watch these two videos: link #1 | link #2.
HEADLINE: Forcing Countries to Choose Sides in A Trade War Could Benefit China
PUBLISHER: South China Morning Post
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. Now prepare yourself because there’s A LOT of precious information in this card. Ready? Go! First, here’s what China imports the most from America: “American planes, soybeans and automobiles would be prime targets in an all-out trade war with China, if export data are any indication. The value of U.S. merchandise shipped to China totaled $130.4 billion last year. Commercial aircraft was the biggest export at $16.3 billion, followed by soybeans at $12.4 billion and passenger cars at $10.5 billion.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg. Now let’s stretch this last paragraph a little bit more because here’s where the first consequences start coming to light: “In March and April, China imposed tariffs on US soybeans in response to President Donald Trump’s tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Soybeans are an important US agricultural export, and a majority of those exports go to China. The drop off in Chinese purchases of US soybeans is worrying for US farmers. The CEO of one of the largest soybean processors in the world said China has effectively ended purchases of US soybeans. ‘Whatever they’re buying is non-US,’ Schroder said. ‘They’re buying beans in Canada, in Brazil, mostly Brazil, but very deliberately not buying anything from the US’. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 61.2% of total US soybean exports worth a whopping $14.2 billion went to China in 2016. According to the USDA, soybeans are the most valuable agriculture export for the US, making up roughly 9% of all US exports by value.” – SOURCE: Business Insider. Can you see now the amount of money the United States is losing? That’s a lot of money to say bye bye to, especially in a financial crisis. And yes, I know the “truce” is promising to bring “balance” to the USA-China trade but the reality is that it won’t last. And still on the subject of losing money, there’s a reality check America cannot escape anymore: “Apple can’t build an iPhone without China, but China can build hundreds of millions of devices approaching the iPhone’s quality without Apple’s help. The only Apple product currently being made in the USA is the aged Mac Pro, which costs thousands of dollars, and Motorola’s failed experiment with the 2013 Moto X shows that smartphone assembly in the US is too costly to be viable. And how important is that globally renowned iPhone? It accounts for more than half of Apple’s revenue. Apple has been the United States’, and the world’s, most valuable company — a title now contested by Google parent Alphabet — primarily on the strength of the iPhone. China today is, by a huge margin, the largest smartphone market on Earth.” – SOURCE: The Verge. Now, what does that mean? Simple: It may even be possible to substitute chinese production in some cases, but not chinese consumption. The chinese market is huge and companies know that. Google is launching a censored search engine in China, then you have Facebook giving data access to chinese firms flagged by US Intelligence, and Apple starting to put sensitive encryption keys in China. And why? Because they all want a piece of that cake. There are many more companies no one talks about who are embracing China as well. Therefore, the United States — and many other countries in the world — rely too much on China for survival nowadays because China is everywhere in the world economy, as you can see next: “In a war of escalation, both sides would find it hard to back off. But the US has more to lose. The Chinese economy today is highly integrated with the world economy. The US is a large but declining market. If its trade threats have no effect, it will lose credibility as a hegemonic power. The trade row offers China a historic opportunity to shape a new world order. First, by taking a positive approach, Beijing can show the world it is committed to free trade, and that it will abide by World Trade Organisation rules and a development ethos of mutual gain. The world will then know that the US is the troublemaker who breaks the rules and causes other countries to suffer losses.” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post. OBS: Although the geopolitical crisis of the USA being portrayed as a troublemaker to the world is true thanks to Trump, the truth is that America influences the global economy too much to lose its “leadership role” among other nations and allies. But leaving that aside, it’s a fact that China is heavily integrated with our current global economy, since even the European Central Bank is beginning to pile up yuan instead of dollar. When you get rid of dollar reserves to store other currency instead, there’s something going on for sure. For instance, in case you don’t know, China already has 9 of the world’s 20 biggest tech companies whether you believe it or not, which to many is a big red alert. China now effectively controls half the world’s lithium production which is the metal used for car and phone batteries, enabling them to make a profit in a good chunk of those two products. Finally, Chinese investors are invading America (link #1 | link #2 | link #3) taking shares and board control in early-stage American companies. Anyway, this is just a glimpse on China because there’s a lot more. But don’t worry, more is coming, I’m just not sure if you can handle it. For now, make sure to read everything.
HEADLINE: Trump’s Betrayal of Iran Deal Brings Trade War to A Scarier Level
PUBLISHER: South China Morning Post
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. And if you look closer and pay attention to the last highlight below, you’ll see that China has a lot at stake, increasing the odds of a pro-War alliance between China and Iran. Save this info for now because there are more dots to connect later.
HEADLINE: Beijing Has More Weapons to Use Against US in A Trade War
PUBLISHER: South China Morning Post
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: Qualcomm May be Collateral Damage in A U.S-China Trade War
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Hear this, my friend: “China is the biggest buyer of American soybeans and planes, and the second biggest for cars, microchips and cotton, the commentary said. Many major American companies would suffer in the event of a trade war, it said, adding that China accounted for 20 per cent of Apple’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 13 per cent of Boeing’s total sales for the year. Intel, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Micron Technology would also be hard hit, it said.” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post. And yes, I know that’s China’s “state media” making those claims — and China likes to put some makeup on its numbers — but you know those are right. There’s no doubt about it. Besides, China is already preparing for the worse by going to Israel to get its computer chips: “‘Some Chinese companies wanted to invest in Israeli chip makers as a technology backup, while others had previously considered this option and have now decided to accelerate the process’ said Michael Ruan, chief representative of Shanghai-based Sino Israel Technology Innovations, which has acted as a matchmaker. The Chinese investors are all tech giants listed on the stock exchange, while the Israeli companies all specialise in the type of microchips used in smartphones, supercomputers and cloud-based storage services, Ruan said. Lati, the investment lawyer, said Israeli chip makers were aware that closer ties with Chinese tech giants might upset Washington. ‘But they think China has a greater market potential and the Chinese government has generously opened its wallet to aid the sector’s development’ Lati said. ‘Most Israeli start-ups are small and medium-sized enterprises. They will go where the money flows'” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post – US TRADE WAR: When the (Micro) Chips Are Down, Chinese cash flows to Israel. See? You just have to connect the dots.
HEADLINE: Faltering Chinese Soybean Demand Dents Brazil’s Changes of Trade War
COMMENT: There’s a lot I want to add to this Reuters article so you can understand the ramifications of a Trade War, and how it may affect other nations who aren’t directly involved in the China-USA Trade War. For starters, many think China will take a full hit when in fact other countries that also do trade with China will absorb part of the damage for them: “‘We know that our major export is oil and we import almost everything from China. So, if Chinese had to pay more to trade with the US, they will pass it on to us. So, Chinese goods in Nigeria may also go up and may result into what we partly call imported inflation.'” – SOURCE: All Africa. Therefore, that’s one fact: China won’t be the only one to take some economic damage, they’ll pass it on to others like a hot potato. Next, you have nations who were hit by american tariffs striking back, and businesses in these countries using this as a window of opportunity to raise prices, resulting in a higher cost of living around the world: “He said prices in Mexico will likely rise as a result of the tariffs on U.S. pork. ‘We think they’d rise around 15 or 16 percent, and I think that could reduce consumption which worries me,’ Ochoa said. ‘It would be very difficult for Mexican pork prices to stay the same,’ Ochoa added, if imported U.S. pork prices spike as a result of the tariffs'” – SOURCE: Reuters. That’s Mexico, other nations do the same and even America, as you can see next: “Beer makers are frustrated over the way prices are set in the American aluminum market and say those who produce and trade the metal are using President Trump’s tariffs as cover for artificially inflating its cost. ‘It’s become a device to artificially raise the price of aluminum for producers and traders, enriching them at the expense of users like ourselves’ said Tim Weiner, the senior global commodities risk manager for Molson Coors, which buys roughly 500 million pounds of aluminum a year as it churns out some 12 billion cans of beer. The company, maker of Coors Light, Miller High Life and Milwaukee’s Best, could see its aluminum costs rise by $40 million this year, he said. ‘We understand that purchasers of aluminum are encountering serious pricing irregularities and potential anti-competitive conduct by aluminum producers, merchants, traders, banks and others which we feel warrant investigation by the Department of Justice,’ the legislators wrote.” – SOURCE: The New York Times. Now picture the same thing, but in every other nation indirectly hit by these tariffs, and for many different products. Worrisome, huh? But that’s not all, we still have to address Trump’s request for a truce. So what a truce really means for the global market in this current Trade War? Well, let’s take a look: “That was the assessment after two days of ‘constructive’ high-level talks in Washington last week yielded a commitment from China to ‘substantially’ reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries. As a result, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US expected American agricultural exports to China to rise by between 35 and 40 per cent this year and energy purchases to double over the next three to five years. That could leave some of China’s trading partners, including its biggest soybean supplier Brazil, beef producer Australia, and even regional semiconductor makers, out in the cold if China shifts orders to the US. ‘The state-led efforts to increase China’s imports from the US will lead to trade diversion – other economies will see their exports to China fall as a result’ Louis Kuijs, chief Asia economist of Oxford Economics, wrote in a note.” – SOURCE: South China Morning Post – Who will be the biggest losers from a China-US trade war truce?. Are you seeing now how a Trade War between the world’s biggest economies can mess up with many other nations’ economies in a heartbeat? I’ll leave it at that, for now. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: Oh What A Stupid Trade War
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Firts of all, let’s address Protectionism before we start this subject: “The costs of protectionism, according to conventional economic theory, are not that tariffs caused the Great Depression, or anything like that. They come, instead, from moving your economy away from things you’re relatively good at to things you aren’t. American workers could sew clothes together, instead of importing apparel from Bangladesh; in fact, we’d surely produce more pajamas per person-hour than the Bangladeshis do. But our productivity advantage is much bigger in other things, so there’s an efficiency gain – for both economies – in having us concentrate on the things we do best. And a trade war, by imposing artificial costs such as tariffs on international trade, undoes that productive specialization, making everyone less efficient.” – SOURCE: The New York Times. Now with that in mind, and seeing how Trade benefits both countries involved in a trade transaction, what do you think the countries who cannot deal with the US anymore will do next? That’s very simple: pick someone else to do trade. Hence why the article from South China Morning Post: Why Forcing Countries to Choose Sides in A Trade War Could Benefit China, not The US [VERY GOOD ARTICLE]. Besides, businesses who usually do business in the US and rely on imported raw material, will feel the price increases because a lot of that raw material used to build american products (like barbecue grills) come from China. Such tariffs force these american companies to increase prices out of necessity, while others follow suit eyeing an opportunity to make more money, and here’s the result: “‘If the customers have the option of purchasing from Malaysians or Colombians, who don’t have to pay that extra cost, that’s what they are going to do,’ Mr. Woltz said. He buys most of his raw material from domestic mills, but he expects them to raise prices as their foreign competitors are hit by tariffs of up to 25 percent. Right now, he pays around $600 per ton of steel wire rod. The impact of a 25 percent tariff would add $150 to that price. He makes only $40 in profit per ton, though, so the math would destroy his balance sheet.” – SOURCE: The New York Times. Likewise, there’s some data supporting that higher steel prices are linked to massive job loss in the industry sector: “One retrospective study found that higher steel prices cost more jobs than the number of people employed in the industry at the time: 200,000 Americans lost their jobs to higher steel prices during 2002. These lost jobs represent approximately $4 billion in lost wages from February to November 2002. One out of four (50,000) of these job losses occurred in the metal manufacturing, machinery and equipment and transportation equipment and parts sectors. More American workers lost their jobs in 2002 to higher steel prices than the total number employed by the U.S. steel industry itself (187,500 Americans were employed by U.S. steel producers in December 2002). Every U.S. state experienced employment losses from higher steel costs, with the highest losses occurring in California (19,392 jobs lost), Texas (15,826 jobs lost), Ohio (10,553 jobs lost), Michigan (9,829 jobs lost), Illinois (9,621 jobs lost), Pennsylvania (8,400 jobs lost), New York (8,901 jobs lost) and Florida (8,370 jobs lost). Sixteen states lost at least 4,500 steel consuming jobs each over the course of 2002 from higher steel prices.” – SOURCE: Trade Partnership. There’s a waterfall of chaotic consequences, but you got the idea. Read this.
HEADLINE: Everything You Need to Know About The Oracle Lawsuit Against Google
COMMENT: I’ll be quick here, so you can understand how bad this is: “Google and its supporters contend that the ruling, if left to stand, would harm development of new software programs and lead to higher costs for consumers. ‘We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone’, Google said in a statement. ‘This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users’. It ‘could have devastating effects on the competitiveness, openness, and development of the technology industry’ Rose said in a statement. ‘This could lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and worse products for consumers'” – SOURCE: Bloomberg. If developers and companies become possible targets of Copyright lawsuits just because they’re using an API, then make no mistake, the whole software industry will experience a meltdown! The consequences are devastating for sure. We’ll have far less entrepreneurs trying to “save the world” and many of the ones left will be afraid of bringing a solution to the market 10x faster, choosing to walk a slower, much longer path to product development instead. All because APIs are now Copyrightable works. Like I told you already, the government is playing against you and your business using many destructive laws and rulings as weapons. Wake up.
HEADLINE: Google Accused of using GDPR to Impose Unfair Terms on Publishers
PUBLISHER: Tech Crunch
COMMENT: I have something pretty to show you, proving that Digiday and I were both right a while ago about the consequences of GDPR: “And finally, with the violent fines that GDPR brings to the game, it’s only natural that companies will choose to protect themselves at all costs creating a stressful environment for businesses where everybody is watching their own tail. Unfortunate, but true.” – SOURCE: Business Article #84. I still remember when some dumb business analysis said this would hit Google and Facebook hard, when in fact is quite the opposite, where the small players are the ones who now have less room to grow and more to worry about. The “GDPR pressure” comes now both from Google and The Government, with Google putting practically any blame of lack of compliance on publishers and the government executing the law against them. Isn’t that pretty? But wait, obviously there’s more bad news, read these chunks of info from a great analysis paper about Google’s GDPR position: “Google seeks to place the full burden of obtaining new consent on the publisher without providing the publisher with the specific information needed to provide sufficient transparency or to obtain the requisite specific, granular, and informed consent under the GDPR. Also of note in Google’s attempt to transfer liability for consent to the publisher (if not surprising) is Google’s standard technique of limiting liability. The concern underlying these rights, as the Article 29 Working Party notes, is that automated decision-making processes can be opaque. Individuals might not know that they are being profiled or understand what is involved. Profiling can perpetuate existing stereotypes and social segregation. It can also lock a person into a specific category and restrict them to their suggested preferences. This can undermine their freedom to choose, for example, certain products or services such as books, music or newsfeeds. In some cases, profiling can lead to inaccurate predictions. In other cases it can lead to denial of services and goods and unjustified discrimination. To the extent Google’s Ad Services constitute automated decision-making, and since Google has claimed a right to be a controller, these services would require an even higher standard for explicit consent for Google to use the data as it proposes, one that Google’s broad-brush EU User Consent Policy cannot even come close to attaining. Moreover, Google has not suggested any process by which it will implement suitable measures to safeguard the data subject’s rights and freedoms and legitimate interests, including but not limited to facilitating the data subject’s right to obtain human intervention from Google, to express his or her point of view, and to contest the automated decision. While it may be the case that Google is sometimes operating as a controller, as that term is defined under the GDPR, by virtue of how its advertising services operate (e.g., through the use of sophisticated algorithms), that does not mean that Google has the right to make unilateral decisions about the use of personal data collected from publisher properties. Google is providing a service to its publisher customers, not the other way around. The publishers are the primary controllers of that data and, perhaps more importantly, have the direct relationship with the consumer. For that reason, it is inappropriate and contrary to the GDPR (as discussed above) for Google to leverage its unique position to use the data in ways that neither the publisher nor the consumer understands or can control.” – SOURCE: Digital Content Next. Did you understand the whole drama? Google is putting the liability on publishers, and asking them to ask for consent to users while Google is not providing information to these publishers on how it’ll use the user’s data! At the same time, Google is profiling people with that personal data and putting them into a “bubble of results”, which once the user discovers it, the likelihood of legal actions increase since no one wants “data-driven censorship” on products, music and other goods. But wait…who’s liable in that case? The publishers! That’s the absurd world you’re living in right now, believe it or not. But at least now you know the truth.
HEADLINE: North & South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: World Peace ahead? No, not really. Because if a major financial crisis is already here and if we’re already having a shortage of critical natural resources, and if these key countries are putting a lot of money in the military lately, then peace is definitely what DOES NOT come next. instead, War is. Because nations will always jump on a fight over resources if there’s not enough for everybody, and that overrides any deals. Always. That’s pretty obvious. Besides, all this peacemaking trend won’t last because the nations involved view each other as enemies and always will, and they’ll use any temporary deals to their advantage to invest in areas — like the military — that will get them ahead of other nations in a fight for resources. There’s a lot more to this, but for now, just read this.
HEADLINE: A Ruling Over Embedded Tweets Could Change Online Publishing
COMMENT: I’m only going to say this once: If companies don’t stick together the whole global market is gonna crash very soon. Again, very soon. Why do I say this? Because The Government has been crushing businesses — along with Democracy, Capitalism, and Freedom of Speech — with stupid laws, without resting. Just ruthless, incredibly dumb laws that are basically destroying the foundations of our modern society. Here’s a quick reminder for you: America just said goodbye to Net Neutrality (which has an impact on the whole world). The software industry is now afraid of using APIs and getting sued under Copyright infringement grounds (something very very very absurd!). Online stores are enjoying some more taxes while Amazon will remain intact. And now this. And you know I’m only scratching the surface here. The government is playing against you, and that’s your reality, whatever country you belong. So look, if you’re in business today then you better understand two things: 1) The government is only going to make things a lot worse for you, like increase or create new taxes and new laws that don’t affect those companies who feed them millions through lobbying; 2) Without alliances with other companies there’s no survival because division will definitely kill your business, regardless of who you are and how big you are. That’s the truth. Make sure to remember those 2 rules. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: Supreme Court’s Wayfair Decision Will Hurt Online Shopping
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Definitely a must-read. For starters, don’t get your hopes up because this decision will mostly hurt small online stores and keep Amazon’s advantage intact as you can see next: “Matthew Shay, the CEO of the National Retail Federation, said in a statement that retailers ‘have been waiting for this day for more than two decades’ because, in their view, it creates a more level playing field for both traditional stores and digital upstarts. Amazon.com Inc., for example, has already been collecting sales taxes in all states that have them on the items that it sells directly. Thursday’s decision will affect some of its third-party merchants, which may not have been collecting the taxes. Those merchants account for a significant portion of Amazon’s sales. But here’s the thing: Increasingly, Amazon’s value proposition to shoppers is as much — if not more — about its vast selection and its speedy delivery than it is about rock-bottom prices. This decision does nothing to alter the convenience of shopping at Amazon, meaning it leaves Amazon’s most important advantage intact.” – SOURCE: Bloomberg. It’s true that many people buy on Amazon because of speed. Buying whatever you want with just one click is as easy as it gets, and people crave such level of comfort. This will do no considerable harm to Amazon, not before doing harm to all other stores first. Plus, Amazon is already too big to take a hit, but you bet that this is definitely another blow against promising small e-commerce stores resulting in more market and wealth consolidation for Amazon, and more bankruptcies for smaller entrepreneurs. The problem retailers have is with Amazon, not with all other small online stores: “Retailers that see themselves as direct competitors to Amazon don’t want to give the e-commerce giant even a small fraction of their ad spends, no matter how dominant Amazon becomes. ‘Why lend them a helping hand?’ said one executive at a large retailer, requesting anonymity. ‘We are competing against them. The last thing we want to do is contribute to their success.'” – SOURCE: Digiday. So obviously, a decision like this is only killing the small guys, killing along with it many jobs such as marketers, SEOs, e-commerce consultants, designers, copywriters and more, while leaving the Kraken — Amazon — alive and well. Finally, the reality is that once again, money is going to fewer hands and competition is going to be a lot smaller, thanks to a little help by the government. More taxes, less competition.
HEADLINE: Here’s How Much It Costs to Mine A Single Bitcoin in Your Country
PUBLISHER: Market Watch
COMMENT: Great work by Market Watch. This is another must-read just like this other article showing how Governments all over the world are treating, handling, and banning cryptocurrency. Read them both to have the bigger picture on this subject. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Worries Grow That The Price of Bitcoin is Being Propped Up
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: This article connects with this one and this other one about Bitcoin Whales, both from Bloomberg. Read them all.
HEADLINE: Is The World Running Out of Sand?
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Welcome to another huge crisis that’s about to explode in our faces, this time regarding the world’s 2nd most used natural resource: Sand. I know, I know. You’re probably wondering right now why sand is so important to humans. Well, let me clear your mind quickly: “A report published in 2004 by the American Geological Institute said that a typical American house requires more than a hundred tons of sand, gravel, and crushed stone for the foundation, basement, garage, and driveway, and more than two hundred tons if you include its share of the street that runs in front of it. A mile-long section of a single lane of an American interstate highway requires thirty-eight thousand tons. Windowpanes, wineglasses, and cell-phone screens are made from melted sand. Sand is used for filtration in water-treatment facilities, septic systems, and swimming pools. Oil and gas drillers inject large quantities of hard, round sand into fracked rock formations in order to hold the cracks open, like shoving a foot in the door. Railroad locomotives drop angular sand onto the rails in front of their wheels as they brake, to improve traction.” – SOURCE: New Yorker – The World Is Running Out of Sand. And then you ask: “But Peterson, what about those massive deserts we have, can’t we just take that sand out of them for our survival?”. Sorry…but no. That kind of sand is different and doesn’t serve as a replacement — Tech Insider explains why in this video [0:52-1:15min] — so we have a problem already. But since one natural resource is connected to another, we’re having shortages of water quality and water supply which consequently has a massive impact on food as well (especially fish). And obviously, bad humans are making things worse: “So much sand has been scooped out, says Shankman – 30 times more than the amount that flows in from tributary rivers – that the lake’s outflow channel has been drastically deepened and widened, nearly doubling the amount of water that flows into the Yangtze. The lower water levels are translating into declines in water quality and supply to surrounding wetlands. It could be ruinous for the area’s inhabitants, both animal and human. Studies have found that the sediment stirred up and the noise generated by sand boats interfere with the porpoise’s vision and sonar so drastically they cannot find fish and shrimp to feed on. And there are fewer fish to be found in the first place, say locals. There is so much demand for certain types of construction sand that Dubai, which sits on the edge of an enormous desert, imports sand from Australia. In the past few years, China has used more cement than the US used in the entire 20th century. Last year alone, the nation used enough construction sand to cover the entire state of New York an inch deep. The most dramatic impact of ocean sand mining is surely felt in Indonesia, where sand miners have completely erased at least two dozen islands since 2005. The stuff of those islands mostly ended up in Singapore, which needs titanic amounts to continue its programme of artificially adding territory by reclaiming land from the sea. The city-state has created an extra 20 square miles in the past 40 years and is still adding more, making it by far the world’s largest sand importer. The demand has denuded beaches and river beds in neighbouring countries to such an extent that Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have all restricted or banned the export of sand to Singapore.” – SOURCE: The Guardian – Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of. So, whenever you see computer chips, homes and buildings, clean water, breast implants, Windowpanes, wineglasses, and cell-phone screens, remember that the sand to make them…is running out. Quickly. But hey, at least if the water of the world runs out faster (link #1 | link #2 | link #3) we won’t feel a thing. That’s good news, right?
HEADLINE: The Big One: Is California Ready for Its Next Major Earthquake?
COMMENT: Why talk about Earthquakes? Well, because the next “Big One” is a huge risk for the global economy, society, homes, and businesses. And although this is about an earthquake in America, remember that businesses today are extensively interconnected. Many companies rely on american companies just like many american companies rely on foreign companies to exist. So what would happen to the global economy if New York — for example — was to experience a natural catastrophe? Pretty big deal because look at what happened to Atlanta after a small cyber attack which has far less destructive power. Whether we like it or not, in a globalized world, a big event in an important city changes the whole business landscape within hours, and unfortunately, another one is underway. Here, have a look: “The ‘Big One’ is a hypothetical earthquake of magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such a quake will produce devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the SAF quake zone, especially in urban areas like Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. No one knows when the Big One (“BO”) will happen because scientists cannot yet predict earthquakes with any precision. The 1906 San Francisco quake (mag ~7.8) and the 1857 Ft. Tejon quake (mag ~7.9) took place in northern and central California, respectively, and both were ‘Big Ones’. Some scientists think the next BO will be in southern California. Even those who survive the immediate earthquake will find themselves in danger. The first thing they will need is water, but most water mains will probably have been broken. Utilities such as electricity, natural gas, gasoline, telephones, etc. will be interrupted for days, weeks or longer. Medical facilities will be jammed and unable to handle the casualties. Most people will not be able to get to the hospital because roads will be damaged. Banks will be closed, as will any organization that relies on the internet. Little if any food or medicine will reach the area, and radio/TV communications will be spotty at best.” – SOURCE: SanAndreasFault.org. I know. Pretty scary, huh? But how would that translate into economic damages? Well, although I don’t like to use Wikipedia, you may have an idea with this paragraph: “The U.S. Geological Survey most recent forecast, known as UCERF3 (Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast 3), released in November 2013, estimated that an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 M or greater (i.e. equal to or greater than the 1994 Northridge earthquake) occurs about once every 6.7 years statewide. The same report also estimated there is a 7% probability that an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater will occur in the next 30 years somewhere along the San Andreas Fault. A different USGS study in 2008 tried to assess the physical, social and economic consequences of a major earthquake in southern California. That study predicted that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas Fault could cause about 1,800 deaths and $213 billion in damage.” – SOURCE: Wikipedia. Well, now you know that another Big One is coming and how much it’ll cost, but I’d 100x that since mother Earth is definitely not the same anymore.
HEADLINE: Startup Got $114 Million to Help People With Their Lawsuits
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: This is very worrisome as you may imagine already. Because although it may help people go against big corporations in moments when their cause is right and they lack the money to win a lawsuit, this is more likely to boost corrupt behavior. The reason is simple: economic pressure. If you read everything that is about to cause a MASSIVE global economic crisis and if you read how the top 500 richest in the world increased their wealth by 1 TRILLION in 2017, then you can imagine that going after money will become something like a war in the marketplace. And during “Martial Law”, people tend to be as selfish as possible to make ends meet. Therefore, we may see an explosion of such businesses hunting for legal holes in order to attack companies just to make money in bad economic times. And no, I’m not talking against this startup specifically. My problem is with the likelihood of such service being weaponized due to massive economic pressure instead of it being used for the greater good. If this is about making Justice to ordinary people, good. But if this is about USING Justice to make money, then it’s another story. Remember the famous Righthaven case? Let’s all hope this is not that.
HEADLINE: Here’s How The U.S. and The World Regulate Cryptocurrencies
PUBLISHER: Market Watch
COMMENT: PRICELESS resource by Market Watch. Very nice work, make sure to read this if you’re wondering how all major countries are handling cryptocurrencies. Now, if you noticed, there’s a very obvious pattern here: more democratic nations are slowly attacking crypto while absolute socialist/communist countries just hammer it all down altogether. You probably already know that Venezuela is one of the world’s most dangerous countries to mine cryptocurrency where you risk going to jail, right? And that China blocked ICOs not too long ago while it may be the only hope for some businesses to get funding/capital? And that Russia new draft law to regulate bitcoin is scaring everybody? Besides all that, here’s France and Germany on the subject: “France and Germany want to regulate bitcoin and will make a joint proposal to that effect at a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 countries in March, the two European nations have revealed. ‘We have the same concerns and we share the goal of regulating bitcoin,’ French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Peter Altmaier. (SOURCE: South China Morning Post)“. Well, the reason for all that relentless persecution is quite simple: Banks and The Government DO NOT want people getting richer since with money we can create ways for the people to take down their whole corrupt system. They know that to control the world, you need to control the money. Lose the money, and you’ll lose control. Make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: Salon is Using Adblocking Readers’ CPU to Mine Cryptocurrency
PUBLISHER: The Next Web
COMMENT: Remember what I mentioned about The Pirate Bay’s users accepting browser-based crypto mining as a new business model? Well, here you go, my friend. It’s now going mainstream. With serious businesses and websites embracing this business model, you can bet that we’ll see three things: 1) Another massive wave of uprise in cryptocurrencies prices; 2) A real war between governments/banks and businesses due to stupid regulations; 3) Much more hacking activity in the cryptocurrency realm. That’s only logical, you don’t need to be really smart to know this. Besides, the government has already started its own agenda against cryptocurrencies if you’re paying attention. Therefore, the battle has already begun.
HEADLINE: Israel Likely to Change Tax Policies to Counter Trump’s Tax Reform
PUBLISHER: The Times of Israel
COMMENT: OK. Time to stop everything and listen for a second because this is a big subject. First of all, whenever a country economically strong makes a move regarding its own economy it impacts the whole global market whether we like it or not. That’s the basics. Now, forget the economy for a second and think about something that is knocking on our doors: World War III. With that in mind, here’s another great resource from The Times of Israel: ““At a low tax rate of 15% in the US there is a strong likelihood we will see Israeli tech companies, whose main markets are in the US, incorporating in the US,” said Sharon Shulman, the tax managing partner of EY Israel, in a phone interview. “This represents without any doubt a significant risk to the Israeli economy in the long term.” If the corporate tax rate in the US will be cut to 15% as proposed by Trump, this will put a lot of pressure on Israeli startups to succumb to investors’ demands and incorporate in the US. (SOURCE: The Times of Israel)“. Ok so basically a new Exodus in which companies all over the world may migrate to the US is about to take place. All to avoid economic pressure legally, and businesses know how taxes put a lot of pressure on them (especially nowadays). So how does it all have to do with WAR? Simple: more taxes in the US will increase its Military Budgets. And bigger military budgets will increase the country’s probability of winning the War. That’s the actual move being made by Trump with this new tax proposal. Just look what NATO recently said: “Battle-ready artificial intelligence is also on the mind of NATO, which released a report [LINK] Wednesday stating that NATO needs to prepare for the future of war by investing in AI. (SOURCE: MIT Technology Review)“. Of course. If you know all the crazy stuff Artificial Intelligence can do there’s not much time left to prepare because of THE REAL THREAT of Artificial Intelligence. Now take a look at this: “Trump touted his 2018 defence budget as one of the largest in US history. Pentagon officials said the 2019 budget would focus on modernising the military’s ageing weapons systems and preparing it for a potential conflict with major world powers. The proposed increase for 2019 is so large that it is “even more unrealistic” that the White House will be able to offset it with cuts, Harrison said. (SOURCE: South China Morning Post)“. The Headline reads: Trump wants US$716 billion for ‘aggressive defence strategy’ in 2019 to face off with China and Russia. Are you following now? Always think from a GLOBAL perspective. Always. But wait, there’s more. Bloomberg recently published an article about the GOP Tax Plan, giving some consequences for it: “It’s like they’re saying, ‘Let’s just please our base and strike back at those who voted against us.’ Which is short-sighted because Silicon Valley is the best thing America has going for it. This is going to prompt companies to go offshore or look at tax-haven states. (SOURCE: Bloomberg)“. Did you pay close attention to the last sentence? Therefore, narrowing it down we get two core insights: companies going to the US for tax relief and companies going to tax-havens leaving most countries with less tax. Less tax, less money to run a country in a war where supplies are needed on a daily basis in a very fast pace (which means burning more money). It’s a pre-war move behind the scenes. Drain everybody’s resources as much as possible before “the game” begins. Businesses do the same to each other when competition arises (it’s called Price Wars). If your enemy/competitor has no money then you win. Simple. And for those who are not believing this, you just need to check all latest international tensions between most powerful countries. Here’s what happened with Huawei (a Chinese company) lately when they tried to do business in the US: “The abrupt cancellation of the deal is the latest sign of tensions between China and the US over trade and investment, with Washington calling for trade actions against China and tightening screening of Chinese companies, especially in the hi-tech sector. A former Chinese commerce official said the collapse of the deal will threaten Sino-US cooperation on trade and investment. The AT&T decision marks another setback for Huawei’s business strategy in the US after the House Intelligence Committee released a report in 2012 urging US telecommunication companies not to do business with Huawei and ZTE Corp, citing potential Chinese state influence on these companies that could threaten US security. (SOURCE: South China Morning Post)“. Interesting huh? Now here’s more USA vs China heat: “The move comes as the US seeks to choke the flow of goods and materials crucial to North Korea’s economy such as oil, electronics and metals. We are sanctioning additional oil, shipping, and trading companies that continue to provide a lifeline to North Korea. Two Chinese trading firms are among the sanctioned organisations, as are representatives of North Korean companies and banks mostly based in China and Russia; and North Korean shipping companies and six specific vessels. (SOURCE: South China Morning Post)“. Lets not forget the heat involving intellectual property theft that has been grabbing the news lately. Therefore, why do you think THIS is happening recently?! It’s pretty obvious to understand why, once you put together all the facts. Remember: Always think from a global perspective nowadays. Always.
HEADLINE: David vs Goliath: Israeli Entrepreneur vs Amazon in Brawl for Brains
PUBLISHER: The Times of Israel
COMMENT: As you may know by now, current educational systems are not injecting a new competent workforce into the market for ages (with the exception of some courses). Most colleges are useless when it comes to forming professionals because, by the time they’ve finished the course, almost all knowledge acquired is already outdated. Workers are not ready for today’s shapeshifting market, especially graduates. That’s reality. There’s tons of urgent information to know for those seeking work today. Therefore, those who are smart to stay ahead of the curve are “targets” in The War for Talent (in a good way) aspiring huge paychecks, giving bigger companies the ability to pick top talent more easily. While smaller companies and startups face a losing battle due to lack of money. How will they hire a strong workforce to compete? And with money concentrating in fewer hands (companies and individuals) it blocks everybody’s growth, killing innovation, competition, good salaries, and ultimately, variety of products for consumers. Not a good scenario for society. The way out of this War against giants for many companies will be to apply The Moneyball principle, which means hiring “people no big player cares about” (due to lack of resumé) but have enormous hidden potential not seen by standard data. And then, upgrade this workforce as fast as possible with online courses. Therefore, if you’re a company you better wake up to this talent warfare happening right now and take bold actions to attract and retain hidden talent. And if you’re employed by a company and you’re NOT evolving your skills, your knowledge, nor challenging yourself then you better do something quickly because the market is going to “shrink” very soon. The clock is ticking. Warnings are everywhere. Make a bold move or don’t complain afterward.
HEADLINE: The Mysterious Twitter User Drawing a Swarm of Japan Traders
COMMENT: Sometimes to win you only need a Twitter account + lots of valuable/timely information. For businessmen out there without any money available to build a professional online structure, read this article. You’ll see how this mysterious account got more attention and followers than the Bank of Japan. Remember: There’s always a way to win.
HEADLINE: If You’re Not Spending 5 Hours Per Week Learning…
COMMENT: You’ll understand how extremely urgent this subject is if you already read Why Wages Aren’t Growing, There aren’t enough jobs for everyone, Why Being Great at Your Job is Harder Than it Used to Be, and We’re Less Likely to Collaborate in Bad Economic Times. Wake up.
HEADLINE: Bitcoin Frenzy Helps Crypto Hedge Funds Reap 1,100% Gains
COMMENT: Crypto Hedge Funds are growing by the minute now that people are making crazy money with cryptocurrencies everywhere around the globe. While some traditional hedge funds are ending activities due to diminishing returns, others choosing to return all customer’s money, and others complaining about a widespread use of robot-trading, these crypto funds are growing. But I want to give you a heads up: careful with funds dealing with something called Tether (like the Crypto Asset Fund) because there’s a lot of drama about it. Here are a few links as homework: “This is what they are telling their shareholders. It should be treated with extreme suspicion, but what I am showing you is even if they are in fact, doing exactly what they are telling their shareholders they are doing…They’re still engaging in fraud.” (SOURCE: Medium). Rarely we see the word “FRAUD” as a mistake in business-related articles about something that is going boom on the market. Here’s some more about the Tether drama: “People have been quick to dismiss this as “not a big problem” or “bitcoin finds a way”, but that’s not what Bitfinex and Tether said in their lawsuit against Wells Fargo. Indeed plaintiffs expressly informed Wells Fargo that its decision to suspend outgoing wire transfers in U.S. dollars from plaintiffs’ correspondent accounts presented an existential threat to their businesses. They informed Wells Fargo that if plaintiffs could not remit to customers U.S. dollars that belong to their customers, plaintiffs’ businesses would be crippled…” Who would in their right mind, agree to buy hundreds of millions of dollars of Tethers? [We’re not criminals, but now we have to learn to bank like criminals. – Giancarlo Devasini, Bitfinex Chief Financial Officer and shareholder of Tether during a verbal conversation regarding Tethers]. (SOURCE: Hackernoon). Shady businesses popping up is not something rare to spot these days once a monstrous economic crisis arrives at our doors. Even serious businesses are doing nasty things without you knowing it. Unfortunately, there’s always dirt under the hood we call Market. Anyway, just a quick observation. I’m not here to talk about investments. What you need to visualize is simple: with many businesses making big bets on crypto and building business models around it, you can bet that all top coins’ market value will increase even more in a faster pace, before the government puts an end to it.
HEADLINE: Kodak’s Stock Doubles After Camera Pioneer Boards Blockchain Trend
PUBLISHER: Market Watch
COMMENT: Another good piece of proof showing how volatile the market is nowadays. It’s just too unstable. Remember the tiny fruit juice company that soared its value over 200% once traders on twitter linked the company to blockchain technology? Well, now you know the market you’re dealing with on a daily basis. However, Kodak seems to have a serious blockchain project as opposed to the absurd case I just linked to you. Make sure to read this. Especially the graph and all reported numbers like Kodak’s ICO goal, its new market value and growth potential.
HEADLINE: Someone Locked Away $150M Worth of Other People’s Ethereum Funds
PUBLISHER: Vice (Motherboard)
COMMENT: Although I firmly believe cryptocurrencies is the way out for people to grow financially in a time where banks and the government are against you, there’s no denying that even this new salvation has its own flaws and bugs. Therefore, you must understand that there are risks to it. But there’s also a very strong community supporting all these serious coins and blockchain technology as a whole. Don’t make bets/investments uninformed. But don’t assume everything is sunshine and rainbows either.
HEADLINE: Why Wages Aren’t Growing
COMMENT: A quick article to make you understand that on the consumers’ side, there’s not much going on since debt and stagnant wages are suffocating their ability to buy. Without consumers making enough to spend, there’s no money to pump businesses. Therefore, less growth for companies. Lower wages, less money available running the economy. Because if there aren’t enough jobs for everyone, if there’s a scarcity of AI talent, if companies are hiring robots because of lack of cybersecurity talent, if the educational system is outdated, and if freelancer platforms are supplying hiring demand for a low price to companies then there’s not much B2C money around, isn’t? Summarizing, today’s market reality is very simple: 1) Many businesses aren’t upgrading their employees’ skills due to lack of vision or a weak commitment to growth, making today’s employed workforce not ready for tomorrow’s market; 2) The market is changing every 3 to 6 months which is why AI talent may match professional athletes’ salaries and other jobs are being supplied by freelancers and independent contractors who are up-to-date; 3) The majority of people who won’t be able to get jobs in this new crazy market, won’t have a place in society anymore — economically speaking — forcing companies to fight for far less money. And sometimes I think I should quit my business because it gets way too depressing to know such things.
HEADLINE: This One Factor Could Tell How Far Bitcoin Will Plunge
COMMENT: Read this. Although this article is correct about its core argument, transactions also obviously depend on market acceptance. After all, that’s the end goal of any currency: to be able to trade it for goods and services. But market acceptance either happens when there’s high popularity or because there’s imposition by the government. The market takes a lot longer to accept something new — especially technology — since businessmen fear it won’t last or because they assume it isn’t secure enough for daily operations. The market took a while to accept almost everything, from e-commerce to credit cards. However, huge businesses (retailers) taking bitcoin as payment at massive scale has already started to happen now, which is good news because it’s putting bitcoin to the test. The only enemy left? The Banks & The government alliance. Therefore, expect these two to mess around with bitcoin transactions (like they attempted against Cash in Germany).
HEADLINE: Japanese Retailers Quickly Embracing Bitcoin Payments
PUBLISHER: Nikkei Asian Review
COMMENT: This is good news for the cryptomaniacs. Another reinforcement on this very issue by Bitconnect: “The announcement of Bic Camera’s decision to integrate and accept Bitcoin payments was a nationwide sensation and it took Japan by storm. The effect of it was equivalent to a Walmart or Best Buy in the US accepting Bitcoin payments at their physical stores. Videos of consumers purchasing electronics at Bic Camera chains were trending in most social media platforms”. Great news. Because with more serious companies jumping on the cryptocurrency trend, The War between businesses and the government will become tougher. And about consumers posting videos about it, here’s Jon Southurst, a Bitcoin journalist, releasing a footage of customers using the Bitcoin payment system at Bic Camera (Tokyo). Read this. Share this.
HEADLINE: Europe’s Central Banks Are Starting to Replace Dollar Reserves With Yuan
COMMENT: The dollar is now about to get weaker and weaker as tensions between the US and other nations soar. USA sanctions on Russia for example, disrupted a 5 billion euro loan deal in Italy recently. Venezuela already got hit in the face not too long ago and 13 Chinese companies were also hit in the latest “US delivery”, because of North Korea issues (which indirectly hits China’s economy as well). With so many tensions involving the US, that can’t be good for business. There are options. European Central Banks know that China is the world’s 2nd largest economy (wait, who doesn’t know that?!), and that they have a real shot at winning the AI War against the United States. If China manages to win the AI race, it will become an impossible economic force to beat (which brings us to THE REAL THREAT of Artificial Intelligence). Mark Cuban already said that the 1st TRILLIONAIRE in history will be an AI entrepreneur. Therefore, replacing dollars with the Chinese yuan is a good bet as you can see. Make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: We’re Less Likely to Collaborate in Bad Economic Times
PUBLISHER: Harvard Business Review
COMMENT: Wake up to a hardcore truth: people helping people is already a difficult thing to see in society nowadays, but put economic pressure on them and you’ll see almost NO ONE caring about the next guy. This research just proved the obvious. Because when things get hard, everyone tries to fulfill their own needs. That’s the true problem with all of us facing an economic crisis: Everybody is running life in “selfish mode”. Sadly, it’s the truth. This is why smarter people will understand why this post is connected to this one.
HEADLINE: Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: Whitney Tilson to Shut Hedge Fund After Sustained Poor Returns
COMMENT: Big News (as you can see from the flood of news coverage). Once again the financial crisis is knocking on the door of huge hedge funds, which SHOULD put people in “red alert!” mode because it means the global economy is not….well…pretty. However, that’s not what I’m seeing lately in the market. Very few people are fully aware of what’s coming. Forget hedge funds returning hundreds of millions of dollars to customers, top hedge funds even predicting how the economy will crash, and all the other apocalyptic facts involving the media, ads, fraud, robots and more that are now a reality to businesses. Why worry? Let’s just watch some cat videos.
HEADLINE: South Korea Will Require Real-name Crypto Trading
COMMENT: Why share this? Because a remarkable capitalist country like South Korea making this kind of move on crypto trading marks the beginning of persecution by democratic countries on the crypto world. Bitcoin, Ethereum Litecoin and other serious cryptocurrencies are giving ordinary people FINANCIAL HOPE, as you can see next: “Korean people can dream a happy dream that we’ve never been able to in South Korea, thanks to cryptocurrencies. I might be able to buy a house in a country where it’s very hard to buy a house. I might be able to live a life doing something I want to do. I might be able to take a breath. Please don’t take away our happiness and dreams that we could have for the first time living in South Korea.” (SOURCE: Quartz). Why is that happening? Can you guess? Because of a simple reason: GOVERNMENTS and BANKS are playing against the people. They don’t want people leaving the corrupt economic machine that feeds them, getting richer and therefore paying less tax (link #1 / link #2), and creating disruptive businesses that can replace them. It took a few programmers (some believe satoshi nakamoto is a team of professional programmers) or maybe just one genius armed with a programming interface to make the whole banking system completely useless, disrupting everything. But the government will use “the money laundering excuse” to bring in regulations, when money laundering has been happening for ages in the current corrupt system. Wake up. Because now South Korea just opened the door of excuses to other democratic nations, giving a green light to start the persecution on cryptocurrencies. This is why I said the following a while ago about investing in cryptocurrency: “You have a window of opportunity. Limited time to act. Because very soon the government will try to shut it down because it doesn’t have control over it”. Told ya.
HEADLINE: Tiny Company Soars on Speculated Move into Bitcoin That’s Likely False
COMMENT: I’m all in when it comes to defending cryptocurrency and blockchain, but this is a very good example of how volatile the market really today is in practice. Just because of a few pieces of information and tweets, Future Fintech soared 200%. There’s no security and trustworthiness anymore in today’s market.
HEADLINE: Germany’s Strict New SM Hate Speech Law Claimed Its 1st Victim
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: Get ready to get your content deleted. Do you think all these big social networks have the manpower to monitor hate speech 24/7? Not even close. Obvious consequence: social media companies will choose to protect themselves without looking. No one will consider double-checking your content if they’re about to get hit with a €50 million fine within 24 hours or 7 days on a daily basis. Why use the time of their employees for this? It costs too much money. Especially if the amount of content being produced is about to increase like never before(!). Expect this to expand to other countries very soon as economic pressure arrives, putting people against each other on social networks and increasing “hate speech” (something very subjective). Therefore, think very carefully before considering putting any effort, time, and money into content specifically crafted for Social Media.
HEADLINE: America’s “Retail Apocalypse” Is Really Just The Beginning
COMMENT: ANOTHER MUST-READ. Some monkeys say “there’s no retail apocalypse” going on but if you have this link and all the links in here to study, it gets a lot harder to sustain that “no retail apocalypse” argument. Sometimes people seem to forget that The Market is a huge ecosystem and there are many things interconnected. If one thing starts to crumble, others will follow. It’s a domino effect. Today, there are serious business issues companies are facing with Advertising, Anti-business Laws, Bank debt, Massive Layoffs, International sanctions and more. It’s only logical that “apocalypses” would show up eventually. Because once the business environment is sick, there aren’t many places to run. But hey, you can listen to the other guys and go play with their unicorns as well. It’s a free world.
HEADLINE: The Brutal Fight to Mine Your Data and Sell it To Your Boss
COMMENT: THIS IS A MUST-READ. Bloomberg gives a glimpse about how the business world works in real life nowadays, and the annoying legal battles startups may have to face in order to establish themselves on the market. Just the legal arguments from both sides (Linkedin and HiQ) in this article already make it worth your time because although Linkedin’s lawyers are good, the counter-argument from HiQ is just awesome. Genius. One thing is for sure: there’s always some hope for startups. Read this.
HEADLINE: Mashable and Buzzfeed Are More Bad News for Online Media
COMMENT: OK, one more time: This is another piece of hard evidence that the market is about to experience a big financial crash. I already presented the MANY hazardous issues currently pumping The Media Apocalypse (ad fraud, adblockers, fake metrics, fake traffic etc). Then, as if that wasn’t enough, I talked about how companies are firing thousands of people globally…which is…not a very good sign. But you know, I like to feed my readers and customers with tons of information. So you can delight yourself with the harsh reality about the energy sector tipping us off on the next financial crisis as well. But that’s not all. I also proved how international sanctions are punching businesses in the face here and here. Then there’s the warning published by Top Hedge Funds, predicting how the economy will crash. Really nice stuff, I recommend you to read it. But wait, there’s MORE! Didn’t you know that The European Central Bank has over 4 TRILLION EUROS in toxic debt? And this is just one bank (for perspective, the GDP of the US is 4 TRILLION dollars without considering money borrowed by the American government). How many banks have toxic debt in the world? Well, I’ll let you check that out. Yes, yes, 2008 was just fourplay. So…great! There’s a very entertaining domino effect coming our way. Now, with so many reality-checks available at the cost of a click, this article below shouldn’t be a surprise anymore. There’s only one question left: who’s next?
HEADLINE: The App That Lets A. Huffington and Richard Branson Pick Your Reads
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Although this section is mainly to talk about milestones in the business space, I had to open an exception for this because this App is a very good resource to find more valuable links. Top CEOs, experts and senior professionals curating the best there is on the web about business, finance, marketing and more. Aside from the Pocket App, this is another must-have. Enjoy.
UPDATE – January 30, 2019: Due to a recent merger where Uzabase bought Quartz, the genius Newspicks App became The Quartz App. Relax, because it’s the very same app. Download it now and see it for yourself!
HEADLINE: How The Guardian Found 800,000 Paying Readers
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Customers are willing to pay for high-quality content. The Guardian has proved this to be true to the whole market by doing it through the hardest way possible: via donations. While other newspapers are betting on subscription models, letting readers access part of their content for free and the rest for a monthly or annual fee, websites like Wikipedia and The Guardian appealed to the heart of their readers. And it worked. Good news for all of us. So here’s the ultimate conclusion: Whether you’re a company or a non-profit organization, there’s still hope to grow as long as you’re doing very good work. It’s nice to see some good news for a change.
HEADLINE: Expect Fewer Great Startups If The FCC Kills Net Neutrality
COMMENT: READ THIS.
HEADLINE: GDPR Will Lead to A Scramble to Pass Off Liability to Others
COMMENT: There’s too much negative stuff permeating the global market because of the now famous GDPR. Some experts are shouting to the world that the GDPR + Adblock combination is a deadly combination for the media industry, banks could get hit in the face with a €5 BILLION fine because of GDPR, the CMOs warning of threats within martech infrastructure, GDPR giving a lot more market control to the Duopoly, European startups being unable to match their international competitors due to GDPR restrictions, and a lot more. And finally, with the violent fines that GDPR brings to the game, it’s only natural that companies will choose to protect themselves at all costs creating a stressful environment for businesses where everybody is watching their own tail. Unfortunate, but true.
HEADLINE: “We’re Giving The Business Away to Consultants”
COMMENT: Agencies are starting to feel the real heat since big consultancies entered the marketing game and now the fight seems to be getting tougher with some consultancies offering for free what agencies used to charge for year after year. This is a big hit for agencies. Because it’s the very same strategy Google used with its Google Analytics tool a few years ago. In case you don’t remember, Analytics tools used to cost companies around $30,000 to $70,000 per month which is why many websites didn’t have one in the old days (Google Analytics Premium is $150,000 per month, for example). That was the price to know all the massive data about your online business, that you now have via Google Analytics for “free”. But then, in November 2005 Google launched Google Analytics without charging anything from people, which instigated many questions in the head of experts and boosted Analytics adoption overnight (pag. 25 of PDF version). The thing is: nothing is truly for free. There’s an implicit cost companies are paying for Google Analytics’ free version: Handing over their analytics data to another corporation. That’s expensive. Because it gives Google the ultimate upper hand in the market, allowing it to know the analytics data of ALMOST ALL companies and websites in the world. Something far more valuable than $70,000 a month. That’s priceless information and a huge advantage over its competition. So just like Google, consultancies are about to do the same strategic move if agencies don’t watch out and react in time.
HEADLINE: How to Survive The Media Apocalypse
PUBLISHER: The Atlantic
COMMENT: Welcome to the reality no one wants to talk about: The Media Apocalypse. As a consequence of the dangerous duopoly, media companies are fighting each other for only 16% of all ad dollars available (the rest — 84% — sits with Google and Facebook). But that’s only the beginning for media companies because to make things worse, they have professional criminals engaging in ad fraud, they have a serious issue with adblockers which cuts the ability to reach customers in a better way, and they have big tech companies worsening professional marketing trackability by changing how a browser treats cookies. Quite fun for publishers and media companies, don’t you think? But let’s not forget that for these companies to bring a part of new business and subscribers, they rely on advertising on Facebook and Google. They spend part of the money earned in the 16% market share war, to boost content and adverts on Facebook and Google. But did I mention that Google Adwords is sending fake traffic to websites or the numerous Facebook’s metric errors? Interesting game, right? Well, now you have a glimpse of the reality companies are going through right now and why the Media Apocalypse is already here.
HEADLINE: Mark Ritson: Why You Should Fear “The Digital Duopoly”
PUBLISHER: Marketing Week
COMMENT: READ THIS.
HEADLINE: Can Websites use “Tracking Walls” to Force Consent Under GDPR?
COMMENT: A VERY INTERESTING READ! A must-read if you’re blindly trusting what government institutions are saying about the boundaries of GDPR. This is why independent companies need to exist, to double-check subtle traps, inconsistencies and other negative points in the law coming from the government that can harm businesses and how we all do business. Even “reliable” sources these days can’t be trusted. Well done, PageFair. Thanks for the warning.
HEADLINE: The Booming, and Opaque Business of Dark Web Monitoring
PUBLISHER: Vice (Motherboard)
COMMENT: Do you want to see how companies are monitoring the Dark Web on a daily basis in order to prevent scandals and protect their customers’ data? Read this.
HEADLINE: The Times: No More Than 10 Global News can Have A Paying Audience
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Smart brands are jumping into paywalls because giving away free content all the time is not a sustainable business model. With all the massive competition from all over the world, creating high-quality content is standard procedure if you want to get people’s attention and be considered a real player. But it takes time, money and energy to do it, which his why brands are now shifting to a “pay-to-read” model. Nothing new here. But in this article, there’s a valid point: will smaller brands be able to support themselves via paywalls once they don’t have the same audience size? Probably not. But there’s a possibility: to charge a lot more for one single piece of content. Because thanks to the imminent global financial crisis, the market will shrink far more aggressively than in 2008 and companies that produce great content, will “isolate” themselves behind a hard paywall. Almost all high-quality information will be behind one. Therefore, people will pay more money for one piece of content if it helps them in this new chaotic market. True value counts far more than audience size. If someone has the cure for cancer, it doesn’t matter whether it was sold to anyone else before you’re about to buy. You’ll buy it anyway.
HEADLINE: Israel’s Ailing Teva to Cut 25% of Global Workforce in Recovery Effort
PUBLISHER: The Times of Israel
COMMENT: It’s seriously funny whenever I hear things like “the Market is OK” or “there’s no financial crisis coming”. It feels like I’m talking to a 5-year-old. Just in the last 3 years, IBM fired between 18,000 to 25,000 people in the US, Cisco fired 20% of its global workforce (14,000), Volkswagen fired around 30,000, Microsoft around 18,000, General Electric fired 12,000, HP fired around 28,000 to 33,000 people, and lately, Ford announced to cut 10% of its global workforce (around 20,000). Now, this is only the result of 7 companies which totals almost 150,000 people already. Seven companies. Seven. I’m not even mentioning other HUGE examples like Chinese factory replacing 90% of its human workforce with robots or The Retail Apocalypse List, or Banks about to exchange 50% of its UK workforce for robots, or layoffs in other less-famous large, medium and small companies all over the world. Oh yes, and now Teva. But you know, maybe there’s no financial crisis coming, right? Let’s all relax and continue playing with our unicorns. The market is OK.
HEADLINE: Why Being Great at Your Job is Harder Than it Used to Be
COMMENT: A very good article on how today’s market is shifting so fast that no one can claim for too long the “Awesome at Work” title for themselves. This is a harsh reality we never tasted before in business, where you fight and fight using all your resources, time and money just to accumulate knowledge after knowledge that will probably be outdated in less than a year from now. One more reason why employees are demotivated and students are not as excited as companies expect them to be. Read this.
HEADLINE: The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Own 40 Percent of The Market
COMMENT: This article isn’t here because of those who invest in Bitcoin, no. Instead, it’s here to show you how manipulated this whole thing can get if few people decide to take some hazardous actions with their Bitcoin, hitting the market in the face practically overnight. Whenever there’s high concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, nothing good usually comes out of it. But aside all that, this is another red alert to worry about. The global economy is shattered. Top financial experts have been recently warning all of us that a Market Crash is imminent, The European Central Bank is buying A LOT of bad debt which obviously has a domino effect on the global economy, Quant Funds are struggling to make money because almost everybody in the financial industry is using computer-driven bets to operate in the market, the on-demand economy is a bubble about to burst and there are no jobs for everyone (mathematically speaking). Put everything together and add the Bitcoin Whales and you’ll realize how the whole market is sustaining itself by a few strings. A few strings that can rip any time, unfortunately. Is Bitcoin a good bet? Oh yes. But don’t think for a second that the global market won’t crash and Bitcoin will save the day because that’s an illusion.
HEADLINE: Bitcoin Transactions Aren’t as Anonymous as Everyone Hoped
PUBLISHER: MIT Technology Review
COMMENT: Bitcoin is definitely not perfect(!), especially when we’re talking about anonymity. This article shows some realities that few know about, like merchants leaking payment information and allowing those with a little more knowledge to track you through your purchases (why do you think hackers prefer to mine Monero?). Check this out.
HEADLINE: A Lack of Cybersecurity Talent is Driving Brands to Use AI Against Attacks
PUBLISHER: MIT Technology Review
COMMENT: With few incentives to become a good hacker to later protect a company, people aren’t putting enough effort into studying cybersecurity properly. Like said in this article, there will be a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019. Part of it is because professionals indeed need the proper skills to be considered a “cybersecurity professional” and to know what they’re doing, but the REAL REASON is because of lack of incentive to become one. Whilst bad hackers can make 5 MILLION per DAY, good hackers gain very few rewards from employers in exchange for their work. Don’t forget that good hackers need to monitor several points of a company’s cybersecurity in order to protect it, but one security flaw is enough for a bad hacker to succeed.
HEADLINE: The New York Times is Now Available as a Tor Onion Service
COMMENT: Remember what I said in the Business Article #68? Well, it looks like this may become a new business trend. Although The New York Times is doing this because it knows many of its readers are persecuted journalists (who avoid browsing the normal web to protect themselves), citizens of an oppressive government that blocks people’s access on the internet, or privacy-first individuals, this is in the end about one thing: REACH. Companies are having a hard time reaching their customers, and users are becoming more tech savvy now and blocking tracking mechanisms (and Apple is helping them), forcing businesses to test new ways to reach people. If anyone with U$1000 can track you using Mobile Ads with a little expertise, if criminals are leaving offline activities to work online because it’s simply more profitable, if cybersecurity experts prefer to install Adblock software instead of an Anti-virus, and if your anonymized data can be deanonymized to identify you, HOW do you think users will choose to access the web? Via Tor + VPNs, of course. Therefore, smarter companies know that they have valuable users, who are probably customers, navigating in stealth mode.
HEADLINE: McKinsey: Obesity Costs Global Society 2.0 Trillion a Year
PUBLISHER: Consultancy UK
COMMENT: One of the greatest skills a CEO can have is the ability to connect the dots in the market, that may seem completely unconnected to many. McKinsey pointed out how obesity is actually giving problems to the market in a very concise and precise way through this article, shedding some light on the issue. Just think: if employees are becoming obese then they have more health problems than the average joe which may obviously force them to get a leave from work or take longer breaks, dropping the overall productivity rate of a company. These insights when brought to a countrywide perspective, become a massive problem for businesses.
HEADLINE: The Running List of 2017 Retail Apocalypse Victims
PUBLISHER: Retail Dive
COMMENT: This is the link you show to the monkeys who say: “There’s no retail apocalypse happening”. There’s a HUGE list in here. It’s probably one of the best resources on the internet on this subject, with all brands currently involved in the Retail Apocalypse, and how many stores are closing, for what amount of money they’re selling their brands, to whom they’re selling to and more. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Top Hedge Funds Predict How It All Will End
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: Just read this.
HEADLINE: New Law Firm Seeks would-be Gov’t Whistleblowers
PUBLISHER: Ars Technica
COMMENT: This is interesting. A legitimate business putting an online version of their brand in the Dark Web to reach whistleblowers. Maybe in the future, thanks to the massive number of cybersecurity problems internet users have been facing, normal users accessing the Dark Web will also become the norm, making the Dark Web a “standard channel” as well for brands and customers. Who knows?
HEADLINE: What is the IP Act and How Will it Affect You?
COMMENT: The UK Government will now have eyes on your online activity almost in REAL-TIME! Also they want internet communication companies to stop using encryption whenever possible so they can follow internet users more easily. Although they’ll need a warrant, The NSA and Snowden case proved that trusting the government is not a smart idea (regardless of the country). We all know that corrupted government agents are present, and now, according to the law, these bad agents can OFFICIALLY allow hacking by law. Citizens may be a target of indefensible hacking activity because of this law, since all you need is a corrupt government agent to make violation of privacy, official.
HEADLINE: Banking Sector Will be Ground Zero for Job Losses from AI and Robotics
PUBLISHER: The Conversation
COMMENT: The consequences of AI and Robotics are coming first to the banking sector, because banks have huge loads of high-quality data to feed AI systems allowing them to evolve really fast and with precision. The better your data, the better your AI-driven system. Your A.I. is only good if your data is good, and banks have very good data on their customers. And since the market is about to crash and experience a new and global financial crisis, cutting costs quickly is obviously a very interesting option, and A.I. and Robotics do just that. By the way, a few precious and complementary links you must check out from The Guardian in this article: 2016: The Year A.I. came of Age, Robot Revolution: Rise of ‘Thinking’ Machines could exacerbate Inequality. And 5 Jobs Robots will take first from Shelly Palmer, major influencer.
HEADLINE: New European Rules Will Open Up Retail Banking
PUBLISHER: The Economist
COMMENT: Financial data can really define a person to a third party, removing privacy completely, and banks are now putting your data into strangers’ hands. Although you do have to give explicit consent, the probable scenario is customers having their relationships with banks a bit easier and maybe fee-free if they allow access to their financial data by banks and 3rd parties. Then some shady regulations benefiting banks in this subject may be thrown at customers’ face in the future by the government to make things easier. That’s how the world actually works (or do you have any doubts?).
HEADLINE: All You Need to Know About China’s Sanctions on North Korea
PUBLISHER: South China Morning Post
COMMENT: Welcome to more consequences of this “International House of Cards” scenario. From this SCMP’s article, you can notice two things: 1) China did all latest sanctions just to make Washington “happy” (politics); 2) Nevertheless, businesses were harmed because of this (Feng’s seafood business is an example). As a result these businessmen will not spend much with other businesses, buying less and choosing to stay only in survival mode to avoid further problems. Once again, sanctions messing things up.
HEADLINE: Russia Sanctions Disrupt Italian Bank’s 5 Billion Euro Loan Deal
COMMENT: This is a very practical example of major consequences involving sanctions. As you can see, one “tiny little sanction” from the US on Russia affected a LOAN DEAL of an ITALIAN bank. Domino effect. Therefore, entrepreneurs and businessmen who were about to get a loan from the bank to invest in their businesses, suddenly are left with empty hands because of a….sanction. Consumers who were about to get a loan to buy goods and services (from businesses obviously) are also hit indirectly by a sanction. One single sanction can do a lot of damage in today’s globalized economy.
HEADLINE: Japan to Impose Additional Sanctions Against North Korea
PUBLISHER: Live Mint
COMMENT: Sanctions War. This is where the market is going. When things start to go out of hand politically, countries impose sanctions on one another. The problem is that this is a BOMB to the market, changing how businesses operate practically overnight. Mark this sanction, because other sanctions from other countries are also taking place. And when you put all of them together, you have a very ill market for businesses and entrepreneurs.
HEADLINE: U.S. Imposes First Economic Sanctions Against Venezuela
PUBLISHER: Miami Herald
COMMENT: The reason why I’m sharing this is simple: This cannot escalate to THIS. Because take a look at how much the US relies on Venezuela for oil imports in the Gulf Coast. Interesting. Venezuela is responsible for 10% of US oil imports. But that’s not the actual problem, so where’s the real problem? Follow my lead. I’m assuming you already know that Trump has a history of increasing sanctions if the country doesn’t shift its actions, but if sanctions are also making oil prices rise then all global markets take a hit as consequence. For example, since America has a lot of influence in international markets, it can “forbid” other countries of dealing with Venezuela (remember Trump’s threats towards China because of North Korea?) resulting in fewer oil brands globally, which would obviously increase demand to these remaining oil exporters which ultimately, would raise the price of oil globally. Bad Domino effect. This is why this is important. A few sanctions can change the whole economy really fast because oil price changes have a heavy impact on the economy.
HEADLINE: China to use ‘All Means necessary’ to Fight Trump ‘Protectionism’
PUBLISHER: The Washington Post
COMMENT: Do you have any idea of the real amount of US products that are part of americans’ everyday lives and that are Made in China? No? What about the 2.6 MILLION jobs that exist just for dealing with exports to China? The consequences of a US-China Trade War to both of these countries alone is already devasting, but the global market will also take a hit since we’re in a very interconnected world, putting the global economy under pressure whether we like it or not.
HEADLINE: Banks Are Scheming To Dominate A Future Cashless Society
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: Visa is giving away $10.000 to food service owners via its Cashless Challenge. Several countries are going cashless, removing ATMs, limiting purchases in cash and more. That’s cute. It’s like we are all surrounded by monkeys who forgot about the 2008 crisis, giving to the responsible actors of the 2008 chaotic events more power over people’s money like never before. Sometimes we overestimate how smart people are. Go cashless!
HEADLINE: 5 Top Financial Experts Are Warning That A Market Crash is Imminent
PUBLISHER: The Economic Collapse
COMMENT: Whenever you see “A Hedge Fund is returning HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars to customers”, you know that a HUGE financial crisis is about to explode. HUGE. Seriously, there’s NO OTHER warning more obvious than this one. How can a Hedge Fund that manages this amount of cash, gives up serving its customers like that?! Short, harsh answer: Because the Market is about to experience an ‘Iminent Calamity’. Serious businesses obviously won’t take people’s money if they cannot help anymore. The board is broken. There’s no move you can make that will get you good results. Therefore, your best move is to cash in your chips and leave the game while you still have a chance.
HEADLINE: 40+ Commerce Startups Using AI To Adjust Pricing, Track Behavior, Etc
PUBLISHER: CB Insights
COMMENT: If you want to know what A.I. startups are booming in the commerce sector, read this resource. Here you’ll find all the best companies. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: 80+ Companies Using AI To Secure The Future In One Infographic
PUBLISHER: CB Insights
COMMENT: Massive resource list on top AI-driven cybersecurity companies for those who are seeking preventive digital protection (internal and external threats). Several areas are covered: Mobile Security, App Security, IoT Security, Automated Security, Anti-fraud, Predictive Intelligence, Anomaly Detection, Deception Security and Cyber-risk Management. Many great and serious businesses here, if you do your research. Enjoy. Great work by CB Insights.
HEADLINE: Google, Baidu, Intel, Apple In A Rush To Grab A.I. Startups
PUBLISHER: CB Insights
COMMENT: A MUST READ. This is a GREAT resource showing how most major companies are putting everything they got into buying the best A.I. startups who are shaking up the market. This clear, aggressive behavior that these companies are making proves that those who acquire stronger and better A.I. infrastructure WILL dominate in the next 3 years in business. With the right A.I. acquisitions, companies can fast forward their progress in YEARS. For instance, Google’s acquisitions were very precise: API.AI (now Dialogflow) for chatbot building which is a cheap and essential tool for companies to cut costs in several areas like customer service, DeepMind which is a massive artificial brain used for many things and Moodstock for visual search. All very important areas making the headlines of business today. Google made some powerful core upgrades in months just through these acquisitions. Therefore, this “Race for A.I.” trend is not happening just because of companies wanting to stay competitive, but because they NEED to do this in order to survive.
HEADLINE: 7 AI Chatbot Startups Giving Technology a Voice
COMMENT: There are powerful and once again, RARE chatbot startups in this article that can help your business in many ways, regardless of your chatbot needs and projects. Just take a look for yourself.
HEADLINE: 7 Startups Giving Artificial Intelligence (AI) Emotions
COMMENT: This is a valuable article with a few unique startups that may help you in analyzing data, giving your business one more layer of customer insights but this time, involving emotions. Knowing how your customer is feeling is a way more powerful feedback for businesses than most standard metrics (except sales of course).
HEADLINE: German Plan to Limit on Cash Transactions Met with Fierce Resistance
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Germans, smart people. They understand that a cashless society means actually losing your privacy. Strange people sniffing around your financial records. Besides that, another consequence is having all your money trapped in the bank as a result of bad bank administration, which is the most common thing since banks are buying debt like if it were M&Ms. Cash protects citizens because it not only allows anonymity, but it also makes you independent of stupid corrupt systems who may lock your bank account overnight because of their mistakes, leaving you, the OWNER of the money…cashless.
HEADLINE: As War on Cash Escalates, Cash Lovers Fight Back
PUBLISHER: Wolf Street
COMMENT: Nobody wants their privacy in the hands of the government and banks in a smarter society. Japan is another country fighting the War on Cash because they can foresee what a cashless society can become in the future. All eyes on what you’re buying, what’s on your diet, etc. Who wants this kind of personal data in the hands of corrupt parties like them? No one.
HEADLINE: Things Just Got Serious in Europe’s War on Cash
PUBLISHER: Wolf Street
COMMENT: The War on Cash is a nasty government agenda to control people’s money and to destroy our privacy, seeking surveillance on every commercial transaction made by society. The many ridiculous excuses to support this campaign, like “corrupt people use cash for criminal activities”, makes zero sense since through digital means criminals do the very same thing. But if you need proof, just pick your favorite: Bank hacked? Paypal hacked? Bitcoin wallet hacked? Criminals moving money digitally? The War on Cash is just an attack on privacy. But at least you can extract one business lesson from this news: Every financial/commercial transaction is eventually going to be digital whether you like it or not. Therefore, start thinking about how you can do digital payments better and faster than competitors. QR codes? Mobile Payments? Bitcoin? Make your choices.
HEADLINE: The ECB Morphs into the Mother of All “Bad Banks”
PUBLISHER: Wolf Street
COMMENT: Just have a look at the amount of GARBAGE The European Central Bank has bought lately. Now, with 1/4 of its assets being pure JUNK what do you think will likely happen to Europe soon? MASSIVE Bad Domino effect. Accounts frozen, huge financial crisis, bank runs, bankruptcies and more. Because don’t forget the numbers: 4.23 TRILLION euros. But 1/4 is just “assets” made of garbage. There was an event back in 2008 in which big banks couldn’t pay their bills. Remember what happened next? Lots of fun stuff. Just check out the movie/documentary Insider Job with Matt Damon.
HEADLINE: Leaked: EU Plans to Freeze Deposits to Prevent Bank Runs
PUBLISHER: Wolf Street
COMMENT: One more resource proving how banks and governments may steal your money overnight, using the weak excuse “banks need to be saved to prevent a financial catastrophe” as an argument. But smarter minds aren’t fooled by this. Investors in Europe are now withdrawing money from banks and buying gold, and storing all the gold in PRIVATE vaults. Gold is money that banks and the government can’t control once it’s in your hands. That’s the level of trust banks deserve nowadays. Wake up.
HEADLINE: EU Proposes Account Freezes to Halt Bank Runs
PUBLISHER: The Maven
COMMENT: This is why you must not trust the government nor banks. They manage things poorly, and as a result it’s you who ends up paying the price. And by the situation of today’s banks, with many of them buying massive amounts of debts that won’t be paid back, it’s you who needs to worry. They may lock your money away sooner than you expect. Find assets to allocate your business’ profits as much as possible. DO NOT leave your money in the bank.
HEADLINE: What Happened When I Moved My Company To A 5-Hour Workday
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: This is a lesson for many companies out there, that you must treat your team, your employees, those responsible to help you take your business to the next level, RIGHT. There’s no difference between a customer and an employee. Both are humans. Both deserve the best from your business. You should do as much as possible to make both sides as happy as possible. Because when you treat people right, and when you really care, you get impressive results.
HEADLINE: New Law could Criminalise Uncovering Personal Data Abuses
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Weaklings from the government are putting their paws in another area again, making things worse for businesses and society once more. Businesses also rely on research involving personal data abuse. A small business can discover if a large company is “cheating” in business through personal data abuse in order to gain unfair advantages in the market, for instance. This is the kind of law that centralizes what should be decentralized, blocking individual, neutral actors from uncovering problems.
HEADLINE: Amazon Plans to Check Up on Your Price Checks
PUBLISHER: Naked Security
COMMENT: This Amazon’s patent shows how businesses are putting lots of effort into shutting down competitors, especially if they’re interfering in points of sale. Changing prices with A.I. in real-time is also something that is going mainstream to avoid competition. One last point: this also gives a wake-up call for people who use business-provided public WiFi, proving that nothing is truly free.
HEADLINE: 90+ Market Maps Covering Fintech, CPG, Auto Tech, And More
PUBLISHER: CB Insights
COMMENT: Are you a Consultant? Entrepreneur? CEO? Investor? Then there’s no doubt you’ll find value in this MASSIVE article filled with Market Maps from SEVERAL industries. Maybe you can find new businesses that you can track, that can help you in your end game, or new players that may disrupt your field eventually. Definitely one of the best resources on Market Maps. Have a nice homework.
HEADLINE: Meet The Crowdfunding Consultants: ‘We Live or Die by Success’
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: If you’re not a master in crowdfunding there’s now consultancies that can guide you to make what you want in days. Through surgical expertise, they can do a crowdfunding campaign that can raise the amount of money necessary for your next project. Check the highlights. Check the companies (some are here on the resource page). Check the article.
HEADLINE: Sell Your Personal Data for $8 A Month
PUBLISHER: MIT Technology Review
COMMENT: Although I myself don’t like giving away my personal data to companies, I’m always in favor of testing out things first before I have an ultimatum about it. All big companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and many others make you the product, without giving you something in return. Now, you can sell the data of your own business social media accounts and then later “buy it back” to see the insights you can find on your own. All these dots connected can tell you a lot about yourself and your brand that not even you know about. Examples: what you have been sharing, consuming, how this connects to buying stuff online for you etc. At least here you can look behind the curtain and discover valuable insights in exchange for cash.
HEADLINE: DMCA’s Locks Allowed A Company To Delete A URL From Adblock Lists
COMMENT: This is the type of article you should be aware of if you’re in business and marketing these days. Companies are using DMCA notices (the 1201 in this case) to remove URLs from Adblock lists. Why is this important? Because it shows how the INDUSTRY is really working behind the scenes in the real life, and why factors like the law are being used to fight back adblockers instead of trying to provide a new creative, non-annoying marketing solution. I bet you never taught that Copyright laws could be stretched that far, right?
HEADLINE: DMCA’s Locks Allowed A Company To Delete A URL From Adblock Lists
PUBLISHER: News & Tech
COMMENT: Here’s some hardcore truth: Almost ALL high-quality publications WILL become paywalls very soon in today’s market. With lots and lots of companies doing massive layoffs, and many of those who were fired becoming online entrepreneurs to avoid the corporate world, content is being pumped online like never before creating chaotic noise. Add that to the fact that laws like GDPR will be constraining the use of marketing data, making brands’ attempts to reach customers a lot harder thanks to generic and subjective interpretations. As a natural consequence, high-quality brands are shouting: “Hey you know what? Do you want to continue reading this high-quality content that we worked really hard to produce? Then pay!”. Just check all major news publications like The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and you can see this is not a joke. The market is FORCING serious companies to charge for what was once…free. The good news? Customers are willing to pay for content. Make a shift. Fast.
HEADLINE: The WAR on Cash
PUBLISHER: The Long + Short
COMMENT: There are SEVERAL reasons why you should read this. Several. End of Privacy with the financial industry overseeing ALL your money transactions. Personal financial security because suddenly your money can be 100% confiscated by the government or banks, thanks to their enormous stupidity in managing society and business putting us into another financial crisis and locking our bank accounts. For the smarter minds, this idea of “cashless society” is obviously a trojan horse. A way for governments to control/track you even more. It also imposes fees on your current wealth if every piece of your wealth stored in cash goes to the bank (and they use your own money to make more money). And let’s not forget that poor people are not always “qualified” to have a bank account in some cases. Therefore, Inequality will be worse and Privacy will disappear. Read this. And a complementary article is Why We Should Fear a Cashless World by The Guardian. Read both.
HEADLINE: The Golem Project Aims To Decentralize Internet and Computing
COMMENT: If you’re being held back because you lack the computing power to execute your project then this is something you might want to take a very close look. By using every single computer registered in its network, The Golem Project can give you the same computing power all giants of the market have. Very interesting stuff. Check the article, it may suit your business needs. Here’s Golem Network.
HEADLINE: The Pirate Bay is Hijacking Users’ Web Browsers to Mine Cryptocurrency
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
HEADLINE: By Reading This Article, You’re Mining Bitcoins
COMMENT: This is a very good resource by Quartz to learn how mining really works in the cryptocurrency realm. You can see just a few good highlights below. There’s nothing else to say. Just check out the article.
HEADLINE: Five ways work will change in the future
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Very accurate article by The Guardian on how work will experience a massive shift in some core areas. With tech dominating our lives, economic crisis appearing every 10 years, and the younger generations wanting something different what can you expect? Read the article. The 4º change will cause a lot of problems to businesses, trust me on this.
HEADLINE: The 5 QR Code Basics Every Company Should Know
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: A subject that not many people are talking about even in the Digital Age. This is a short article with some good insights in case you’re wondering how to use QR Codes. And the expert interviewed is honest: “QR Code is not for everybody because sometimes your customer is not tech savvy”. But if you want to open your mind and see more business ideas with this, read 16 Ways QR Codes are being used in CHINA by Andreessen Horowitz. You’ll see Chinese people using QR Codes for identifying pets/elders, for sharing bikes, for gigantic billboards to promote a music app and up to checking the source and authenticity of foods and drinks in the supermarket. Obviously, the “tech savvy” advice mentioned before probably doesn’t apply to Chinese customers. And don’t forget that QR Codes have one powerful element: Curiosity. People always want to know what is behind a QR Code if the message is not clear.
HEADLINE: What’s The Worst That Could Happen With Databases Of Facial Data?
COMMENT: You see big brands like Apple embracing Facial Recognition Technology to use your face as a password. Seems awesome, right? But what are the real problems and implications behind the scenes? What if banks start using the very same method as authentication? What happens then, if hackers steal your face data from Facebook to trick these systems? Can you change your password? Probably not, except with plastic surgery. Here’s a truth true hackers will confirm: EVERYTHING is hackable. There’s NOTHING 100% secure. Protocols, the NSA, the CIA, NASA…everything can be breached. Therefore, there are many consequences to making biometric data mainstream and businesses need to think five times before storing facial data.
HEADLINE: “The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst”: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: This is a red alert. By the numbers exposed by Zero Hedge things are FAR WORSE than 2008 and those telling you otherwise are either lying or living in The Wonderland. To make things worse, a few cute articles popped up lately on the web claiming that there’s no such thing as “Retail Apocalypse” happening. For this kind of “sunshine and rainbows” individual you can show him this pretty link (Retail Dive), this one (Fox Business), and this one as well (The Atlantic). Just as a warm-up for a discussion. So, what you need to think about next? Answer: “What is really going on in the market right now and how it will affect my business?!”. Remember: signs of a huge financial crisis are popping up a lot, experts are warning everybody, but it’s your job to spot the warnings and take action to avoid the chaos that is surely coming.
HEADLINE: Banks Could be Stung for €5bn Under GDPR
PUBLISHER: The Register
COMMENT: A short article that shows that not even Banks are prepared for GDPR. A danger that many businesses need to be aware because its fines are absurdly high, being able to force almost any company to file for bankruptcy overnight.
HEADLINE: Bitcoin: Hackers’ ‘Anonymous’ Currency
COMMENT: Bitcoin is now very very famous but this doesn’t mean it was designed to support strong anonymity. I see many people buying Bitcoins to “hide their cash from others” for instance, but why do you think hackers are exploiting Microsoft IIS Server to mine Monero? It’s thanks to the disinformation I saw online that I’m sharing this because this is very “basic” knowledge. (And yes, I got the irony because of Breitbart’s controversial reputation, but this article is short and accurate, which is what people love these days).
HEADLINE: Why Economic Incentive May Lead to the Failure of Bitcoin
COMMENT: VERY INTERESTING article! SecureList explains several possibilities where Bitcoin may fail because of bad agents in the system. If you like the Bitcoin subject, you’ll enjoy reading this for sure.
HEADLINE: Quant Funds: “We Need More Suckers At The Table”
PUBLISHER: Zero Hedge
COMMENT: The market is a living organism and one very special part of it is INVESTMENTS. Since computers started to be used by hedge funds high-frequency trading (HFT) was the new kid on the block, making investment moves that we humans could only dream of since it takes sometimes milliseconds for a computer to make a BUY/SELL order based on financial data. The problem is, once EVERYBODY starts using HFT there’s not much “dumb money” out there and all volatility is lost because all computers are operating based on the same speed and almost the same data. There are no humans making mistakes anymore so others can profit from their mistakes. As a consequence, hedge funds are seeing very low margins lately. Now here’s the real problem: if a computer starts a selling chain based on wrong (or unusual) data, the whole market can experience a financial meltdown in seconds thanks to HFT. Seconds. Because they also end up tracking each other’s moves to make their own moves. If your computer is following Warren Buffet’s moves in the stock market, wouldn’t you at least copy some of his moves? Now we’re just seeing low volatility. But a “small crash” can be maximized many times in a matter of seconds thanks to algorithm-driven hedge funds because no one wants to be the last idiot who didn’t sell his stocks in time.
HEADLINE: Common GDPR Myths, Debunked
COMMENT: This is a must read for those who aren’t sure about the whole misinformation circulating around the web on GDPR. Read this short article. Although I don’t believe that’s how the 1st myth will play out due to a few factors (like governments and companies running out of money). The thing is that once everybody is in a TIGHT financial situation, all those involved tend to only care about themselves, taking unexpected, unfair actions just to save their own little bellies. Also, with all the competition going on nowadays it’s not fanciful to believe that some companies will try to sabotage others with GDPR. If you really know all the dirt that happens in business, you wouldn’t be surprised either.
HEADLINE: Verizon Looks to Become Dominant Advertising Force
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: Would you let your ISP openly view your web browsing history in exchange for some goodies? That’s where Verizon is putting its new efforts now to fight the Google and Facebook duopoly. This shows that companies are fighting and fighting over your personal data more than ever before because without data, it will be REALLY HARD to sell a product in this vast sea of websites, apps and online distractions we all live today. Millennials for example, have little brand loyalty when it comes to Apps. Try to catch your customer in the gigantic internet every single month and you’ll understand why almost everybody is going after owning reliable personal data. Data makes sales easier. Data helps in making investments and business decisions. Which is why experts in the advertising industry are going nuts because of the ePrivacy Regulation. The world is huge. And all companies’ precious customers who pay the bills are just a tiny little spot in this interconnected world. Therefore, your web browsing history helps a lot in this mess. But how are people responding to all this? Answer: A VPN can stop internet companies from selling your data (Venture Beat). Companies want personal data. Customers don’t want them to have any personal data. Now what?
HEADLINE: The Best Defense is Attack: Eugene Kaspersky vs Patent Trolls
PUBLISHER: Eugene Kaspersky
COMMENT: FINALLY A VICTORY to the good guys! This is a real-life testimony of Eugene Kaspersky himself on how he and his lawyers fought some stupid Patent Trolls who were trying to steal money from Kaspersky. If you’re thinking about giving in to patent trolls just because it’s “the easier and less expensive route” for your business, then read this article and think again because patent trolls always come back to get more money from their “customers”. Don’t make yourself one. Fight them all.
HEADLINE: German Publishers are Joining Forces Against The Duopoly
COMMENT: There are those who believe that GDPR will come to haunt Google and Facebook, but they’re wrong. Businesses that get data from you directly when you use them won’t be in the aim of GDPR as much as those businesses who rely on third-party data that you never knew they had in the first place. So although Google and Facebook use their Terms of Service to get everything from you with your consent, a big known problem is PRIVACY. Google bought Waze, so now it knows where are you going all the time. Google also has Gmail, which many use for business and personal use. A famous company called Lavabit was forced to close its doors by the government because it built a seriously encrypted email that the government couldn’t spy on like Gmail (Snowden used to use Lavabit for email). Google knows what you don’t know, what you research about, what you want to buy, what you bought and more thanks to Google Searches (and maybe what you think..?!). Facebook knows your friends, where you go to have fun, what do you brag about, what do you complain about, who you dated in 2005, how you pretend to be cool on Saturday nights and a lot more. Germany got mad and wants to take back control. It’s ok to collect business-related data. But there’s always a limit. You don’t need to know which song I’m listening to or what’s my dog’s name to sell me a car.
HEADLINE: News UK Looks to Startups to Unearth New Sources of Revenue
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Do you think that News corporations looking for new sources of revenue is a good sign? Well, the last highlight below is a small hint to show that news publishers are struggling to make money in this “content is free” digital era where it’s way easier to find noise and false news than actual valuable content. The Guardian started asking for donations at the end of every article, The Financial Times is behind a paywall, The Wall Street Journal is behind a paywall. And News UK is looking at startups now. The market is giving you hints of today’s business reality and where it’s going. Pay attention.
HEADLINE: Bitcoin Users, The Taxman Wants to Know What’s in Your Piggybank
PUBLISHER: Naked Security
COMMENT: Some personal friends came to ask me about bitcoin and if investing in this “new thing” (as they called it) can bring them real profits. I always answer the very same thing to this question: “You have a window of opportunity. Limited time to act. Because very soon the government will try to shut it down because it doesn’t have control over it”. Although I do see MUCH value in cryptocurrency, and I don’t think of it as “a fraud” (like the bad loser at JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon), THE FACT is that governments AND banks will unite to block their growth somehow in the future. The World Economic Forum published a video and just pay attention to what Gillian Tett says from 02:22 to 02:45. To what do you think she is referring to at the 02:44 mark? Well, now you have the US government surrounding bitcoin to see how it can be controlled as well by the IRS.
HEADLINE: Bitcoin Tumbles as PBOC Declares Initial Coin Offerings Illegal
COMMENT: Raise your hand if you trust your government! No?! Anyone?
Anyway, you can see that one of the least democratic countries on Earth already have some nice measures for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, which proves that there’s only a window of opportunity in this space. Governments want to control everything and make businesses’ lives worse, by creating laws and regulations that assist them instead of the customer/citizen/entrepreneur. If you’re not feeding the government then it’s only a matter of time before they come.
HEADLINE: Kik CEO: Doing an ICO Is Our Only Way to Compete With Facebook
COMMENT: A reality that KIK’s CEO said recently is an ice cold bucket for many entrepreneurs: “ICOs are the only way to compete with Facebook”. He’s probably right. Nonetheless, I always have this belief that some unknown entrepreneur in his garage is building something that can disrupt things as we know it, putting a new technology in play like the blockchain technology. But in today’s business landscape, all the huge companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and others are now blocking competition in core areas limiting growth and innovation for our society. What innovation has Facebook done lately? None. It copied all its latest features from Snapchat. Youtube is copying Musical.ly. So yes, MAYBE one of the only ways to compete now against giants, may be through ICOs. But I always believe there’s something else cooking in the oven out there.
HEADLINE: “Content Doesn’t Need to be Free” Digiday Editor in Chief says
COMMENT: One more reinforcement for brands to embrace paywalls. Like Brian Morrissey said: “relying solely on advertising is a failing model”. That’s because people’s attention is way too short nowadays and brand loyalty is very hard once the user/customer types what he wants, consumes the content you put effort, money, time and resources to create, and leaves towards the next content-free website. While on the Internet, the consumer chooses what website he wants to visit, what content he wants to see, and for how long he wants to consume that content. Attention alone doesn’t pay the bills. Brands now need to start cash in through paywalls if they really trust in the quality of their content. In an ideal world content would remain free, but thanks to the MASSIVE competition online and with user behavior becoming harder to track thanks to adblockers, VPNs, new laws, and financial crisis, the only way out for serious companies now is to charge pure hard cash from those who consume what you’ve been producing. Period.
HEADLINE: The Next Financial Crisis Is Not Far Away
COMMENT: This is A MASSIVE ARTICLE that you must read to better understand how everything is interconnected in this world. Besides A.I. cutting off jobs, low GDPs worldwide, massive layoffs, everybody using high-frequency trading getting low margins in return, World War 3 rumors and you still have to look to the energy sector. ALL this ecosystem together allows you to operate your agency, your corporation, or your solo businesss if you haven’t noticed by now. READ this. It’ll help you connect the dots faster allowing you to predict with more precision worrisome times coming your way. Remember: the more you can connect seemingly unrelated dots in the market, the better you are in business.
HEADLINE: Tony Robbins: 6 Basic Needs That Make Us Tick
COMMENT: Although this fits more in Coaching than in the Business section, this is A MUST READ for EVERYONE who is trying to go to the next level in life and business. It’s amazing how Tony Robbins was able to break down a human being to 6 core human needs. If you want to diagnose hard times in your journey faster, this is the perfect resource. By knowing all these 6 needs you’ll identify the sources of all your problems in seconds, which allows you to make necessary mind shifts that do get RESULTS. Ray Dalio said in a Tim Ferriss podcast that “happiness is meaningful work + meaningful relationships”. Well, you can bet that to unlock and achieve happiness in life and business, you just need to work on either one of these 6 human needs.
HEADLINE: What Influencer Marketing REALLY Costs
COMMENT: If you’re wondering how much a true influencer costs on social media for businesses this is a good resource for you. But always remember that the numbers are based on what a few agencies said, so there’s no need to take this as if it were the ultimate truth.
HEADLINE: EU Regulations Put AI Startups at Risk of Being Left Behind
COMMENT: A few months back a stupid CEO said to me that GDPR would only affect the likes of Google and Facebook. Well, that kind of statement can only reveal that he’s just a kid in business because it’s actually the other way around. Companies with third-party data will be the most affected ones. Plus there’s the factor that giants can withstand more lawsuits and fines due to huge economic power. Well, now here’s more to add to this discussion. This article is a reinforcement that startups have to deal with very strict regulations that don’t allow much competition in Europe. Big problem. Because for companies/startups today, one of the best ways to pick a fight with tech giants is through dark data, which is most of the times third-party data (GDPR’s favorite). So although having most of this data available online is good news, with strict regulations hope tends to fade away. Yes, you may have A.I., a great team, an awesome idea, and all the third-party data you need to build a remarkable business capable of fighting tech giants but you cannot properly execute your idea because of… regulations. That’s killing brands in the embryonic stage who have great potential to disrupt things. Besides, tech giants are spending over U$4 Million in lobbying nowadays, which is making them stronger so they can go international and dominate markets in foreign countries, like European ones. Indeed, there’s not much fair competition for startups who have to face this kind of regulations today.
HEADLINE: 24 Industries Other Than Auto That Driverless Cars Could Disrupt
PUBLISHER: CB Insights
COMMENT: This article has some VERY good insights. A few particular points like the Fast Food, and the Parking lot are the main ones that caught my eye because they really make sense (especially the fast food insight). With GM, Tesla and other car manufacturers putting driverless cars above all else, some industries will definitely feel a financial hit because humans always prefer easiness and comfort above everything else and many of the cited industries won’t be able to match driverless cars’ comfort levels. Check out this article. It really shows some market consequences that most are ignoring.
HEADLINE: Advertisers Warm to Amazon’s Increasing Ad Pitch
COMMENT: A new player has been showing its face lately in the ad industry: Amazon. From the highlights below you can see that some brands are happy with their ROI like in the Golden Era of Google Adwords. I personally heard (and read) experts in the industry using Amazon Ads and Pinterest Ads to cut through the massive online noise with considerable success. Amazon does have lots of buying-related data which makes it easier for them to pinpoint your ideal customers faster. Some companies seem to be experiencing this already.
HEADLINE: A Genius Hacker Explains How to Keep Your Business Safe From Hacks
COMMENT: THIS is how I met Walter O’Brien, the genius hacker interviewed in the video. Incredible entrepreneur, founder of Scorpion Computer Services. But although the name implies computer-related only services, Scorpion worked for many areas like: Nuclear Energy, Prison Administration, Air Force, NASA, SWAT, Hacking, Cybersecurity, Navy Seals, Personal projects etc. If you’re also an entrepreneur who likes learning about several subjects, if you love knowledge, then THIS IS A MUST for you. There’s almost no reading here, just a 16-minute video in which Walter explains how his genius-driven business works and the CRAZY projects he solved with his company because of his high IQ. Walter’s IQ is 197, the 5th higher IQ in the WHOLE WORLD. Einstein’s IQ was 160, just so you have an idea of the brain this guy has. Behind him, there’s also a team of other geniuses from different industries working with him in all kinds of crazy, almost impossible-to-solve projects. Check this out.
HEADLINE: Genius PR: Lessons From Walter O’Brien And ‘Scorpion’ (He’s Real!)
COMMENT: THIS IS A MUST READ. Seriously. Walter O’Brien, like mentioned before, is a genius with a 197 IQ, a hacker, an entrepreneur and the one responsible for creating a unique TV Show on CBS named after his business: Scorpion. This was his PR move to promote his business to attract new special talent (geniuses) because he knew that millennials are addicted to TV series, especially if it appeals to the intellect. There’s no need to oversell anything here. Just check the highlights below of his real-life projects, and watch season one of Scorpion. You’ll absorb tons of knowledge in hours. Yes, this guy REALLY is a genius. He has put awesome work with his TV show, and his company’s projects as you’re about to see. Very very rare entrepreneur. Period. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Why Luxury Brands Are Putting Microchips in Your Clothes
COMMENT: Fashion brands are exploring RFID technology to shield themselves from counterfeits and to optimize stock management, by putting chips in your clothes and accessories. This article brings up a few interesting numbers and stats for business owners that show how efficient RFID technology is being in the real market. Big names in business are embracing it. Therefore, depending on your industry, it may be a very good solution to the same problems.
HEADLINE: Google’s Firing of Anti-Diversity Memo Writer Has Ignited a Culture War
COMMENT: Somehow there’s still those who believe that big tech brands are neutral, politically. Well, this is here to argue otherwise. The truth is that every brand has a political view because they’re run by PEOPLE and people always position themselves. Brands can stop doing business with you just because of what you believe/represent. Therefore, always be straightforward with what you represent so you can avoid wasting time of your lifespan in the future with the wrong companies/partners.
HEADLINE: Here’s How You Can Send Money to a Friend Via Twitter (in France)
COMMENT: Innovation. Using Social Media to wire money was a great idea. With many professionals, CEOs, journalists, and businessmen tweeting all the time why not allow them to pay someone there as well? Genius idea.
HEADLINE: The $8,000 Mistake That All Bloggers Should Beware
PUBLISHER: The Content Factory
COMMENT: Are you a professional blogger? Then this real-life story of The Content Factory is a MUST READ. This shows how an online business had to fight a Copyright Troll, over a stupid image that practically had no value at all. Copyright monkeys are everywhere. There was this famous “law firm” called Righthaven which got famous because of its Copyright Troll business model (WIRED), buying rights to other people’s content just to shoot lawsuits on businessmen who don’t yet have much cash to fight back in court, forcing them to settle down for smaller amounts like The Content Factory did. The business world is full of monkeys. Always remember that, friend.
HEADLINE: The on-demand Economy is a Bubble—and it’s about to BURST
COMMENT: Brand Loyalty. Quartz reported the harsh truth with PRECISION in this article about the on-demand economy. The reality is that although companies like Uber and Lyft have been exploding, they’re burning cash and Uber lost its war in China. Similar brands face the brand loyalty problem, because as stated by Quartz, customers don’t care whether they get food from one brand or another. This is another very good read if you are an investor or entrepreneur.
HEADLINE: Hackers Stole My Website And I Did A $30,000 Operation To Get It Back
COMMENT: Have you ever woke up to realize that your online business is being sold on Flippa (place to buy websites) without your approval? Well, then read this real-life story. This shows how you’re probably all alone when a hacker steals your website. The company hosting your site may not be of too much help at all, neither other companies and institutions that you expected a friendly hand. The FBI got involved here. Make sure to read this if you own a URL you care about, whether it’s your business or just a hobby.
HEADLINE: The Job Market: A Game of Musical Chairs Over Hot Coals
COMMENT: Did you know that even if you do get a job you may live in poverty nowadays? Or that pursuing tech, science and other trendy areas won’t make much of a difference? This is a remarkable article proving through hard data that the job market is just a huge mess, and just because you’re in tech for example, it doesn’t mean you’ll get a job. Being unemployed now is no longer a direct consequence of you not going after a job in today’s world. Technology plus financial crisis made things a lot worse, and the amount of job per person available has shrunk exponentially. Read this.
HEADLINE: Why You Should Never Name A Company After Yourself
COMMENT: There are only 2 rules that allow you to name a company after yourself: 1) When you’re 100% sure you won’t bring any investors; 2) When you’re 100% sure that the company is your life’s purpose. If your new brand doesn’t meet those criteria, forget about naming it after you because eventually you may end up in big trouble.