Category Archives: USA

Walmart International spent $16 billion to go big in India. CEO Judith McKenna has to make it work – CNN

Walmart International spent $16 billion to go big in India. CEO Judith McKenna has to make it work – CNN

Was talking to a friend about India and VC – one thing we all agree on is that the monster exit of Flipkart has done wonders for the scene. Lots of people made money and it is going to new firms and new startups which helps to compete with the old guard. More foreign funds will pay attention now knowing exits can and will happen.

However – making investors, founders and employees rich has nothing to do with Walmart turning Flipkart into a money machine.

On this part -I think they will struggle long-term against Amazon.

Get the popcorn.

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook; But Does Her Plan Make Any Sense? | Techdirt

The whole thing is a good read. I don’t have the answers but I think competing with these big companies gets harder and harder with each passing year. That’s a problem – maybe breaking them up would help but I think the process to do so is too convoluted and costly.

I think fighting anti-competitive behaviour has to be the first line of attack and even on the record America isn’t doing well at all.

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook; But Does Her Plan Make Any Sense? | Techdirt:

And, again, none of this is to say we shouldn’t be concerned about big internet companies with too much power. It’s a perfectly reasonable concern, but just because you want to “do something” and “this is something,” doesn’t mean that it’s the something we should do. The way to attack the positions of these big internet companies is to enable more competition — and you do that by encouraging alternatives in the marketplace. This is why I’m actually hopeful that some of these companies will actually start to explore an idea of moving to protocols, rather than owning the whole platform themselves, or that we’ll see new protocols springing up.

Meanwhile, if Warren were truly concerned about “monopolies” and a lack of competition, why isn’t her plan looking at the lack of competition in the broadband and mobile markets — cases where we have legitimate competition problems due to bad regulatory policies going back decades?

Huawei CFO arrested, expect trade talks to continue as US-China tech strains intensify

Great quick take on the Huawei stuff and its broader implications.

Huawei CFO arrested, expect trade talks to continue as US-China tech strains intensify:

I have seen speculation that China may retaliate by arresting a US tech executive. That would certainly be explosive, but I am not sure Beijing would do that without a very clear legal case as it would undermine the massive propaganda campaign the Party has undertaken to portray the PRC as open for foreign business and as the defender of the global trading system. However, if I were a US tech executive I would delay travel to China for a bit or go on a vacation if based there…

Remarks by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., on the United States and China at a Crossroads – Paulson Institute

The whole speech is good. 

I don’t agree with it all but these are troubling times.

I have highlighted the part that really hits home with me.

Remarks by Henry M. Paulson, Jr., on the United States and China at a Crossroads – Paulson Institute:

Meanwhile, the integration of people, especially the brightest young students, could also stall — as Washington potentially bans Chinese students from studying whole categories of science and engineering subjects.

If all this persists—across all four baskets of goods, capital, technology, and people—I fear that big parts of the global economy will ultimately be closed off to the free flow of investment and trade.

And that is why I now see the prospect of an Economic Iron Curtain—one that throws up new walls on each side and unmakes the global economy, as we have known it.

Now, as a practical matter, rather than an aspirational one, China still relies a lot on global capital, trade, investment, and foreign know-how.

And so the most strident calls for “decoupling” are actually coming from the United States and, to a lesser extent, from Europe, not from China.

But here’s the problem for those in my country who advocate a US-China “divorce”:

“Decoupling” is easier when you’re actually a couple.

But the United States and China are not, in fact, a couple. There are more than two players here. And the rest of Asia, in particular, gets a vote.

So the US can try to divorce China by restricting flows of goods, capital, technology, and people. But what if others, especially in Asia don’t want to follow suit?

Many years of working in and around Asia have taught me this:

I do not believe that any country in Asia can afford to divorce China, or even wishes to.

That is a function of their geography, of economic gravity, and of the strategic reality they live with each and every day.

It is true that many governments and businesses around the world share Washington’s current concerns. And sometimes, these governments and businesses are pursuing similar policy and business choices, particularly with regard to investment screening for national security risk, which is being bolstered in a number of countries, especially in Western Europe.

But let us not presume this also means that everyone, including America’s closest allies, is ready to “divorce” China, as some in Washington would now have it.

On the contrary, no country, in my view, will “divorce” a major nation that remains, even amid a slowdown, among the world’s fastest growing major economies.

So in its effort to isolate China, the United States risks isolating itself.

Consider what would happen, for instance, if multinational companies decided that they should be headquartered somewhere else — still aiming to ride the wave of a growing Chinese economy but in a country less hostile to their doing business with Beijing.

Hosting scores of leading, best-in-class multinational corporations is among America’s greatest competitive strengths. And it is one that America now risks surrendering — if it cannot get right its links with the world’s fastest-growing economies, including China’s.

Frankly, de-integration is inevitable, and even necessary, in some areas—not least to protect our national security.

But it is decidedly not in America’s interest to attempt this across the board.

Divorce doesn’t work well for global businesses.

And the same could be said for the trade policies that drive companies and countries away.

This is exactly what worries me about the new clause Washington inserted into the recent US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which aims to short-circuit or even veto efforts by America’s partners to open China’s market through their own trade negotiations.

Why would Asian countries, which are negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, among a group of 16 that includes China, walk away from their negotiation at the behest of the country that pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

I presume they will not.

So instead of pursuing a carefully calibrated de-integration—focused on sensitive and critical areas—the US seems instead to be flirting with a comprehensive de-integration.

And through initiatives like that new trade clause, Washington now strikes many people as attempting to disrupt all aspects of China’s external economic relationships.

This risks setting Washington up for a new round of battles with its allies and partners—the very partners it needs to help alter Chinese behavior.

And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what I mean by American “self-isolation.”

U.S. share of global venture capital fell more than 20% in 5 years | VentureBeat

This will be interesting to watch. Is it a speed bump or a real shift? With the shitshow that is American politics, my feeling is this is just the beginning. America may not be failing today but this is a leading indicator of some sorts but of course the growth abroad is just getting started.

My personal belief is that the current American administration is no longer planning for the future and that means America is in much more trouble decades from now.

In 2012, U.S. startups captured 71 percent of all global venture capital investment. Last year, they captured just 50 percent.

— Read on venturebeat.com/2018/10/05/u-s-share-of-global-venture-capital-fell-more-than-20-in-5-years/

KKR’s Kravis Sees Southeast Asia Winners in U.S.-China Trade War – Bloomberg

I guess a contrarian view of sorts where the USA/China trade war benefits SEA region. Possible but I assume there will be pain before the possible gains.

KKR & Co. is seeking to invest more in Southeast Asia, where companies are poised to benefit from the U.S.-China trade dispute, according to the private equity firm’s co-founder Henry Kravis.

— Read on www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-02/kkr-s-kravis-sees-southeast-asia-winners-in-u-s-china-trade-war