By Alan Murray and Claire Zillman
January 19, 2018

Good morning.

Great reputations are hard to build, but it turns out they are also hard to lose. That’s why Fortune’s World’s Most Admired list, which ranks companies based on their reputation among other business leaders, shows such stability from year to year. Top of the list this year, for the 11th year in a row, is Apple. No. 2, for the second year running, is Amazon. Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway, and Starbucks fill out the top five.

But while reputations are hard to lose, it’s not impossible. GE dove out of the top ten this year, plummeting from No. 7 to No. 30. On the upside, both Adidas and Lockheed Martin broke into the top 50 for the first time.

Among company leaders, Mark Zuckerberg got most mentions as “the most overrated CEO,” while Satya Nadella was voted “most underrated.” (Jamie Dimon and Elon Musk made top five on both lists!)

And since it’s Friday, some feedback:

C.E. was keen enough to recall that in August, after Trump’s business advisory councils exploded, I wrote that the events “greatly reduced any chance that the president and Congress have of enacting serious legislative reforms.” Wrong about that.

And J.C. busted my chops for mentioning yesterday that it’s hard to know how much of Apple’s promised spending in the U.S. “would have occurred even without the tax cut.” Says he: “You give no credit to the president.”

So let me be clear: the tax bill wouldn’t have happened without Trump, and all evidence suggests it is boosting U.S. investment and growth. Only question is whether it was worth the cost, which will be decided by future generations, who got stuck with the bill.

News below, including IBM’s first revenue growth in 23 quarters.

Alan Murray


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