Fortune Global Forum meeting in Toronto on October 15, 2018.
Photo credit: Stuart Isett/Fortune Global Forum
By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
October 16, 2018

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Hi again from Toronto, where the annual Fortune Global Forum kicked off Monday with conversations about China, global investments, drug pricing, and a speech by and interview with Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau. He speaks beautifully and cogently in two languages but doesn’t always answer the questions he’s asked. In other words, Canada has politicians too. They’re just more polite than their U.S. counterparts.

I moderated a first-thing-in-the-morning panel on the future of the Chinese economy. Jonathan Woetzel of McKinsey Global Institute made an interesting point echoed later in the day by Wei Sun Christianson, Morgan Stanley’s top executive in China. They both argued that the macroeconomic slowdown in China, caused by a host of reasons, is happening literally coincidentally with the U.S.-China trade spat. To suggest a causal relationship, in other words, is highly dubious. I hadn’t thought of that before, and I found their argument persuasive.

Alex Gorsky, CEO of healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, dodged a question about a Trump proposal to force drug makers to post prices in consumer drug ads. He said he’s all for transparency but doubts there’s a consensus on what actual prices are. This was a less persuasive argument.

Donna Strickland, the Canadian Nobel laureate in physics, says her graduate-student daughter is a physicist, too. She said every friend in her life is coming out of the woodworks to congratulate her.

More Wednesday.


Regular readers know I’m a big fan of The Daily, the outstanding podcast from The New York Times. I’ve recently also begun listening to the third season of Serial, a monumental journalistic achievement and devastating takedown of the U.S. criminal-justice system, shown through the prism of the courts in Cleveland. Host Sarah Koenig is funny, conversational and a wonderful observer of telling details. I highly recommend it.


One more recommendation. Researcher Alex Rosenblat is about to publish Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work. If this outstanding essay in Sunday’s New York Times is any indication, it’s going to be a profoundly important book. And Rosenblat is Canadian!

Adam Lashinsky


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