As we Americans ease into a holiday-shortened workweek, a few notes on what’s ahead and a look back at a leader we can learn from:
–Donald Trump will likely announce his running mate this week or next, while Hillary Clinton continues vetting possible choices. As politicos speculate endlessly, the big point to keep in mind is that the potential downside of this decision far exceeds the upside. A wise choice only rarely helps a presidential nominee significantly, but a bad choice becomes a non-stop drag on the campaign. Examples are easy to think of: John McCain’s choice of the air-headed Sarah Palin in 2008, George H.W. Bush’s choice of obscure congressman Dan Quayle in 1988, Richard Nixon’s 1968 pick of Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew, who resigned to avoid criminal charges including extortion and bribery, and George McGovern’s disastrous 1972 choice of Senator Tom Eagleton, who had to be dumped and replaced after revelations that he’d received electroshock psychiatric therapy. Blunders abound. But brilliant choices? John F. Kennedy’s pick of Lyndon Johnson in 1960 probably helped him win the critically important state of Texas, but other instances are elusive.
Bottom-line advice on making the v.p. decision: Just don’t blow it.
-The Allen & Co. summer shindig in Sun Valley, Idaho, convenes today. Anything truly important will occur in private conversations, and truly important things do happen there; Verizon’s $4.4-billion purchase of AOL reportedly got started there in a chat between Verizon’s Lowell McAdam and AOL’s Tim Armstrong, for example. An intriguing detail of this year’s invitee list: It includes Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and arch-enemy Shari Redstone. No word yet on whether either will attend.
-In Europe, growing hostility toward the E.U. continues to play out. Britain’s Conservative Party lawmakers will hold two rounds of voting this week (today and Thursday) to begin choosing a successor to Prime Minister David Cameron, who will resign in the wake of the Brexit vote. Italy is preparing for a referendum, likely in October, on broad political reforms proposed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. He has said that if he loses, he’ll resign. Opinion polls show that the populist Five Star Party is now more popular than Renzi’s Democratic Party, and Five Star favors a referendum on Italy’s use of the euro. Instability, uncertainty, and resulting economic weakness may be only beginning in Europe.
–Jack Taylor died over the weekend at age 94. He founded Enterprise Holdings, America’s largest car rental company, America’s largest buyer and seller of cars, and America’s largest hirer of new college graduates, virtually all of whom it puts to work washing and vacuuming cars as new staff members at the company’s 7,200 locations. Taylor didn’t set out to build this colossus – “Enterprise kind of grew by itself,” he modestly told Fortune’s Carol J. Loomis in 2006 – but build it he did, creating a culture of hard work and down-to-earth decency that outlives him under his son, CEO Andy Taylor. He also gave away hundreds of millions of dollars. Carol’s revelatory article remains worth reading ten years later.
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What We’re Reading Today
Bank of England eases
In an effort to keep banks lending as the U.K. plans its exit from the European Union, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has reduced bank capital requirements and has given insurers more time to adjust to new capital rules. Carney will meet with bank CEOs to discuss further steps to ensure lending continues during the adjustment. Reuters
House of Representatives reconvenes…
…with conflict on the agenda. Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a vote this week on a series of counterterrorism measures, but Democrats want to tackle gun control. Pre-recess, in the wake of the Orlando shootings, many held a sit-in on the House floor to demand votes on their proposals. While House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer vowed that the Democrats would “be back” following the recess, it’s unclear how they would force Ryan to hold a vote. Washington Post
Ashley Madison under FTC investigation
The infidelity dating site used “fembots” to impersonate real women and converse with paying male customers on the site, says an Ernst & Young report, confirming allegations that arose after a large data breach exposed user data. It’s unclear if that is the reason for the Federal Trade Commission investigation. Rob Segal, CEO of the site’s parent company, New Avid Life Media, says the breach cost the company over a quarter of its revenue. Fortune
Building a Better Leader
If you’re getting a new boss every few months…
…schedule an interview with your new manager. Explain your accomplishments, strengths, and goals. It’ll help him or her know who you are as the organization makes changes. Harvard Business Review
Non-compete clauses for small businesses…
…aren’t usually worth the time and expense needed to enforce them. Fortune
When you’re not in the mood to work…
…like, say, the day after July 4th, don’t focus on easy tasks. Tackle tasks that carry a larger business purpose to motivate you. Inc.
The town of Hershey could hold key to any Hershey merger
Hershey CEO John Bilbrey rejected a takeover bid from Irene Rosenfeld‘s Mondelez last week. But if Rosenfeld pushes, the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania, could have a significant say in the outcome. That’s because the company’s controlling shareholder is the Hershey Trust, and state law requires such a trust, in evaluating a possible sale, to consider “its economic impact as a principal business enterprise on the community.” The town has fiercely opposed previous takeover attempts. Fortune
Amazon stops listing list prices
Jeff Bezos built the online retailing giant partly by offering good deals, but in recent months Amazon has stopped emphasizing savings vs. list prices. Consumer class-action suits claim that online dealers’ savings aren’t always what they seem. The change is also part of a strategy shift for Amazon, which wants to move beyond selling on price. NYT
Three suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia
Authorities believe ISIS is responsible for all of them, including one in the holy city of Medina. ISIS had threatened greater violence during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which ends today. The group is believed behind the attacks in Bangladesh, in Baghdad, and at Istanbul airport, in the past week. CNN
Up or Out
Deutsche Lufthansa has named Ulrik Svensson its new CFO. WSJ
Jack Taylor, founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, died Saturday at 94. NYT
Fortune Reads and Videos
Both Democrats and Republicans plan to spend…
…at least $60 million on their conventions. The host cities get $50 million in federal grants for security as well. Fortune
The fallout from Kevin Durant’s decision…
…to join the Golden State Warriors continues. It’s also interesting to note where he decided to make the announcement. Fortune
Donald Trump says his Hillary Clinton tweet…
…with the star of David wasn’t anti-semitic. Reports indicate an image used in the tweet first appeared in a neo-Nazi forum. Fortune
A NASA super-balloon…
…just broke a flight duration record. It floated from New Zealand and landed in Peru after 46 days. Fortune
Quote of the Day
“There is evidence that some risks have begun to crystallize. The current outlook for U.K. financial stability is challenging.” — Bank of England statement after its Financial Policy Committee meetings to discuss Brexit fallout. Reuters