The Republican Party platform’s final version, released at the convention, is the opposite of the Democrats’ platform in all the ways you’d expect and in one other way. While presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks in snooze-inducing sentences, the platform is filled with fiery Bernie Sanders-style invective (“Democrats will fight against the greed and recklessness of Wall Street”). By contrast, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump can scarcely open his mouth without scorching the audience’s ears, while the platform speaks mostly in soothing, measured tones. Look into the details, though, and you’ll find some surprises.
Last week we examined the Dems’ platform for issues of greatest import to business leaders. Today we do the same with the GOP platform, in both cases ignoring the sections on social policy, defense, etc.
-Much of the document rails predictably against federal regulation, but with an intriguing exception. In a paragraph excoriating the excesses of the EPA, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Labor Department, and the National Labor Relations Board, a paragraph that calls Dodd-Frank “the Democrats’ legislative Godzilla,” there’s this surprise: “We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.” Irony No. 1: The defenders of economic liberty are advocating the revival of FDR-era federal regulation. Irony No. 2: The so-called “Party of Wall Street” wants to enact a law that Wall Street hates. Irony No. 3: Republicans want to re-regulate Wall Street by reversing deregulation that was championed and signed into law by Hillary Clinton’s husband.
-The platform nods to Trump’s strongly protectionist promises but leaves loads of wiggle room in delivering on them. “We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first.,” it says. “A Republican president will insist on parity in trade and stand ready to implement countervailing duties if other countries refuse to cooperate.” In other words, we’re ready to slap tariffs on Chinese imports, but we don’t have to. “We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation,” the platform says, without saying how to stop it. The vague statement “Significant trade agreements should not be rushed or undertaken in a Lame Duck Congress” is obviously code for “Don’t even think of acting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the Donald is sworn in.”
-On business taxes, the platform is clear on its objectives. It would replace America’s global tax system with a territorial system along the lines of what every other developed economy uses. It favors lowering the tax rate and broadening the base by reducing deductions and “corporate welfare.” But how? It doesn’t say, and attempting to implement that policy would provoke a lobbying orgy for the ages.
-On personal taxes, the platform doesn’t endorse or oppose a VAT. It just says that adopting one must be contingent on repealing the Sixteenth Amendment, which authorizes the income tax. Similarly, the platform doesn’t explicitly call for lowering capital gains taxes. It says only, “We need to consider the effect of capital gains rates on the availability of venture capital.”
Party platforms are campaign documents, filled with loaded language, appeals to emotion, half-truths, and illogical arguments. In addition, nominees needn’t adhere to them. But reading them is illuminating. We’ll provide a link to the Democrats’ final version when it becomes available next week.
You can share Power Sheet with friends and followers here.
What We’re Reading Today
New lawsuit claims VW execs covered up the emissions cheating
Those named in the lawsuit brought by New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland include CEO Matthias Müller. The New York lawsuit claims Müller knew Audi vehicles couldn’t pass emission standards in 2006, when he headed project management at the division. Soon after, Audi installed cheating software, though the suit doesn’t claim Müller knew about the decision. Former CEO Martin Winterkorn is also named repeatedly in the suits, which claim he knew of the cheating devices by 2014. Volkswagen denies Müller’s alleged involvement, which could bring more penalties against the company. Reuters
Roger Ailes is negotiating his exit from Fox News
The chairman’s dramatic reversal of fortune, after 20 years of shaping the channel into a highly profitable and powerful conservative media platform, comes just two weeks after former anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes for sexual harassment. Other women accusing Ailes of harassment have since come forward. Fox News parent 21st Century Fox is conducting an internal investigation NYT
Donald Trump is officially the GOP nominee
His son, Donald Trump, Jr., representing the family’s home state of New York, cast the votes that put his father over the 1,237 needed to secure nomination. Some states expressed outrage that they were forced to cast all their votes for Trump instead of splitting them among multiple candidates. NBC News
Dollar Shave Club sells to Unilever for $1 billion
Dollar Shave Club CEO and founder Michael Dubin will continue to lead it after the sale. The acquisition by Paul Polman‘s Unilever will help the company expand faster. Unilever approached Dubin with the merger idea as it sought its first direct to consumer shaving line. Fortune
Building a Better Leader
To find the best hires…
…build a strong employee referral system. In a survey, 71% of HR professionals and job seekers say the best employees comes from referrals. CIO
To create organizational change…
…think like a small business. That means having courage to test new ideas and learn from the failures. Fortune
CEOs that adopt leadership practices contrary to company culture…
…performed better. Surprisingly, they produced 1% to 4% better return on assets, says new research in the Journal of Applied Psychology. WSJ
U.S. set to block two health insurance deals
Antitrust officials are expected to file suit later this week to block Joseph Swedish‘s Anthem from buying David Cordani‘s Cigna and preventing Mark Bertolini‘s Aetna from acquiring Bruce Broussard‘s Humana. The Justice Department had telegraphed the moves despite indications by Anthem and Aetna that they would divest portions of the merged companies’ assets in order to pass antitrust muster. Chicago Tribune
Clinton nears v.p. pick
The top remaining choices are reportedly Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, but Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Sherrod Brown are apparently still options. Expect an announcement this weekend in Florida. CNN
An attempted “coup” at Hyperloop One?
Hyperloop One, the company looking to develop hyperloop technology after Elon Musk championed the idea, has countersued cofounder Brogan BamBrogan, who has sued the company’s leaders claiming mismanagement. The countersuit claims BamBrogan and three others tried to start a competing firm while at Hyperloop One. It also claims BamBrogan showed up with “liquor on his breath,” and engaged in “brazen sexism.” BamBrogan denies the claims. Fortune
Up or Out
Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO) has named Emmanuel Roman its new CEO. He will begin in November. Fortune
Fortune Reads and Videos
Apple FaceTime bug allows snoopers to listen in
A Salesforce engineer discovered the bug, which lets an intruder listen to what you say even after you’ve ended the call. Fortune
Hillary Clinton’s campaign tries to read the titles of all of Trump’s lawsuits…
…in under 4 hours, in video they shared on Facebook Live. Fortune
A Theranos adviser writes an op-ed…
…outlining why he thinks the company has an exciting future. Dr.William H. Foege says the embattled company’s patents are still strong. Fortune
Nissan says a problem in developing self-driving cars…
…is accounting for differing driving cultures in different regions. It’s particularly challenging in areas of heavy traffic. Fortune
Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesar’s Pizza, turns 87 today. Today Birthdays
Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski turns 80 today. Biography