Skip to Content

Feedback on Nike and Kaepernick: CEO Daily

Good morning.

CEO Daily was dark Friday, so I’m breaking precedent and using Monday for reader feedback. My July 3rd post on Nike generated plenty. I’m happy to report that most of it was civil, suggesting CEO Daily readers can still have a thoughtful debate about such polarizing issues.

First, Nike’s defenders:

“I respectfully think you’ve totally misread Nike’s intentions. Calling attention to police brutality towards African Americans isn’t an issue that should divide us. We should all be appalled by the actions of a very small group of actors who have brought shame to the overwhelming majority of police officers who do their jobs professionally every day.”

-RM

But RM and his friends were outnumbered by Nike critics. Among them:

“I was wondering somewhat why I was so put off by Nike’s decision to take back the shoes, seemingly at the direction of one individual. And you nailed it: the decision, unlike other advocacy moves that you mentioned, intentionally (or at least knowingly) divided rather than healed.”

-PE

“What bothers me about Nike is they stand for nothing. How can you design and make a shoe so patriotic and distribute it for sale only to change your mind from some objection from one person?”

-JS

“Nike has been awesome in being on the right side of history in so many ways. On this one, Parker should have told Kaepernick that the company appreciates his concerns, but he is acting like a snowflake. It’s not a Swastika.”

-KC

Then there was this interesting take:

“The rules for respect of the flag require it never to be made into an article of clothing….Kapernick is right. Perhaps not because of the misappropriation (we can’t damn something simply because it has been misused by a small group) but because flag shoes are a national sacrilege. Ask any Boy Scout.”

-JS

And finally this much-appreciated comment:

“The people I associate with are going to celebrate July 4 the same way we have for 75 years. Hope you circle yourself with the same kind and enjoy a great fourth.”

-JE

I did that. Thanks. News below.

Top News

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is cutting 18,000 jobs around the world in a radical pullback from its plans to become a trading powerhouse. The restructuring program will cost it around $8.3 billion—whole teams in Asia are being axed, as is Deutsche Bank’s global equities business. And up go its shares by 4%. Reuters

Airbus vs Boeing

The Saudi airline Flyadeal has opted to buy 50 Aiurbus A320neo jets rather than Boeing 737 Max planes, which it had previously said it would purchase. It’s a sign that Boeing could be losing valuable deals to its competitor as a result of the crashes of two Max planes, and the delivery freeze that ensued. Wall Street Journal

Bearish Outlook

Morgan Stanley has turned bearish on global equities, saying profit forecasts are overly optimistic given the slump in manufacturing figures. “We see a market too sanguine about what lower bond yields may be suggesting–a worsening growth outlook,” its strategists wrote in a note. “Continued deterioration in global PMIs suggests a macro environment with plenty of downside risks.” Bloomberg

Greek Elections

The left is out of power in Greece, where the center-right New Democracy party won the weekend’s elections. The new prime minister will be Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is promising “jobs, security and growth” to the austerity-battered nation. Outgoing PM Alexis Tsipras: “I can assure the Greek people that from the benches of the opposition we will be present to protect the interests of people of toil and creativity.” Al Jazeera

Around the Water Cooler

Automation Effect

Workers’ share of total economic output is falling in a way not previously seen, and it may be down to modern automation, which doesn’t seem to create as many new jobs as it used to. As Geoff Colvin writes for Fortune: “Maybe tech has crossed some threshold relative to human capabilities. If so, capital wouldn’t augment labor with technology, as it has always done, but sometimes would have an incentive to fully substitute for it.” Fortune

Banks vs Libra

U.S. and European banks are avoiding Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project because they want to keep regulators on-side and, in any case, they have their own projects underway. For example, Mastercard (which is a Libra partner) is working with six Scandinavian banks on a real-time payments system that can be used across multiple countries. Financial Times

African Trade

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, has finally joined the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA.) It did so at an African Union summit yesterday, as did Benin. AU members also agreed on key aspects of the agreement such as tariffs, a monitoring system and a digital payment system—meaning the AfCFTA is now effectively operational, though trading with the heavily reduced tariffs will begin a year from now. Bloomberg

Conscious Uncoupling

Chinese economists said at a Saturday symposium that the country should prepare for an “economic decoupling” with the U.S., due to Washington’s desire to use the threat of such a split as a way of containing China’s rise. South China Morning Post