Readers Respond to Leadership Principles, Driverless Cars, and the Market in 2020

January 10, 2020, 11:34 AM UTC

Good morning.

It’s Friday, so some feedback, of which we have lots. Corresponding with CEO Daily seems to have made some New Year’s Resolution lists. Excerpts below.

On Monday’s post offering three guiding principles for the new decade:

“Love your three guiding principles! Together, they form a framework to sharpen focus and guide the work ahead. The imperative for leaders to build a ‘reservoir of moral authority’ could not be more critical and urgent.” —DS

“Even at 0.2% of people living under $1.90/day in China—they still have ~28M people living at that level, or about 2/3 the population of Canada. At 7.7% of the world (living on that income), clearly, we still have much room to grow.” —JD

And then this, to which I can only sigh in response:

“Let me be the thousandth person to tell you…that 2020 does NOT start a new decade. That is reserved for 2021 through 2030.” —JZ

On Cliff Leaf’s post about the Waymo CEO’s comments at Fortune’s CES dinner, we received the following:

“The other side is hacking. No matter how great our protections are, someone can hack it… We have seen the damage that one crazy person can do with a gun. How much can be done with a fleet of 80,000 LB trucks.”  —RB

And finally, my post on the incongruity in investors thinking the stock market will go up in 2020 while also thinking we will have a recession received this response:

“As long as a central bank can ‘artificially create trillions in liquidity’—all the old economic models are void. We’re in uncharted territory, nobody knows the end game or when, but few suspect it will be pretty.” —JL

More news below.

Alan Murray


Tehran Plane Crash  

After initially being attributed to a technical failure, U.S. officials said late Thursday that they had intelligence that the crash of the Boeing 737 just outside of Tehran, which killed 176 people, was actually downed by a missile fired by Iranian military forces. New York Times 

'Designed By Clowns'

Boeing has released a new batch of internal messages, in which employees discussed unease with the 737 Max and problems with flight simulators used to train pilots, and made flippant statements about the level of regulatory oversight of the plane's development. One company pilot: “This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.” Fortune

Political Deadlock Over Iran

Congress led by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi voted on Thursday on a resolution to stymie Trump's ability to take further military action in Iran without congressional approval, a vote that Fortune's Nicole Goodkind says is "at best symbolically potent and at worst pointless." The bill lacks the support in Congress to override a presidential veto. Fortune

Prodigal Son or Unwelcome Fugitive? 

The arrival of former Nissan and Renault executive Carlos Ghosn in Lebanon has been either fortuitous or ironic—depending on your perspective. On the one hand, the country doesn't have a great reputation for tackling corruption charges, or an extradition treaty with Japan. On the other hand, the Lebanese are fed up with corruption, and the country is facing a severe economic crisis. Fortune 


Wine War

U.S. tariffs imposed on a hodge-podge of European goods, including wine, are hitting the country's industry hard, writes Fortune's Vivienne Walt. But in addition to the financial pain—one winemaker said he had not received a single U.S. order since mid-October—cultural links are also taking a hit. When it comes to the U.S. and French wine, "this is a love story that has been going on for a long, long time." Fortune

Oil Shrugs 

After the killing of the Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week, oil prices rallied, hitting $70/barrel for the first time in more than three months in intraday trading. But by Wednesday, the rally was over, and the price gains were eliminated. In the age of shale, geopolitics in the Middle East don't have the same effect they used to. Fortune 

Back To Basics   

A cyber attack on Travelex, the world's largest retail currency dealer, has been ongoing since New Year's Eve, forcing the company to go back to basics: manual calculators, for one. A group that claimed responsibility for the attack was reportedly demanding millions to prevent them from releasing customer information after first hacking the company six months ago. FT

Play It Again 

U.S. music streams on services including Spotify, Apple, and YouTube collectively rose 30% last year—topping one trillion for the first time ever. That was led by major artists like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Post Malone, and unsurprisingly, it heralded the continued slide of physical CD sales. WSJ

A note from CEO Daily: The future of Fortune is coming. This month, we will be launching (deep breath) a new site and app, a new video hub, a new magazine, plus a subscription package that offers the best of business, all in one place: strategic insights, deep-dive stories, and exclusive access to what the C-suite is thinking. We'll keep you updated on the launch, and you can also tell your friends to keep tabs on developments by leaving their email addresses here.

But that's not all! Fortune is also getting ready to launch a raft of new newsletters, two of which you can sign up for in advance. Fans of the Sino Saturday edition of CEO Daily will be excited to learn that Clay Chandler and the Hong Kong team are preparing a daily newsletter on business in China, called Eastworld. And our Rome-based ace, Bernhard Warner, will write a daily newsletter on finance news, awesomely named Bull Sheet.

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by Katherine Dunn. 

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