Monday, August 19

ByKevin Sheekey

American Backing for Free Trade Up, Support for Trump Down in New Poll (Bloomberg)

Support for free trade among Americans is on the rise, as backing for President Donald Trump — the self-described “Tariff Man” — dips to its lowest level in more than a year, according to an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday.

Almost two-thirds — 64% — see free trade as good for the U.S., an all-time high for the survey series. Support was up 7 percentage points from the previous time the question was asked, in 2017, and up from a bare majority of 51% in December 2015. Only 27% now believe free trade is bad, citing a negative impact on key industries.

The survey, taken in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, showed strong support for some gun-control measures: 89% said they favor Congress expanding background checks on firearms sales, and 62% back banning the sale of selected semi-automatic weapons.

CEOs are America’s New Politicians (Axios – hat tip: Mike Allen)

The Business Roundtable today made a small, symbolic but significant move: 181 of the nation’s top CEOs agreed that driving shareholder value is no longer their sole business objective. They expanded their mission beyond mere wealth creation to include everything from taking care of employees to helping their communities.

Reasons include: Millennial employees demand their employers stand for something beyond profit, and it is getting harder to recruit and retain talent, especially tech talent, if profit is the only objective.

2020 Watch: The Most Influential Democratic Donors – Whose Money are 2020 Hopefuls Going For? (New York magazine/MSNBC Morning Joe)

Michael Bloomberg tops the list: He ‘wanted to run for president, settled for being the party’s most influential outside force instead.’

Financial news.

With Refinitiv Acquisition, LSE needs to Beat Bloomberg at its Own Game (Financial Times – subscription)

Since news of the LSE’s impending $27bn acquisition of data provider Refinitiv broke three weeks ago, the exchange’s shares have risen 20 per cent as chief executive David Schwimmer acted on his belief that “data capabilities will define the success of financial market infrastructure business.”

But making a success of the deal will require squeezing more out of Refinitiv, a company with a record of underperformance. And it requires betting against Bloomberg, a longstanding and formidable foe.

For the past decade, Refinitiv has lost ground to Bloomberg, with a 22 percent share of the global market for financial data compared with its bigger rival’s 32 percent, according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting.

Get Paid for Your Mortgage: Negative Rate Mortgage in Denmark Sets Milestone in No-Rate World (Bloomberg)

Today in Trade.

Metro section.

Opinion: De Blasio Climate Drives Away Talent: No Inspiration from the Top (New York Daily News – Bradley Tusk)

Just In Time for Winter: Miami Aims to Become New Tech Hub (Agence France Presse)

Dining section.

Ditch Your Boring Lunch: The 12 Best Fast-Casual Lunches in New York Are Gems of World Cuisine (Bloomberg – Kate Krader)

Best of late night.

“We’re halfway through August, and people don’t know how to handle this weird time between summer and fall. Today I saw someone drinking a pumpkin-spiced rosé.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“In business news, Coca-Cola just announced that they are releasing two new flavors: ‘Coca-Cola Cinnamon’, and ‘Winter Spiced Cranberry Sprite’. The company says they will be available while supplies last, and based on those flavors, that’ll be forever.”
— Jimmy Fallon

Best of Satire: Denmark Offers to Buy the U.S. (The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report)

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