Wednesday, March 7

ByKevin Sheekey

Good morning from Cape Town (no snow here), where Mike Bloomberg launched the World Conference on Tobacco or Health with the World Health Organization Director-General and the South African Health Minister.

Tobacco control strategies have helped save 35 million lives in low and middle-income countries supported by a nearly billion dollar effort led by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $20 million to fund a new global tobacco industry watchdog, and tonight, Mike will present the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards for Global Tobacco Control to six governments and non-governmental organizations for making major progress to combat the global tobacco epidemic.

RAMAPHORIA: Mike also met with South Africa’s new President, Cyril Ramaphosa (a self-made businessman), who is credited with boosting confidence in the economy. Cape Town is home to the regional buy-side market and Bloomberg clients we met with are are optimistic following a period of political instability helping business confidence climb to the strongest since October 2015.

2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health

Mike Bloomberg speaks at the 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town, South Africa. (March 7, 2018)

Mike Bloomberg and World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Mike Bloomberg and World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town, South Africa.​ (March 7, 2018)

Read More: Here’s The Guardian on today’s announcement about the new tobacco watchdog, called STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products), which will aggressively monitor deceptive tobacco industry tactics and practices to undermine public health. Michael Bloomberg Launches Tobacco Industry Watchdog (The Guardian)


Women on the Rise in Texas: The big news from the Texas primary Tuesday was on the Democratic side, and it’s a very simple one: Women. Female candidates outperformed expectations at the ballot box and outperformed their fundraising hauls. There are strong signs that a lot of Democratic voters are looking for a woman to support this year. The Big News Out of the Texas Primary: Women (Bloomberg View – Jonathan Bernstein)


News of the Day – What Gary Cohn’s Exit from the White House Means:
Gary Cohn’s White House departure is a victory for the protectionists and immigration hawks who have sought to influence the president. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs chief, said he’d resign as top economic adviser after a bitter and personal dispute over Trump’s plan to slap steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. His exit has Wall Street fretting about losing friends in the administration. (Bloomberg – Balance of Power)

Key headlines:
Cohn’s Exit Leaves Hard-Liners Ascendant in Trump White House (Bloomberg)
Wall Street Frets About Losing White House Friends as Cohn Exits (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Rips Into Trump’s Tariffs Plan (Bloomberg)
How Currency Investors are Bracing for a Full-Blown Trade War (Bloomberg)


More Tariffs Considered for China: The Trump administration is considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports to punish Beijing for its alleged theft of intellectual property, according to people familiar with the matter. Markets moved on this Bloomberg headline. U.S. Considers Broad Curbs on Chinese Imports, Takeovers (Bloomberg)


Headlines from around the world.

USA Today: Jeff Bezos unseats Bill Gates on Forbes 2018 billionaires list (Michael Bloomberg is #11 at $50B)

The Independent (South Africa): New South Africa smoking laws ‘in two weeks’

China Daily: EU outlines plan to counter US steel, aluminum tariffs

The Telegraph (UK): Trump’s trade war threatens to bring the eurozone’s crisis of legitimacy storming back

The National (UAE): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarks on landmark British visit

Japan Times: Kobe Steel CEO steps down over data fabrication scandal


Best of Twitter.

@MikeBloomberg: Countries have stepped up action to beat back the tobacco epidemic, but more is needed. As the #WCTOH2018 gets underway, we’ll discuss new research and innovative approaches to continue fighting the global tobacco epidemic.


@drkellyhenning: Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP) will deliver regular reports detailing tactics and strategies at both the global and country level, in addition to providing tools and training materials for countries to combat Big Tobacco’s influence. http://bloomberg.org/stoptobacco http://bloombg.org/2D1PijV


@MikeBloomberg: We cannot stand by as Big Tobacco misleads the public in an effort to get more people hooked on its products. Launched today, @BloombergDotOrg’s new global watchdog Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP) will help hold the industry accountable


@DrTedros (Director General – World Health Organization): Thank you for your strong commitment for a #SmokeFree world, @MikeBloomberg. We are honored to have you as our Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable diseases. We will keep working hard for more #NoTobacco success stories


Elsewhere on Twitter:

@realDonaldTrump: Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY. Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore – except your President (just kidding, of course)!


@jimmykimmel: Thanks, lowest rated President in HISTORY.


Best of late night.

“Kellyanne Conway has been accused of violating federal ethics laws during TV appearances in 2017. If found guilty she could be forced to leave her job, or even worse, stay.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“In an interview, President Trump claimed there is no chaos at the White House. What he said. Yeah. Just then, a pair of chimpanzees crashed through the Oval Office on a stolen snowmobile.”
— Conan O’Brien

– “Trump said there’s still people in the White House he’d like to replace. Yeah, we’d all like to replace someone in the White House.”
— James Corden