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Newsletter - Views with Acuity (beta) April 03

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

A handpicked selection of opinions, news reports and reports, that sometimes are outside conventional thinking that will help you better understand and be prepared for whatever comes next. #resilience #uncertainty #riskmanagement #politicalrisks

Country Acuity Insights:

  • Business need to take a step back and look at the big picture. The world has not ended. The human tragedy needs to be addressed first. But this too shall pass, perhaps it may take a longer time, but it will pass. Are you ready for when it does pass?

  • #COVID19 related economic slowdown and the restrictions on movement of people does not herald the end of #globalization. For sure the contours of globalization will change, as it has done so every single crisis.

  • People need to connect in person. Be aware of falling for the black/white narrative that the this pandemic has heralded the future of virtual work and learning.

  • Cybercrime will increase. As more workers and business go virtual and online during the current lockdown so will the cyber criminals, both private and state sponsored. Watch out. Be careful out there, use a VPN at minimum, one that is reputable. Be careful of free VPNs. The WHO, US CDC all have been attacked in recent weeks.

The Financial Times Conornavirus updates

Outside Paywall

The Financial Times coronavirus tracker is a top place to find credible up dates about the spread of this deadly and highly contagious pandemic. The FT has made this section free and outside its paywall.

Japan scouts more Asian players for TPP to cut China dependence

Thailand targeted as next member, with talks to start in August

TOKYO -- Japan will make a fresh attempt to expand the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact to include more Asian economies, such as Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines, after the new coronavirus exposed the risks of supply chains overly dependent on China.

First up will be Thailand, a key production hub for many Japanese automakers. The country is expected to announce as early as April its intent to join the TPP.

Negotiations will officially begin in August, when the 11 existing members -- Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam -- hold a ministerial meeting in Mexico.

Read more (paywall,(March 21, Nikkei Asia Review)

Technology alone cannot solve this problem!

Credit - Linkedin post by Jonathan Stone (March 24, 2020)

The current crisis and work from home, social distancing and online learning are all positive developments. The future, may yet be all virtual if our planet becomes increasingly uninhabitable. But to make a foregone conclusion that you will be working for ever at home and or your children will learn for ever virtually is hyperbole. Check who is pushing these narratives, check their biases and vested interests. We are social beings, we need social one on one interactions. Some suggest getting workers who are being let go from service industries such as airline crew to take on virtual care of children. Would you trust a complete stranger to keep your child entertained?

The silver lining is, the technology and business process will adapt and improve the experience. Companies business continuity planning is now being stress tested in real time. We will be better prepared for the next crisis. Just like Asia was better prepared because of previous episodes of SARS to take on #covid19.

Exclusive: Elite hackers target WHO as coronavirus cyberattacks spike

Elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier this month, sources told Reuters, part of what a senior agency official said was a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks.

WHO Chief Information Security Officer Flavio Aggio said the identity of the hackers was unclear and the effort was unsuccessful. But he warned that hacking attempts against the agency and its partners have soared as they battle to contain the coronavirus, which has killed more than 15,000 worldwide. Read more here (Reuters, March 24, 2020).

This time, small guys should get the bailouts

Many run tight margins as it is and would not be able to survive additional debt burden.

In the previous crisis, Washington bailed out banks. Today, it’s about to bail out big business. The corporate sector looks a lot like the financial sector did pre-2008: debt-laden, with some sectors highly leveraged, and most of them reliant on financial engineering to create the illusion of growth and innovation. American companies used to reinvest their earnings to boost productive capacity. Now, they mostly generate “value” by downsizing and distributing money to the richest in the US. The question, now that the entire economy is collapsing at once, is who will be first in line to get bailed out?

Read more here (Paywall, Financial Times, March 23, 2020)

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