Library picture: A reporter running for cover as tear gas canisters explode during clashes with anti-extradition bill protesters in Hong Kong, 12 June 2019. Business leaders have condemned recent violence during the movement. Photo credit: Dave Coulson Photography/Shutterstock.com
Macron puts Brexit ball back in Boris Johnson’s court; Amazon rainforest fires flap; and fund exec predicts Amazon will be passive funds leader. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
Business reactions to Hong Kong protests
Google said it disabled 210 Youtube channels that appeared to be part of a “coordinated” disinformation campaign related to the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, per the BBC and Deutsche Welle. Meanwhile, several large banks including HSBC took out full-paper newspaper adverts urging a peaceful resolution to the conflict, per the Financial Times and South China Morning Post. Separately, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, has cracked down on employee involvement in the protest movement, under pressure from China’s civil aviation regulator, per the BBC and South China Morning Post. Fresh protests, including at Hong Kong’s international airport, are planned for Friday, per France 24 and Reuters.
Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank agreed to pay the US Securities and Exchange Commission a $16.2bn fine to settle charges that it hired unqualified relatives of clients in order to curry favour, per Bloomberg, the Financial Times and Reuters. Deutsche Bank did not admit or deny the allegations.
€100bn EU sovereign wealth fund mooted
The European Commission has drafted plans for an EU sovereign wealth fund that would finance “European champions” to compete with US and Chinese tech giants, per the Financial Times and Politico. The prospective “European Future Fund” would be financed by member states.
Amazon to be passive funds leader, fund exec predicts
“Big tech giants”, particularly the e-commerce giant Amazon, “will own the ETFs, the passives space” 20 years from now, David Jacob of GAM Holdings said during a Citywire video roundtable. Sean Hagerty of Vanguard predicted technology would lower asset management costs in Europe, which will bring in a notably larger pool of new investors.
Macron and Bolsonaro spar over Amazon fires
Emmanuel Macron called the current wildfires in the Amazon rainforest an “international crisis” that should be addressed during this weekend’s G7 summit, per the BBC and Guardian. Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, called the comments “sensationalist” and told international leaders not to “interfere”, per France 24 and Reuters.
Brexit: Macron puts ball in Johnson’s court
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, called the Irish backstop an “indispensable” part of any Brexit deal, said renewed EU-UK withdrawal negotiations would achieve little, and gave the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, 30 days to put forward concrete alternative proposals. Reported by the BBC, Euractiv, Financial Times, Guardian and Marketwatch.
EU facial recognition rules considered
The European Commission is developing limits on facial recognition technology, including a plan to give EU citizens rights over their facial recognition data, according to the Financial Times and also reported by Cnet and EUobserver.
Here are 10 science & technology stories you may have missed
Privacy, part 1: There’s a new fashion line designed to foil surveillance cameras, per The Guardian. Privacy, part 2: There are other fashion and makeup brands that aim to confuse facial recognition systems, per the Economist. Privacy, part 3: Police in China are using facial recognition technology to catch driving violators and jaywalkers, per the South China Morning Post. Space, part 1: Nasa is launching its Clipper probe to search for signs of life and a potential landing spot on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, per The Register. Space, part 2: A group led by the former US house speaker Newt Gingrich, Michael Jackson’s former publicist and others are attempting to launch a $2bn contest to send American astronauts to the moon, per Politico. Space, part 3: To aid their search for extraterrestrial life, researchers simulated how Earth might look to aliens, per Science magazine. Interwebz, part 1:Gizmodo asked experts, “What would happen if the whole internet just shut down all of a sudden?” Interwebz, part 2: The world’s oldest continually running webcam, San Francisco Fogcam, is shutting down after 25 years, per the San Francisco Chronicle. Health, part 1: A writer for MIT Technology Review “tried Prolon’s starvation diet so you wouldn’t have to”. Health, part 2: The best time to start a nap is 3pm, per GQ.