Saturday, April 30, 2022

Transform Your Affections from Admiration to Affection

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Daffodils, blossom and tulips jostle to the front of the stage in April. I love these early perennials: they may be more modest but they nearly all have that one special quality that a plant needs to transform your affections from admiration to affection – charm." –  Monty Don

Friday, April 29, 2022

Should We Change the Top Global Currency?

Giving up use of the U.S. dollar for global trade and reserve accumulation would be very difficult for U.S. adversaries and would require major economic adjustments, though it would be in the best long-term interests of the United States for the global use of the dollar to be more constrained.

Few topics have generated as much discussion in recent weeks as the evolving role of the U.S. dollar in the global trade and capital regime. The sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its allies have demonstrated the immense geopolitical power that control of the global currency system can confer.

Read on to see how these same sanctions also make clear, however, why the governments of other countries that might one day be subject to such penalties are doing all they can to opt out and establish an alternative global currency system—either one they control or one that is unlikely to be controlled by potential adversaries.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

A Global Supply Chain Nightmare

One in five container ships is now stuck at ports worldwide, with 30% of the backlog coming from China. And Lars Jensen, the CEO of the shipping container industry consulting firm Vespucci Maritime, told Fortune that the full impact of China’s policies will only begin to reveal itself over the coming weeks.

Experts say that China’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns will exacerbate global supply chain woes and add to inflation in the coming months.

The economic effects are starting to show.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Why We Can't Sit Back and Assume Other People Are Trying to Solve Climate Change

BlocPower’s Donnel Baird and Stripe’s Nan Ransohoff talk about why we can’t sit back and assume other people are trying to solve climate change.

According to scientists, climate change is possibly the most urgent threat to our world today. It’s a glaring common enemy, with every living being on Earth a loser if we cannot beat it back.

“The bystander effect for climate is really strong,” Ransohoff said at a summit on Tuesday. “With climate, you sort of assume because it’s such a global problem and everyone knows it’s happening, someone else is working on it. But in so many cases, that’s just not true.”

Discover how Baird and Ransohoff’s work is the frontier of the climate industry

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

How to Buy a $44 Billion Global Social Network In Less than Two Weeks

Well if there is one thing I love, it's speed and surprises!  When I think about people trying to secure an important client, speaker for a program, or a new employee at a company that can go on for months, for example; I shake my head in disbelief over Elon Musk's stunning move on Twitter.  How in the world did he do that?  No matter.  He did it. 

And it's official:  Twitter said (4/25/22) it has agreed to sell itself to Elon Musk in a roughly $44 billion deal that has the potential to expand the billionaire's business empire and put the world's richest man in charge of one of the world's most influential social networks.

The deal, which will take the company private, caps off a whirlwind period in which the Tesla and SpaceX CEO became one of Twitter's largest shareholders, was offered and turned down a seat on its board and bid to buy the company — all in less than a month [the actual play for the company, which included certainty with financing, took place in less than two weeks].

Twitter independent board chair Bret Taylor said in a statement, calling the deal "the best path forward for Twitter's stockholders."


Monday, April 25, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Global Entrepreneurs Share Common Traits

©iStock/Sanja Radin
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, April 23, 2022

My Kind of Town, Chicago

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I'm impressed with the people from Chicago. Hollywood is hype. New York is talk. Chicago is work." —Michael Douglas, actor 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Grain Importing Nations Are Hurting From Rising Freight Rates

Trade flows of grains are undergoing significant shifts.  The war in Ukraine will put further pressure on grain-importing countries in Africa and Asia as a reduced number of vessels for delivering cargoes drives up shipping rates, according to the head of the International Chamber of Shipping.

In addition to the situation in Ukraine, freight rates are also being affected by China’s efforts to battle the spread of Covid-19. Hundreds of bulk ships are facing delays off China’s coast as authorities in cities including Shanghai lock down cities. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

De-globalization Might Lead to a Different Globalization

De-globalization, which is a retreat from Western-designed globalization, did not begin during the pandemic or during the Russian war on Ukraine. This process had its origins in the Great Recession of 2007-09.

Up to now, there has been no choice apart from the largely Western-driven globalization. But some countries are using technology to regain their independence.

An article written by authors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge for Bloomberg on March 24 sounded the alarm to announce the end of “the second great age of globalization.”

Read what they have to say.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Permanence of Remote Work

Deloitte's analysis through its Global State of the Consumer Tracker strongly suggests the shift to remote work will outlive the pandemic. Globally, half of all employed adults (53%) say they can do their job remotely. Among them, working from home represents most of the typical work week—an average of 2.7 days.

In Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, people are spending closer to three or four days a week working from home. In France, Denmark, and Norway, this number is closer to two—suggesting the pace of return to office and hybrid work remains uneven globally.

Read on to learn more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

What Worries You Most About the Direction of America?

©iStock/Vitalii Petrushenko
Last week Conor Friedersdork, a California-based staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs, and the author of the Up for Debate newsletter, asked readers, “What worries you most about the direction of the country [America]?” 

Here's what 12 readers said on where America is going wrong.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: What You Didn't Know About Easter

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, April 16, 2022

I've Never Been a Social Bunny

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I've never been a social bunny.  I thrive on work." – Michelle Ryan

Friday, April 15, 2022

Can a Plant Bordering Shanghai Operate Profitably at 60% Capacity?

©iStock/Robert Way
Some production capacity is better than none.  As is the case with Foxconn Interconnect Technology, a unit of Taiwan-based Foxconn that makes data transmission equipment and connectors, which has kept a plant open in Kunshan, which borders Shanghai, in a closed loop but is only able to run at 60% of capacity.

In China's race to stop the spread of COVID-19, it's clogging highways and ports, stranding workers and shutting countless factories – disruptions that are rippling through global supply chains for goods ranging from electric vehicles to iPhones.

China has tried to cushion the impact of the curbs by keeping ports and airports running and encouraging closed-loop manufacturing.

As many feel:  "A problem in China could be a problem for the global economy."

Thursday, April 14, 2022

World Trade Organization (WTO) Slashes Forecast for Global Trade in 2022

©iStock/Maria Shapilova
The Russia-Ukraine war has damaged the world economy at a critical juncture as the coronavirus pandemic - and Chinese lockdowns specifically - continues to weigh on the recovery.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday, 4/12/22, revised down its forecast for global trade growth this year to 3% from 4.7% because of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and warned of a potential food crisis caused by surging prices. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Etsy Sellers Are Fed Up

©iStock/Michael Vi
Etsy's CEO Josh Silverman announced that starting April 11, 2022 the company would increase the 5% transaction fee for sellers to 6.5%. This was done to fund improvements in marketing, and seller tools, among other changes, Silverman said.

Etsy seller's reaction?  Strike.

The [global] sellers are fed up with new transaction fees and other Etsy-imposed costs. Many sellers feel like Etsy is intent on squeezing the platform's independent artists with these new policies.  In response, Etsy sellers banded together and launched a campaign, urging other artisans and their customers to abandon the site for one week in protest. Organizers said more than 5,000 shops pledged to participate this week.

Let's see what happens.  Kudos to the creatives for taking action!  Whether it be Starbuck's employees, Etsy sellers or the Great Resignation (employees at all companies), people are standing up for their rights and their passion.

Watch out all social medium platforms for collectively, sellers, as in the case of Etsy, can establish some sort of labor organization for independent sellers.  It will come.  It's just a matter of time.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Sheryl Sandberg Says There Are Reasons For Optimism

©iStock/Mohamed Sayed
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Leading and Shaping the Field: Bob Marovich, Twice GRAMMY-Nominated Gospel Music Historian and Author

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Some fantastic memories attending the 2022 Recording Academy / GRAMMYs with Bob Marovich – his second nomination and this time for The King of Gospel:  The Life and Music of Reverend James Cleveland – under Best Album Notes (published by Malaco Music Group).  He was in good company with Lady Gaga, John Legend, Billie Eilish, Jon Batiste and more.

Look at the page from the program booklet with the reference to No. 69 for the mention of Best Album Notes.

As Dr. Kati Suominen said, "Bob is an absolute Rock Star‎, this is an amazing achievement even just once.  To do it twice – only those who keep bringing it over and over and lead and shape the field. Outstanding!”

Congratulations Bob Marovich!  So proud.

Friday, April 08, 2022

Do Not Expect the Demise of a Globalized Economy

Retreat, not defeat:  What Ukraine war means for globalization.

But many others caution that while an era of globalization already in retreat is likely to retreat further as a result of the war, no one should expect the full demise of the globalized economy or the international liberal order that fostered it.

Thursday, April 07, 2022

The Freightos Baltic Index (FBX): Global Container Freight Index

Select a route to see live international freight rates, prices and trends, updated daily from the world's largest freight rate index. For live, bookable quotes, check out Freightos

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

World Trade Organization Cuts Its Global Trade Growth Forecast for 2022

©iStock/Nuthawut Somsuk
The Ukraine war has led the World Trade Organization (WTO) to cut its global trade growth forecast for this year.

The previous 4.7% growth forecast has been cut to 2.5% due to "the impact of the war and related policies," said WTO boss Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The cut is also linked to continuing global supply chain problems that started as a result of the pandemic.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala told the BBC that although Russia and Ukraine only make up about 2.5% of global merchandise exports, they "are very, very significant in certain sectors."

Read on to learn how the Ukraine war to halve global trade growth, warns WTO.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Coni Lefferts's wegginar® 4/6/22 on Creating Global Packaging for Every Product and Budget

©2022 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.  All rights reserved.
How do you create packaging for the global marketplace that is economical and universal in its appeal?

Find out at Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global's next wegginar®, Wednesday, at 11AM CT, featuring Ms. Coni Lefferts, Founder and President, Creative Packaging Solutions, when she discusses, "Creating Global Packaging for Every Product and Budget."

Expected takeaways:  
  • Focusing on four key packaging elements:  your product, your target market, your brand image and your timeframe
  • Producing packaging offshore versus domestically
  • Using stock packaging to make it look custom
  • Determining the quantities of packaging you need now and later
  • + More ...
To learn more and to register, visit:  The program is free of charge thanks to wegg's devoted and generous sponsors:  Associated Bank, Bluedog, FedEx, GlobalCare Clinical Trials and Union Pacific.

Monday, April 04, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Return to International Tourism Is a Gift of Globalization

©iStock/Дмитрий Ларичев 
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Chicago's Uptown Gal

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
A recent visit to Uptown Chicago that is easy access via the CTA "L' train, Wilson red line stop.  Fun.  And be sure to try Lucy's "damn good spicy fried chicken sandwich," as their website says!

Friday, April 01, 2022

When Booking a Shipping Container Seems Akin to Trying to Catch a Unicorn

Oh, the problems we face lately.  Take Glo, a startup that makes novelty items — plastic cubes that light up when dropped in water.  Hagan Walker along with his business partner, Anna Barker, started the business six years ago in the town of Starkville, Mississippi, while relying on factories 8,000 miles away in China to make his products.

Read on to learn how a supply chain crisis hit Glo, a start-up, at a critical time in its brief history.  It's a story of one shipping container from a factory in China to a warehouse in the United States that traces the arc of a global supply chain consumed by trouble.