Ged Carroll

Bongbong Marcos + more things

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Bongbong Marcos

Bongbong Marcos aka Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr is the son of former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos. The Asia Society did a really good talk on the election which explains what got Bongbong Marcos elected as president of the Philippines. Yes there was a lot of misinformation and sketchy tactics by the Bongbong Marcos campaign, but there is more going on.

Marcos Fiesta-20150912-090-IM0P1343

Much of the issue seems to be that Marcos is viewed as standing against local Filipino dynasties that have most of the economic power in the country. I found this particularly interesting as Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Sara Duterte are both from dynasty families.

Marcos’ mother Imelda had a dad who as a lawyer, an uncle who was a supreme court judge, a cousin who was in the lower house of parliament and her brother was a provincial governor. On his father’s side, Bongbong’s grandfather was a lawyer and politician, and the mother was a school teacher. While both of Bongbong’s parents had known poverty, they could rely on a strong powerful network of family ties to help get them good jobs. Ferdinand Marcos even managed to get away with murder in 1939.

Bongbong Marcos is supposed to be stuffing people he can trust through blood ties into key government and political positions such as speaker of the house and ministerial roles.

Opposition party strategy

The Marcos campaign managed to play on nostalgia for older voters and addressed young voters through TikTok. The opposition party strategy failed in online marketing. Misinformation was an aggravating factor.

Corrosion of liberal democracy

The average Filipino voter doesn’t feel invested in democracy in the same way that the middle class would be. 7 out of 10 surveyed by Pew wouldn’t mind an authoritarian leader like Bongbong Marcos – so Marcos was pushing against an open door. The middle classes are looking for ‘order and discipline’ rather than dysfunction. They think that economic success and freedom are mutually exclusive. They look to the United Arab Emirates and Singapore as exemplars. There are similarities with middle income countries like Modi in India, Erdoğan in Turkey, Urban in Hungary and Bolsonaro in Brazil.

From an economic perspective what does Bongbong Marcos mean? Noah Smith made their most optimistic take on the economics of the Philippines Can the Philippines sustain its growth? – by Noah Smith. An authoritarian Bongbong Marcos government might see the departure of foreign companies who have been responsible for powering the past two decades of economic growth in the Philippines. The only reason why you might not see a foreign multi-national company exit would be ‘de-Chinaisation’ of global supply chains.  

Business

BMW and Audi suspend shipments by train to China | Financial Times – that takes out the belt out of the belt and road initiative

China

ARM China staff post open letter pledging loyalty to … eeNews Analog“The ARM Technology team will adhere to the leadership of Allen Wu, unswervingly follow the path of independent and self-improvement development, and work together to build ARM Technology into a great Chinese technology company!” – if this isn’t a warning for investors in China I don’t know what is – Arm China’s renegade chief makes his last stand | Financial Times 

China’s secret property empire | The Spectator 

China’s exporters battered by lockdowns and global inflation | Financial Times 

China Orders Government, State Firms to Replace Foreign Computers – Bloomberg 

COSCO: China’s shipping giant expands its global influence – Nikkei Asia – interesting that COSCO is the one shipper still going to Russia

Siemens to discontinue business in Russia – eeNews EuropeSiemens stopped all new business with and international deliveries to Russia and Belarus. The comprehensive international sanctions and the current and potential countermeasures are affecting the company’s business activities in Russia – especially its railway service and maintenance business. For companies that are mainly active in B2B business, the decision to completely exit a region is more difficult to make than for companies that sell consumer goods. The reason: contracts for the maintenance of industrial plants and trains are concluded for many years, sometimes decades – this is an opportunity for Chinese railway businesses

Firms as Revenue Safety Nets: Political Connections and Returns to the Chinese State | The China Quarterly | Cambridge Corerestructured state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with political connections pay more tax than their assessed amount, independent of profits, in exchange for more preferential access to key inputs and policy opportunities controlled by the state. Examining taxes rather than profits also offers a new interpretation for why China continues to favour its remaining SOEs even when they are less profitable – it also explains why apparently inefficient SOEs get so many bank loans from state owned banks

Consumer behaviour

Older workers in higher-paid industries are joining the Great Resignation – Vox – I’d like to see more data on this. Is it a choice for them and will it be changed by higher inflation?

Does Aging Make You More Susceptible to Fake News? | Technology Networks – this fit in with findings by Kings College London on the resisting as a younger fake-news believing set of people

People trust AI fake faces more than real ones, research suggests 

Why Is Y2K Style Still Happening?! An Analysis of a Wild Trend | High Snobriety 

California’s demography is at odds with the old California Dream | The EconomistThe population fell to 39.2m in the year to January 2022, 400,000 lower than in 2020 (see chart). In 1990, the number of Californians had been rising by a robust 2.5% a year. The biggest contribution to the decline came from migration. In 2021, the net change (people moving out of state minus those moving in) was twice as large as the number of covid deaths and four times the population’s natural change (the excess of deaths over births). Big cities have been hit hardest; the population of Los Angeles County has fallen for the past four years. Even if these declines were no worse than average—and national demographic trends are slowing, too—they might seem worse in a state where, as its governor once said, “the future happens here first”. In fact California’s demography is worse than average. The state’s total fertility rate (tfr, an estimate of the number of children women will bear over their lifetimes) fell from 2.2 in 2006 to 1.5 in 2020, more than in America as a whole, where the fall was from 2.1 to 1.6.

Culture

How Graffiti Became Gentrified | The New Republic 

Economics

How China-backed projects made Sri Lanka’s economic meltdown worse | South China Morning Post 

Energy

VW sells out of electric cars in Europe and US | Financial Times 

Buffett-backed BYD’s shares drop after launch of pollution probe | Financial Times – is it BYD or is it something else?

Finance

Beijing orders ‘stress test’ as fears of Russia-style sanctions mount | China | The Guardian 

Hong Kong

Will Hong Kong reopen for business under new leader Lee? Yahoo! News – not open for business basically

Arrest of Cardinal Zen send chills through Hong Kong’s Catholic church | Financial Timesa diocesan administrator tendered their resignation over a posting on the “Catholic Way” Facebook page on April 27. The post, which was quickly deleted, summarised a television interview in which a local priest accused China of attempting to control religion in Hong Kong. The diocese said the administrator had resigned of their own accord. The police investigation of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, of which Zen was a trustee and which supported pro-democracy protesters, could also have implications for Hong Kong’s legal system. Police said on Thursday that they had complained to the Bar Association and Law Society about alleged misconduct by unnamed lawyers who took on the fund’s cases

Hongkongers in Britain | 英國港僑協會 – great resource for Hong Kongers moving to the UK

Ideas

Talking about white privilege online can backfire – FuturityThe relationship between question language and the content of the responses was mediated by their support or opposition to renaming buildings. This suggests that, rather than causing people to think differently about the world, the term white privilege causes an emotional reaction which then affects their response, Quarles says. Inclusive ways of speaking about race online, such as the term “racial inequality,” are more likely to create a sense of shared purpose, he says. Policymakers who want to promote racial equity should consider how their language can either unite people or alienate potential allies, he says. – but this doesn’t understand that white privilege as a term comes from left-wing thinking and isn’t designed for dialogue. The emotional reaction is elicited by design as part of the narrative of ideological struggle. Either the party is worn down to the ideology or they are part of the enemy, which is then followed to its conclusion in Stalinism

Innovation

AMD to roll out 5nm processors as early as September 

State of Venture Q1’22 Report – CB Insights Research – unsurprisingly, higher interest rates have a negative effect on VC funding of businesses and a slight decline in the number of new unicorns being minted

Recovery for Bosch as it warns of slowdown – eeNews EuropeIt’s worth taking a closer look at how the war affects climate action. My assessment is nuanced: in the short term, the acute conflict will slow progress in reducing carbon emissions, but in the long term, it will accelerate the technological transformation in Europe – Bosch also particularly keen on green hydrogen

Could digital printing ease supply chain disruptions? | Vogue Business 

IBM aims for 4000 qubit quantum computer – eeNews Europe 

EETimes – A Post-Moore’s Law World 

EETimes – As Classic Moore’s Law Dims, Heterogeneous Integration Steps Into the Limelight 

Japan

Japan passes law aimed at China guarding economic security, technology, supply chains | South China Morning Post 

The pervasive succession crisis threatening Japan’s economy | Financial Times 

Korea

‘Fashion has no age’: the stylish senior citizens of Seoul | South Korea | The Guardian 

Luxury

Lex in depth: why the luxury market needs to hedge against China | Financial TimesCustomers at the exclusive Shinsegae department store in the Gangnam district of Seoul prefer to display their wealth discreetly. But their high spending was exposed to the wider world when it revealed annual sales had topped $2bn in 2021 — the highest turnover for a single store in the world. It outpaced even Harrods in London, which before the coronavirus pandemic had long held the world’s top spot

Materials

Why Is Plastic Bad for the Environment? This New Material Will Explain | Architectural Digest 

Media

Sony rejects China’s censorship request in ‘Spiderman’ | New York Post 

Online

Inside TikTok’s Explosive Growth – by Alex Kantrowitz 

Security

Quantum computers: Encryption technique could stop scammers from faking their location | New Scientist 

Because of Ukraine, America’s arsenal of democracy is depleting | The Economist – challenges in supply chain and manufacturing

ICE ‘now operates as a domestic surveillance agency,’ think tank says | Engadget 

EU plans to require backdoor to encrypted messages for child protection | AppleInsider“When executing the detection order, providers should take all available safeguard measures to ensure that the technologies employed by them cannot be used by them or their employees for purposes other than compliance with this Regulation,” says the proposal, “nor by third parties, and thus to avoid undermining the security and confidentiality of the communications of users.” – congratulations EU you’ve just empowered authoritarian regimes and risked the lives of millions elsewhere

Technology

RISC-V chip designed with open source tools – eeNews Europe – ARM should be worried

Web of no web

Apple WebXR: Web-based AR doesn’t work on iPhones – Protocol 

Wireless

Wi-Fi 7 home mesh routers aim to hit 33Gbps | Ars Technica