SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chaotic U.S. tactics to contain the coronavirus pandemic are bad for business. The world’s largest economy botched its coronavirus response from the start, with President Donald Trump repeatedly dismissing the seriousness of the outbreak. Now, with more than 35,000 daily infections reported on Tuesday, the United States is back up to mid-April levels and the European Union is considering a ban on American travelers.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accidentally shot himself in the political foot. Jay Clayton’s nomination for a U.S. Attorney role is in trouble amid a fight over the office. Democrats say the ex-corporate lawyer is at risk of becoming President Donald Trump’s pawn in unwanted probes. His ties to Wall Street also hurt. The appointment risks undermining Clayton’s good work.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Silicon Valley is at risk of treating diversity not as a challenge but as a new asset class. Andreessen Horowitz and SoftBank Group have new funds to back entrepreneurs of color, prompted by U.S. protests against racial injustice. Yet the problem isn’t a shortage of capital – it’s that what’s there rarely goes to black and minority founders. The fix for that starts with the venture capitalists themselves.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump started the trade war with China, but the broader fight between Washington and Beijing will outlast him. That’s one of the main takeaways from “Superpower Showdown”. The book reminds readers that U.S. anger at the People’s Republic predates the current occupant of the White House. Much of the very public tariff row is familiar. But miscalculations on both sides are a sober warning for future policymakers.
HONG KONG/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - U.S. politicians want to swat China for ramming through sweeping security laws as part of a broader crackdown on restless Hong Kong. Starving Chinese banks of dollars to punish the most senior officials on both sides of the mainland border is a harsh option discussed on Thursday as part of a bipartisan bill. But it risks too much collateral damage. Sticking to naming, shaming and sanctioning individuals would be sharper and smarter.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mark Zuckerberg says he’s listening to criticism of the way he handled President Donald Trump’s inflammatory posts on Facebook. Some employees, and civil rights groups, aren’t convinced. As it is, the $661 billion social network’s co-founder has little incentive to act, because Facebook is performing strongly just as it is.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - U.S. sanctions on China over Hong Kong would ratchet up tensions between the two superpowers, but with no obvious goal beyond punishment. President Donald Trump on Friday says he would take steps to slap penalties on officials of the People’s Republic. The first move of its kind would escalate tensions, yet it probably won’t deter Beijing and could spur retaliation.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jack Dorsey can’t win. On Tuesday the Twitter chief executive sanctioned a simple advisory to one of Donald Trump’s tweets, incurring the wrath of the U.S. president – who has vowed to make life tough for social media companies. The political spotlight is more uncomfortable for Dorsey than his rivals, because he must give greater weight to the interests of short-term investors, including activist fund Elliott Management.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The United States has found a new way to make China pay for Covid-19: by targeting Hong Kong.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The U.S. Senate is taking pressure on China to a new level. A bipartisan bill doing the rounds on Tuesday would impose sanctions on Beijing officials and local banks if the country puts into place fresh curbs on Hong Kong. Tensions between the two superpowers are already high. The legislation would bump that up several notches.