Book Bits | 20 April 2019

The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation
By Gerald C. Kane, et al.
Q&A with authors via publisher (MIT Press)
Q: The data you collected over a period of four years required surveying over 16,000 people who have experienced and responded to digital disruption. What did you learn about why some organizations are struggling to respond effectively to it?
A: We asked survey respondents to identify the biggest barriers to digital transformation facing their organization. The most common response was that organizations were their own worst enemy. Internal issues such as lack of agility, complacency, and inflexible culture were reported as the biggest barriers. This finding aligns with the key thesis of our book that technology is not the most important nor the most difficult part of digital transformation. Instead, the more pressing issue is how an organization adapts its culture, strategy, leadership, and talent to operate effectively in a digital world.
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Deep-Value ETF Report: Commodities Remain Deep In The Hole

Poring over ETFs in search of funds that appear to be deeply discounted relative to fair value is a task that continues to reveal a commodities-heavy list. Although valuing commodities is a gray area (primarily because there are no cash flows to analyze), using a proxy for value based on trailing 5-year return points to this asset class in no uncertain terms.
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Macro Briefing: 19 April 2019

Mueller report reveals dysfunctional Trump White House: Politico
Wall Street yawns over release of Mueller report: WE
Democrats consider road ahead after release of Mueller report: WSJ
Turkey looks to Trump to avoid US sanctions over Russia missile deal: Reuters
Report finds new NAFTA law would bring modest boost to US growth: CNBC
US retail sales in March post strongest monthly gain in 18 months: MW
Jobless claims in US slip to new 50-year low: CNBC
Philly Fed Index reflects slower growth in April; outlook falls to 3yr low: MW
US Composite PMI falls to 31-mo low in Apr, signaling slow growth: IHS Markit

Macro Briefing: 18 April 2019

N. Korea says it tested ‘a powerful warhead’: CNBC
What to look for in today’s release of Mueller report: Bloomberg
Herman Cain says he won’t withdraw from consideration for Fed board: WSJ
US automakers wonder if Trump will impose import tariffs on car parts: Reuters
Eurozone growth remains sluggish in April, close to stall speed: IHS Markit
UK shoppers ignored Brexit risk and spent heavily in March: Reuters
US trade deficit in Feb narrowed to smallest gap in 8 months: MW
Two-thirds of CFOs expect US recession by late-2020: MW
Wall St Journal April survey: economists expect US GDP growth to slow in Q1: WSJ
GDPNow Q1 growth estimate revised up to +2.4% — above Q4’s pace: Atlanta Fed

Macro Briefing: 17 April 2019

US attorney gen’l OKs rule for indefinite detention for asylum seekers: Reuters
Trump vetoes bill calling for end to US role in Saudi-led Yemen war: Bloomberg
China’s economy stabilized in first quarter: NY Times
German gov’t cuts economic forecast for 2nd time in 3 months: Reuters
Activity detected at N. Korea’s main nuclear site: SCMP
Turkey’s lira fell to 6mo low as ruling party calls for new elections: CNBC
US home builder confidence ticked up in April to 6-month high: MW
US industrial output fell in March; 1-year growth trend continued to ease:

Macro Briefing: 16 April 2019

House Democrats subpoena Deutsche Bank in probe of Trump finances: Politico
Trump and Pompeo downplay N. Korea’s deadline re: nuclear talks: Reuters
Bernie Sanders releases a decade of tax returns: The Hill
Will US foreign policy re: Iran and Venezuela roil the oil market? NY Times
NY Fed Mfg Index rose in April, but outlook data fell to 3yr low: Bloomberg
US industrial production’s 1yr growth trend is on track to ease again in March: