Musk’s woes deepen as Tesla strike spreads across Scandinavia

Sweden v. Musk

The labour dispute between Tesla and its repair workshop mechanics that originated in Sweden on October 27 has escalated to include Denmark, Finland and Norway. As the stakes rise, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle manufacturer continues to resist signing a collective agreement with its Swedish employees.

Tesla majority-shareholder and CEO Elon Musk faces growing resistance in Scandinavia’s social democracies after refusing to sign a collective agreement determining the minimum wage of his employees.

The dispute, which initially involved only 130 mechanics at ten Tesla repair workshops across seven Swedish cities, has ballooned into an international strike movement.

“The mistake [American multinational] Tesla made was challenging the collective agreements that set sector-specific minimum wages in Sweden, a country where 70% of the population is unionised, compared with only 8% of private sector workers in France,” says Yohann Aucante, a political scientist and Scandinavia specialist at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris.

Concerned about safeguarding collective agreements, which cover nearly 90% of all employees in Sweden, 15 Swedish unions have joined the strike at the request of the powerful IF Metall union since it kicked off on October 27.

Transporters are refusing to deliver vehicles while electricians are declining to repair charging stations. Cleaning staff have stopped cleaning showrooms, garbage is piling up outside Tesla centres as refuse collectors refuse to pick it up, and the Swedish postal service has stopped delivering license plates essential for registering new Teslas.

On the retail end of the supply chain, car dealerships have stopped offering Teslas and Stockholm taxis have suspended their Tesla purchases.

Neighbours join fight

Far from stopping in Sweden, the “sympathy strike” has spread to the country’s Nordic cousins who also see Tesla’s ambitions as threatening their labour models.

“There are also strong collective agreements and unions in Norway, especially in Denmark, where these agreements determine the majority of labour law,” says Aucante. “Therefore, Norwegians and Danes are keen on this model which gives unions some negotiating power against employers.”

After Denmark’s largest union, 3F, declared a solidarity strike with Swedish workers on December 5, Norway’s largest private sector union warned on December 6 that it would block the transit of Tesla cars to Sweden if the American automaker did not reach an agreement with its Swedish workers by December 20.

The following day, the Finnish transport workers’ union AKT offered the same pledge. “It is a crucial part of the Nordic labour market model that we have collective agreements and unions support each other,” AKT president Ismo Kokko said in a statement.

International sympathy strikes are rare, but not unprecedented says Aucante. The last major mobilisation dates back to 1995 when the American toy company Toys “R” Us tried to bypass unions and impose its own salary rules. The retailer eventually yielded after three months of strikes in Sweden and Europe. 

Musk outraged

The revolt has provoked outrage from Musk who described the industrial action as “insane” on his social network, X, on November 23.

In response, Tesla filed a request to compel the Swedish postal operator to deliver the license plates and sought compensation for a loss of over €87,000. However, its prosecution request was rejected on December 7 by a Swedish court.

The carmaker is now actively seeking a government affairs specialist in Sweden to help resolve the issue. A job listing posted recently on the Tesla careers website shows the company is looking for someone with a “proven track record of getting regulatory changes made in the Nordics”.

Nordic investors ‘deeply concerned’

Another, more serious threat to Musk is a group of powerful pension funds in the region which have begun criticising Tesla’s conduct.

A group of Nordic investors, which include Norway‘s largest pension fund KLP, Sweden’s Folksam and Denmark‘s PFA, defended the Swedish labour market model in a letter sent to Tesla on Thursday, saying they are “deeply concerned” about the situation.

“We as Nordic investors acknowledge the decade-old tradition of collective bargaining, and therefore urge Tesla to reconsider your current approach to unions,” the letter reads.

The investor letter also asks for a meeting with Tesla’s board in early 2024 to discuss the matter.

Some funds, acting individually, have gone further in their critique. Kiran Aziz, head of responsible investments at KLP, which holds around €195 million in Tesla shares, said it’s not “just about the labour model in the Nordic but about fundamental human rights”.

Read moreMacron, Musk meet in Paris to discuss future investment in France

In Denmark, the pension fund PensionDanmark has decided it’s already seen enough. It sold its 476 million Danish crowns (€64 million) in Tesla holdings on December 7.

The Norges Bank Investment Bank (NBIM), which operates the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund and is the seventh-largest Tesla shareholder with a stake of around €6.3 billion, did not sign on to the letter. However, it declared last week that it would continue to pressure the company to respect labour rights, such as collective bargaining.

A blow to branding

For Tesla, the stakes are high. “As Scandinavians are the leading consumers of Tesla in Europe, the company has no interest in prolonging a conflict that will severely damage its image,” says Aucante, who believes Tesla will have to make concessions.

“With the trend towards greening economies, it’s ‘bad form’ to produce cars in China when building an electric car aimed at reducing carbon impact,” adds Aucante. “That’s why Tesla is trying to bring back some of its production to Europe, but labour costs are not the same, and there are more regulations here.”

While the strike currently affects only northern European countries, there is speculation it could inspire the 11,000 employees at Tesla’s largest European operation, the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg.

German employees secured a 4% salary increase in early November as a result of pressure from German unions – a concession which could be linked to the fear of the strike in Nordic countries migrating south, according to the Washington Post.

Across the Atlantic, Tesla workers have yet to unionise. However, after the United Auto Workers (UAW) successfully negotiated deals with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis in November, Tesla is likely worried about unions back home, too.

This article was translated from the original in French.

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How Much Is VinFast And Its Vietnamese Billionaire Founder Really Worth?

Electric vehicle maker VinFast’s market cap soared to $190 billion on Monday before falling to nearly $81 billion on Thursday. It’s likely worth a tiny fraction of that amount. Here’s why.

Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong made news around the world earlier this month when he took his electric vehicle maker VinFast public through a SPAC deal on the Nasdaq. Soon after its public debut on August 15, Pham’s fortune seemingly jumped by a staggering $39 billion, catapulting him to 16th richest person in the world and Asia’s fifth-richest. Just two days later, the stock tumbled 46%, only to soar once again. By Monday August 28, VinFast had a market capitalization of $190 billion, making it the world’s third-most valuable automaker, behind only Tesla and Toyota. Based on that number, Pham, who was already the country’s richest billionaire and owns about 48% of the company, was worth roughly $90 billion.

Trouble is, that number is totally preposterous. One of the biggest problems with the valuation is that a minute number of shares outstanding are available for trading. Pham controls the rest, 99% according to the SEC filing, through three holding companies, the largest of which is held by his Ho Chi Minh-listed conglomerate Vingroup. (In comparison, Vingroup has a market cap of nearly $10 billion.)

That essentially means there aren’t enough investors to determine a fair market value of the company.

“It’s just a price on a screen, not a consensus verdict from aggregated investors,” says Craig Coben, a managing director at expert witness firm Seda Experts and former global head of equity capital markets at Bank of America. “If a stock has less than one percent free float and the company wants to raise money, investors will likely disregard the share price as a reference point.”

The number of shares available for trading is less than 1% of total outstanding shares, about 1.3 million shares out of 2.3 billion. For context, Tesla has a public float of 2.76 billion shares, or roughly 86% of its shares outstanding; Ford has a float of 3.92 billion shares (around 98%) and General Motors has a 1.37 billion share public float (also 98%).

Not only that, but the way VinFast went public raises some questions. After trying to list its shares in the U.S. since at least March 2022, VinFast ditched its IPO dreams to merge with Macau gambling billionaire Lawrence Ho’s Black Spade Acquisition Co. in a deal that valued VinFast at about $23 billion. The valuation, set before the merger, was calculated by applying the market cap-to-sales multiple of U.S.-based luxury EV Lucid Group to a projected 2023 revenue based on management hitting their goals and then taking an 18% discount to that number.

Coben, for one, is skeptical of that approach, saying the valuation had not “been validated by an independent third party because, according to the filings, there was no fairness opinion issued by a financial advisor.”

When asked why the company didn’t add more comparable companies to determine its pre-listing valuation, Phạm Thị Thanh Hương from Vingroup, its parent company, said “BSAQ [Black Spade] hired Jones Trading as a Financial Advisor and VinFast hired Chardan as a Financial Advisor in the Transaction.”

By July, Black Spade had redeemed over 80% of its shares and by August, 92% of Black Spade’s shareholders had cashed out entirely—the opposite of a vote of confidence. Altogether VinFast, which recently broke ground on a $2 billion new EV manufacturing facility in North Carolina, initially raised only $13.5 million from the SPAC; in fact, its investors had to put up more money to fulfill a minimum cash contribution of $30 million.

When the newly-merged SPAC shares began trading, Forbes initially discounted the value of Pham’s shares by 30% to account for the low float. But after speaking with more than a half dozen equity analysts and three SPAC experts about the transaction and the miniscule float, Forbes recalculated VinFast’s valuation as if it were a private company. In this case, we took the average price to sales multiple of other electric vehicle companies, including Rivian, BYD, GreenPower, Tesla, Nio, XPeng, Lucid and Polestar.

Based on an average of those multiples, Forbes estimates Pham’s stake in VinFast to be worth about $1.6 billion and his total net worth at $6 billion, still enough to rank him as No. 445 richest person in the world on Thursday after markets closed. Meanwhile, VinFast’s shares have tumbled nearly 60% since Monday. Even with that drop, the EV maker has a market capitalization of $80.6 billion, with shares trading at 127 times 2022 revenues.

Pham’s fledgling EV firm continues to face significant competitive hurdles. “[It doesn’t] discount the risk of how VinFast is going to scale in an incredibly crowded marketplace that legacy automakers, who all have the ability to build multiple plants faster than a startup, are no longer ignoring,” says David Whiston, an analyst with Morningstar.

VinFast launched its sales in Vietnam in 2021, and reported $633.8 million in revenue last year. But expansion into the U.S. market has been rocky, exacerbated by poor reviews. Those who tested models like the VF 8 in its initial rollout in the U.S. earlier this year said in auto trade magazine Jalopnik that the car “is simply not ready for America” and were disappointed by results given its $46,000 price tag.

Its first batch of cars sent to the U.S. was recalled in May after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration raised concerns about the vehicles’ software. A review filed by a driver in early July with the administration complained of a car shutting down entirely.

Why VinFast would list on the Nasdaq with such a small float is questionable, but likely has to do with optics. Trading on a U.S. stock exchange at a high valuation is a prestigious event and one that gets companies publicity.

So far the hype hasn’t boosted the value of its parent company by much.

“My concern is that a less savvy investor may think this price represents a market signal on valuation and trade on that basis,” says Coben. “For now the share price will be just an object of curiosity, not a measure of value.”

Even with such a tiny public float, Vingroup, the parent company, maintains that its value is determined by the market.

“We believe the market has also recognized VinFast’s potential and commitment to making electric vehicles accessible to everyone, and address supply-demand issues in production,” it told Forbes.

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Blinken Set To Travel To Beijing Amid Continuing U.S.-China Strains

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, a long-time confidant of President Joe Biden, will travel to Beijing amid continuing strains in relations between the world’s two largest economies as part of a trip that begins on June 16, the State Department said in a statement today.

“While in Beijing, Secretary Blinken will meet with senior PRC (People’s Republic of China) officials where he will discuss the importance of maintaining open lines of communication to responsibly manage the U.S.-PRC relationship,” the statement said. “He will also raise bilateral issues of concern, global and regional matters, and potential cooperation on shared transnational challenges.”


Neither side has said whether Blinken, a journalist and lawyer earlier in his career, would meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. One likely topic would be a possible Xi visit to the U.S. for a meeting of APEC leaders in San Francisco in November. Blinken last week just concluded a trip to Saudi Arabia, where members of the Gulf Cooperation Council later gathered to express warm support of Arab-China business amid a big push by Beijing to expand its ties to that region.

Blinken’s visit follows the postponement of a planned trip earlier this year after an alleged spy balloon from China floated over the U.S. heartland in February, creating a political uproar in Congress. China later targeted U.S. companies in the mainland on security grounds, including due diligence and research firms Bain and Mintz Group, and announced an anti-espionage law to take effect on July 1 that American businesses fear could cover many routine business activities.

Biden last month called the balloon “silly” and has faced criticism for not making public an investigation into the matter. However, adding to pressure on already strained ties, the U.S. this week acknowledged that China has set up a spy base in Cuba, and added 31 Chinese companies to a list of businesses engaged in activity that hurt American security.


U.S. business leaders looking to the China market as an offset to slow economic growth at home will privately support any lowering of tension between the two countries, though try to avoid any public comments owing to fears of being questioned by the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, a knowledgeable former diplomat said. That Congressional group is “committed to working on a bipartisan basis to build consensus on the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party and develop a plan of action to defend the American people, our economy, and our values,” according to its website.

The overall atmospherics of the U.S.-China economic relationship have improved somewhat following a series of high-level government meetings between the two countries. Daniel Kritenbrink, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu held meetings on June 5 that both said were productive. China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in Washington last month followed by a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Detroit on the margins of an APEC trade gathering. Those meetings followed talks in May between U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan with Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi in Vienna.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon — both with business interests in China — have also visited the country in recent weeks. (See related post here.) Bill Gates reportedly arrived in Beijing today.

Tension soared after a Taiwan visit by then U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi last August prompted Beijing to cut back official contacts with the United States and to launch military drills around the island. The mainland claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, a democratically run economy of 24 million people that is one of the world’s most important semiconductor manufacturing centers.

In November, a meeting between Biden and Xi in Bali led to expectations the relationship between the two countries was going to stabilize. Relations plunged again, however, following the spy balloon incident.


During the first term of the Obama Administration, Blinken was national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to Blinken’s State Department biography. “This was the continuation of a long professional relationship that stretched back to 2002,” it notes, when Blinken began his six-year stint as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then-Senator Biden was the chair of that committee from 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.

Earlier in his career, the department said, Blinken, a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 and 2002. Before joining government, he also practiced law in New York and Paris. Blinken earlier was a reporter for The New Republic magazine.

See related posts:

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Elon Musk Visit To Beijing Highlights Business Role In U.S.-China Ties


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China To Show Off Its EV Clout At First Auto Show Since End Of “Zero-Covid”

China, home of the world’s largest auto market — including for red-hot electric vehicles, will open the most important industry show since the country ended its “zero-Covid” policies at the end of last year. Auto Shanghai, to be held at the city’s National Exhibition and Convention Center, will run through April 27. The stakes are high for domestic brands such as BYD and NIO and the foreign automakers that rely on the China market for much of their global sales.

What are some of the possible trends, and who will be some of the possible winners and losers to look for? To learn more, I talked on Sunday to Tu Le, founder of Sino Auto Insights, a consultancy that follows China’s auto industry. Le is a long-time China veteran who relocated to the Detroit area during the pandemic and now is back in Shanghai for the show. Edited excerpts follow.

Flannery: What are some of the big things you’re looking for at the show?

Le: Who is attending? Industry leaders? Foreign journalists? I want to see the level of interest, foot traffic, excitement, the energy and the electricity of the show. The Beijing and Shanghai auto shows are basically the only relevant auto shows left in the world. In China, you see exciting new products, new features and new brands. That’s why I want to be here.

Flannery: Are you expecting a big foreign crowd?

Le: There will be more management team members from overseas since they’ve likely not visited in the past three years. They’ll hit the streets and see all the EVs and their jaws will drop. They are going to be amazed by the number, the diversity, the quality and the design of them all. They should be clearly concerned — that’s going to be a theme.

Flannery: What else are you looking for?

Le: The first set of EV front consoles were just like an iPad bolted onto the center stack or center console. I’m looking for mature designs and features among all of the brands, with AI features and smart connectivity for personal assistance and with more integration with your mobile phone.

Another trend will be the expansion of intelligent driving systems. Vehicles will have more and more sensors. Chinese consumers place a lot of importance on safety, and advanced driving assist systems (ADAS) imply safety by helping monitor, control and steer a vehicle – also ADAS systems not just in premium vehicles but also in more affordable vehicles。

Flannery: What about older foreign brands, such as Ford or GM?

Le: Is it going to be “The Empire Strikes Back?” Generally, the legacies have been kind of sitting on their hands the last couple of years — none of the EV products they’ve launched have truly resonated with the Chinese consumer or really gotten any sustainable demand. The Chinese EV companies have really stolen the show.

Will any one of them step up and launch a vehicle or product or features that will grab the attention of the media? I’m looking for that. I’m hoping that they’re motivated to show the Chinese consumers that they are very important to them, are bringing their best products, and are worthy and able to compete with the best of the Chinese.

Flannery: How about Tesla?

Le: Tesla actually will not be at the show and I don’t know how much of the needle is going to move for Tesla this year in China without another price cut. There is a rumored refresh of the Model 3 on its way later this year for the China market and that might move the needle pretty significantly in Europe and the United states if it launches in those markets since there’s not as much competition with mid-size sedans. Their Model 3 is a mass- market sedan in China now. It’s not a premium sedan anymore, not at the price point that it sells in China.

Let’s be clear on that. The market segment for 300,000 yuan and below crossovers/SUVs and sedans is the most brutal in China. There are a ton of brands that play in that space and a ton of choice.

Flannery: So how about the local makers such as BYD?

Le: They will have their Yangwang premium brand. My question is whether they can step it up. They’ll show us what a premium vehicle priced at one million rmb looks like. Is the feel and the experience going to be premium? They can sell at three hundred thousand rmb and below. Can they show Chinese consumers they can play at that one million rmb space?

Flannery: How about NIO?

Le: Their vehicle lineup seems pretty strong. They need to be able to produce them. Another question is how the refresh for models like the ES6 and ET7 will be.

Flannery: XPeng?

Le: They need a good show. They’ve had a few product launches that have been a bit lackluster. They’re hoping for a huge turnaround, I’m curious to learn more details about their overall strategy. XPeng is a competitor to BYD. They play in the same space — the mass market but they position themselves a bit more premium and technologically advanced. They have failed to really grab the sales volume necessary for them to definitively say they’ve been successful. They hired Great Wall’s former president Feng Wangying to help create efficiencies and build a sales team.

Flannery: Where’s Xiaomi in all of this?

Le: They’re not ready to show any product. They’re still due to launch their products in 2024.

Flannery: What about Li Shufu’s brands – he has so many now, including Volvo, Zeekr, Polestar and others? He was China’s richest auto billionaire on the Forbes Billionaires List this month. (See related post here.)

Le: One of the brands that Geely has invested in that isn’t at the show is Jidu Auto, their joint venture with Baidu. I had a chance to visit them two days ago and see a beta version of the interior. Their first product is supposed to be delivered to customers later this year. It will be quite impressive if they can execute what I saw properly.

Volvo is doing well and has never sold more vehicles in China. Li Shufu gave them enough capital to invest in building great products and did the right thing by leaving them alone. They were a niche brand before but have gone more mainstream. Before Geely acquired them, the global market was challenging for Volvo, but they’ve launched some good products with some exciting new EVs on the way.

Flannery: What about Zeekr?

Le: Zeekr is interesting. They plan to IPO in the U.S. this year and recently unveiled a sub-¥200K small SUV the Zeekr X. They are among the companies that have called out Tesla as a target.

Some of the larger Chinese domestic players need to reconcile their brand strategy. Geely, for instance. Zeekr originally was only supposed to sell at 300,000 yuan and above but has lower prices, too. They could be competing against one another and cannibalizing sales of their brother and sister Geely brands.

Flannery: How about other Chinese brands? And where is Alibaba in the mix this year, besides investing in XPeng?

Le: People mostly talk about the U.S. publicly traded companies — Li Auto, XPeng and NIO. But GAIC Ion is doing well. Alibaba helps a few EV companies on the technology side and has a joint venture with SAIC called IM Motion. Alibaba is a formidable player in the EV space here.

See related posts:

The 10 Richest Chinese Billionaires 2023

Micron Probe May Hurt China’s Efforts To Attract Foreign Investment


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El zalamero

Las relaciones bilaterales de México y Estados Unidos se han tensado fuertemente en los tres últimos días. Las relaciones con Perú están en el umbral de suspenderse o romperse. La prensa más influyente en el mundo, está criticando el carácter autoritario del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Uno de los programas de revista que ven más de dos millones de personas cada noche en la Unión Americana, se mofó cruelmente del presidente este lunes. Y quien debería estar buscando solución a la conflictividad diplomática que se vive o atajando la caricatura que se está haciendo de López Obrador en el mundo, se dedicara mejor a la zalamería.

La carrera por la sucesión presidencial está haciendo cometer desfiguros lamentables a Marcelo Ebrard, el secretario de Relaciones Exteriores y considerado por muchos -como quien esto escribe- como el miembro del gabinete más sofisticado. Ayer, con motivo del anuncio anticipado de que la empresa Tesla hará una muy importante inversión en México, escribió en Twitter: “Felicito al presidente López Obrador por la exitosa negociación con Tesla que garantiza gran inversión con cuidado del agua. Presencié su brillante y exitosa operación a favor de México. Era innecesaria la zalamería, máxime cuando en el quedabien no atiende las cosas importantes.

La inversión de Tesla es una derrota política para el presidente, no una victoria. La semana pasada vetó informalmente que la planta para fabricar autos eléctricos compactos, que representaría una inversión de más de 10 mil millones de dólares, se construyera en Santa Catarina, un municipio conurbado de Monterrey, por falta de agua, y ayer, 24 horas después de hablar en videoconferencia con Elon Musk, presidente de la empresa, reculó. López Obrador no logró que la nueva armadora se instalara en las inmediaciones del aeropuerto “Felipe Ángeles”, o que se construyera en el sur del país.

Qué habló con Musk es un secreto. “Brillante” y “exitosa” operación a favor de México, como lo describió Ebrard es un exceso retórico y una mentira. Para Musk, era Monterrey o nada, y le urgía una definición para anunciarlo hoy en el Día del Inversionista en Austin. El presidente no negoció nada, sino que lo hicieron durante 14 meses sus colaboradores con el director de Políticas Públicas de Tesla, Rohan Patel, viejo conocido del equipo de Ebrard, al haber sido consejero del presidente Barack Obama en cambio climático.

Entretanto, ¿qué dejó de hacer el canciller?

1.- No expresó un extrañamiento al Departamento de Estado por tres declaraciones en dos días en apoyo al Instituto Nacional Electoral, cuya independencia apoya a “una democracia saludable”, y oponerse, por consiguiente, al Plan B de López Obrador. El presidente afirmó ayer que el Departamento de Estado se está inmiscuyendo en los asuntos internos de México, deslindando del pronunciamiento al presidente Joe Biden, como si la cancillería estadounidense se manejara de manera autónoma a la Casa Blanca.

2.- No inició un control de daños con el gobierno peruano después de que López Obrador tildó a la presidenta Dina Boluarte de “títere” y “pelele” de los intereses oligarcas nacionales e internacionales, que quieren los recursos minerales de esa nación. El gobierno peruano no ha respondido los improperios, pero el principal periódico de ese país, El Comercio, publicó un editorial donde señala: “López hablador: el presidente de México diserta sobre la democracia, pero la socava en su país”. Más insultante, el excanciller Luis González Posada, se lamentó que “los mexicanos tengan como presidente a un imbécil”.

3.- Hasta ahora, ha guardado mutis también sobre el programa de revista y sarcasmo “The Late Show”, donde el muy popular Stephen Colbert en la cadena CBS se burló de López Obrador por haber publicado una fotografía de un ingeniero del Tren Maya, aparentemente de un aluxe, que son seres místicos, no reales, de la cosmogonía maya. Colbert provocó las risas al ubicar la declaración del presidente en el contexto de los seres místicos en la saga del Señor de los Anillos, sugiriendo que López Obrador había ingerido drogas alucinantes.

Ebrard no tenía en sus manos cómo frenar todo lo que ha salido, pero pudo operar de manera directa o a través de las embajadas una inconformidad, una carta de protesta (como habría sido el caso de la cadena CBS), o tender puentes de forma inmediata para evitar que un conflicto (como con Perú), escale más. No lo hizo, y tampoco se sabe que estén haciendo un trabajo con medios de comunicación internacionales, donde en los últimos días se ha caracterizado a López Obrador como un gobernante que está atacando la democracia, y al fijar la posición del gobierno mexicano, matizar las críticas.

El presidente está solo, sin amortiguadores, ni defensa. Ayer mismo reprochó a The Wall Street Journal su cobertura de la concentración del domingo por haber publicado en su primera plana de este lunes a cuatro columnas, una fotografía de la atiborrada plancha del Zócalo bajo la cabeza: “Manifestantes se visten de rosa en un choque contra el partido gobernante”. López Obrador, en su simplificación conocida, alegó que “ese y otros periódicos protegen a las mafias económicas del mundo”. No le explicaron a López Obrador que ese diario fue uno de decenas en el mundo que registraron la expresión de protesta contra el Plan B de manera similar, lo que sugiere no un complot global, sino que no hay instrucciones en el cuerpo diplomático para cabildear con medios internacionales la iniciativa electoral.

López Obrador sigue sumando agravios y dinamitando puentes. En México carece de un portero que evite que la polarización siga ensanchándose, y le ayude al presidente a distender la liga, como sería el caso del secretario de Gobernación, que en lugar de eso, la estira. Ebrard no anda de buscapleitos en el mundo, pero tampoco está deteniendo problemas al presidente. Parece estar más enfocado en la sucesión presidencial y en la política que en su trabajo diplomático, aderezando su actitud con frases melosas a su jefe, que le hacen perder respeto a su persona, lo degradan y lo hacen ver desesperado en busca de su gracia.

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Los asegunes de Santa Catarina

SAMUEL GARCÍA HA tenido que hacer frente a varias crisis, y la que se le viene con la probable instalación de la armadora de autos eléctricos Tesla no es menor.

A 16 meses de asumir el cargo, varias de han sido por factores ajenos, como la del agua, y, otras, propiciadas por él: como la crisis política con el Congreso del Estado, que desembocó en la aprobación de su juicio político por violaciones a la Constitución.

A éstas se suman las que enfrentará por el malestar e interrogantes que se están gestando en el Congreso, la comunidad empresarial y pobladores  por la supuesta llegada de Tesla a Santa Catarina.

De acuerdo a organizaciones de la sociedad civil y algunos diputados locales, no hay una ruta clara sobre cómo va a lidiar con la de falta de agua que hoy existe en esa demarcación, de energía eléctrica y apagones en la región, de contaminación e inseguridad.

Tan solo en este último punto, según la Encuesta Nacional de Seguridad Pública Urbana (INEGI), la percepción de inseguridad en Santa Catarina aumentó de 33.7% a 53% en el tercer trimestre de 2022, siendo la segunda ciudad con mayor incremento en este rubro, solo después de Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

Por otra parte, la calidad del aire es malo y suele ser perjudicial para grupos vulnerables, debido a la cantidad de empresas, industrias y automóviles.

Actualmente la concentración de particulas en suspensión es nueve veces superior al valor promedio, según la guía anual de calidad del aire de la OMS (IQAir).

Santa Catarina fue uno de los municipios con mayor afectación debido a la falta de agua en la zona metropolitana de Monterrey, hubo cortes de agua y sólo se abastecía agua a lugares y en horarios específicos.

Esto también aplicó a empresas y parques industriales. Además de los constantes apagones que paralizan la producción.

Todo esto, sumado a lo sucedido con los desmedidos apoyos a la planta de Kia, hace un caldo de cultivo para el malestar social de empresarios y legisladores que plantean hacer comparecer al gobernador emecista en un juicio político que pudiera estar aderezado con esta situación.

Además, tendrá que clarificar los fuertes intereses económicos detrás de la gran especulación con los terrenos en cuestión, ya que son de particulares, lo que demuestra que los recursos de la hacienda pública acabara en bolsas de estos.

EL MARCADO ACTIVISMO del rector Enrique Graue en el caso del presunto plagio de tesis de la ministra Yasmín Esquivel, empieza a cobrar factura al interior de la UNAM, donde el grupo de los abogados corre ya la versión de que es momento de que se acabe la dinastía de los doctores. Y es que se ha caminado prácticamente en la ilegalidad, aceptando que no hay marco jurídico para enfrentar estos hechos, pero al mismo tiempo señalando y condenando prematuramente un plagio, sin reparar en la presunción de inocencia y el debido proceso.

Las constantes declaraciones, justo cuando hay una investigación en proceso, pusieron la lupa de la opinión pública en la Universidad, que busca centrarse en el caso de Esquivel Mossa cuando más del 50% de sus alumnos dicen haber sido testigos de plagios en tesis o tesinas. Más grave aún, la participación como detonador del escándalo de Guillermo Sheridan, despertó las sospechas sobre el enfoque y utilidad de las actividades que realizan los investigadores universitarios y, sobre todo, la pertinencia de destinarles un multimillonario presupuesto.

En números fríos, durante el 2022, la UNAM destinó para remuneraciones personales y estímulos de sus investigadores y profesores 39 mil 156 millones 968 mil 879 pesos. Es decir: el 80% de su presupuesto que alcanzó una cifra de 48 mil 802 millones 369 mil 865 pesos. De ese gran total, 818 millones se destinaron exclusivamente para el pago de estímulos de investigadores que, como Sheridan, tienen la categoría de Investigador Titular C Tiempo Completo.

PUES NADA, EL Juzgado 71 de lo Civil de la CdMx nuevamente complicó la venta de Banamex. Aunque levantó por sentencia del 30 de enero pasado las medidas cautelares que se impusieron, el juez Daniel Reyes Pérez admitió hace un par de días en “ambos efectos” el recurso de apelación que interpuso Oceanografía en contra del levantamiento, por lo que se regresa al inicio de la restricción hasta en tanto se resuelve en definitiva si se puede o no vender, lo que pudiera llevar algunos meses.

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En la decisión que suspende los efectos, el juez pide a la empresa de Amado Yáñez presente garantía en seis días, por la cantidad de 5 mil 200 millones de dólares “para garantizar los posibles daños y perjuicios que por ese motivo se pudieran ocasionar a la institución bancaria demandada”, monto que se antoja ridículo ante el estado de quiebra de Oceanografía, que ya había alegado en algún momento que su estado procesal le impide tener acceso a bancos y afianzadoras. Seguramente habrá recursos contra tal garantía impuesta. El caso es que el banco que dirige Manuel Romo no se puede vender aún, muy a pesar de que los grupos de Germán Larrea y Daniel Becker sigan en la puja por esa institución.

UNA VEZ QUE Aeromar suspendió operaciones, en los próximos días deberá llegar al Instituto Federal de Especialistas en Concursos Mercantiles (Ifecom) la petición formal de quiebra. El organismo que encabeza Edgar Bonilla tendrá que nombrar a un liquidador. En otra pista, de forma paralela la autoridad buscará fincar responsabilidades a los administradores.

Ayer en su conferencia de prensa matutina, el Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador arremetió contra los dueños de la aerolínea. “Podemos decir que fue una empresa mal administrada, son de esos casos donde quiebran las empresas pero no los dueños”. El inquilino de Palacio Nacional adelantó que se procederá a imponer denuncias contra los dueños de la compañía aérea por los adeudos al Estado mexicano. La pregunta y si se le podrán fincar demandas a quien se supone que es el dueño, Zvi Katz, pues hasta donde se sabe, se cubrió legalmente ante la andanada que se viene.

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Who Got Rich And Who Got Poor This Week


Gautam Adani lost $31 billion in one of the biggest weekly drops ever, while Elon Musk’s fortune rebounded by $28 billion.

By Gabriela Lopez Gomes

Itwas a wild week for the very richest in the world. U.S. stocks ticked up slightly in the past week – the S&P 500 index rose 2.5% and the Nasdaq ended up 4.3%, after the U.S. Commerce Department’s personal consumption expenditure index showed prices rising more slowly last month than they had been. Still two of the top ten richest people in the world had rather unusual weeks, posting one of the biggest gains and one of the biggest losses ever.

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani lost a stunning $31 billion, or 24% of his fortune, while Elon Musk gained nearly as much, thanks to a strong quarterly earnings report. We tracked the change in fortunes from the market close on Friday January 20 through the end of the day Friday January 27.

Here’s how some of the world’s richest people fared this week.

The net worth change is from close of markets Friday, January 27.

#1. Gautam Adani

Net Worth: $96.6 bil 🔴 Down $31.2 bil

Country: India | Source Of Wealth: Adani Group | View profile

Asia’s richest man, Adani is the biggest loser this week after bombshell headlines emerged late Tuesday evening following the release of a 100-page report by short seller Hindenburg Research alleging the “largest con in corporate history,” including claims of stock manipulation and accounting fraud.

Adani started the week as the world’s third richest person, worth $127.8 billion. His fortune fell by $6.5 billion on Wednesday. The Indian stock market was closed Thursday for a holiday. On Friday, the free fall continued, wiping $22.6 billion from his fortune in hours. Though that might seem like a record-breaking one-day collapse for a billionaire, it’s not; Elon Musk’s fortune fell by $24.5 billion a year ago, on Thursday, January 27, 2022.

Adani’s $31.2 billion drop this week dropped him four spots to seventh richest, with a net worth of $96.6 billion as of Friday’s market close. The Hindenburg Research report alleges that the Adani family used dozens of shell companies for stock manipulation and money laundering purposes. Adani Group Chief Financial Officer Jugeshinder Singh dismissed the Hindenburg report, calling it “selective misinformation” in a statement shared with Forbes.

In February last year, Adani overtook fellow Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani to become the richest person in Asia and No. 10 richest in the world, worth just over $90 billion. He zoomed past Warren Buffett later that month to become world’s fifth-wealthiest and moved ahead of Bill Gates in July after the Microsoft cofounder Gates gave $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Then in September, Adani briefly became the world’s second-richest person, worth $155 billion, overtaking Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and then-number two Arnault in the same week. He soon dropped back to world’s third richest, still ahead of Bezos, where he remained until this week.

#2. Elon Musk

Net Worth: $181.3 bil 🟢 Up $28.3 bil

Country: United States | Source Of Wealth: Tesla | View profile

As bad as Adani’s week was, Musk’s swung the opposite way. Tesla and Twitter CEO Musk was the biggest winner as Tesla’s stock jumped 33% following a very strong quarterly earnings report released on Wednesday, lifting his fortune by $28.3 billion. Tesla, whose stock has fallen by more than two-thirds in the past year, much of it since Musk announced plans to buy Twitter last April, surprised many by reporting record sales and profits. Investors cheered the news, sending the stock up 11% on Friday and 33% this week. “Long term, I am convinced that Tesla will be the most valuable company on earth,” said Musk on Wednesday’s earnings call. Musk remains the world’s second richest person, behind No. 1 French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault.

#3. Tobias Lütke

Net Worth: $4.7 bil 🟢 Up $800 mil

Country: Canada | Source Of Wealth: Shopify | View profile

After a year of tech layoffs and sinking stock prices, Shopify’s share price rose nearly 24% in the past week, boosting CEO Tobias Lutke’s fortune by $800 million to $4.7 billion. The 42-year-old owns about 6% of the Canadian multinational, which enables small businesses to create online stores.

The price surge came after Shopify announced a 33% hike to subscription fees on Wednesday, with its basic plan going from $29 to $39 and the advanced plan jumping from $299 to $399 a month. The change will become effective for current users in the next three months.

Technology analyst Richard Tse of National Bank Financial Markets, says the price increase “appears to be a bigger move” by Shopify to increase the acceleration to profitability and have competitive pricing power. (Shopify, which went public in 2015, has yet to post a profit.)

#4. David Vélez

Net Worth: $4.3 bil 🟢 Up $400 mil

Country: Brazil | Source Of Wealth: Nubank | View profile

Vélez, cofounder and CEO of Brazilian online bank Nubank, is up $400 million for the week as U.S. listed stock in NU Holdings increased nearly 15% this week.

The stock rose due to the current interest rate stability in Brazil, says fintech analyst James Friedman of Susquehanna International Group. “Nubank’s stock suffered when interest rates went up last year, and now it’s starting to stabilize because there’s a perception that they are unlikely to rise more,” he says.

Nubank on Thursday announced a $150 million loan from the International Finance Corporation to strengthen its presence in Colombia, the fintech’s third largest market after Brazil and Mexico. The digital lender currently has around 65 million Brazilian customers. “There are good reasons to believe Nubank is the future of banking in Latin America,” says Friedman.


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