Coronavirus Outbreak Continues to Churn Global Markets
Markets rose and fell wildly this week amid continuing uncertainty over the extent and impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Fears about the coronavirus disrupting the global economy continued to grip Wall Street as countries around the world extended quarantines and travel restrictions. California declared a state of emergency after a coronavirus-related death and 53 confirmed cases in the state,” according to a CNBC report.
The outbreak also raises questions about infrastructure readiness, supply chain resiliency and global crisis management processes.
“Coronavirus won't be the last global pandemic. And it's part of a bigger trend of looming cross-border challenges like climate change and cyberattacks that will also stress systems designed for simpler times, as severe weather and threats to critical infrastructure grow more frequent,” writes Kevin Allison in GZERO.
Elite Team of Researchers at UNC Fight the Deadly Virus
One of our best hopes for finding a drug to fight the deadly coronavirus is locked in an airtight lab at the University of North Carolina, where an elite team of virologists are working around the clock under the leadership of veteran researcher Ralph Baric to understand the illness and discover ways to combat its effects.
I strongly recommend reading this compelling Bloomberg report, which details the 30-person team’s nonstop efforts to halt the spreading outbreak and develop an effective remedy.
“Researchers at the World Health Organization have called Gilead Sciences Inc.'s remdesivir, developed with Baric’s assistance, as the most promising agent identified so far against the new virus. Trials of the drug are underway in hard hit areas of China, and Gilead says it expects results by April,” writes Robert Langreth of Bloomberg. “To speed the efforts, government agencies are redirecting existing funds to bolster coronavirus research. Congress agreed on March 4 to spend $7.8 billion in emergency funding, some of which will be for drug and vaccine development. The government is working with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to create new drugs or identify existing ones in the hope of quickly finding something that can slow down the global scourge.”
Jack Welch Remembered as Industry Titan, Innovator, Disrupter and ‘Ultimate Manager'
Jack Welch, regarded by many as the “ultimate manager,” died this week at the age of 84.
“Famed for his candid and direct manner, Welch became the chief executive of GE in 1981, when the company’s stock price struggled and its market capitalization hovered around $14 billion. When he retired two decades later, it stood at more than $410 billion. GE’s revenue grew from nearly $28 billion to $170 billion over the same period,” writes Chris Noon in GE Reports.
Welch was truly a unique figure in business. His leadership style at GE was considered a model for a generation of CEOs. “It was a time when successful, lavishly paid corporate executives were more admired than resented,” writes Steve Lohr in The New York Times. “Fortune magazine named him the ‘Manager of the Century,’ and in 2000 The Financial Times named G.E. ‘the World’s Most Respected Company’ for the third straight year.”
The heart of Welch’s strategy, however, was relentless innovation and rapid transformation at global scale.
“Welch envisioned GE as an efficient machine that could take change in its stride and win big. The solution was enabling GE employees to work quickly, simply and confidently,” writes Noon. “He also believed that the best way to change a company’s culture was to start at the top. This culminated in the launch of Work-Out in the 1980s, which became known as a bureaucracy-busting productivity initiative. It empowered all managers to exercise their strategic judgment and make big calls on new projects.”
Drones vs. Fighter Jets: Humans Will Lose, Says Musk
If fighter jets take to the skies to battle robot drones, the human pilots will lose, says Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. Musk believes the era of legacy jet fighters has passed, and that air supremacy in future wars will be determined largely by autonomous drones.
Musk made his comments during a fireside chat with U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John Thompson at the Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, according to CNBC.
“Musk also said that Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, which is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons system, should have a competitor,” writes Amanda Macias of CNBC. Musk reportedly said the competitor should be a remotely piloted drone, rather than a jet fighter with a human pilot onboard.