Ed’s Daily Notes for January 6th   2 comments

New York Times: New York State Is Set to Loosen Marijuana Laws

Joining a growing group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans this week to announce an executive action that would allow limited use of the drug by those with serious illnesses, state officials say.

What this tells me is that medical marijuana companies will see a big boost before broader marijuana companies. When even a liberal state like New York is only willing to dip their toe into the marijuana pool, that tells me we could still be quite a few years away from broad marijuana legalization. But for biotech companies like GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) which specialize in cannabis-based treatments, this bodes well for the near future.

Bloomberg: China Loves Xiaomi Phones. Will Anyone Else?

The next big smartphone manufacturer?

Lei Jun must be feeling pretty confident right now. The CEO of Xiaomi has taken the Beijing-based company from inception to become one of the top smartphone makers in the world’s largest mobile market in less than four years. Lei expects the company to more than double its smartphone unit sales this year to at least 40 million.

Xiaomi’s next stop is Singapore, according to a post on Google+ by Hugo Barra, a vice president at the company. (In case you’re wondering why he chose to make the announcement on Google’s social network, it’s because he used to work there.) After expanding into Taiwan and Hong Kong last year, Singapore will be Xiaomi’s first foray outside of Greater China…

Cultivating a devoted following through social networks and word-of-mouth is Xiaomi’s special sauce, according to Jenny Lee, a partner at GGV Capital in China and an early investor in Xiaomi. The startup has more than 30 million users, and the brand affinity is off the charts. In China, Xiaomi “fan boys” evangelize for the Android phones, which use custom software with its own app market. “The Xiaomi strategy is really all about a fan base,” Lee said in an interview.

…Researcher Canalys estimates Xiaomi’s market share in China to be about 6 percent, which leaves the company with strong momentum and plenty of room to grow on its home turf.

Unfortunately, the stock isn’t available in the U.S. right now. But if Xiaomi can become a major player in China, watch out world!

The Independent: Is it 1914 all over again? We are in danger of repeating the mistakes that started WWI, says a leading historian

There are some thought-provoking ideas in the speculative article above:

Professor Margaret MacMillan, of the University of Cambridge, argues that the Middle East could be viewed as the modern-day equivalent of this turbulent region. A nuclear arms race that would be likely to start if Iran developed a bomb “would make for a very dangerous world indeed, which could lead to a recreation of the kind of tinderbox that exploded in the Balkans 100 years ago – only this time with mushroom clouds,” she writes in an essay for the Brookings Institution, a leading US think-tank.

“While history does not repeat itself precisely, the Middle East today bears a worrying resemblance to the Balkans then,” she says. “A similar mix of toxic nationalisms threatens to draw in outside powers as the US, Turkey, Russia, and Iran look to protect their interests and clients.”

Professor MacMillan highlights a string of other parallels between today and a century ago. Modern-day Islamist terrorists mirror the revolutionary communists and anarchists who carried out a string of assassinations in the name of a philosophy that sanctioned murder to achieve their vision of a better world. And in 1914, Germany was a rising force that sought to challenge the pre-eminent power of the time, the UK. Today, the growing power of China is perceived as a threat by some in the US.

Could a world war be the next “black swan”? It is a possibility worth watching.

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Posted January 6, 2014 by edmcgon in Market Analysis, News, Politics, Stocks, Technology

2 responses to “Ed’s Daily Notes for January 6th

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  1. Not relevant to Ed’s notes but an interesting read : http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/a-conservative-vision-of-government

    I agree with the authors that conservatives need to articulate their vision for government and how to get there from here. I think many independents and more conservative Democrats agree that our government has started to overreach but the current conservative positions offer too stark a vision for the future of government. As quoted from the article : “Telling people who want clean air, a safe environment, fewer drug dealers, a decent retirement, and protection against catastrophic medical bills that the government ought not to do these things is wishful or suicidal politics.”

    Robb

    • Thanks for sharing that Robb. It brings up the valid point that it isn’t enough to just say the government isn’t working. Conservatives must present their own vision of what government should be/do.

      It isn’t enough to just say “don’t cross over the railroad tracks”, without telling someone how to get to the other side.

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