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Trump’s prolonged assault of WTO means its ruling against Chinese tariffs is essentially moot

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On Tuesday, the World Trade Organization ruled that tariffs the Trump Administration imposed on Chinese imports in 2018 are a violation of international trade rules—handing China a symbolic victory in the prolonged trade war.

But the ruling is unlikely to have any practical effect. The Trump White House, long scornful of the WTO, has neutered the body’s key arbitration court—the Appellate Body—creating a loophole that could leave the dispute unresolved.

U.S. rejects

For the Tuesday ruling, a three-person panel considered a complaint filed by China in 2018, which argued that tariffs Washington imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports violated international trade rules. Under WTO regulations, members must treat each other as equal. Levying sanctions against only one member state contravenes that credo.

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Meet Snowflake, one of the buzziest tech IPOs ever

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Veteran tech executive Frank Slootman was retired and racing sailboats last year when an old friend reached out. Mike Speiser, managing director at Sutter Hill Ventures, had a huge problem and a huge opportunity to offer him at Snowflake, a startup hoping to revolutionize how businesses store, analyze, and share data. 

Seven years after its founding, Snowflake had perfected an amazing new way to run databases on cloud servers, but it was struggling to attract enough big corporate customers.

Slootman, seeing the potential, signed on as CEO, selling some of his sailboats and giving others away. “It sucked me in,” he tells Fortune, quoting the famous line from the third Godfather movie. “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Today, Snowflake … Read the rest

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Why Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank think the September stocks sell-off has run its course

The recent pullback in U.S. stocks could be close to an end if history is a guide, according to strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG.

Its magnitude has matched a “typical” selloff in the S&P 500 since the financial crisis, albeit at a faster pace, wrote a team led by Goldman’s David Kostin in a note Friday. And options positioning—at the core of the weakness—has normalized, noted their counterparts at Deutsche including Srineel Jalagani the same day.

“Despite the sharp sell-off in the past week, we remain optimistic about the path of the U.S. equity market in coming months,” wrote the Goldman strategists. “Since the financial crisis, the typical S&P 500 pullback of 5% or more has lasted for 20 trading days and extended by 7% from peak to trough, matching the magnitude of the most recent pullback if not the speed.”

A reassessment of historically … Read the rest

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Voting by mail is more secure than the President says. How to make it even safer

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread mail-in voting is essential to maintaining voter turnout and preventing the spread of the virus. Our unprecedented dependence on mail-in voting is precisely why it is important to take a serious look at the security of the process. We can only improve the safety of mail-in voting if we understand where there are legitimate concerns to begin with.

Some of the most widely circulated concerns surrounding mail-in voting fraud, however, are not grounded in fact. President Trump has alleged that widespread use of voting by mail would allow foreign countries to send in ballots and that there is “tremendous potential for voter fraud.” The technical reality is that fraud of the sort Trump has claimed is widespread would be easily detected by the ballot-scanning systems and ballot barcodes used by the majority of election jurisdictions. Ballot scanners verify that the … Read the rest

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Got interruption insurance? These companies found it’s useless in the age of COVID-19

To hear Century 21 Stores tell it, the New York retailer should have survived the pandemic because it had business interruption insurance. Instead, insurers refused to pay, and Century 21 is shutting down after almost 60 years in business.

More than 1,000 companies have found themselves in the same predicament and have sued, with cases playing out across the U.S. and U.K. Insurers are arguing they don’t have to pay out on pandemic claims in part because the coronavirus didn’t damage property.

Their stance will be tested as new cases are filed by bigger businesses with the resources to wage long, sophisticated court battles where the stakes are much higher. Until recently, the typical lawsuit demanding insurance payments came from smaller companies that couldn’t sustain a fight, said Walter J. Andrews, who represents Ralph Lauren Corp. in its $700 million insurance case filed last month in New Jersey.

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Book recommendations from Fortune’s 40 under 40 in media and entertainment

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Curious about what some of the most influential young minds in the media and entertainment industries read for inspiration? Here is a selection of book recommendations from the 40 under 40 in media and entertainment, including suggestions from Emily Ramshaw, founder of the new nonprofit newsroom the 19th; Peloton star instructor Robin Arzón; and music mogul Scooter Braun.

Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Brian L. Weiss

Over my career and life, I’ve read and listened to many different helpful books and podcasts, I couldn’t name just one. One book I recently read was Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss. It’s a very interesting book and … Read the rest

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How the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing have risen to the COVID-19 challenge

Arthrex and Stryker routinely compete in the field of medical devices. But during the COVID-19, these two companies have been on the same side of the fight. Both specialty manufacturers have stood out for safeguarding employees during the pandemic, as well as for making generous donations of medical equipment to those on the front lines.

Give the way the two companies have cared for their people and the wider community, it’s no wonder that both Stryker and Arthrex earned spots on the 2020 list of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production. Fortune just published this list, based on employee survey research from Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture.

We asked leaders from the two companies about their high-trust, inclusive workplace cultures and how they’ve responded to the coronavirus crisis. From Naples, Fla.-based Arthrex, we interviewed Kathy Sparrow, Senior Vice President of Human … Read the rest

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Book recommendations from Fortune’s 40 under 40 in health

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An eye-opening examination of the U.S. health care system that begs the reader to consider a new perspective; a guide to building effective business relationships while staying true to yourself; and one of the most lauded memoirs in business.

Here is a selection of book recommendations from this year’s 40 Under 40 in health.

The Moral Corporation by P. Roy Vagelos and Louis Galambos

I frequently refer back to The Moral Corporation, [cowritten] by P. Roy Vagelos, MD, who is not only Regeneron’s chairman but also a fellow Greek-American and a role model of mine. I connect strongly with his concept of making medicine that is both useful for public health and conducive to building a successful company. His commitment to societal good helps shape my … Read the rest

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Book recommendations from Fortune’s 40 under 40 in finance

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An examination of the character traits and challenges faced by four U.S. Presidents from one of America’s most prominent historians; a Wall Street Journal bestseller about the mysteries of group behavior; and one of the most influential books about the power of motivation.

Here is a selection of book recommendations from this year’s 40 Under 40 in finance.

Serve to Win by Novak Djokovic

The discipline, drive, and sacrifices required to win—and to consistently stay at the top—resonated with me in Novak Djokovic’s Serve to Win. I was struck by how analogous dedication and drive in the athletic world is to the business world. I think that people who mightily succeed in business are “corporate athletes.” Persistence, mental strength, and the will to never give up are … Read the rest

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A Chinese vaccine maker is injecting employees and their families with its COVID-19 candidate

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Dr. Yin Weidong, chief executive of the Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, told Reuters on Sunday that 90% of Sinovac’s employees—as many as 3,000 workers—and their families have been injected with the company’s leading COVID-19 vaccine candidate even though it hasn’t completed late-stage trials.

Sinovac and other Chinese firms are currently in the pole position in the global race for a vaccine, contributing to five of the nine vaccine efforts that have reached late-stage phase three trials. Sinovac’s announcement demonstrates how Chinese firms are pushing the envelope in developing a potential vaccine, engaging in unorthodox and potentially troubling methods to reach the finish line first.

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Yin showcased his company’s vaccine … Read the rest