What we’re tracking on 11 November 2018
It’s also global entrepreneurship week, a favorite around these parts: As longtime readers know, our origin story includes a stint during which we were working to launch a print magazine about entrepreneurship — which we had planned to debut in February 2011. We’ll be running entrepreneur-focused Worth Readings and Worth Watchings all week.
Other highlights of what looks set to be a busy week:
- The Egypt M&A and Private Equity Forum will take place on Wednesday;
- EBRD is holding a conference on opportunities for consultancies in digitalization, running Wednesday and Thursday at the Marriott Mena House Hotel. Among the topics: “How digitally mature are your clients? And what can you do differently to compete in a digital world? But what if there’s more to Big Data than just volume? And what about digital security, company culture or infrastructure limitations? What even is a smart contract?”
- The state could announce this week how it will dispose of up to 10 mn sqm of “unused” state land. Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik had suggested he would announce by mid-month the date for the first auction under the program;
- The Criminal Procedures Act could make it to the floor of the House if the Constitutional and Legislative Committee finalizes its review this week as expected;
- A UN Biodiversity Conference gets underway in Sharm on Thursday and runs through 29 November with plenty of high-profile attendees.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The guns fell silent at 11am on 11 November 1918. World leaders have gathered in France today for the occasion. Start with the New York Times’ archive of photos “unpublished for 100 years” marking the “joy of war’s end.” The story is front and center in the Wall Street Journal, while Bloomberg Opinion looks at how the strategic, technological and medical breakthroughs” of the war live on. Meanwhile, it was in the Middle East that the British during the First World War “invented the military technologies and techniques that inspired the tactics of WWII,” Slate explains.
Brent crude is now in bear market territory, closing below USD 70 / bbl on Friday, a 20% drop from the four-year highs it hit just a month ago, the Financial Times reports. The close came as “OPEC and its allies gathered in Abu Dhabi amid signs that they’ll consider cutting production next year,” Bloomberg adds.
Speaking of oil: Apache founder Raymond Plank has died at age 96. Plank started the company in 1954 with two friends and built “the Houston-based company into a global energy company and financial innovator,” says Reuters. Plank was a Second World War bomber pilot and Yale grad with a penchant for colorful language. Apache is a leading independent oil company in Egypt, where it produces about 153k barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Admit ignorance, part I: What the hell happened to Brazil? Read this if you, like us, are ready to confess you’ve paid so little attention to what’s happened in Brazil in the past couple of years that all you know is voters there recently “chose [as president] someone who appears to be an actual fascist.” That’s Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman’s starting point for an explanation of how “a nation that had been on an upward trajectory, that seemed to have shaken off the legacy of instability, suffered a terrible recession and is experiencing a very slow recovery.” (Read)
Admit ignorance, part II: What’s going on in Palestine? We’re also admitting this morning that it took a piece in the New York Times to break down for us how, exactly, it is that Egypt, Israel and Qatar are working in the same direction to stabilize Gaza in a series of moves that are driving the Palestinian Authority bonkers.
We’re not alone: Israeli businesses are as desperate for tech talent as we are — so much so that they’re now hiring Palestinians in the West Bank, the Wall Street Journal reports.