Eric Blair

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On December 1, 2017, Eric Blair commented on Mayo Clinic: A Digital Prescription :

Very interesting article, Phil. I greatly enjoyed reading about the extent to which the Mayo Clinic has pioneered the path forward in terms of deploying advanced technology to revolutionize their inventory management, as well as their broader supply chain. The primary question this elicited in my mind is centered upon the extent to which their commitment to digitalization was motivated by a divergent strategic calculus from that which underpins the vast majority of other hospitals. Does the Mayo clinic benefit from a structurally induced longer term investment horizon compared to the rest of the hospital system?

On December 1, 2017, Eric Blair commented on Ben & Jerry’s Should Be More Cocoa for Cocoa Sustainability :

Tremendously interesting post. It was incredibly edifying to read about Ben and Jerry’s efforts to address the negative exigencies of climate change, despite their commercial incentives to operate in a warmer world. To your question, Ben and Jerry’s must perceive combating climate change to not only be motivated by altruism, but, also, to be a function of their realism in light of a changing global climate. Their sustainability efforts, therefore, should err on the side of realistically planning for a future impacted by climate change, rather than idealistically attempting to contribute to a future in which climate change doesn’t occur.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Blair commented on Re-inventing NYT: Impact of digitalization on news media :

Very interesting article! It was great to hear your views on the manner in which the New York Times is evolving in reaction to the shifting plates of digitalization. Transforming to a fully subscription based revenue model has worked for a number of UK publications, including The Times and The Telegraph, and thus doesn’t have to be stultifying for the NYT. Critically, the NYT should be able leverage its entrenched brand to convince users of the irreplaceable nature of its product. In the process, they can attract the commitment of consumers to their digital platform, irrespective of the form it assumes.

Very interesting article! I was very encouraged to read about the extent to which textile manufacturers are willing to incorporate additional costs into their supply chain, in pursuit of more sustainable ends. My initial concern was similar to that of Philip, in that I was skeptical of the extent to which consumers would consciously opt into paying more explicitly to ameliorate carbon emissions, especially as I expect consumers value their right to sovereignty over the causes to which they direct their money. It would be interesting to explore the extent to which their environmentally friendly image is tied to their brand image as an American company, and thus the extent to which it would be challenged by the transitioning of manufacturing facilities over seas.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Blair commented on The Little Smoothie Company that Could Faces the Big Bad Brexit :

Very interesting read, Ronald. I wholeheartedly agree that Brexit poses a significant challenge to companies, such as Innocent Drinks, who rely upon the sourcing of raw materials from countries whose currencies have appreciated against the Pound in the aftermath of the referendum. Moreover, leveraging the power of the Coca-Cola brand in lobbying the British government to attain favorable Brexit terms, and hedging against FX risk, make complete sense as potential ameliorators. I would, additionally, add that focusing on sales outside of the UK and Europe would enable Innocent to benefit commensurately from the weaker sterling, and enable consumers in the rest of the world to obtain innocent products at relatively lower prices.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Blair commented on Can Barclays Thrive in a Post-Brexit London? :

Great essay, Steve. I enjoyed your willingness to look beyond the typical prism through which commentary has analyzed the tension between banks’ operations in London and Brexit, namely via addressing the extent to which MIFID passporting and euro-denominated clearing can be retained in a post-Brexit world. (1)

In the unfortunate consequence of a hard Brexit, there are a couple of structural advantages that may enable London to maintain its status as the financial capital of Europe. Firstly, the flexibility of the UK’s labor laws compare favorably to those of France and Germany. Also, London benefits from access to graduates from the UK’s higher education system, which continually ranks as the strongest in Europe. (2) Finally, Barclays’s management should consider ascribing value to the strength of its special relationship with the UK, and should be concerned about the deterioration of the Barclays brand in the UK in the scenario that substantial operations are moved out of London. Concurrently, I would be interested in exploring potential strategies for how, post a move to Frankfurt, Barclays could differentiate its own value proposition from those of other European banks.

(1) Gavin Finch, Bank’s Brexit Future Hinges on Passporting Rights, Bloomberg, 19th October 2016,

(2) QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2016,