Kirk Benson

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Interesting read on how a rising tide of isolationism globally might affect one of the world’s biggest and most integral banks. Does isolationism pose any opportunities or potential benefits to JP Morgan that might offset some of the challenges mentioned? In particular, perhaps moves such as Brexit create a greater need to advise global companies on how to navigate the new environment. Will companies need to divest operations and therefore demand certain advisory and transactional services from banks like JP Morgan? Frictions in economic activity may create opportunities for banks to step in as a facilitator.

On November 30, 2017, Kirk Benson commented on Kellogg’s Leadership in Fighting Climate Change :

Excellent analysis of how a major contributor to climate change is trying to clean up its own operations. The author poses an interesting dichotomy between the current political resistance to acknowledge and address climate change and corporate attempts to constructively help. It is surprising that politicians claim to represent corporate interests by trying to prevent increases in their costs but many corporations themselves are willing to invest in initiatives to protect the environment and their own businesses in the long run. I wonder how long companies such as Kellogg can sustain their investments if more widespread political change does not occur.

An interesting perspective on one of Facebook’s possible modes of expansion – how does Facebook leverage its customer and advertiser relationships to get more of the “action” when the two transact with one another? I would argue that, despite its broad reach and enormous data capture, Facebook will struggle to create an Amazon-like marketplace. In particular, I believe Amazon’s widespread, owned logistics and distribution capabilities offer a substantial advantage to its customer promise, both to producers and consumers. I wonder if, instead of creating its own marketplace, there might be a fruitful collaboration between Amazon and Facebook that could embed Amazon-based functionality onto Facebook’s website, leveraging the core competencies of both businesses.

On November 30, 2017, Kirk Benson commented on General Motors and the 54.5 Miles per Gallon EPA Target :

Fascinating read on the challenges faced by GM as it looks to conform to emissions regulations. In addition to investing in a new supply chain and manufacturing capabilities to produce electric vehicles, GM will need to rethink its infrastructure for supporting electric vehicles once they are on the roads. How does GM support the supply chain for its key distribution network – dealerships – in converting capabilities to service and maintain electric vehicles? How will dealerships manage the range of equipment and competencies needed to support both gas and electric vehicles in the transition phase, and how might that change the way consumers experience GM?

On November 30, 2017, Kirk Benson commented on DIGITALIZATION RADICALLY CHANGES THE MUSIC INDUSTRY :

An excellent follow-up to our case discussions on both Beats vs. Bose as well as Rdio. While the reduction of sound quality is unfortunate artistically, I worry (similarly to other commenters) that SM Entertainment is spending too much time and money trying to improve the quality of the listening experience. I believe SM’s bigger challenge is that the digitization of music consumption democratizes music access and reduces costs across the system. As a leading content engine for K-pop music, I believe SM should focus on its core competency by cultivating the best artistic talent and broadening its reach in the industry. If SM can broaden its ownership of content, perhaps it can eschew Spotify by creating more of a moat around its own content platform and becoming a digital community for K-pop fans.

On November 30, 2017, Kirk Benson commented on Brexit’s Nuclear Isolationism Threatens UK Cancer Patients :

Fascinating example of a potentially unintended consequence of Brexit that has a tangible impact on the UK’s healthcare system. While the NHS’ “Board” may be the UK government, both NHS and the UK government are responsible to the general public. In fact, Brexit was directly supported by the general public, who should therefore expect to experience a range of effects (some mix of positive and negative) in all aspects of the economy. So while NHS should strive to recalibrate its operations to provide stable and cost-effective access to radioisotopes, the public who endorsed Brexit should be willing to accept the near-term shocks of adjusting to the new regime. I would also ask if there are any positive repercussions from Brexit for NHS that may allow the system to offset the new costs imposed.