Mark Twain

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On November 30, 2017, Mark Twain commented on Who is making your next iPhone? :

I think there is a legitimate argument that can be made that no tax breaks are needed for Apple to make the effort to bring its supply chain – whether it be manufacturing or simply assembly – back to America. With more than $260 billion of cash on hand, Apple is well positioned to take short-term hits on profitability to invest in an American made supply chain. I agree that this will take time, however I’m not sure an urgent effort is completely necessary. In the event the currently proposed tax reform passes and Apple repatriates its cash back to America, it will be interesting to see if there is any associated move with its supply chain.

On November 30, 2017, Mark Twain commented on Navigating the Storm: SEACOR and the Jones Act :

Very interesting read, as I was unaware of the the Jones Act. The intent of this policy is clearly in line with the current isolationist movement led by the Trump administration, so SEACOR should feel safe in the short-term. However, I would leverage this current tailwind of support to further solidify its position and mitigate the material risk an appeal presents. SEACOR and its sister companies should ramp up spend to bolster lobbying support to try and create any additional security around the Act that they can obtain. The administration and its platform will be supportive and success is likely.

On November 30, 2017, Mark Twain commented on Digital Mayhem at the Gate – Is Allstate in Good Hands? :

As a consumer, I think the digitization of the insurance industry is absolutely necessary. The brick-and-mortar agent model seems outdated in today’s day and age. One concern I have is around the implications this may have on the level of underwriting risks insurance companies make take on as the process becomes increasingly digitized and automated. As we saw in the financial crisis, the innovation and automation around mortgage approvals lead to an increase in banks risk tolerance and we all know how that turned out. As All State continues to transform itself into a digital software company, how does it ensure it properly manages risk in a digital world?

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

This article does a very good job of analyzing the difficult position GM faces in an increasingly regulated environment – an environment that certainly may change under the Trump administration as the author acknowledges. GM is clearly taking a long-term view and placing a heavy bet that consumers will prefer electric vehicles over more efficient gas vehicles going forward. Although this is a very plausible view of the future and would present significant progress towards mitigating climate change, my fear is that GM is shifting too much focus in the short-term towards this longer-term view during a time when competitors are ramping up spending to take advantage of the hot SUV market. Is GM risking losing its brand loyalty by taking too long-term of a view? Will consumers become loyal to other brands in the short-term such that they stick with GM’s competitors even when the All Electric Future arrives?

On November 30, 2017, Mark Twain commented on Beauty Inspired by Nature: Can The Body Shop Continue to Deliver? :

Very interesting read, Syndie. I am curious as to your thoughts on the financial impacts these moves will have on both Body Shop’s suppliers as well as the company itself. Given their supply chain is likely comprised of primarily smaller businesses – are these changes financially sustainable for these producers and at what cost will Body Shop have to bear to keep them afloat? It has certainly been shown that a majority consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable goods (, so Body Shop should market these intiatives and be able to pass some costs onto the consumers. This then raises the debate of who should pay for creating a more sustainable supply chain: corporations? consumers? or both?

On November 30, 2017, Mark Twain commented on Did you just buy snake oil made by slaves? :

As the article lays out, the digitization of the pharmaceutical supply chain is a seemingly rare increase in oncoming regulation that may in fact benefit corporation’s bottom lines. The process appears to be a pure good for consumer with respect to safety. The author poses the question on how pharma companies will be able to convince their entire supply chain to participate in this progression. Upstream suppliers should be inherently incentivized by the likelihood of a pickup in margin. If they cannot be convinced of this possibility, then pharma companies should be willing to pass on some their own margin improvement and pay slightly more for their supplier’s participation. Although consumers in this scenario do not realize lower drug prices, they are economically indifferent and should be pleased with the improved quality assurance in a particularly quality-sensitive category.