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COVID-19’s hit on holiday spending

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Good morning.

COVID-19 will take its toll on holiday spending this year, according to a report from Deloitte out this morning. (CEO Daily got an early look.) Planned spending will be down about 7{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} this year from last year. Travel spending will remain depressed—down 34{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} year over year. And a whopping 64{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} of the shopping budget will be spent online. You can view the entire study here.

Separately, CEO and Founder Tom Siebel is our guest this week on the podcast Leadership Next. You will want to hear what he has to say—and not only because he tells of being mauled by a giant elephant. Siebel has been a successful entrepreneur for four decades and ridden multiple technology waves. But he says there has been nothing like the wave that’s breaking now—a combination of cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence:

“This digital transformation is happening at 100 times the speed of the industrial revolution with 30 times the change. So this is 3000 times more impact than the industrial revolution. This is a big global event. And it is existential.”

I’ve known Siebel for a number of years. He has a long association with Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution and a deep skepticism of government. But when it comes to applying A.I. to social systems, he told Ellen McGirt and me that government regulation will be essential. “You know I’m not a big government guy,” he told us. “That being said, if government does not regulate, we are going to be very sorry.” You can listen to the entire podcast here: Apple/Spotify.

Finally, lots of feedback, and a few cancelled subscriptions, in response to my commentary yesterday on Trump’s leadership. I kept tally throughout the day, and found it broke at almost exactly 50-50 between those who agreed and those who disagreed. My favorite in the latter category was a one word response: “Codswallop.” I had to look it up.

More news below. And learn how Jane Fraser broke banking’s highest glass ceiling here.

Alan Murray

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