Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Note from Mike: Megan Murphy — former editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, Washington bureau chief of Bloomberg News and the Financial Times, and securities lawyer in Palo Alto — is today’s “1 Big Guest” (writing from London), as I continue fishing, hiking and loafing in Maine.
It's not just Washington that's burning in a seemingly perpetual cauldron of outrage. Global executives are still obsessing about how to get ahead of the next viral crisis, with mixed success.
Just this week:
Trump's early, scattershot twitter rants about specific industries and companies forced many to draft a better response plan in the event of a surprise presidential broadside. But many are proving much less adept at reining in public outrage — justified or not — once a crisis spirals.
Why it matters: Some incidents, such as the furor after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks earlier this year, can force positive brand and societal change. Others are the corporate equivalent of WHCD hot takes: moments that would (and arguably should) have passed largely without comment are now occupying ever larger chunks of senior management's time.
The big picture: Long-term corporate brand damage is still largely the result of deception (Volkswagen), greed (Facebook), incompetence (TSB) or bad product decisions (Snap).
Be smart: The strongest CEOs make sure a crisis doesn't define them, and remain ruthlessly focused on the basics. The weakest — and the most ill-advised — are still checking their Twitter feed on the way out the door.
California has reclaimed its spot as the world's fifth-biggest economy, passing the U.K. and trailing only the U.S. as a whole, China, Japan and Germany, the AP reports citing federal data.
Why it matters: "The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California's economy, home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world's entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation's salad bowl in the Central Valley agricultural heartland. It also reflects a substantial turnaround since the Great Recession."
Photo: Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images
Former Secretary of State John Kerry has been on a low-profile campaign to hold together the Iran nuclear deal that was signed under his watch, meeting with leaders from Iran, France, Germany and the E.U. in recent weeks, the Boston Globe's Matt Viser reports.
How it's playing on Drudge: "KERRY SHADOW DIPLOMACY EXPOSED... SECRET HUDDLES WITH IRAN"
Why you're just hearing about this now: "[H]e and his allies believe a high-profile defense of the deal by prominent Democrats would only backfire and provoke Trump, making it more likely the president would pull the United States out of the deal."
President Trump knew about Michael Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels "several months before he denied any knowledge of it to reporters aboard Air Force One in April," the NYTimes reports, citing two sources "familiar with the arrangement."
The intrigue: "[T]hree people close to the matter said that Mr. Trump knew that Mr. Cohen had succeeded in keeping the allegations from becoming public at the time the president denied it."
Why it matters: "Giuliani told The Times on Friday that the issue was 'primarily' about keeping Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania, from being embarrassed by the claim, which Mr. Trump has maintained was false."
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit Hawaii's Big Island yesterday, the biggest in four decades and the result of magma from the erupting Kilauea volcano, the AP's Caleb Jones and Marco Garcia report.
Bank of America and Citigroup are dealing with upset Republican politicians after using their financial influence to support gun restrictions, Axios' Haley Britzky notes.
Details: Citigroup imposed new gun control policies on its clients, like age restrictions and background checks, while Bank of America said it would stop lending money to clients who manufacture military-style assault weapons.
Why it matters: The backlash shows how private-sector gun control measures can put the companies under just as much pressure as politicians who try to restrict guns through new laws.
Go deeper: What the Republicans are saying