Caracal Business Insider | December 15, 2017

Tory Rebellion, Taiwan, Tax Reform, Twenty-First Century Fox, Tragically Hip

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 14, 2017
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Caracal Business Insider = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits.

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

What Caracal Global is watching today:

✔️ Disney deal with Twenty-First Century Fox

✔️ Republicans reach a deal on tax legislation

✔️ UK PM Theresa May suffers parliamentary defeat on her Brexit plans

✔️ Dems lead GOP by 15 points in generic 2018 ballot

✔️ Austraila-China relations | China summons Australia ambassador


Global conflicts to watch in 2018

"The US is now the most unpredictable actor in the world today."

India, US combine to stymie WTO ministerial meeting: Nikkei reports, Washington's blocking of appellate body appointments may worsen trade rows.

LAT: Wary of Trump, some foreign-born tech workers are choosing Canada instead of Silicon Valley

Tory rebels inflict Brexit defeat on May: FT reports, MPs back an amendment to withdrawal bill giving parliament a vote on the final deal.

AFP: British lawmakers defy May, give parliament final say on Brexit deal

Government loses key vote after Tory rebellion: BBC reports, the UK government has been narrowly defeated in a key vote on its Brexit bill after a rebellion by 11 Tory MPs. In a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels. The government had argued this would jeopardize its chances of delivering a smooth departure from the EU.

Soft Brexit looking more and more likely with an extended transition period beyond March 2019.

For UK politics, it is the first time that PM May has been defeated on her own business in the Commons.

NYT: Tillerson says embassy in Jerusalem is at least three years away

AFP: South Korean President in China to mend ties

Taiwan eyes 'important role' in alternative Asian sphere of influence: Nikkei reports, Taiwan is turning to Southeast Asia and beyond as part of a strategy to reduce its economic dependence upon China, its biggest trading and investment partner. The island economy also hopes to identify itself more closely with an emerging "Indo-Pacific" bloc of Asian economies.

Taiwan feeling whiplash after a turbulent year of Trump: Nikkei reports, an initial US interest faded as president drew closer to China.

Beijing sends warning to US with a new aircraft carrier to patrol South China Sea: The Times reports, Beijing has warned that its new aircraft carrier will “thwart” attempts by foreign forces to seize disputed territories in the South China Sea as it objected to the US signing a deal that will allow American ships to be deployed to Taiwan. Trump this week signed a National Defense Authorization Act that allows the US and Taiwan to deploy ships into each other’s waters.

China summons Australia ambassador over foreign influence row: The Times reports, in a further escalation of deteriorating relations between the two countries, Jan Adams, the Australian ambassador to China, was asked to explain Canberra’s proposed new legislation that aims to counter attempts by overseas governments to influence Australia’s affairs. The meeting is understood to have involved a “robust” discussion.

Why Europe need not kowtow to China: With a modicum of confidence, EU nations can set the terms of the relationship.
FT - Philip Stephens

Italy declares a state of emergency after a deadly gas explosion in Austria: Guardian reports, snow-hit southern Europe could face energy shortages after authorities warned that Austrian pipelines were likely to be out of action for days following an explosion and fire that ripped through a main gas hub near Vienna. 

Telegraph: Vladimir Putin says it's 'not my job' to create rivals for his 2018 election bid, as he hosts annual press conference

Putin says US gripped by fabricated spymania, praises Trump: Reuters reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursdaythe United States was in the grip of a fabricated spymania whipped up by President Donald Trump's opponents but he thought battered U.S.-Russia relations would recover one day.

@BBCDanielS: Annual Vladimir Putin press conference. Situation normal. 

@georgegalloway: Putin is right now in a 5-hour press Conference in front of 1000 journalists, no holds barred. It is a dazzling display that no western leader could dream of. It’s live on @RT_com

@bpolitics: Putin praises Trump at his annual press conference: “Look at the markets, how they’ve risen” 


Senate and House GOP reach a deal on tax bill: NYT reports, the agreement on a consensus bill between House and Senate Republicans keeps the party on track for final votes next week on the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades.

Trump's eldest son testifies to Senate committee in Russia probe: Reuters reports, Trump's eldest son met with the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday as part of the panel's investigation into Russia, the 2016 U.S. election and whether his father's election campaign colluded with Moscow.

Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked: WP reports, nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an unprecedented assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. Interviews with more than 50 U.S. officials show that the personal insecurities of the president have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat, with Trump resisting or attempting to roll back efforts to hold Moscow to account as he tries to forge a partnership with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ellis Insight on the control of the US Senate and Election 2018: "But, the most important occurrence accompanying the Jones victory is that the Democrats now have a path to the majority in 2018, something that didn’t exist before last night’s Alabama special election."

There are ten Democratic Senators on next year’s ballot in states that Trump carried.

The Hill: Democrats lead GOP by 15 points in generic 2018 ballot

The Monmouth University Polling Institute survey has 51 percent of registered voters saying they would vote for or lean toward a Democratic candidate with only 36 percent of voters said they would vote or lean Republican.

This is a total disaster for the GOP as Election 2018 hasn't officially begun.

2018 looks like a Democratic wave
WP - Alan Abramowitz

Reuters: Federal Communications Commission set to reverse net neutrality rules

WSJ: Nearly 5 million Americans in default on student loans

With California wildfires, insurers’ losses keep spiraling higher: WSJ reports, the insurance industry faces one of its biggest natural-disaster bills after year of hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires.


FT: Disney-Fox changes power balance in Hollywood

Disney buys much of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox indeal that will reshape Hollywood: LAT reports, under the deal, Disney would take over the 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, Fox’s 22 regional sports channels, the cable entertainment brands FX and National Geographic, and Fox’s portfolio of international operations.

Walt Disney Co. said it would buy select assets of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock.

The move makes Disney a true streaming competitor to services like Netflix and Amazon.

Bob Iger extends contract as CEO of entertainment company until 2021.

Google AdWords adds targeting by phone number, mailing address: AdAge reports, Google has expanded the consumer-targeting capabilities of its AdWords platform to let marketers use phone numbers and mailing addresses to reach their right people.

US broadband groups prepare for net neutrality roll back: FT reports, the move allows companies to open ‘fast lanes’ allowing preferential treatment for content owners who pay more.

How 2017 became a turning point for tech giants: Five or 10 years from now, we will come to regard 2017 as a turning point. Why? Because this year, for the first time, tech giants began to grudgingly accept that they have some responsibility to the offline world. The scope of that responsibility, though, is another matter entirely.
NYT - Farhad Manjoo

"This was a terrible year for the tech industry."

Panasonic is considering jointly developing batteries for electric vehicles with Toyota.

"Bitcoin is young people saying we have no faith in our institutions." --L2 founder Scott Galloway

Skift: Mafengwo raises $133 million as a booking app for Chinese Millennials

Business Insider Inc. drops ‘Business’ from its name: WSJ reports, in January, the company will begin doing business as Insider Inc., doubling down on its plan to create new coverage verticals on social media and elsewhere.

Retailers still haven't caught up to Millennials: The children of baby boomers don't seek personal fulfillment through shopping.
Bloomberg View - Barry Ritholtz


Instagram: You can now "follow" a hashtag on the platform the same way you would follow an account.


“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”: LAT film critic Justin Chang calls it “easily its most exciting iteration in decades — the first flat-out terrific ‘Star Wars’ movie since 1980’s ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’”

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone, and gospel singer-guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe are headed to Cleveland.

Pitchfork’s 50 best albums of 2017

All 218 U2 Songs, ranked from worst to best

Decider: "Long Time Running" and The Tragically Hip: Saying goodbye to my border-town band

The documentary and concert film "Long Time Running" is now available on Netflix - go watch it and then watch it again. 


The NBA has surpassed the NFL as the league of America’s future: The NFL may still be America’s most popular sport, but it’s become increasingly clear that football embodies the spirit of a nation as it once was - not as it is today.
Guardian - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LAT: Lakers brass asks LaVar Ball to tone down the rhetoric

AFP: 'I broke no rules' says Froome after 'adverse' Vuelta drugs test

Kirk Cousins and other NFL players say they’d want to take CTE tests while active: WP reports, while reliable tests in living patients for the neurodegenerative disease have yet to be developed, the Redskins quarterback said he would retire if he learned he had CTE.

WP: Roger Goodell intends to retire as NFL commissioner by end of extension in 2024, league says

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.