Caracal Business Insider | December 20, 2017


Australia, China, Catalonia, Italy, Move Here Move the World, Tax Reform, Uber, colette, Kobe

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 20, 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:

✔️ China v India

✔️ China v Australia

✔️ Catalonia votes again

✔️ Detroit's Amazon HQ2 bid revealed

✔️ colette, ‘trendiest store in the world’, bids adieu


India is unequal: The top 10% in India take home 55% of the country’s income. 

China has India surrounded in their new Great Game: Nikkei reports, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan -- Beijing is pulling South Asia into its orbit.

Japan is building missile bases to confront rising threat from China: WSJ reports, Japan’s military is laying the groundwork for batteries of anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles in a quiet, sugar-cane-filled valley in its southwestern island chain, as it girds to confront what Tokyo views as its greatest long-term threat: China.

ABC: China's embassy in Canberra issues safety warning for Chinese nationals in Australia

China's embassy in Canberra has taken the rare step of issuing a public safety warning for Chinese students living in Australia due to "a rising number of insulting incidents".

NYT: Espionage bills in Australia stir fears of anti-Chinese backlash

"The Chinese government has been using proxies in Australia for years to polish its image and press for its priorities, including reunification with Taiwan and sovereignty over the South China Sea. These efforts have intensified under President Xi Jinping, who seems to view Australia — which has benefited greatly from trade with China — as a laboratory for efforts to sway opinion abroad and increase China’s global influence."

Twelve days in Xinjiang: How China’s surveillance state overwhelms daily life: WSJ reports, China’s government has turned the northwestern region into a laboratory for high-tech social controls. Citizens and visitors must run a daily gantlet of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras and machines scanning their ID cards, faces, eyeballs and sometimes entire bodies. 

North Korean cyberheists fan fears amid bitcoin frenzy: Nikkei reports, US points to Pyongyang as the culprit behind WannaCry attacks.

Reuters: South Korean cryptocurrency exchange to file for bankruptcy after hacking

LAT: Spain's Catalonia region is set to pick a new parliament Thursday amid ongoing independence fight

Catalonia votes again, this time in a gamble to stall its secessionists: NYT reports, after Catalonia declared independence two months ago, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain took extraordinary control of the region and called elections, gambling that voters would punish the separatists who had propelled the nation’s worst constitutional crisis in decades. That election now comes Thursday, but far from solving the conflict, it could just as easily complicate the task of governing the first of Spain’s 19 regions to have its autonomy stripped, placing the country in uncharted political terrain.

Catalonia in turmoil: Bloomberg reports, while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sought to halt political chaos in Catalonia by forcing a snap election, the result of Thursday’s vote there may kick off a new phase of upheaval. With no clear winner and mutual resentment increasing, separatists from Edinburgh to Venice are watching closely.

Madrid believes Catalonia independence threat is over: FT reports, the Spanish national government still faces enormous difficulties in the region, analysts say.

Norway is to become the first Scandinavian country to decriminalize drugs as it focuses on treatment rather than punishment. 

2020: The EU expects the U.K.’s post-Brexit transition period to last until the end of 2020 and is aiming for a trade deal to kick in immediately after that, according to a European Commission official.

Reuters: Full Brexit in Jan. 2021 as EU sets transition deadline

The EU wants a transition period after Brexit to end no later than the last day of 2020, according to the European Commission's negotiating directives agreed on Wednesday.

The Times: Theresa May plans new Brexit speech as ministers urge her to aim high

Trump's London visit still uncertain after call with May as tensions continue: Guardian reports, Theresa May spoke to Donald Trump on Tuesday about their country’s very different positions on Jerusalem, but it was left unclear whether previous damage to the relationship had been repaired – or whether the president would visit London in February to open the new US embassy.

The Daily Mail is reporting Trump plans to visit Britain in February to open the new US embassy in London but will not meet Queen Elizabeth.

Donald Trump’s first visit to UK ‘to be announced soon’: The Times reports, details of Trump’s first official visit to the UK will be announced soon, the White House has said. The statement from the US president’s office will strengthen expectations that Mr Trump will dedicate the new US Embassy in London in February. The “working visit”, which is not expected to include a meeting with the Queen, was proposed after controversy around the UK’s offer of a state visit in January.

How Italy turned Euroskeptic
Politico - Naomi O'Leary

"(New voters are) a member of an Italian generation that has known only economic stagnation, and which will head to the ballot box for the first time in a general election next spring. They were born around the same time as the euro — 1999 — and are now old enough to vote. They’ve seen nothing but political and economic crises since their childhoods, and politicians apparently unable to fix them."

Italy's share of world GDP (PPP):

1987: 4.28%
1997: 3.39%
2007: 2.64%
2017: 1.82%

Russia: say 2018, think 2024: To divert attention from growing economic frustrations, Putin in the coming six years must maintain popular belief in the “siege mentality” narrative – the idea of a salient threat from the West that seeks to destabilize Russia’s national security at any moment.
Control Risks - Emily Ferris

Canadian executives push Trudeau to join new US-free Trans-Pacific Partnership: BNN reports, more than a dozen top business leaders are telling Justin Trudeau it's time for Canada to immediately join the revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership that no longer includes the United States. An open letter to the prime minister from 18 chief executives comes after last month's decision by Canada to withhold support from what appeared to be a breakthrough agreement by the 11 remaining TPP countries to sign a newly-configured version of the Pacific Rim trade pact.

Globe and Mail: Ottawa to more than triple cannabis licenses to boost production

Trump is a gift to Trudeau. He makes Trudeau look good: Trump may be a blight on his country and a bane to civilized behavior, but for Trudeau, he could prove to be a considerable asset when the next election comes.
National Post - Kelly McParland


WSJ: GOP nears tax victory as bill passes in Senate

LAT: Congress prepares to deliver Trump's top legislative priority as Senate approves tax bill

The Senate passed the tax-overhaul bill, 51-48, putting Congress on the cusp of passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut and the largest structural overhaul of the tax system since 1986.

Trump hosting an all-cabinet meeting today at 11:30 am ET

The measure will return to the House for a final vote on this morning followed by a White House presser expected around 1:00 pm ET.

This is the best day of the Trump administration so far - he best enjoy this moment because 2018 is the year of the dog.

@CNBC: The big debate on Wall Street right now is whether to 'sell the news' on the tax cut rally

Every vote counts: A Democrat in Virginia defeated a Republican incumbent by a single vote — 11,608 to 11,607 — leaving the House of Delegates evenly split between the two parties.

8,500 firefighters = The number of firefighters who have battled the Thomas wildfire in Southern California — the largest mobilization to fight a wildfire in California's history. The effort has cost $130 million and forced 104,607 people to leave their homes.


Detroit's Amazon HQ2 bid revealed: tax breaks, $120 million talent program, transit vision

In the sales pitch to Amazon, a reimagined downtown Detroit

Move here, move the world (video)

Microsoft's worldwide "advertising expense" for its fiscal year ending June 30 totaled $1.5 billion.

United Parcel Service said it is buying 125 Tesla all-electric semi-trucks.

Uber dealt a blow as EU court rules it is a transport firm: WSJ reports, Uber suffered a major defeat in its effort to overturn strict rules and licensing requirements in Europe, after the bloc’s highest court ruled the ride-hailing company should be regulated as a transportation service, rather than a digital service.

Uber is a taxi service, the ECJ says, in a major setback to the firm: NYT reports, the decision by the European Court of Justice found that Uber operates more like a transportation service than an online platform that matches passengers with drivers. It is likely to restrict the company from expanding services that allowed nonprofessional drivers to offer rides to clients.


Do’s and don’ts brand lessons from 2017: Pepsi, Ikea, Netflix, McDonald’s, Amazon’s Alexa, and others have served up hearty marketing tutorials throughout 2017.

QOTD: “You cannot buy attention. You have to earn it by being idea-first and not content-first.” --@ThamKhaiMeng, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Chief Creative Officer


Paris’s colette, ‘trendiest store in the world’, bids adieu after 20 years: AFP reports, located on rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st arrondissement (district), right in the beating heart of Paris, colette -- the brand's name deliberately spelled in lowercase -- became a “must-visit” for anyone seeking to put their finger on the Parisian trend-setting pulse. It drew crowds from all over the world, including celebrities like Rihanna, Pharrell and Zlatan, who came to experience its unique universe of blending fashion, street art, beauty products, jewelry and high-tech gadgets under the same roof, not to mention its famous water bar which contains some 80 different varieties of the blue stuff.


The Lakers have retired both of Kobe Bryant’s jerseys — No. 8 and No. 24.

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.