Caracal Insider Daily | January 12, 2018

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Shithole, Trade Surplus, Shaquille O'Neal, Facebook, NBA, GM

Caracal Insider Daily
January 12, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

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

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✔️ Shithole countries

✔️ Trump calls off planned trip to London

✔️ China reports biggest-ever annual trade surplus with US

✔️ Facebook overhauls news feed

✔️ NBA shoots for global growth with London showcase


Trump to Davos - with a stop in London?

"With POTUS off to Davos, I am confident the White House is pressing Number 10 to allow Trump to pop into London Town to open the new US Embassy and have a proper meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.

He needs this visit and this meeting, like a lot."

This Ross Rant did not age well at all.


WSJ: Trump calls off planned trip to London

Donald Trump cancels London visit amid protest fears: Guardian reports, Trump t will not open new US embassy next month, with the secretary of state Rex Tillerson likely to take his place.

Bloomberg: Trump scraps UK trip, citing Obama embassy deal begun by Bush


The Crown always wins.

Farage's call for second Brexit vote greeted with glee by remainers: Guardian reports, the former UKIP leader shocked his colleagues on Thursday by suggesting another Brexit vote should be held, arguing it would lead to a more decisive victory for the leave campaign and silence remain supporters for a generation.

Army rips out Chinese-made security cameras at US base: WSJ reports, the U.S. Army said it removed Chinese-made surveillance cameras from a domestic military base. A congressional panel will hold a hearing into whether businesses face cybersecurity risks from using the equipment.

China reports biggest-ever annual trade surplus with the US: WSJ reports, China reported its largest-ever annual trade surplus with the U.S. last year while its overall imbalance with the world shrank, potentially strengthening the Trump administration’s case for tougher penalties and other trade actions against Beijing.

The metric good for lazy politicians but useless otherwise: A trade deficit or a trade surplus is a useless metric to gauge the state of a nation's economy, but it is a wonderful tool for pandering campaign rhetoric.

You need to remember, China at its core is an assembly economy. Thus China's economy is a prime example of the obvious statement that the whole is great than the sum of its parts. Most Chinese companies import components and materials from around the world and then assemble them into useful products for sale globally.

No R&D. No branding. No marketing. No finance. No software. No logistics.

All actives not measured by current trade deficit or a trade surplus formulations.

BBC: China shuts Marriott's website over Tibet and Taiwan error

Bloomberg: China steps up policing of multinationals over sovereignty

"China, emboldened by its growing economic and geopolitical influence, is showing less tolerance of what it sees as violations of its political bottom line by foreign companies. The warnings signal that the country may deploy more sticks against foreign companies that can’t risk losing business in the world’s second-biggest economy."

Chinese bitcoin miners eye sites in energy-rich Canada: Reuters reports, China has grown into one of the world’s biggest sources of cryptocurrency mining but there are signs Beijing is increasing scrutiny of the sector’s players and may ask local authorities to regulate their power use. Bitmain Technologies, operator of some of the largest mining farms in the country, is among several companies looking to expand overseas.

India Supreme Court judges: Democracy is in danger: BBC reports, four of India's most senior Supreme Court judges have publicly challenged the authority of the head of the judiciary - in an unprecedented move. In a letter and a press conference, the judges said Chief Justice Dipak Misra was assigning cases to benches of his preference, breaching court rules. 

India's space program: India launched its 100th satellite on Fridayas Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to project the country as a global low-cost provider of services in space. India's space programme has a budget of around $4 billion and Modi's government hopes the latest launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry.

7 Reasons India is primed for growth

Merkel takes a big step toward forming a coalition government: WSJ reports, Angela Merkel made a breakthrough toward forming a government and securing her fourth term as Germany’s chancellor, according to a draft policy agreement reached by her conservative party and its center-left rivals.

100,000 = The number of barrels of oil smuggled out of Venezuela every day. At today's trading price that is $6,320,000 per day.

CBC: Canada's economy to 'wane,' says internal memo to finance minister

Reuters: Canada talks tough on trade as endgame on NAFTA talks nears


Politico: White House doesn't deny Trump's 'shithole' immigration remark

Trump tirade throws US immigration talks into turmoil: FT reports, storm of criticism greets remarks querying entry of people from ‘sh*t-hole countries’

NYT: Trump alarms lawmakers with disparaging words for Haiti and Africa

LAT: Trump's 'shithole' remark is the latest in long string of racial provocations

Immigration talks muddled amid President’s vulgar comments: WSJ reports, at a meeting with senators pitching a bipartisan deal on immigration, President Donald Trump asked why the U.S. would admit immigrants from what he described as “shithole” countries. In a Friday tweet, he appeared to deny using that language.

“We should have people from places like Norway.”

Time: Inside the GOP’s Rocky Relationship with Donald Trump

WP: NAFTA supporters use stock market to try to dissuade Trump from withdrawing from trade deal

Negotiators have officially set a March deadline to rewrite NAFTA.

Economists think the US economy is at or near full employment: WSJ reports, nine in 10 forecasters surveyed by WSJ said the US has achieved or is approaching full employment

Steven Mnuchin’s ever-expanding orbit: Politico reports, the Treasury Secretary is using his location next to the White House to build his base of power — at the risk of irritating colleagues.

Axios: Mnuchin defends Davos trip: not a "hangout for globalists"

US delegation to Davos: The White House released the delegation that will be joining Trump in Davos. You can read the list here:

Bannon will give closed-door testimony next week in House panel's Russia investigation.


Uber’s secret tool for keeping the cops in the dark: Bloomberg reports, at least two dozen times, the San Francisco headquarters locked down equipment in foreign offices to shield files from police raids.

"Most tech companies don’t expect police to regularly raid their offices, but Uber isn’t most companies. The ride-hailing startup’s reputation for flouting local labor laws and taxi rules has made it a favorite target for law enforcement agencies around the world."

Facebook announced sweeping changes to the social media platform's News Feed in an effort to prioritize content from friends and family over more "passive content" from publishers and brands.

NYT: Facebook overhauls news feed to focus on what friends and family share

Mark Zuckerberg prioritizes "meaningful social interactions" on the platform's News Feed versus "relevant content." 

Awesome more baby photos!

Facebook can’t be fixed: Facebook’s fundamental problem is not foreign interference, spam bots, trolls, or fame mongers. It’s the company’s core business model, and abandoning it is not an option.

General Motors filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requesting the agency allow GM to deploy driverless cars that do not have steering wheels or brake pedals by 2019. 

Fiat Chrysler announced $2,000 bonuses for about 60,000 workers and plans to move some truck production to Michigan from Mexico.

Inside Amazon’s quest for global domination: WSJ reports, Amazon has invested aggressively to expand overseas but the results have been a mixed bag.

Overheard at CES: "It's spring for AR -- and winter for VR."


Dropbox has filed confidentially to go public, in what stands to be one of the largest tech IPOs in the past few years.

Shaquille O'Neal will be the first "chief fun officer" for Carnival Crusie Line.


The 8 greatest ideas of CES 2018

Automakers, in a blast from the past, retool iconic trucks: WSJ reports, car makers plan revivals of some of their best-known truck and SUV nameplates, bringing a wave of roomy, updated off-road vehicles to the U.S. market—a sign that consumers’ passion for oversize vehicles hasn’t faded.


Directors Guild of America nominations for the feature film award this year:

Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”)
Jordan Peele (“Get Out”)
Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water")
Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”)
Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) 


NBA shoots for global growth with London showcase: FT reports, basketball franchises cast net wider in search of international audiences.

Guardian: London franchise moves closer as NFL confirms first game at Spurs stadium

Oakland-Seattle to be held at new stadium with two games at Wembley

NFL’s Mark Waller hints permanent franchise could happen in 2021

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.