Caracal Insider Daily | January 18, 2018

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US Leadership. NAFTA, Bayeux Tapestry, 996, SurveyMonkey, Amazon, Apple, TB12

Caracal Insider Daily
January XX, 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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✔️ World's approval of US leadership drops to new low

✔️ 5 ways GDP gets it totally wrong

✔️ France offers to loan Bayeux Tapestry to the UK

✔️ Amazon narrows list to 20 locations for second headquarters

✔️ What can science tell us about grunting in tennis?


World's approval of US leadership drops to new low: One year into Donald Trump's presidency, the image of U.S. leadership is weaker worldwide than it was under his two predecessors. Median approval of U.S. leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at a new low of 30%, according to a new Gallup report.

"Median approval of US leadership is 30%, down from 48% in 2016"

"Germany's leadership now tops that of US, China and Russia"

5 ways GDP gets it totally wrong as a measure of our success
WEF - David Pilling

"But GDP is well past its sell-by date, as people are starting to realize. However brilliant the concept, a measure that was invented in the manufacturing age as a means of fighting the Depression is becoming less and less capable of imparting sensible signals about complex modern economies."

Genius. I wish I would have written this.

Reuters: Trump says terminating NAFTA would yield the 'best deal' in renegotiations

Bloomberg: Trump has come to see NAFTA's benefits, agriculture secretary says

"Trump "probably left the campaign trail literally believing that NAFTA had not been good for any sector of the economy," Perdue said in an interview at his office on Wednesday in Washington."

Killing NAFTA would ruin American farmers
WSJ - Karl Rove

Surveillance state: Bloomberg reports, China is trialing a new tracking tool in one of its favorite testing grounds: Xinjiang. Already full of checkpoints and security cameras, the restive region that’s home to about 10 million Muslim Uighurs is piloting facial-recognition systems that alert authorities when targeted people venture more than 1,000 feet beyond designated areas.

@mstandaert: China is destroying imports that say ‘Made in Taiwan’ in a push for Taiwan to be seen as a region of China

First Chinese takeover of US group under Trump gets go-ahead: FT reports, regulatory green light for Beijing-controlled semiconductor group’s Akrion purchase.

Silicon Valley would be wise to follow China’s lead: The work ethic in Chinese tech companies far outpaces their US rivals.
FT - Michael Moritz

996 = 9am to 9pm 6 days a week = Chinese entrepreniual mantra

Bloomberg: China to overtake US economy by 2032 as Asian might builds

Wait, I thought this was supposed to happen in 2020?

"North Korean propaganda is in a category all its own. It is not surprising that North Korea is sending more cheerleaders and musicians than athletes." -- Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Diplomatic tapestry: Theresa May meets Emmanuel Macron on today with the backdrop of Brexit talks – and the reputation the French are getting in Brussels for taking a hard line on the divorce. France is due to lend the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain for the first time. 

DW: France offers to loan Bayeux Tapestry to the UK

"The work depicts the bloody conquest of England by the Normans in 1066."

Macron and May weave joint initiatives to conceal Brexit fallout: FT reports, defense, economic and cultural collaboration to be announced as they meet near London

Hotel EU? European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the UK can always re-apply for membership after leaving.

Bloomberg: May’s date to make up with Trump in Davos is on ice

"With Anglo-American relations coming under strain, the British prime minister’s team wanted to schedule a catch-up conversation between the two leaders during the annual World Economic Forum." 


Shutdown status: House Republicans are short of the votes they need to avoid a government shutdown.

Steve Bannon will be interviewed by Robert Mueller’s investigators instead of testifying before a grand jury signaling that he’s cooperating.

NYT: Trump was not ‘fully informed’ in campaign wows on wall, chief of staff says

Oh. Well. Ok.

With Trump's visit to Pennsylvania, GOP scrambles to save a House seat: NYT reports, Republicans are scrambling to save a heavily conservative House seat in western Pennsylvania, dispatching President Trump to the district on Thursday while preparing a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to stave off another embarrassing special election defeat in a district that was gerrymandered to stay Republican.

PA road trip: Trump plans to visit Pittsburgh today to stump for a House candidate in a special election that Republicans view as a bellwether for their prospects of retaining their congressional majorities in the 2018 midterms.

Reuters: Trump vows to campaign intensively for Republicans, may avoid primaries

"I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans"

Open season in the House: Republicans retirements give Democrats some clear targets, but the path to House majority more about beating incumbents.
Sabato's Crystal Ball

"So far there are 46 House seats where an incumbent won’t be running for reelection in November. That is already above the postwar average, and more open seats are likely."

#OHGOV: Dennis Kucinich officially announces run for Ohio governor

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube detail fight against extremists at Senate hearing: The Hill reports, at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing, the tech giants gave a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Silicon Valley companies as lawmakers probed their anti-terrorism efforts.


Apple hearts tax reform: Apple reportedly told its employees that it's issuing a $2,500 bonus in the form of restricted stock units following the introduction of the new US tax laws. Apple also has pledged to invest more than $30 billion to expand its American operations in the wake of last month's US tax cut, even as it makes an estimated $38 billion one-off tax payment on the repatriation of its overseas profits.

Verizon announced that its fourth-quarter earnings will increase by almost $17 billion as a result of the new US tax law. 

Bloomberg: US Treasury sees virtual currencies as 'evolving threat'

Bitcoin speculative bubble is bursting and has a long way to fall, economists warn: Guardian reports, despite losing 40% in a matter of weeks the cryptocurrency still has further to drop according to experts at Capital Economics.

Bitcoin fell below $10,000 for the first time since November.

SurveyMonkey is expected to go public later this year.

Ars Technica: Report: GM and Waymo lead driverless car race; Tesla lags far behind

GoogFroce: Google and Salesforce unveil first elements of partnership.

Peugeot plans to use the 2017 acquisition of GM's European Opel and Vauxhall operations as the springboard to re-enter the American market.

I hope they bring the 304 convertible.

Bloomberg: Amazon narrows list to 20 locations for second headquarters

The finalist cities are:

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Indianapolis, IN
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
Montgomery County, MD
Nashville, TN
Newark, NJ
New York City, NY
Northern Virginia, VA
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Raleigh, NC
Toronto, ON
Washington DC

I am crushed for Detroit.

After reading this - it is clear the DMV is in the running. With three listed finalists, plus Bezos owing the Washington Post and maintaining a home in the District, Amazon looks to be coming to the Washington DC metroplex. 


The American sedan is dying. Long Live the SUV: Detroit executives are killing off their slow-selling cars in favor of SUVs.

It’s time for Apple to build a less addictive iPhone: Apple gave us the modern smartphone. Now, it can create a new take on the device by encouraging us to use it more deliberately — and a lot less.
NYT - Farhad Manjoo


Bloomberg: Goldman's no. 2 allegedly swindled out of $1.2 million of wine by assistant

"De-Meyer’s regular duties included receiving wine shipped to Solomon’s Manhattan apartment and transporting it to his boss’s cellar in East Hampton, New York."

Among the stolen wines were seven bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a Burgundy known as “liquid velvet,” that had cost him $133,650.

British gin is back baby: Guardian reports, official figures show there are now 315 gin distilleries in Britain, which is more than double the number five years ago. Data collected by HM Revenue & Customs reveal that 50 opened last year alone. Experts believe that locally made “artisan” gins championed by hipsters are behind the explosion in its new-found popularity rather than international brands.

US doctors plan to treat cancer patients using CRISPR


NBA + Verizon: A new wide-ranging agreement with the National Basketball Association and Verizon will extend the telecommunications giant's relationship with the league beyond streaming games and into content creation as well as virtual and augmented-reality fan experiences.

@SCMP_News: Shenzhen has replaced Singapore as the host of the WTA Finals — and doubled the prize money

NFL playoff ratings are down 16%.

TB12: New England Patriots will make their 12th AFC Championship Game appearance under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and the legendary coach/QB combo will be gunning for a record eighth Super Bowl appearance together. 

@DeadlineDayLive: BREAKING: Arsenal forward Alexis Sánchez has agreed to a four-year contract with Manchester United, worth £14m-a-year.

Olympic spirit: North Korea and South Korea will field one unified Korean women’s hockey team at the upcoming Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Guardian: What can science tell us about grunting in tennis?Grunting could be considered performance-enhancing for the grunter and performance-hindering for their opponent.

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.