Caracal Insider Daily | January 30, 2018

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SOTU, Brexit, Silvio Berlusconi, Wang Qishan, iPhone X, Grammy Awards, Chief Wahoo

Caracal Insider Daily
January 30, 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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✔️ EU expects Britain to ask for secret longer transition

✔️ Silvio Berlusconi’s astonishing (and unsurprising) return

✔️ China’s Xi looks to ally to fix US relations

✔️ Trump's State of the Union aims for unity

✔️ Cleveland Indians to drop Chief Wahoo logo


EU expects Britain to ask for secret longer transition: The Times reports, European Union negotiators expect Britain to seek an extended exit transition period and suggest that the request will remain secret to avoid a rebellion by Eurosceptic cabinet ministers and backbench MPs. Britain will leave the EU at midnight on March 29 next year but is preparing to agree by this March the terms of a transition to help to limit the disruption for business.

British Lords get ready to disrupt Brexit: Bloomberg reports, the road out of the European Union gets bumpier as key legislation heads to the upper house of parliament.

Brexit disarray finally brings UK business out fighting: FT reports, looming deadlines have now caused companies to increase their pressure on the government.

This leaked government Brexit analysis says the UK will be worse off in every scenario: BuzzFeed News has seen a new Brexit impact assessment, which says leaving the EU will adversely hit almost every sector and every UK region.

Carles Puigdemont seeks return for investiture: The Times reports, Carles Puigdemont was yesterday preparing to ask for permission to return to Spain despite facing arrest on charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzling public funds. The fugitive Catalan separatist leader was planning to ask Spain’s supreme court to be allowed to attend a debate and vote in the Catalan parliament tomorrow where he could win back his job as regional president.

Silvio Berlusconi’s astonishing (and unsurprising) return: NYT reports, a master of reinvention, the three-time former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is poised to win in Italy’s election despite, well, everything.

China’s Xi looks to ally to fix US relations: WSJ reports, Xi considers enlisting Wang Qishan, known as the ‘fireman’ for crisis postings, as tensions rise.

US companies complain of unfair treatment in China, want pressure but not war: WP reports, American companies to feel less welcome than before in China and want the U.S. government to put more pressure on Beijing to level the playing field, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said Tuesday. William Zarit, chairman of AmCham China, warned that Chinese officials had told him they would “definitely” retaliate if the U.S. administration introduced tariffs or other restrictions on Chinese imports as a result of ongoing investigations into steel and aluminum imports and intellectual property violations.

US firms say China’s business climate is warming, survey finds: WSJ reports, the upbeat tone comes despite a rise in China-US trade tensions and worries over-regulation.

"59% of companies rank China among the top three priorities of global investment plans, up from 56% last year."

Fudged numbers revealed as officials' performance redefined: Caixin reports, new focus on quality over speed in economic growth forces local governments to come clean.

Caixin: Beijing has tools to prevent systemic collapse, regulator says


China's rise is over: Standford University Press reports, while international relations experts marvel at China’s growth, the PRC’s own elites take a more sober view.

You'll be hearing more of this = China has risen and India is rising in the coming years.

79: The number of attempts it took to clone Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, two genetically identical monkeys created in a Chinese laboratory. 

AP: Drought-hit Cape Town to set up disaster operations HQ amid water crisis

Bloomberg: Venezuelan pirates rule the most lawless market on Earth


'He has to be normal': Trump's State of the Union aims for unity after a polarizing year: Politico reports, facing a grim midterm election outlook for his party, the president plans to focus on selling agenda items with a bipartisan touch.

Bloomberg: Trump won’t announce NAFTA withdrawal in State of Union, sources say

Trump’s State of the Union speech will reiterate promises to ‘rebuild the military’: Military Times reports, Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday will repeat his promises to “rebuild our military” and defeat terrorism around the globe, with specific reprimands directed at North Korea for aggressive military moves in recent months. 

Immigrants to be in the spotlight at State of Union: WSJ reports, Trump plans Tuesday to outline in his State of the Union address a broad agenda for the coming year, but he is also expected to wade into a more immediate political showdown: an immigration deal. 

SOTU is set for 9:00 pm ET.

47%: The percentage of foreign investment in the state of Kentucky that comes from Japan. 

Hung out to dry twice, Tennessee city stumped by Trump's washer tariffs: Reuters reports, when Trump imposed steep tariffs on imported washing machines last week it was a “Not Again” moment for officials in this north Tennessee city that has lost jobs to an international trade dispute before. The move threatens to stunt the launch of a new LG Electronics washing machine factory under construction in Clarksville, just four years after the U.S.-China trade fight over solar panels scuttled a nearly $1.2 billion Hemlock Semiconductor polysilicon plant. “It’s like déjà vu for Clarksville, to say ‘how can this be happening twice to us,'” the city’s mayor, Kim McMillan, told Reuters.

"Capital expenditures are the lifeblood of a growing economy, and without these expenditures, the economy will just muddle along." -- Chuck Butler - creator and editor of A Pfennig For Your Thoughts.

Rising stars collide in shadow 2020 primary: Politico reports, a glut of Democratic contenders could fracture the party in some of the bluest states in the nation.

"Two rising stars in California are about to collide: Sen. Kamala Harris of San Francisco and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. As potential Democratic presidential candidates in 2020, the pair might soon be asking the activists and donors who have known them their entire political careers to finally choose sides."

Chelsea Manning's campaign website is based in Iceland. Why?: Defense One reports, for one thing, it's harder for US law enforcement to search. That may matter to the Wikileaks contributor-turned-US Senate candidate. 


Facebook plans to put all of users' privacy settings in one place ahead of new European Union regulations set to take effect in May.

Facebook acquired identity authentication startup

27%: Xiaomi has toppled Samsung as the manufacturer with the largest market share (27% vs Samsung's 25%) in India’s smartphone market, according to Canalys.

NYT: Side benefit to Amazon’s headquarters contest: Local expertise

"Detroit was not chosen as a finalist for Amazon’s second headquarters, but its bid gave the company a peek at the kind of tax breaks the city was willing to offer."

WSJ: Apple to cut output of the new iPhone X amid weak demand

Waymo revealed an agreement to acquire thousands of minivans from Fiat Chrysler.


29.4: A quality pair of comfortable, stylish premium jeans requires 29.4 minutes of manufacturing time.

Digiday: Bloomberg’s Twitter network TicToc is getting 750,000 daily viewers

Green buildings: Researchers at Harvard University calculated that between 2000 and 2016, green-certified buildings in America prevented up to 405 premature deaths, 21,000 sick days at work and 16,000 lost school days by reducing local air pollution.


The 2018 Grammy Awards was a tone-deaf, out-of-touch mess

The CBS telecast of the Grammy Awards is down a steep 21 percent from 2017 in early numbers, potentially spelling an all-time low.


Cleveland Indians to drop Chief Wahoo logo from uniforms in 2019.

The New England Patriots have participated in 37 playoff games since 2001, losing only nine of them. 

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.