Caracal Business Insider | December 22, 2017


Catalonia, 'Cold War mentality', Dick Enberg, Russia-UK, Boeing

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 22, 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

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year - See you next on January 8, 2018

What Caracal Global is watching today:

✔️ Catalonia election + separatists keep majority

✔️ China condemns US 'Cold War mentality'

✔️ Russia-UK relations at 'a very low point'

✔️ Boeing is seeking to buy the Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer


CNBC: Spain's political crisis is 'back to square one' after Catalonia election

In a blow to Spanish unity, Catalan separatists keep the majority in regional vote: NYT reports, separatist parties won a narrow majority in Catalonia after the Spanish government called the election in an attempt to resolve the constitutional crisis.

Catalonia results: Parties seeking to secede from Spain narrowly won a snap election. The separatists won about 47 percent of the votes but secured 70 of the 135 seats in the regional Parliament, a narrow majority.

Guardian: A slap in the face’ for Madrid: Puigdemont hails Catalonia election win

Catalans really, and still, want to be free, while at the same time, Catalan's independence is less than clear and easy.

How I almost became a Chinese spy – reflections on China's age of anxiety
Financial Review - Angus Grigg

"The idea that China Correspondents Lisa Murray and Angus Grigg were merely journalists, chasing stories and looking to generate clicks seemed implausible to their Chinese minders."

An excellent read to grasp how the Chinese Communist Party seeks to control and gather information.

BBC: China condemns US 'Cold War mentality' on national security

CNBC: China to
USA: 'Stop deliberately distorting' our global strategy


Boris Johnson faces cold reception on Russia trip: FT reports, relations at ‘zero-level’ for first visit by foreign secretary in five years.

CNN: Russia-UK relations at 'a very low point' - Lavrov

Theresa May says she wants to see a female James Bond.

Cuba: Raúl Castro will step down as president in April.

QOTD: “I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job… My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.” – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson


Make plans to attend the NEXT CHINA conference hosted by SupChina.  

The event will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at The Times Center in New York City. 

The conference will have five sessions covering Technology, Economy, Healthcare, Politics, and Philanthropy, followed by a live Sinica Podcast recording on “Cracking the China Conundrum."

RSVP for the NEXT China conference here:

Use code HOLIDAY for a $300 ticket.


Dispute over political strategy erupts inside the White House: NYT reports, an Oval Office meeting involving President Trump and his top advisers on Wednesday devolved into a heated exchange between his former campaign manager and the White House political director, people briefed on the discussion said.

FNC: Trump deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn to step down

Republicans warn Trump of 2018 bloodbath: Politico reports, the White House knows the midterm election will probably be bad. Behind the scenes, top aides are scrambling to avoid the worst.

Republicans plan mega marketing push to sell unpopular tax plan: Politico reports, 'When [voters] start to see what happens to their paychecks,' said one conservative, 'they will change their minds.'

US government funding has been extended until January 19. 

Bots will sway an election near you: Bloomberg reports, the key to political victory may lie in code. Automated software, known as bots, can fire out non-stop social media messages backing a particular candidate or campaign. The phenomenon goes beyond Russian-linked Facebook accounts aiming to influence foreign elections. Researchers in the and US found Twitter bots weighing in on Brexit and the US vote. 

“I have power”: Is Steve Bannon running for President?Vanity Fair reports, on a whirlwind tour around the globe, Trump’s former aide and alter ego reveals what really went down in the White House, his unfettered thoughts on Javanka, his complicated relationship with his erstwhile boss—and his own political ambitions.


Boeing is seeking to buy the Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer to try to gain a bigger foothold in the regional jet market.

Eric Schmidt steps down as executive chairman of Google's parent, Alphabet.

269 billion = The number emails sent and received daily

NYT: Apple is the most valuable public company

Bloomberg's the year in money: Market highs, a venture capital boom, and record-low unemployment were just some of the defining moments for investors in 2017.

Bloomberg: Long Island Iced Tea soars after changing its name to Long Blockchain

$19,511 = Bitcoin Sunday

$13,577 = Bitcoin Friday

Facebook signed a deal with Universal Music Group that lets its platforms carry songs from the music label’s artists.

Qualcomm has gotten a permit to test self-driving cars on public roads in California.

Daimler buys France’s alternative to Uber: FT reports, the deal for Chauffeur Privé shows German group seeking to attract vehicle-less consumers.

Volvo, Cadillac, and Porsche drive subscription model growth: FT reports, carmakers are launching rental services even as peer-to-peer car lending platforms gain traction.


RIP: Dick Enberg, award-winning US sports broadcaster, dies at 82


AP Poll: Sexual misconduct allegations voted top news story

Guardian's best albums of 2017

Guadian's top 50 films of 2017


In an unforgiving sport, they minister to hearts and souls: NYT reports, a chaplain is part of the team for about three-quarters of England’s professional teams, offering spiritual or secular counseling to the players.

Figure skating in Detroit is aiming to change the color of the sport: The Undefeated reports, this girls-only program uses figure skating to build self-esteem and academic achievement.

5 things to know about the 2018 Winter Olympics

WP: Florida State may not be eligible but is still expected to play in Independence Bowl

FOX College Football: Way (WAY) Too Early Top 10 for 2018

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Michigan
4. Miami
5. Ohio State
6. Georgia
7. Oklahoma
8. USC
9. Stanford
10. MSU

Caracal Business Insider | December 21, 2017

CBI 091517.png

Canada-style Brexit, Catalan Votes, Generic 2018 Ballot, Didi Chuxing, Lady Gaga

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 21, 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:

✔️ Catalan votes today

✔️ EU prepares Canada-style Brexit deal

✔️ Ds have massive lead over GOP on generic 2018 ballot

✔️ Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion in new funding

✔️ Nashville awarded MLS expansion club


Catalan votes today: Catalans are casting their ballots in a regional vote that could determine whether the threat of secession by the wealthy region continues to loom over Spain or if separatists’ push for unilateral independence has peaked.

EU prepares a Canada-style Brexit deal for UK: FT reports, bloc to make the limited-access trade offer if Britain fails to clarify demands before summer.

23 percent = The percentage of the total supply Bitcoins which is believed to be lost, locked behind forgotten passwords or hidden in misplaced drives. 

SELL, SEEL, SEEL: You know a peak mania has been reached when you overhear, as I did yesterday, a Capitol Hill police officer talking about buying Bitcoins.....

@CNBCTopStories: NYSE files to list bitcoin ETFs, bringing cryptocurrency a step closer to mainstream 

US creating 'sensational hype' over China's military modernization: Reuters reports, the United States has created "sensational hype" over China's military modernization, the defense ministry has said in reaction to a White House report branding China a competitor seeking to challenge U.S. power.

The island where Chinese mothers deliver American babies: WSJ reports, women looking to give birth to U.S. citizens have found a loophole in the Pacific: Saipan

Wait until Trump hears about this - oh boy.

China Mission ’92 – The US-China economic relationship has increased dramatically! Barbara Hackman Franklin, the 29th U.S. Secretary of Commerce, is currently President and CEO of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, writes, today, decades later, the US-China economic relationship is huge, enormously complex, multi-faceted, and interdependent — and there are disagreements, differences of approach, and tensions. The current administration is looking to “rebalance” the economic relationship. I believe a rebalance is in order, and sooner rather than later. My hope is that the Chinese side will make many of the structural changes for which the US side, especially the business community, has been advocating for years. Read the full post here:

Canadian TV providers receive payments to carry Russian ‘propaganda machine’: Globe and Mail reports, Kremlin’s state-run news channel, criticized by some for circulating conspiracy theories, is being included in many domestic television packages, raising concerns about the access foreign agents have when allegedly trying to ‘destabilize Western countries’


Make plans to attend the NEXT CHINA conference hosted by SupChina.  

The event will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at The Times Center in New York City. 

The conference will have five sessions covering Technology, Economy, Healthcare, Politics, and Philanthropy, followed by a live Sinica Podcast recording on “Cracking the China Conundrum."

RSVP for the NEXT China conference here:

Use code HOLIDAY for a $300 ticket.


GOP tax vote seals victory for Trump: WSJ reports, Congress gave final approval Wednesday to a $1.5 trillion tax cut, delivering a major victory for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders after nearly a year in political control of the capital.

Bloomberg: Ryan pushes Trump to follow tax win with US welfare revamp

@Nate_Cohn: Live interview generic ballot polls in December CNN D+18 ... Quinnipiac D+15 ... Monmouth D+15 ... Marist D+13 ... POS (R) D+12 ... NBC/WSJ D+11

@thehill: NEW POLL: Dems have largest lead to date over GOP on generic 2018 ballot

Wall Street Journal killed editorial on Trump’s mob ties

Should he decide to run for re-election, Trump will have a less than pleasant experience and won't find the campaign trail of 2016 in 2020.

I place Trump not running for re-election at 38%

Senator Franken to leave the US Senate on January 2.

Virginia house race is tied after court ruling: WSJ reports, It’s not over yet in the Virginia House of Delegates race that threatened to strip Republicans of their majority. A Wednesday decision by a three-judge panel to count a disputed ballot made the race for a House seat representing Newport News a tie. The ruling came a day after an elections panel had ruled for the Democratic challenger in a recount of the November vote. 

"House District 94 seat could be determined by drawing lots"

A reminder that every vote counts, but so does a solid election law team and the judicial system.

Election Betting Odds

Senate control in 2018: GOP - 54.8%

US President Election 2020: Trump - 27.8%, Harris - 11%, Pence - 6.8%, Warren - 6.1%

Trump out: Has full term - 50.5%, leaves in 2018 - 27.2%, leaves in 2019 - 18.4%

Odds Checker

US Presidential Election 2020 winner: Trump 5/2, Pence 11/1, Warren 14/1, Harris 14/1, Sanders 25/1

Paddy Power

DEM 2020 Nominee: Harris 4/1, Warren 6/1, Newsom 7/1, Biden 7/1, M. Obama 9/1, Steyer 10/1, Booker 10/1, Sanders 10/1

GOP 2020 Nominee: Trump 1/1, Pence 3/1, Ryan 7/2, Rubio 18/1, Cruz 33/1, Sasse 33/1, Haley 33/1, Romney 33/1, Cotton 33/1


The slow death of the American mall: WSJ reports, the rise of online retail and changing consumer preferences have hammered US shopping malls since their heyday in the 1990s. Many of these former engines of commerce and centers of community life are now mere skeletons as they fight for their lives.

Didi Chuxing raises $4 billion in new funding placing the ride-sharing platform with a valuation of more than $50 billion.

@ZDNet: Blockchain shows promise for energy companies

Penske Media has acquired a controlling stake in Wenner Media, whose prime asset is Rolling Stone magazine.


The rise of the all-day menu: Look for more restaurants where mealtimes are mutable and noshing is the new dining with fewer power lunches and formal meals.

@wef: These are the 25 most high-tech cities in the world 

Fireside Conference: Canada’s best minds predict what technology and marketing trends will rule 2018


Lady Gaga will reportedly set up a residency at the MGM Park Theater in Las Vegas.

The NYT year in pictures 2017

@TheScotsman: The best travel books of 2017 

Mortality in the United States declines: CDC reports, In 2016, life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years for the total US population—a decrease of 0.1 year from 78.7 in 2015. For males, life expectancy changed from 76.3 in 2015 to 76.1 in 2016—a decrease of 0.2 year. For females, life expectancy remained the same at 81.1.


Nashville awarded MLS expansion club.

And the nominees for president of US Soccer Federation are ...

Paul Caligiuri
Kathy Carter
Carlos Cordeiro
Steve Gans
Kyle Martino
Hope Solo
Michael Winograd
Eric Wynalda

One of the eight candidates will be chosen at the organization's annual meeting in February, in Orlando.

LAT: McKayla Maroney accuses USOC and USA Gymnastics of covering up sexual abuse with secret settlement

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.

Caracal Business Insider | December 19, 2017


Trump Doctrine, North Korea, Theresa May, Tax Overhaul, Sammy Hagar

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 19, 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:

✔️ Trump Doctrine - written report or speech given? 

✔️ Congress poised to approve biggest tax overhaul in 30 years

✔️ Tories urge Theresa May to stay until 2021

✔️ Athleisure sales nearly topped $46 billion

✔️ Manchester City's plan for global domination


Trump’s worldview: Economic strength bolsters security: WSJ reports, declaring that “economic security is national security,” President Donald Trump aimed to reframe a national debate over his domestic economic and trade policies by thrusting them into a national-security context.

Trump delivers a mixed message on his national security approach: NYT reports, Trump presented a blueprint for the country’s national security on Monday that warns of a treacherous world in which the United States faces rising threats from an emboldened Russia and China, as well as from what it calls rogue governments, like North Korea and Iran. To fend off these multiple challenges, the report says with Cold War urgency, the government must put “America First,” fortifying its borders, ripping up unfair trade agreements and rebuilding its military might.

Trump’s China strategy: trade war or American game: FT reports, US president’s national security speech reveals priorities including tough action on trade.

It was a speech searching for a strategy full of boilerplate campaign rhetoric that will do little but antagonize and force others to reply in kind.

What is the Trump Doctrine - is it the written report or is it the speech given?

Trump's rivalry with China overlooks US economic reliance: Bloomberg reports, Trump is breaking with recent U.S. convention by portraying China as a rival that wants to undermine American prosperity. But it may take more than an aggressive tone to change the complex relationship between two economies that are joined at the hip.Under his America First approach to foreign policy, Trump says he will try to eliminate America’s $500-billion total trade deficit by insisting on “fair and reciprocal” commerce with other nations and strengthen the national security test for foreign investments.

A trade deficit is a useless vanity metric to measure the status of a trade relationship, business connection, or commerce supply chain. Useless.

BTW, assembly is the low-end of commerce compared to the high-end of R&D, marketing, and branding. Think about where you want your business or nation on the U-shaped curve of commerce.

A Tillerson slip offers a peek into secret planning on North Korea: NYT reports, Tillerson revealed that the Trump administration had already provided assurances to China’s leadership that if American forces landed in North Korea to search for and deactivate nuclear weapons, the troops would do their work and then retreat.

"In other words, the United States would essentially cede North Korean territory to the Chinese military, or let China and South Korea figure out who would control 46,500 square miles of territory and take care of its 25 million occupants, many of whom already do not have enough to eat."

WSJ: Alleged North Korea missile broker arrested in Australia

"Sydney man accused of trying to sell missiles and coal for North Korea"

US says North Korea was behind a cyberattack that infected computers in more than 150 countries: WP reports, the Trump administration urged nations to counter North Korea’s ability to conduct cyber attacks and to implement United Nations sanctions after the massive WannaCry attack earlier this year.

China unveils an ambitious plan to curb climate change emissions: NYT reports, China released plans on Tuesday to start a giant market to trade credits for the right to emit planet-warming greenhouse gases. The nationwide market would initially cover only China’s vast, state-dominated power generation sector, which produced almost half of the country’s emissions from the burning of fossil fuels last year.

China's trying to gain political influence abroad, and the West isn't happy: CNBC reports, Western countries are growing increasingly cautious of China's Communist Party. Officials in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany — major recipients of Chinese foreign direct investment — have been questioning the extent of Beijing's interference on their home turfs amid recent developments that suggest rising Chinese clout.

"Experts say China's Communist Party is using education, spying, political donations and people-to-people diplomacy to gain a greater say in decision-making within these countries."


Sunlight v subversion - What to do about China’s “sharp power”: The Economist reports, China is manipulating decision-makers in Western democracies. The best defense is transparency.

At the sharp end - How China’s “sharp power” is muting criticism abroad: The Economist reports and stealthily trying to shape public opinion in its favor.

Austria turns right: The thirty-one-year-old conservative Sebastian Kurz was sworn in as chancellor in Vienna on Monday after clinching a deal with the euro-skeptic Freedom Party. 

May, please stay: After months of reports that she could be “gone by Christmas,” May is now being urged to hang around until 2021 to avoid a bloody internal battle before trade talks with the EU are complete, the Times reports.

The Times: Tories urge Theresa May to stay until 2021

Uber driver held in diplomat’s death: WSJ reports, a driver working for Uber in Lebanon was arrested for the killing of a British diplomat over the weekend, local security officials said.

French finance minister calls for bitcoin regulation debate at G20: Reuters reports, France will propose that the G20 group of major economies discuss regulation of the bitcoin virtual currency next year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday. “I am going to propose to the next G20 president, Argentina, that at the G20 summit in April we have a discussion altogether on the question of bitcoin,” Le Maire told French news channel LCI.

Russia could cut off the internet to NATO countries, British military chief warns: NBC News reports, Russia could try to sever global underwater communications cables, potentially triggering catastrophic repercussions for the economy and way of life in the West, the head of Britain’s military has warned. 


Reuters: Congress poised to approve biggest tax overhaul in 30 years

#TaxTuesday: The House is poised to approve GOP tax legislation this afternoon with plans to hold a vote around 1:30 pm ET. The Senate could vote as soon as late this afternoon or early Wednesday morning.

GOP Nos: Most of the House GOP dissenters are from high-tax states and are concerned that the bill’s $10,000 limit on individuals’ state and local tax deductions will raise taxes on their middle-class constituents.

Dana Rohrabacher of California will not back tax overhaul - smart local politics for a pol that has a monster fight on his hands to secure re-election.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine will back the tax overhaul.

Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Jill Stein campaign for possible ‘collusion with the Russians’: WP reports, the inclusion of the Green Party candidate suggests the committee’s probe is far from over, even as lawmakers worry that the House Intelligence Committee is racing to a close.

You knew this was only a matter of time.


Bitcoin futures started trading on CME, the largest futures exchange in the world, on Sunday evening.

Samsung is preparing to combat the iPhone X with the Galaxy S9 to be launched this spring.

Will they search for that? Chinese learn the art of hooking Americans on Amazon: WSJ reports, an instructor named Uncle Sam teaches entrepreneurs how to cut out the middleman and sell directly to Americans.

How China’s luxury e-commerce market will evolve in 2018


Year in search 2017: See what was trending in 2017

How retro sportswear reigned supreme in 2017 

The best piece of clothing I purchased this year was an Ocean Pacific (OP) windbreaker from the 80s.

Athleisure sales nearly topped $46 billion in 2016. 

Gifts: Average holiday spending to top $900, highest in at least 12 years: CNBC survey


Work hard, play hard: Life lessons from Sammy Hagar

Reporters Without Borders: At least 65 media workers killed doing their jobs in 2017

"Thirty-nine of those killed were targeted for their journalistic work such as reporting on political corruption or organized crime while the other 26 were killed while working due to shelling and bomb attacks" 


Manchester City's plan for global domination: Football has already been transformed by big money -- but the businessmen behind Man City are trying to build a global corporation that will change the game forever.

@CNBCnow: BREAKING: ESPN president and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks John Skipper resigns citing "substance addiction"

Caracal Business Insider | December 18, 2017


Strategic Competitor, Cold War, Healthy Snacks, Mount Everest

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 18, 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

✔️ Trump targets China and Russia on national security

✔️ Sebastián Piñera wins in Chile

✔️ Macron's 40th and French exceptionalism

✔️ Hershey to bet on healthy snacks

✔️ About 5,000 people have reached the top of Everest


FT: Trump to label China as a strategic ‘competitor’

"Beijing accused of pursuing policies of economic aggression to weaken US"

Trump’s national security focus shifts to Russia, China: WSJ reports, Trump will put his domestic economic and trade policies at the heart of a new national-security strategy that depicts the world as one of the heightened rivalries and potentially dangerous competition.

National security plan hints at return to Cold War footing: NYT reports, Trump’s first national security strategy, which envisions rivalries with China and Russia, is at odds with his often-warm relations with the leaders of those two countries.

New national security plan paints China and Russia as US competitors that want to realign global power in their interests: WP reports, Trump will present the strategy, which follows his “America First” doctrine, in a speech today. An official said the plan does not expressly “overturn” strategies of former president Barack Obama or his predecessors, but it frames Trump’s priorities differently.

Trump targets China and Russia on national security: Reuters reports, Trump will declare that China and Russia are competitors seeking to challenge U.S. power and erode its security and prosperity, in a national security strategy he will lay out today.

The speech will take place at 2:00 pm ET from the  Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Five key facts about China’s economic conference: As the Communist Party’s leadership starts its annual economic work conference in Beijing, here are the main points to note.

Sebastián Piñera wins the presidential election in Chile: WSJ reports, the billionaire who had already served once as head of state cruised to victory, promising to reinvigorate the country’s flagging economy after four years of subpar growth.

Chile swings right to return Piñera to the presidency: FT reports, billionaire ex-leader joins Argentina’s Macri as another businessman-turned-president.

Honduran president declared winner, but OAS calls for new election: NYT reports, the Honduran electoral commission on Sunday declared President Juan Orlando Hernández the victor in a bitterly contested race, but the Organization of American States called for a new election, arguing that the vote was so riddled with irregularities that it was impossible to be sure of a winner. The electoral commission, which is controlled by allies of Mr. Hernández, said he had won by about 50,000 votes over the opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla.

Macron appeals to French exceptionalism as 40th birthday looms: Bloomberg reports, “By choosing in May to elect a 39-year-old president, with no political party, that no one knew of, who came out of nowhere -- the choice our country has made -- that’s a choice that no other country has made,” he said late Sunday, directly invoking his youth within days of his 40th birthday. “France is only itself when it carries a real European vision and a real determination to pull the world towards the future.”


GOP faces a five-day sprint to pass its tax bill, forge a deal with Democrats to avoid a shutdown: WP reports, Republicans plan to vote on the tax bill early in the week, leaving them little time to strike a deal with Democrats to authorize funds to keep the government running.

Suburbs offer Democrats a path to House control: NYT reports, from Houston to Seattle, suburban districts once locked down by Republicans are looking to Democratic candidates to oppose President Trump.

If you a Republican MOC and there is a Whole Foods in your district - bye, Felicia.

The Thomas fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties has grown to be the third-largest wildfire in modern California history.


Marc A. Ross works with clients to develop executive education lectures, speeches, presentations, workshops, and conferences to help demystify Globalization, Disruption, and American politics. Learn more here.


Tencent teams up with to take on Alibaba: WSJ reports, in an escalating battle between China’s dominant internet giants, Tencent has teamed up with, Alibaba’s main e-commerce competitor, to buy a stake in the No. 3 online retail player.

Hershey to buy Amplify Snack in $1.6 billion bet on healthy snacks.

Campbell Soup Co. will buy Pretzels and Cape Cod chips maker Snyder‘s-Lance Inc for $4.87 billion as it looks to expand its snack business amid sagging soup sales.

Toyota to market over 10 battery EV models in early 2020s: Reuters reports, Toyota Motor Corp said it would market more than 10 all-electric vehicle (EV) models globally in the early 2020s, a target which could require the firm to look beyond a partnership with Panasonic Corp to co-develop and supply batteries.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi'opens with $220 million box office weekend - the second best weekend all-time.

I saw the Darkest Hour this weekend and can report that Gary Oldman was sensational.


Hard questions: Is spending time on social media bad for us? Facebook says yes.

Meet the ‘world’s only full-time hemp reporter’

@wef: Robots could start to replace teachers as soon as 2027  


Mount Everest: About 5,000 people have reached the top of the mountain since the feat was first accomplished in 1953, and nearly 300 people have died in the attempt.


The Carolina Panthers will be sold after their longtime owner, Jerry Richardson, was accused of what the team called “workplace misconduct.”

@cwordock: Diddy said he wants to buy the Carolina Panthers and sign Colin Kaepernick

Caracal Business Insider | December 15, 2017


China Soft Power Fail, Paul Ryan, Mexico, Putin, Amazon, H&M

Caracal Business Insider | Daily
December 15, 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:

✔️ South Korea outraged by journalist beating in China

✔️ Two Canadian Senators’ business venture linked to China

✔️ EU launches next phase of Brexi

✔️ Paul D. Ryan exiting as speaker?

✔️ H&M says to close more stores as customers go online


World trade order in a wobble as Washington snubs WTO status quo: Reuters reports, the frustration of Roberto Azevedo was evident when, as director general of the World Trade Organization, he summed up the results of a three-day ministerial conference in Buenos Aires in the past week. There were simply none.

China set for slower growth target in 2018: Caixin reports, key policymaking meeting likely to focus on curbing financial risks, reining in debt.

Chinese authorities collecting DNA from all residents of Xinjiang: Guardian reports, officials build a database of iris scans and blood types of everyone aged 12 to 65 in the region home to 11 million Muslim Uighurs.

This is troubling.

How's the soft power campaign working?

South Korea outraged by journalist beating in China: AFP reports, South Korean news media on Friday expressed anger and outrage after Chinese security guards beat and severely injured a South Korean photojournalist covering President Moon Jae-In's visit to Beijing. Opposition parties and internet users joined in, saying the incident epitomised the Asian giant's attitude towards its smaller neighbor.

This is also troubling.

How's the soft power campaign working?

Can China contain bitcoin? It is trying. But the cryptocurrency is bigger than any country, even the one where it has been most popular.

Caixin: Asian Development Bank to invest in cleaning up Beijing’s air

Two Conservative senators’ business venture linked to China: Two Conservative senators – one with close ties to Beijing – set up a private consulting business this year with partners who are involved in attracting investment from China to Newfoundland and Labrador, corporate records show.

Senator Victor Oh, who recently said he has not conducted any "personal business" in Canada or China since his appointment to the Red Chamber in 2013, formed a St. John's-based company in April with Senator David Wells. Mr. Wells would not say whether Signal Hill Management is pursuing business deals with China-based entities.

J-Alert: One of Japan's Japan’s most popular phrases is the system used to warn citizens of an imminent missile attack.

US offers 'proof' missile fired at Saudi Arabia was Iranian: AFP reports, the United States on Thursday presented pieces of what it said is the missile fired at Saudi Arabia by Houthi militia in Yemen, describing it as conclusive evidence of Iran involvement and its violation of UN resolutions.

Red Dawn in Lapland: Outside reports, Finland shares an 833-mile border with an aggressive and unpredictable neighbor. That proximity led to a major conflict during World War II—the horrific Winter War—and even now it keeps Finns nervous about Russia’s intentions. David Wolman suited up to train with the elite soldiers who will be on the front lines if this cold feud ever gets hot.

EU gives UK go-ahead for next phase of Brexit talks: FT reports, negotiations to start on trade after leaders endorse progress on the divorce settlement.

'Congratulations': EU launches next phase of Brexit: Reuters reports, the European Union agreed on Friday to move talks forward with London on Britain's exit from the bloc as leaders warmed to the British premier, but there was little clarity on trade, as well as on some issues already discussed

Theresa May, navigating Brexit, reaches a first finish line: NYT reports, Ms. May lacks many of the qualities that draw a person into politics. She does not enjoy the public spotlight, or have a vision she yearns to share with the country. In a political environment that demands social ease and boundless intellectual confidence — the “tranquil consciousness of effortless superiority” once attributed to Oxford’s Balliol College by one of its famous alumni — she is formal, controlled and extremely private.

“In some ways, she’s old-fashioned English in an era where being old-fashioned and English is no longer acceptable,” said Philip Cowley, a political scientist at Queen Mary University of London.

Some Canada firms could move to US amid NAFTA worries: Reuters reports, more a quarter of Canadian firms could move part of their operations to the United States amid uncertainty over the future of the NAFTA trade pact, the nation's export credit agency said on Friday.

Mexico plots open trade course to escape Trump's NAFTA threats: Reuters reports, Trump’s ‘America First’ brand of economic nationalism is pushing Mexico to seek sanctuary in more open commercial ties elsewhere to soften the blow of a possible breakdown of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"Mexico has lobbied hard to defend NAFTA. The country is heavily dependent on U.S. demand, which soaks up around 80 percent of its goods exports."

Mexico scores big tourism gains after hurricanes devastate Caribbean islands: LAT reports, from October 2017 through March 2018, airlines cut more than 1.2 million seats to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Cuba and St. Martin. In that same period, they've added more than 600,000 seats on flights to popular Mexican destinations.

The Russia facts are hiding in plain sight
WP - David Ignatius

AFP: Putin says Arctic exploration a priority for Russia

Russia election date = March 18, 2018

I wonder if the Trumpster will join Putin on the hustings?


Tax reform: Republicans expect to unveil the final version of their $1.5 trillion tax measure today.

The Republicans’ problem is bigger than Alabama: A string of defeats points to weaknesses beyond one tainted candidate and to trouble in 2018 and beyond.

"Voters who disapprove of Trump have reliably cast ballots against Republican candidates in each of the three major elections this year: In Alabama, 93 percent of those who disapproved of Trump voted for Jones; in Virginia, 87 percent voted for Gillespie’s Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam."

8 numbers out of Alabama that should terrify Republicans

"Among those 65 years old (and older), Moore won by 19 points. Among all other voters -- aged 18-64 -- he lost by eight."

Paul Ryan sees his wild Washington journey coming to an end: Politico reports, he felt he was ‘made for this moment.’ But now, on the verge of achieving his long-sought legislative dream, he’s got his eyes on the exits.

Paul D. Ryan exiting as speaker? It only makes sense.
WP - Aaron Blake

"Trump has already turned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) into a pariah with a newly imperiled majority, and it seems only a matter of time before the House's failure to meet Trump's expectations causes him to truly turn his fire on Ryan too."

@politico: #BREAKING: House Speaker Paul Ryan considering retirement after 2018 midterms 

@POLITICOMag: Paul Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker

@CNNPolitics: 5 reasons why Paul Ryan should definitely quit in 2018 | Analysis by CNN's Chris Cillizza

@FoxBusiness: @SpeakerRyan aides dismiss reports of possible 2018 resignation

Net Neutrality: The FCC voted to dismantle rules governing how internet-service providers treat traffic, a move that is likely to empower cable and wireless providers.

"We are helping consumers and promoting competition.” --F.C.C. Chairman Ajit Pai

Recommendations signal major changes coming to Iowa’s Caucuses


NYT: Uber under criminal investigation, Justice Dept. confirms in letter to court

"It is the first public confirmation by the Department of Justice of a federal inquiry into the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company."

Nordic Choice Hotels tests blockchain distribution for Stockholm property: Skift reports, hotels, like airlines, currently rely on the global distribution systems and other intermediaries for distribution. Bypassing them could be an attractive proposition if it would lower costs.

Google’s return to China foretells a global race to deliver AI: MIT Tech Review reports, with a new research center in Beijing, Google hopes to strengthen its global position in offering AI services through the cloud.

Transneft says its computers were used for mining cryptocurrency: Reuters reports, computers at Transneft have been used for the unauthorized manufacture, or "mining", of the cryptocurrency Monero, a vice-president of the Russian pipeline operator said.

Disney-21st Century Fox deal ensures that the future of television and movie viewing is online.

H&M shares slide after unexpected sales fall: FT reports, Swedish fashion retailer has been struggling with a shift to online shopping.

AFP: H&M says to close more stores as customers go online

Reuters: Siemens partners with Amazon as it ramps up industrial software platform

Amazon wants it all.


Facebook invites HR pros to steal its sexual harassment policy.

AOL Instant Messenger made social media what it is today: The once popular messaging platform goes dark this week, but its legacy of instant communication is here to stay.

How a Welsh jeans firm became a cult global brand


Breaking: Harry and Meghan to marry on May 19, 2018.


Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons, Spring 1


What did the Reds show Shohei Ohtani?

Creator versus disruptor: Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho battle for the fate of the universe (and the Premier League).