CI VIEW: Akon and Stanley Enow joining forces for Cameroon mega hydropower projects UPDATE

WASHINGTON/BRESCIA (CI Africa)  (Update on May 18, 2017 to add interview with GE Power CEO Steve Bolze and Actis Senior Partner Torbjorn Caesar)  Aliaune “Akon” Thiam and Stanley Enow   the American and West African international hip-hop stars — are now joining forces to promote major hydroelectric power projects in the strategically vital West-Central African nation of Cameroon.

[Akon interviewed by Capitol Intelligence/CI Africa using CI Glass during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 4, 2014.]

Akon is in DC during the Energynet Powering Africa Summit to promote the work of his personally financed Solektra Int group that currently has a USD 1bn credit line for African nations to build-out electricity capacity through solar, mini-grid and now hydroelectric power plants.

Separately, Cameroonian hip hop artist and Motherland Empire co-founder Stanley Enow traveled to Washington, DC to attend the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference (CBCFALC) and its Phoenix Awards Dinner hosted by than President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama on September 17-19, 2015.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: EXIM Bank catalyst for US job growth and reform with Mnuchin/Waters duo UPDATE

WASHINGTON/WHEELING, WV (BBN) (Update on May 18, 2017 to add comments by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) –The end of the long stalemate in Congress over the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has unintentionally served as a catalyst to convince the CEOs of Fortune 100 giants such as General Electric Corp. (NYSE:GE), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), Honeywell International, INC (NYSE:HON), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) of the strategic need to lend their considerable resources to US small-and-medium and minority-and-veteran owned businesses to expand and compete in foreign markets.

[US House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on President Trump naming former NJ Congressman Scott Garrett as EXIM Bank at Tax March at US Capitol, April 15, 2017]

The issue of large corporates helping US small and medium-sized businesses came after EXIM Bank opponents succeeded in blocking the nomination of new EXIM board members and thus limiting the export credit agency to making export guarantees of USD 10m or less.

President Donald Trump unblocked the impasse by nominating former New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett as EXIM President and Chairman and former US House Financial Services Chairman and old-school Republican leader Spencer Bachus from Alabama as an EXIM board member. 

Meanwhile a highly unusual but effective alliance has been quietly forged between US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US House Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) to guarantee that EXIM Bank primary focus will be to serve US small-to-medium size exporters, with special attention to minority-and-veteran led businesses. 

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Kirkuk provides road map to post-ISIS Iraq and regional peace, Kirkuk Governor UPDATE

KIRKUK/WASHINGTON (CI MENA)  — (Update on March 22. 2017 to add US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Iraq Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi) — Kirkuk Governor Dr. Najmaldin O. Karim, MD is providing a road map for a stable and prosperous Iraq without the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with his no-nonsense management of the liberated oil rich territory next to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) based in Erbil.

[US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross speaks to Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA using CI Glass at US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Iraq Business Initiative dinner for Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi at US Chamber of Commerce, March 20, 2017]

President Donald Trump decision to bolster US military forces to free Iraq’s second city Mosul from ISIS control has now put creating a new road map for post-ISIS Iraq on the forefront of the administration’s agenda.

Kirkuk’s Dr. Karim can-do management style — combined with US private sector leadership corralled by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross  — can transform Iraq from a geopolitical quagmire into a regional economic power.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: President Trump’s USD 1 trln infrastructure fund triggers National bank vs bond agency debate

WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE (BBN) – President Donald Trump plan to spend up to USD 1 trillion upgrading US infrastructure has triggered the first serious bipartisan debate in Congress whether the United States should establish a National Infrastructure Bank and/or national bond authority.

[President Donald Trump speaks with Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at Economic Club of Washington DC event prior to entering race for Presidency. Marriott Marquis Hotel and opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. December 15, 2014]

US House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) says he opposes the establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank while US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is pressing for an independent National Infrastructure Bank or financing authority.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Tunisia set for Trump-led economic boom as Hillary cabal makes hasty exit UPDATE

TUNIS/BALTIMORE (CI MENA) (Updating on March 14, 2017 to add The Carlyle Group Co-Founder and Co-CEO David Rubenstein) — Tunisia, the Arab world’s first democracy, is set for an unprecedented economic boom as the administration of President Donald Trump makes a clean sweep of a cabal of cronies tied his opponent and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

[Secretary of State and former Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XTO) Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on mega mergers in oil and gas sector following United States Energy Association Energy meeting at National Press Club of Washington, DC. May 5, 2016]

Tunisia set the stage for its economic renaissance following the Tunisia 2020: Road to Inclusion, Sustainability and Efficiency donor and investment summit headlined by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin al-Thani and than French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and raising more than USD 8bn for public-private infrastructure projects, with USD 1.2bn from Qatar alone.

Notwithstanding President Barack Obama elevating Tunisia as America’s most strategic non-NATO US ally, the United States angered the Tunisian government headed by the country’s pro-American Prime Minister Youssef Chahed by sending an insultingly low-level US delegation to the conference.

On February 17, 2017, President Trump phoned Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to “re-affirm” the historic US-Tunisian relationship and seek additional ways to cooperation between the two countries.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: AT&T CEO Stephenson takes on Google’s Schmidt as Time Warner bid heralds new US antitrust regime UPDATE

WASHINGTON (BBN) – (Updating on January 24, 2017 to add comment from US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen)  AT&T (NYSE: T) USD 85.4 bin dollar bid for Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) is seen marking the end of Alphabet (NYSE: Goog) and Facebook (NYSE:FB) dominant position in the US media market and heralding new antitrust action by the incoming administration of President Donald Trump.

[21st Century Fox  and News Corp  Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch speaks to Capitol Intelligence/Black Business News (BBN) using CI Glass on AT&T bid for Time Warner at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit in Washington, DC. November 15, 2016]

The incoming administration of Donald Trump is looking at taking long overdue antitrust action both by the Justice Department and US Federal Trade Commission as the outgoing administration of Barack Obama gave a “free ride to Google, Facebook and Silicon Valley,” a Washington DC antitrust attorney close to the Trump transition team said.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: George Clooney takes fight over South Sudan to China’s Hollywood tycoon Wang Jianlin

WASHINGTON (CI Africa) – Movie star George Clooney is taking on major Chinese economic interests in Hollywood in his battle for human rights and government kleptocracy in the failed state of South Sudan.

[George Clooney speaks Capitol Intelligence/CI Africa using CI Glass on China National Petroleum Corporation role in the South Sudan conflict following news conference at National Press Club in Washington, DC on September 12, 2016.]

Speaking to Capitol Intelligence/CI Africa, Clooney said he will not pull any punches highlighting any misdeeds by China’s state owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) because of the billions of dollars invested in Hollywood studios, films and movie theaters by China’s wealthiest businessman — Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: America’s new business Titans spread their wings

WASHINGTON, DC (BBN) – The new economic elite of the United States is not made of Silicon Valley moguls but the impressive number of Black American business tycoons such Chicago’s Loop Capital founder and CEO James Reynolds; Washingtonian real estate tycoon Donahue Peebles; Warrenton, Virginia luxury resort prima donna Sheila Johnson; NYC asset manager Christopher Williams and LA’s billionaire Act-1 Group human resource group owner, Janice Bryrant Howroyd.

[Loop Capital Chairman and CEO Jim Reynolds speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass following Closing the Wealth Gap hosted by US House Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. September 16, 2016] 

While most of Wall Street may know Jim Reynolds as the golfing buddy of President Barack Obama, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Citigroup’s Michael L. Corbat know Mr. Reynolds as Chicago’s top investment banker.

You will not meet America’s new blue bloods in SF/Palo Alto, Boca Raton Florida but at the same playing fields of America’s old blue bloods: Martha’s Vineyard, Sag Harbor/East Hampton and Middleburg, Virginia.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Baltimore’s small business leading way for post-riot economic Renaissance

BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON (BBN) – Small business leaders have already started to take the lead to transform Baltimore into the new economic hub of the Eastern United States after rioting forced Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to call up the National Guard and a near week long curfew.

[Siemens AG chief executive Joe Kaeser speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at Export-Import Bank Annual Conference in Washington, DC. April 23, 2015]

The recent images of a rioting, National Guard soldiers carrying M-16 machines guns through the city’s financial and tourism district have so distorted the reality of Baltimore that small business leaders took it onto themselves to get out the message that Baltimore is an already successful city destined for greatness as a financial, logistics, healthcare, energy and IT hub.

Continue reading

CI View: Al-Naseem IPO plans could be key to Libya crisis, chairman says

TRIPOLI/WASHINGTON (CI MENA) — Al-Naseem for Food Industries, the Misurata, Libya-based privately held dairy group, is open to listing a minority stake on the Bourse de Tunis (Tunis Stock Exchange) to fund growth, company chairman Mohamed Raied said.

[Al-Naseem for Food Industries Chairman Mohamed Raied speaks with Capitol Intelligence/MENA using CI Glass at Al Waddan Hotel in Tripoli, Libya on March 3, 2015]

In an interview at the Al Waddan hotel Tripoli on March 3 2015, Raied said that he can consider floating a minority stake in the company to allow the group to expand its current operations and enter into new business segments such as fresh milk production and animal feed.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Odessa – Criminal money seen behind deadly riot and other separatist action, sources

 

ODESSA (CI Ukraine) – Criminal money, or business with interest in organized crime, is now seen as a driving  force behind the riots and deaths in Odessa and elsewhere, Ukrainian and Western sources said.

[Capitol Intelligence films the Odessa riot and massacre as sole foreign journalist with CI Glass on May 2, 2014]

Today (May 2, 2014) in Odessa, a planned soccer match between the Kharkiv’s Metalist football team in eastern Ukraine and Odessa’s Chornomorets shattered the southern port city renowned for its multi-ethnic peace between Ukrainians, Russian ethnics and Jews, leading to more than 40 dead and hundreds injured.

Continue reading

CI VIEW: Google’s Schmidt making & possibly unmaking the Arab Spring UPDATE

 

WASHINGTON/TRIPOLI (CI MENA) (Updating on April 9, 2016 to add interview with father of internet Vinton Cerf) – It was surprising to see Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt casually walking between market booths through the winding streets of old town Tripoli with a small entourage of staff and two low-key PSDs (personal security detail).

[Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt speaks to Capitol Intelligence using Google Glass at New America Foundation in Washington, DC on May 22, 2014]

Mr. Schmidt was equally surprised to bump into a DC-based American financial reporter wearing an Italian suit and tie also strolling through the Kasbah on a late sunny January, 2012 afternoon fresh from a meeting with the Libyan Central Bank. Continue reading