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.

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CI VIEW: SmartCEO – Fear, Loathing and Failure in Caucasia UPDATE

WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE (BBN) —   The rise and fall of Baltimore-based SmartCEO Media – the 15-year-old event and business magazine – is a glaring example of stark contrast between the downward mobility of white flight suburbs and the resurgence of the Urban economies in the United States.

[AOL co-founder and Revolution Growth co-Founder Ted Leonsis speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at National Press Club in Washington, DC. Dec. 5, 2014]

The birth of SmartCEO occurred when US cities, or urban economies, were marked by high-crime and economic blight.  SmartCEO cities such as Washington DC; Baltimore and Philadelphia were considered almost no-go zones for many whites.

Today, Washington DC has achieved the greatest economic renaissance in the history of the world’s largest economy, and other US cities are poaching major Fortune 100  companies out of suburbia back to the inner cities for human capital and growth as witnessed by General Electric (NYSE:GE) decision to transfer its global headquarters to Boston from diversity challenged Fairfield, Connecticut [1.8% African-American].

The contrast of the fortunes of urban economies to those of the suburbs can be seen in the rise and fall of SmartCEO and its founder Craig Burris.  In less than a year, the 50-plus year-old Burris saw his fortunes rise to circa USD 40m before crashing down to personal and corporate bankruptcy and serious risk of imprisonment for fraud and larceny.

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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. 

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CI VIEW: Tunisia’s ElFouladh steel group M&A target for Tenaris, Danieli, Macegaglia, Bizerte MP UPDATE

WASHINGTON/BIZERTE (CI MENA) – (Updating on May 18 to add interview with The Abrraj Group Managing Partner Sev Vettivetpillai ) The Tunisian state-owned Societe Tunisiene de Siderugie ElFouladh steel group is a perfect takeover target for specialty steel groups such as Italian-Brazilian giant Tenaris (NYSE: TS); Milan-based Danieli (BIT:DAN); and the Mantova-based Marcegaglia Group, Tunisian Member of Parliament and the highest elected official of Bizerte Ali Belakhoua said.

[Tenaris Chairman and CEO Paolo Rocca speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC. June 20, 2016]

In an interview with Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA during the IMF World Bank Spring Meetings, Belakhoua said the Bizerte-based steel plant can be transformed into a specialty oil services steel company serving the needs Tunisian-based oil operators such as oil giants such as Italy’s ENI (NYSE:E) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) and smaller players such as Woodlands, Texas-based Andarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) and Austria’s OMV Group.

Ali Belakhoua is also a member of the Natural Resources Committee of the Tunisian Parliament.

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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.

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CI VIEW: Maryland’s Rushern Baker quietly brings massive Chinese and foreign investment to Prince George’s County

National Harbor, Maryland (BBN) – As President Donald Trump beats the drum for Made in America, Rushern Baker III, the elected leader of a predominantly African-American county neighboring Washington, DC is the truly unsung hero for bringing Chinese and foreign direct investment and high paying new jobs to the USA.

[Prince George’s Country Executive Rushern Baker III speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference on September 26, 2014]

While only the elected official of a province within the State of Maryland, Prince George’s County Executive Baker is feted as much as a governor of a large American  state on his numerous trade mission to mainland China.

The former military (JAG) lawyer was even seated next to Chinese President Xi Jinping during his State visit to the United States in September, 2015 with President Barack Obama.

In fact, Baker is preparing to lead a trade delegation of Prince George’s County companies to China and South Korea April 17-25 following his success in building MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) USD 1.4bn casino and convention center in the Prince Georges community of National Harbor.

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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.

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CI VIEW: Hershey return to Cuba can sweeten US-Cuba relations under Trump

CENTRAL HERSHEY, Cuba [Camilo Cienfuegoes] (BBN) – The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) and its affiliated multi-billion non-profit Hershey Trust eventual return to Cuba can truly reset US-Cuban relations and let President Donald Trump end decades of hostilities following President John F. Kennedy Cuban embargo in 1962.

[Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on Hershey return to Cuba after historic speech at US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. Feb. 16, 2016]

Hershey founder Milton S. Hershey created an almost mirror image of what he started in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1916 by creating a new town just 30 miles east of Havana named Central Hershey.  Central Hershey had the largest sugar producing factory in the world, a Hershey Hotel and a Hershey School for disadvantaged Cuban children.

The unique progressive capitalism of Milton Hershey, who as an orphan and childless himself, ordered that all profits from Hershey Company go to fund the Milton Hershey School for orphans and disadvantaged children.

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CI VIEW: OPEC breaks taboo over hedging activity by member states, Secretary-General HE Sanusi Barkindo

WASHINGTON (CI MENA) – – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting  Countries (OPEC) seems to have broken a decades-old taboo of OPEC member states hedging their oil production during a visit by OPEC Secretary-General HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo to Washington, DC.

[Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo speaks to Capitol Intelligence/CI MENA using CI Glass with Hess Corporation CEO John Hess at CSIS in Washington, DC. December 13, 2016]

Secretary-General Barkindo said it remains the “sovereign” decision of each individual member to hedge their oil production but he is open to working with hedge funds, producers, the International Monetary Fund and customers to avoid massive volatility in oil prices in the future.

OPEC’s Barkindo statement that is up to the individual nation state to decide whether to hedge their output marks a radical departure from OPEC’s policy of basically prohibiting OPEC member states from using derivative markets to hedge oil prices. Mexico, a non-OPEC member, allows its state oil group Pemex to hedge the country’s annual oil output.

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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.

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