Black Business News

project-image-thumbOur US service provides real-time and forward-looking news on corporate events (M&A, debt instruments, IPOs and LBOs), cross-border trade, legislative and regulatory coverage and commodity-specific intelligence. BBN will focus on the United States’ 200 most dynamic African American companies and help promote both inbound and outbound cross-border investment and M&A by Black Businesses.

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CI VIEW: US infrastructure under Trump is world’s greatest emerging market investment, Carlyle co-CEO

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 and new infrastructure investment by domestic and foreign players like Washington, DC’s The Carlyle Group and Melbourne, Australia-based Transurban Group (ASX:TCL).

[The Carlyle Group co-CEO Glenn Youngkin on why US Infrastructure is “greatest emerging market opportunity” in the world at America’s Infrastructure Summit: A Time to Modernize at US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. January 18, 2018]

The Carlyle Group co-Chief Executive Officer Glenn Youngkin said he always tells major foreign funds who love to invest in emerging markets that the “greatest  emerging market opportunity around the world today is to invest in US infrastructure.  Rule of law, accountability of a work force, the dependability of construction and we have such a nascent industry investing in something which is our greatest need . This why we are getting so excited.”

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CI VIEW: SmartCEO – Fear, Loathing, Failure and Charlottesville UPDATE

BALTIMORE/CHARLOTTESVILLE (BBN) — (Update on January 14, 2018 to add news of SmartCEO founder Craig Burris Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and interview with SmartCEO founding editor David Callahan) The rise and fall of Baltimore-based EMI Media, INC. d/b/a SmartCEO – the 15-year-old event and business magazine – is a glaring example of the contrast between the downward mobility of white flight suburbs and the resurgence of urban economies in the United States.

[National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Interim President and CEO Derrick Johnson speaks to Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass on opportunity gap following speech to National Press Club of Washington, DC. August 29, 2017]

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, former suburban Bel Air, Maryland resident 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 facing the real risk of imprisonment for fraud, embezzlement and larceny.

On January 11, 2018, Craig Burris filed Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District Maryland in Baltimore claiming to owe between USD 500,000 to USD 1m in debts, of which most incurred by EMI Media Inc, d/b/a SmartCEO.

However, the rising fortunes of our urban centers has breed a level of hostility, fear and prejudice in the once affluent suburbs not seen since the Boston school busing desegregation protests of the 1970s.

The most shocking images from Charlottesville was not the violence between neo-Nazis and the radical left, but the previous night’s torchlight procession of well-dressed suburban millennial males — filmed and reported by Elle Reeve of Vice News — chanting: “You will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Blood and soil. Whose streets? Our streets! White lives matter.”

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CI VIEW: President Trump to resurrect Puerto Rico to former glory through CEO intervention, PREPA privatization UPDATE

SAN JUAN, PR/WASHINGTON, DC (BBN-PR) —  (Update on January 13, 2017 to add interview with US Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia) — Donald J. Trump’s harnessing of CEO intervention, the US military and exploiting the White House bully pulpit to resurrect of Puerto Rico to its former glory following the devastation by Hurricane Maria will undoubtedly be one of the the high points of his presidential legacy.

[President Donald J. Trump arrival on Air Force One filmed by Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at Muniz National Air Guard Base in Puerto Rico. President Trump and First Lady Melania was met by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello and  wife. October 3, 2017]

To many in Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria is a blessing in disguise as the enclave was facing an even more devastating slow death under USD 70bn of unsustainable debt to Wall Street banks and asset managers.

President Trump effectively talked down Puerto Rico bond prices from about 60 cents on the dollar pre-Hurricane Maria to about 30-35 cents following a choreographed impromptu interview with Fox News anchor and Puerto Rican native, Geraldo Rivera during during his visit on October 3, 2017 .  The USD 9bn in bond debt owed by PREPA will be zeroed out as Hurricane Maria wiped out the utility.

While Puerto Rico won the highest level support from President Trump and his cabinet,  Puerto Rico felt deeply betrayed by US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and US House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) as parts of the recently passed US tax reform bill treats Puerto Rico as a foreign jurisdiction.

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CI VIEW: Anacostia transforming DC’s East of the River from slum to East Coast Fintech hub UPDATE

ANACOSTIA, District of Columbia — (BBN) – (Updating on January 14, 2018 add interview with US Military Historian and Big League Politics President and National Political Editor Neil McCabe) — Anacostia, once one of the most violent and poorest African-American neighborhoods in the US, is rapidly transforming itself into the financial and applied technology hub of the eastern United States.

[Washington Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser with the late Marion Barry at Shannon Place inauguration answering a question from Capitol Intelligence/BBN on November 7, 2014]

The turnaround of Anacostia — whose geographic isolation across the Potomac River was used by white Washington to isolate many of the District’s African-Americans into an almost fortressed ghetto – is set to become one of the greatest economic transformations in the history of the United States.

One of the key project is the USD 45m Shannon Place office building, with unbeatable view if the US Capitol and the Mall, houses the office of defense giant General Dynamics and the DC Lottery.

The building was financed by the historic Anacostia “Big Chair” Curtis family furniture company through the family-owned Curtis Investment Group and project managed by Four Points.

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CI VIEW: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to pick Baltimore for Amazon HQ2 in game changing beauty contest UPDATE

BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON, DC (BBN) ( (Updated on December 14, 2017 to add interviews with American artist Mark Bradford and speech by The Carlyle GroupCo-CEO and Co-Founder David Rubenstein) — Amazon.com INC, (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will almost certainly pick the City of Baltimore for its planned second headquarters notwithstanding its nationwide beauty contest.

[Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos filmed by Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass ahead of US CEO Summit with Indian PM Narendra Modi ahead of Oval Office meeting President Donald Trump. The Willard Hotel in Washington DC. June 24, 2017]

According to Amazon’s pitch document, the new Amazon headquarters would create 93,000 direct and indirect jobs; a capital investment of USD 3.1bn; and an estimated 233,000 annual hotel nights by Amazon employees.

Even as US cities such as Detroit, Chicago/St. Louis, Cleveland scramble with their own AmazonHQ2 proposals, Baltimore’s strategic location combined with dynamic political leadership of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan all but guarantees Amazon will pick the Charm City for its new headquarters.

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CI VIEW: Leonardo Chairman De Gennaro opens door for BAE Systems merger

MILAN (BBN) — Leonardo SpA (BIT:LDO) Chairman Gianni de Gennaro said a merger with listed UK defense giant BAE Systems (LSE:BA) “could be an idea” at a recent company event in Milan.

[Leonardo (BIT:LDO) Chairman Gianni de Gennaro tells Capitol Intelligence Group using CI Glass that merger with BAE Systems (LSE:BA) “could be an idea” during Leonardo Innovation awards with Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo at the Museo Leonardo Da Vinci in Milan. November 20, 2017]

De Gennaro’s openness to pursuing a full merger with BAE Systems marks a strategic departure for the listed Italian defense and civil aviation group and indicates the smaller national defense champion is now seeking a merger with a major European defense contractor.

BAE Systems, under pressure to find a strong European defense partner with the looming exit of the United Kingdom out of the EU on March 2019, has historic and close cultural ties with Rome-based Leonardo (formerly Finmeccanica). 

BAE Systems spokesman Rowan Pearman declined to  comment on any possible merger with Leonardo. Under the UK Takeover Panel code, a company cannot pursue a merger for at least six months following a denial of interest.

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

WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE (BBN) – (Updating on September 23, 2017 to add interview of Sean “Diddy” Combs by US House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) —  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 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 administration of Donald Trump is looking at taking long overdue antitrust action both by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the 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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CI VIEW: Magic Johnson co-opts France’s Sodexo and Starbucks to bridge the opportunity gap UPDATE

WASHINGTON (BBN) — (Updated September 15, 2017 to include interview with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz)  — Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s ability to co-opt some of the world’s largest companies such as Paris-based catering and outsourcing giant Sodexo (EPA:SW) and Seattle-based Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) is more impressive than his exploits on the basketball court.

[Magic Johnson Enterprises founder and CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson filmed by Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass at Back to School Block Party at all-male DC Public Ron Brown High College Preparatory High School in Northeast DC]

Johnson, who owns a 51% stake in SodexoMagic, — an educational catering business with Sodexo – returned to Washington DC where the company holds a city contract to give an inspiring speech to DC Public Schools first all-male high school, the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast DC.

But Johnson’s strategy of targeting African-American communities such as nearby Prince George’s County and Harlem in New York with amenities such as shopping malls, Starbucks and move theaters has transformed his Los Angeles-based Magic Johnson Enterprises into a multi-billion private equity fund with an even more impressive 40% internal rate of return (IRR).

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CI VIEW: UVA President Sullivan and VA Gov McAuliffe failing to the top in Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE (BNN) — On Labor Day, the University of Virginia college town of only 40,000 residents was still reeling from the white nationalist/neo-Nazi riots that brought the tragic deaths of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and Virginia State Troopers Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Berke M. Bates during Unite the Right rally over the removal of General Robert E. Lee‘s statue in Emancipation Park.

[Pro-Confederate Labor Day protest filmed by Capitol Intelligence/BBN using CI Glass over the removal of Robert E. Lee statue at Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia. September 4, 2017]

But the shock is quickly turning into anger against University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for failing in their moral obligation to properly ensure the safety and security of UVA students and the citizens of Charlottesville.   

African-American Charlottesville residents such as Garcia Johnson and Cavalier Barbers owner Eric Massie were dumbfounded to learn that University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan could have stopped the alt-right Tiki torchlight protest Friday, August 11 by exercising a Virginia law that makes it a Class 6 felony for anyone who burns an object with the objective to “place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury.” 18.2-423.01 of the Virginia Code.

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

National Harbor, Maryland (BBN) – (Updated on August 28, 2017 to add interview with County Executive Rushern L. Baker III at ground breaking Purple Line light railway) 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 South Korea in the month of October 2017 after launching the historic Purple Line public-private partnership (P3) and success in building the USD 1.4 bn MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) casino and convention center at National Harbor in Prince George’s County’s.

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