Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n°159

Posts Tagged ‘trump’

North Korea’s ‘black box’

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 1 marzo 2019

By Jon Allsop. Yesterday, following the premature collapse of his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam, President Trump, addressing reporters in Hanoi, said he walked because North Korea wanted full sanctions relief in exchange for partial denuclearization. It was a concession, Trump said, that the United States could not make. Later in the day, at a rare news conference, Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, denied Trump’s account, saying that his country asked only for a partial lifting of sanctions. In America, commentators argued over why Trump’s strategy failed, and whether he was right to bail. In North Korea, there was no such debate. State media glossed right over the collapse of the summit, describing it as an event of “great significance” that furthered “mutual respect and trust.”Since Trump entered office, US relations with North Korea have swung between extreme hostility and unlikely rapprochement. In two meetings with Kim, Trump has broken diplomatic ground. Yet the international reporters covering North Korea have little idea what Kim’s regime is really thinking, or—at moments like this one—what it might do next. At this week’s summit, Kim, for the first time ever, took questions from Western reporters; his answers were short and terse, though they were symbolically important, and offered some (albeit limited) insight into the situation. But now that the summit is over, the normal silence will resume.The information climate of North Korea is dire. For the past two years, Reporters Without Borders has ranked it the worst country in the world for press freedom. The state controls the internet; citizens caught accessing foreign media are sometimes sent to concentration camps. The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse have established bureaus in the country, in conjunction with state media, yet foreign reporters are tightly controlled. Before the summit, Andrew McCormick, my CJR colleague, spoke with journalists about their experiences covering North Korea. Several of them described it as “a black box.” The constant challenge, Simon Denyer, Tokyo bureau chief for The Washington Post, said, was resisting the temptation to provide complete narratives and limiting oneself to what is actually knowable.In the absence of reliable sources, reporters, as well as academics and other experts, have had to get creative. In 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that American scholars in Seoul fed North Korean state media through a high-powered mathematical engine for clues about the regime’s plans. Doug Bock Clark wrote for The New Yorker that advances in commercial satellite photography have allowed civilian think tanks to source their own imaging of North Korea’s nuclear sites. A month after Trump and Kim’s first summit, in Singapore, Joby Warrick, a Post reporter, turned to the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies to verify a tip from an intelligence source. Analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and 38 North, a news-site-think-tank hybrid with a roster of high-powered experts, has been widely cited in the press.These sourcing workarounds have been useful in challenging the Trump administration’s official narrative that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat. With talks now collapsed, the value of such sleuthing is even higher. But satellite cameras can only see Kim’s test sites, not inside his head. (font: CJR Editors)

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A pro-Trump website’s scoop drives a governor to the brink

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 febbraio 2019

By Jon Allsop. Over the weekend, an explosive scoop pushed Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Democratic governor, to the brink. A source alerted a journalist to a racist photo, on Northam’s page of an old medical school yearbook, showing one individual in blackface, and another in the white robes and hood of the Ku Klux Klan. Strikingly, it wasn’t a local paper or powerhouse investigative newsroom that got the goods; nor was it a prominent right-wing media player like Fox News or Breitbart. Instead, it was Big League Politics, a relatively obscure pro-Trump website, that broke the story that drove a national news cycle through the weekend.
Since Trump burst onto the political scene, sites like Big League Politics have been notable not for their reporting, but for their role driving an increasingly muddy, and increasingly fragmented, news ecosystem. According to The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, Big League Politics has, in its short existence, “reliably boosted Trump, attacked Democrats and liberal figures, and written many articles promoting a discredited conspiracy theory popular among far-right conservatives about the murder of a young Democratic National Committee staffer named Seth Rich in 2016.” While some among the wave of sites that fit this profile give the impression of being run out of Trump obsessives’ bedrooms, others have significant partisan or financial heft behind them. As Farhi notes, Big League Politics’s owners include consultants who have worked for far-right Republican candidates like Corey Stewart, in Virginia, and Roy Moore, in Alabama.Patrick Howley, the 29-year-old Breitbart and Daily Caller alum who edits Big League Politics, told Farhi that “a concerned citizen, not a political opponent,” brought the yearbook photo to the site’s attention. Nonetheless, Farhi reports that someone from Northam’s medical school cohort appears to have volunteered the tip in response to Northam’s comments, during a radio interview last week, around a state bill aiming to ease access to third-trimester abortions. Critics accused Northam of justifying infanticide for children born after failed abortion attempts. Although Northam strongly denied that that was what he had meant, some conservative outlets have since paired the abortion remarks with the racist yearbook scandal. Ben Sasse, Republican senator for Nebraska, did likewise on Fox.
Over the weekend, right-wing commentators also alleged Democratic Party—and media—hypocrisy around the photo. Fox’s Laura Ingraham decried “a double standard”: “If this had been a Republican with that photo, he’d never be seen again, [he’d] probably have to change his name and move to South America,” she said. These remarks, and others like them, were disingenuous. A cavalcade of senior Democrats, in Virginia and on the national stage, called on Northam to resign. The national news media, for its part, has quickly and aggressively pursued the story—arguably more so than it did last month after Steve King, a far-right Republican, lamented that white supremacist and white nationalist had “become offensive” terms. (King is not in South America but is still in Congress, where he represents Iowa.)
Major outlets were quick to verify the yearbook photo, and report Northam’s admission, later on Friday, that he was in it. And they held Northam’s feet to the fire when, on Saturday, he U-turned and said the photo wasn’t of him, after all, and that he would not be resigning his office. Questioned by journalists at an extraordinary press conference in Richmond, Northam acknowledged that he’d previously dressed up as Michael Jackson (but only used “just a little bit of shoe polish” on his face) and seemed set to prove he could moonwalk until his wife, standing next to him, warned him not to.The story dominated the news cycle yesterday—even though new developments were thin on the ground until, in the evening, word broke that Northam had met with his staff to consider his options, including resigning. Northam’s resignation may, indeed, be imminent. But if he chooses to stick it out, it will become harder for the media to keep the spotlight on the story, as previous scandals involving, for example, Greg Gianforte, King, and, of course, Donald Trump have proven. Our present, polarized moment may have boosted accountability journalism, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that it’s diminished actual accountability. Pro-Trump websites that muddy the truth for partisan ends have played their part in that. (font: CJR Editors)

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Trump: “Eccezionale successo stanotte”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 7 novembre 2018

In realtà i repubblicani conquistano seggi al Senato, ma indietreggiano alla Camera. Potremmo, quindi, dire che è stata una partita è finita alla pari. Non scendiamo nei dettagli anche perché i media di tutto il mondo non fanno altro che riportare, sin nei minimi particolari, l’andazzo delle elezioni di medio termine negli USA e non intendiamo imitarli.
Resta per noi il dato politico. Trump continua la sua corsa al governo del paese, anche se dovrà scendere a più di qualche compromesso, ma non è escluso che per le prossime presidenziali si candidi nuovamente. Dobbiamo, in pratica, prendere atto che il modo di fare politica e, soprattutto, di rappresentarla farà scuola nel mondo e c’è da pensare che molti governanti cercheranno d’imitarlo. Sarà un bene o un male per la stabilità internazionale? Per ora non ci sentiamo di dare una risposta in un senso o nell’altro. Forse più in là si potranno considerare, in maniera più approfondita, le conseguenze del ciclone Trump.

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Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to Medicare Part B

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 27 ottobre 2018

Addressing the burden of chronic disease to promote better health acutely depends upon enhancing not restricting access to evidence-based preventive and medical care, including physician-administered prescription drugs. We have grave concerns that the Administration’s proposed changes to Part B will create significant barriers to access to care for Medicare beneficiaries living with serious, complex, chronic conditions.Ninety-six cents of every dollar Medicare spends goes to treating beneficiaries with at least one chronic condition. Medicare beneficiaries incurring the most medical spending often have five or more chronic conditions, representing significant medical needs and individualized care to address them. Focusing on ways to reduce the prevalence and toll of chronic illnesses would improve the overall health of Medicare itself and the millions of Americans it serves.
Medicines administered under Medicare Part B involve serious, complex chronic illnesses, including most cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune conditions. Individual etiology of disease stage, severity, aggression level, and patient goals will factor into treatment decisions developed by physicians and their patients. The proposed changes will inject additional parties to that decision-making, ones making judgments not on the physician’s recommendations, or what’s in the best interest of the patient or her treatment goals, but on exclusively economic grounds. That includes decisions made by foreign nations where policy decisions have delayed patient access to new medicines and include judgments of “value” of health care products and services that discount the personalized nature of patient needs and responses to care.Controlling spending on health care is a priority for all Americans, but Medicare’s most vulnerable – beneficiaries living with serious, complex chronic diseases – should not be sacrificed in pursuit of that goal. Instead, we should be focusing on improvements that help Medicare garner the full benefit preventing and better managing chronic diseases to reduce costs and save lives.

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Caravan coverage plays into Trump’s hands

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 25 ottobre 2018

By Pete Vernon. As President Trump works to highlight immigration concerns ahead of the midterm elections, he’s found willing media partners. For days, Trump has stoked alarm about “the caravan,” a group of Central American migrants making their way northward. Relying on the sort of racial fear-mongering that was a feature of his 2016 campaign, Trump on Monday baselessly claimed that “unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” with the group.The idea that the caravan was being used by Middle Eastern terrorists to camouflage their passage to the US began spreading on right-wing blogs last week, and made its way to Fox News on Monday morning. During a Fox & Friends segment on the caravan, Pete Hegseth claimed that “100 ISIS fighters” had been captured in Guatemala; a couple of hours later, Trump tweeted about it. Reporters who have been travelling with the migrants refuted the claim, and by Monday afternoon, it fell to Fox’s Shepard Smith to clarify that “Fox News knows of no evidence to suggest the president is accurate on that matter. And the president has offered no evidence to support what he has said.”Over the past several days, the caravan story has received considerable coverage on Fox News and conservative radio shows, helping disseminate—and in some cases driving—Trump’s message. But coverage from other news organizations has also played into the narrative Trump and Republicans hope to push. The AP referred to “a ragged, growing army of migrants” in a since-deleted tweet and nearly all outlets are giving the story outsized attention, once again allowing Trump to act as the media’s assignment editor.“The exodus of migrants walking through Mexico is, no doubt, a real story,” writes The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan. “It’s just not the same story that much of the American news media is incredulously—at times hysterically—telling.” Citing some of that hysterical reporting, Sullivan argues that the focus on the story is “a wonderful pre-midterms gift to President Trump.”The actual caravan is made up of several thousand migrants, mostly from Honduras, who are currently making their way through southern Mexico. The LA Times’s Patrick J. McDonnell and Katie Linthicum report that the migrants they spoke with on the ground “expressed little awareness of US politics, and insisted that they were only trying to escape violence, corruption and poverty.” The reality of the situation hasn’t stopped Trump and some of his media allies from twisting the story to fit their own agenda. The focus on immigration, write The New York Times’s Alexander Burns and Astead W. Herndon, is “an escalation of Mr. Trump’s efforts to stoke fears about foreigners and crime ahead of the Nov. 6 vote.” Issues of race and immigration formed the backbone of Trump’s appeals to voters during his presidential run and since taking office. With midterm voting just two weeks away, the president appears intent on pushing those topics into the spotlight. The plight of migrants seeking refuge from violence and poverty demands coverage, but news outlets don’t have to frame that reporting on Trump’s terms. (font: CJR Editors)

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The media today: Midterm coverage beyond Trump

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 ottobre 2018

By Pete Vernon. After the 2016 contest for the presidency, when many media outlets missed the rise of Donald Trump, they were left grasping for explanations. There had been too much focus on the horse race, not enough coverage of people on the ground, a fundamental misunderstanding of what polls actually say. All were seen as missteps. Now, less than three weeks out from the midterm elections, it’s hard to quantify whether there has been any meaningful shift from empty prognosticating, though news outlets are talking a good game about having learned from the past.For CJR, David Uberti notes that some newsrooms that got Trump’s election spectacularly wrong have done away with their numerical projections entirely. Others have taken steps to tell their audience understand what the numbers mean. “As news organizations rev up their coverage for midterm elections, the credibility of polling analysis is back on the line,” Uberti writes. “And the question of how to predict what might happen looms ever larger given the political stakes, leaving prognosticators to reconsider how they frame predictions for laypeople—if they produce them at all.”The midterms have been cast as a referendum on President Trump, but competitions for Senate and House seats are inherently local competitions. Ahead of November 6, CJR invited writers from around the country to spotlight stories that deserve closer scrutiny in their states. The subjects that the writers chose varied from coal to racial divides to voter suppression, and several dispatches lamented the dwindling resources of local news outlets.
From Montana, Anne Helen Petersen writes that the local press “simply lacks the resources or wherewithal to pursue the larger issues, institutions, and money-flows in depth.” The state’s lone congressional seat is held by Republican Greg Gianforte, who assaulted a reporter on the eve of his special election in the spring of 2017. “How do you cover a candidate whose antagonism towards the press includes physical abuse?” Petersen wonders.
Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, is running for governor there. Kobach, a Republican who led President Trump’s voting fraud panel (since disbanded), has turned Kansas into the “epicenter of a national voter-suppression crisis,” Sarah Smarsh reports. “Readers, viewers and listeners deserve to understand the forces that might compromise the power of their ballots, from gerrymandering to unlawful purging of voter rolls,” she writes. “With pivotal midterm races across the country, no election coverage—in Kansas, and beyond—is complete without deep investigations into the voting process.”
And in Virginia, journalists are dealing with how to report on the racial demagoguery spouted by Corey Stewart, a Republican candidate for senate who has been abandoned by leading officials in his own party. “The press and public,” Elizabeth Catte writes, are “putting lessons learned covering Trump, about being less reactionary in news production and consumption, in practice.” Trump’s dominance of national news storylines and his desire to inject his role into hundreds of local races mean that midterm voters may be thinking more nationally than in years past. But as CJR’s dispatches from around the country show, there are plenty of local and regional concerns that deserve coverage, too. (font: CJR Editors)

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The White House responds to NYT report on Trump money

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 ottobre 2018

By Pete Vernon. President Trump called it “old, boring and often told.” Sarah Sanders labeled it “a totally false attack, based on an old recycled news story.” Charles Harder, the president’s lawyer, threatened to sue. But when Donald Trump’s press secretary was asked to name anything in The New York Times’s blockbuster story that was specifically inaccurate, she drew a blank.
To any objective observer, the 14,000 words of deeply investigated work that rolled off the New York Times printing presses on Wednesday morning, splashed across eight pages of the front section, were nothing short of extraordinary. David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner spent more than a year digging through documents and interviewing key sources to authoritatively answer a simple question: What’s the actual truth about how Donald Trump got rich? Their conclusion, presented in painstaking detail, boils down to one major source of the president’s wealth: his father. The report details how Trump, his siblings, and their father utilized dubious tax schemes, including outright fraud, and revealed that the president is far from the self-made man he has claimed to be.Despite the administration’s protests, it was packed with new information, and lauded by journalists across the industry the day after it hit the Web. David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist whose 2017 scoop on Trump’s taxes was at least partially responsible for getting the Times investigation started, tells me that the Times journalists went far beyond any previous coverage of Trump’s wealth. “I’ve spent years on this,” he said. “Tim O’Brien, the historian Gwenda Blair, the late Wayne Barrett—we’ve all had little pieces of this. [But] this is light years beyond where we ever got.”CJR Editor and Publisher Kyle Pope praises the Times for embracing the long game, publishing a report that “transcends the headlines of the day, focusing on an elemental, fundamental aspect of this man and this presidency that, it turns out, is even more divorced from our common understanding than we might have previously thought. It is an example of journalism as long game, a sport that more of us need to be playing.” For those who hand-wave the piece’s conclusions by claiming it simply tells us things we already knew about Trump’s business dealings, Pope offers a rebuttal: “In fact, you didn’t know it,” he writes. “You thought it. You believed it. You intuited it. But that’s entirely different from having the raw information to back your theory up, to actually show, thanks to months of hard work, how it’s true and what it means.” Explicit in the Times’s story is a criticism of previous reporting—including by the Times itself—that was overly credulous, allowing Trump to create and burnish the fiction that his wealth was self-made, the result of “a small loan” from his father and years of hard work. The reckoning with previous reporting on Trump-as-deal-maker is a story that deserves more reflection, especially from outlets like the New York Post who often served as launderers for Trump’s own tips. As the Times report makes clear, Trump was bailed out again and again by his father, supported to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and aside from a handful of reporters, for decades no one seemed to care.

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The Times meets Trump, and Ronan Farrow takes on the system

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 2 agosto 2018

By Pete Vernon. President Trump kicked up a journalistic firestorm Sunday morning, tweeting about an off-the-record meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger. Trump claimed that the two had “a very good and interesting meeting at the White House,” and discussed “the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media.”Sulzberger, viewing Trump’s comment as putting the meeting on the record, responded with a lengthy statement, explaining that his main reason for meeting with Trump “was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric. I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.” NYT editorial page editor James Bennett also attended the meeting, which took place on July 20.The nature of the talk stood in contrast to the paper’s post-election interview with Trump, one that the newsroom fought to be put on the record after television anchors were criticized for taking an off-the-record meeting with the then-president-elect. While it’s easy to argue that Sulzberger and Bennett shouldn’t be agreeing to conditions from a man who has continuously demeaned the reporting of their employees, it’s also hard to imagine them turning down a chance to challenge the president on his attacks. Where Sulzberger erred was expecting that Trump would both provide an accurate account of the meeting and change his approach to the media, two things he has shown no interest in doing.Politico’s Andrew Restuccia and Brent D. Griffiths note that “The Times has long been a convenient foil for Trump, a regular Times reader who has a fascination with the paper despite his loud criticism of its coverage. So it was no surprise that Trump would try to spin the meeting with Sulzberger to his advantage.”Trump responded later in the day with a thread of angry tweets, accusing the media of being “unpatriotic.” He added, “The failing New York Times and the Amazon Washington Post do nothing but write bad stories even on very positive achievements — and they will never change!”
The Times’s Mark Landler spoke with Sulzberger, who said Trump took pride in popularizing the phrase “fake news.” Sulzberger also noted that at one point he told the president that media organizations had resorted to “posting armed guards outside their offices because of a rise in threats against journalists. The president, he said, expressed surprise that they did not already have armed guards.” (font: CJR Editors)

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Trump dopo Trump

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 17 luglio 2018

by Un’analisi di Angelo Baracca sul fenomeno Trump. È completamente sbagliato a mio parere considerare semplicemente Trump come un problema – certo gravissimo – da quale dobbiamo liberarci per raddrizzare il corso della Storia. Bisogna che cominciamo a porci questo problema. Certamente prima ce ne liberemo meglio sarà, ma the Donald sta introducendo cambiamenti che in qualsiasi caso trasformeranno in modi duraturi, che lo vogliamo o no (lo vogliano o no gli americani), la mentalità della gente, i comportamenti, le dinamiche sociali, la giustizia, l’economia degli Stati Uniti, e la situazione mondiale.Il ragionamento che voglio fare è altamente ipotetico, e senza dubbio opinabile da molti punti di vista, perché nessuno ha la sfera di cristallo per vedere il futuro.Tutti gli eventi storici lasciano un segno irreversibile, perché sono generati da processi estremamente complessi, da problemi che evolvono, da nodi che vengono al pettine, da contraddizioni che si aggravano, da comportamenti di masse di persone (sulla dinamica delle masse hanno scritto studiosi autorevoli), da cambiamenti di mentalità, e via discorrendo.Per fare un esempio, il fascismo in Italia non è stata una parentesi, ha avuto complesse radici economiche e sociali, e ha lasciato un segno indelebile, ci ha lasciato comunque un’eredità che pesa ancora. Oggi ci stupiamo che negli anni ’20 e ’30 in Italia “tutti” fossero fascisti; come ci stupiamo che in Germania “nessuno” vedesse i delitti di Hitler e del nazismo. Sperando di non venire frainteso, direi che il fascismo ha cambiato l’Italia nel male e nel bene. Non è necessario che mi dilunghi sul male. Ma il fascismo anticipò quell’intervento dello Sato nell’economia che sarebbe poi diventato una caratteristica generale dello Sato moderno: per fare solo un esempio, l’IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale) fu istituito nel 1933 per salvare le prime 3 banche italiane, due mesi dopo Roosvelt copiò l’idea, poi giocò un ruolo fondamentale nella ricostruzione postbellica, ed è stato sciolto solo nel 2002. Il fascismo creò il CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche). In ogni caso, non ci siamo mai veramente “liberati” dal fascismo, basti pensare che la burocrazia italiana è rimasta quella e ha continuato (e continua) a condizionare pesantemente il nostro Paese.
Veniamo a Trump. Tutti sappiamo che per lui ha votato metà degli elettori degli Stati Uniti (per quanto nella “più grande democrazia del mondo” viga un sistema elettorale arcaico, è normale un astensionismo del 60%! Hillary aveva riscosso la maggioranza dei voti. E poi Trump denuncia la “dittatura” in Venezuela!). E dobbiamo constatare che a due anni dal suo insediamento le sue posizioni, che denunciamo come folli, raccolgono l’appoggio di una fetta molto grande della popolazione. Insomma, la trasformazione radicale era già in atto, la spaccatura della società statunitense è stata solo sancita dal voto (in realtà le spaccature sono molteplici, basti pensare a quella razziale che è riflessa molto parzialmente dal voto, poiché non sono molti gli afroamericani che possono esercitarlo, nella sostanza sono esclusi dalle scelte politiche).
Da un lato quindi Trump sta dando voce a una parte della società americana, e se pure non avesse vinto questa spaccatura avrebbe agito, anche se in modo diverso: ma il fatto che abbia avuto voce radicherà molte delle trasformazioni che Trump sta introducendo. In questi giorni egli sta sostituendo un giudice della Corte Suprema, che così virerà decisamente a destra per un tempo lunghissimo (i giudici della Corte Suprema rimangono a vita): saranno a rischio l’aborto e altri diritti civili. Se Trump non fosse stato Presidente è presumibile che il nuovo giudice sarebbe stato un altro e le cose avrebbero avuto parzialmente un altro corso.
The Donald sta cambiando in modo radicale la questione – la percezione stessa – dell’immigrazione: sono convinto che qualsiasi sarà il suo successore difficilmente potrà ripristinare la situazione precedente (ammesso che lo voglia: spesso fa comodo che qualcun altro faccia il lavoro sporco). In questi due anni anche la mentalità della popolazione degli Stati Uniti sta cambiando profondamente (come da noi Salvini sta esasperando strumentalmente problemi che si erano esacerbati ben prima di lui, basti pensare come Minniti un anno fa cambiò la mentalità e la sensibilità degli italiani con la montatura delle accuse alle ONG).Mi fermo a questi cenni perché non ho le conoscenze della società statunitense sufficienti per analizzare altri cambiamenti interni introdotti da the Donald.Ma veniamo alla situazione internazionale, che noi percepiamo più direttamente dei problemi interni agli USA. Che segni lascerà la guerra commerciale sferrata da Trump? Come cambieranno i rapporti geopolitici? Ovviamente sarà difficile discernere in futuro le mosse di Trump dalle reazioni che avranno gli altri Stati, ma il dado è tratto, e le cose non potranno comunque tornare “come prima”. Si pensi del resto che la politica della NATO di espansione, accerchiamento della Russia, e intervento militare in teatri extra europei era stata promossa dal suo predecessore, il Nobel per la Pace (!) Obama. La politica di Trump sta portando a conseguenze estreme contraddizioni con gli “alleati” che covavano da tempo, risalenti in sostanza alla subalternità accettata dal dopoguerra dagli europei, che dopo la fine della Seconda Guerra Mondiale era mascherata dalla difesa contro la “minaccia comunista”, ma dopo la scomparsa dell’Unione Sovietica ha messo a nudo in modo sempre più grave la mancanza di una vera politica estera da parte dei Paesi europei! Questo è vero anche per quanto poi riguarda gli armamenti nucleari, per i quali Trump ha solo esasperato un tendenza che si era già sviluppata in modo estremamente minaccioso ad opera del … Nobel per la pace Obama, il quale aveva varato un mega-programma di modernizzazione: la famigerata bomba termonucleare B-61-12 e l’F-35 sono precedenti alla presidenza Trump.Insomma, sia l’esasperazione di scelte che Trump ha ereditato dalle amministrazioni precedenti, sia le sue virate originali lasceranno un segno sulla situazione degli Stati Uniti, e del Mondo. (fonte: Pressenza international press agency)

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Nordcorea accordo per la pace con gli Usa

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 giugno 2018

La Comunità di Sant’Egidio saluta con grande soddisfazione lo storico accordo firmato questa mattina dal presidente Usa, Donald Trump, e il leader della Corea del Nord, Kim Jong Un. La decisione di giungere finalmente al disarmo nucleare in questa strategica regione dell’Asia, non solo fa sperare in una chiusura definitiva della pesante eredità lasciata dalla guerra fredda, ma è importante per la pace nel mondo intero. Si tratta infatti di un significativo passo in avanti verso una più generale riduzione degli arsenali, ancora presenti in troppi Paesi di tutti i continenti con i loro pesanti carichi di armi sia convenzionali che nucleari. Sant’Egidio, che in passato, in più occasioni, è stato vicino alla popolazione nordcoreana attraverso l’invio di aiuti umanitari, medicinali e strumenti sanitari, ha fiducia che l’accordo possa facilitarne grandemente lo sviluppo e la fine di tante difficoltà, a partire dalle sue fasce più deboli.

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Il vertice di Singapore tra Kim e Trump

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 11 giugno 2018

L’isola di Sentosa oggi è al centro dell’interesse mondiale perchè ha tutte le premesse per diventare qualcosa di più della sede per il meeting tra la Corea del Nord e gli Stati Uniti. Vi giganteggia l’ombra del vertice dell’organizzazione per la Cooperazione di Shanghai (Sco) che si tiene a Qingdao e che per gli stati che vi fanno parte, compresi la Cina e la Russia, il loro peso vanifica quello del G7 del Canada facendolo diventare un meeting tra vecchie signore. Lo ha ben compreso Trump e questo significa che l’asse della spinta trainante della politica e dell’economia mondiale si sta inesorabilmente spostando in Asia e che la vecchia Europa è destinata ad esercitare una presenza sempre più marginale nei rapporti internazionali. Lo stesso auspicato incontro tra Trump e Putin potrebbe gettare le basi con un’allenza che li porti ad aprire il discorso su un rapporto di forza più rispondente alla potenza espressa dai paesi cosiddetti emergenti e che oggi mostrano la loro capacità di stabilire nuovi equilibri mondiali e di tenere salda la barra di comando sottoponendo al loro diretto controllo tutti i paesi dell’area dall’India al Pakistan, dalla Siria all’Iran anche per costituire un fronte comune per la lotta al terrorismo. In questa chiave di lettura molte cose potrebbero diventare obsolete come la Nato. E’ bene che i leader europei ci pensino per tempo prima di restare travolti dal nuovo vento che viene dall’Est ma anche dall’Ovest e forse anche dal Sud.

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L’export dell’Emilia-Romagna tra dazi, Trump e instabilità geopolitica

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 maggio 2018

L’effetto Trump sui mercati internazionali, il possibile rischio di guerre commerciali e l’aumento di episodi di violenza politica. Come possono le aziende dell’Emilia-Romagna affrontare le complessità del nuovo scenario globale, cogliendo le grandi occasioni che export e internazionalizzazione possono offrire? Quali le geografie su cui puntare? È da queste domande che ha preso le mosse oggi a Bologna, Presso Palazzo Gnudi, il convegno “L’export dell’Emilia-Romagna tra dazi, Trump e instabilità geopolitica” organizzato in collaborazione con Confindustria Emilia-Romagna, da SACE SIMEST, il Polo dell’export e dell’internazionalizzazione del Gruppo CDP, per presentare la Country Risk Map 2018.
Al centro dell’evento, le testimonianze delle aziende protagoniste dell’export bolognese – Ducati Energia, Ferretti Group e Mae – che si sono confrontate con gli esperti di SACE SIMEST sulle strategie per affrontare i mercati internazionali.Nel 2017, con quasi 60 miliardi di beni venduti all’estero (+6,7% rispetto all’anno precedente), l’Emilia-Romagna è la terza regione italiana esportatrice. Le geografie di destinazione sono un buon mix di mercati dell’area Ue (57,4%) ed extra-Ue (42,6%). Tra i primi, Francia, Spagna e Polonia hanno garantito ottime opportunità alle imprese internazionalizzate della regione, ma segnali incoraggianti sono arrivati anche dai mercati ad elevato potenziale che presentano un livello di rischio medio-basso, così come evidenziato nella Country Risk Map. È il caso ad esempio di alcuni importanti player del continente asiatico (Cina, Giappone e Corea del Sud) e dell’America Latina (Brasile, Messico e Perù), geografie che continueranno a rappresentare una fonte di domanda importante per i prodotti Made in Italy anche in futuro.“Per sostenere l’impegno delle piccole e medie imprese all’estero – ha dichiarato Pietro Ferrari, Presidente di Confindustria Emilia-Romagna – occorre favorire un accesso più semplice, integrato ed efficace a tutti gli strumenti e servizi assicurativi e finanziari disponibili. Il sistema regionale Confindustria è a fianco delle imprese, con il supporto di Regione, ICE Agenzia e SACE SIMEST, per accrescere le competenze delle aziende e accompagnarle sui mercati. È importante rafforzare gli strumenti che favoriscono forme di presenza più stabile all’estero e, in generale, promuovere politiche e strumenti, anche di stimolo fiscale, che favoriscano fusioni, accorpamenti e aggregazioni tra aziende”.L’Emilia-Romagna, terza regione italiana per vendite all’estero, è un motore importante dell’export italiano – ha dichiarato Alessandro Decio, Amministratore Delegato di SACE –. Crediamo però che il potenziale della regione sia ancora più ampio, grazie alle eccellenze in tanti settori, a una economia viva, diversificata e coesa. Coltiviamo l’ambizione di mettere a disposizione di un numero maggiore di imprese emiliane e romagnole le soluzioni SACE SIMEST con l’obiettivo di continuare su questo percorso di crescita che speriamo possa accelerare di più quest’anno, anche grazie al nostro impegno. Per raggiungere insieme questo traguardo siamo pronti a lavorare e a dare il massimo per le aziende e gli imprenditori di questa regione”.
Solo nell’ultimo anno, il Polo SACE SIMEST ha servito 1.600 aziende dell’Emilia Romagna, in prevalenza PMI, mobilitando circa 1,4 miliardi di euro di risorse a sostegno di export e investimenti all’estero.

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L’export lombardo tra dazi, Trump e instabilità geopolitica

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 aprile 2018

L’effetto Trump sui mercati internazionali, il possibile rischio di guerre commerciali e l’aumento di episodi di violenza politica. Come possono le aziende bergamasche affrontare le complessità del nuovo scenario globale, cogliendo le grandi occasioni che export e internazionalizzazione possono offrire? Quali le geografie su cui puntare? È da queste domande che ha preso le mosse oggi a Bergamo (presso il Centro Congressi Giovanni XXIII) il convegno “L’export lombardo tra dazi, Trump e instabilità geopolitica” organizzato in collaborazione con Confindustria Bergamo da SACE SIMEST, il Polo dell’export e dell’internazionalizzazione del Gruppo CDP, per presentare la Country Risk Map 2018.Al centro dell’evento, le testimonianze delle aziende protagoniste dell’export bergamasco – Serioplast, GFM, Brembana & Rolle – che si sono confrontate con gli esperti di SACE SIMEST sulle strategie per affrontare i mercati internazionali.Con oltre 120 miliardi di beni venduti all’estero nel 2017, la Lombardia è la prima regione italiana esportatrice, rappresenta da sola oltre un quarto dell’export nazionale e ha saputo beneficiare della crescita globale in ripresa, realizzando un balzo del 7,5%. L’export è prevalentemente concentrato verso i Paesi dell’area Ue e ha ancora ampio margini di diversificazione verso nuove destinazioni con profili di rischio più elevati e grande potenziale di business: tra queste, la Country Risk Map rileva ad esempio la Cina, il Messico, gli Emirati Arabi Uniti e l’India.“Le imprese lombarde hanno da tempo avviato un percorso di sviluppo all’estero di successo, convinte che export e internazionalizzazione siano leve imprescindibili per la crescita e la competitività – ha dichiarato Alessandro Decio, Amministratore Delegato di SACE –. Consapevoli del forte potenziale di questo territorio, siamo vicini alle eccellenze produttive lombarde, e in particolare a quelle bergamasche, che attraverso il nostro punto di contatto presso Confindustria Bergamo, potranno conoscere tutte le soluzioni offerte da SACE SIMEST e cogliere le migliori opportunità provenienti sia dai mercati avanzati già consolidati sia da quelli emergenti”.“Per continuare ad essere competitivi in un mondo in cui le barriere stanno aumentando, occorre puntare non solo sull’export ma anche sulla produzione all’estero, affiancando il Made in Italy con il Made with Italy – ha dichiarato Salvatore Rebecchini Presidente di SIMEST –. In campo internazionale, le imprese bergamasche sono da sempre particolarmente attive. Dall’inizio dell’attività SIMEST ha sostenuto 42 investimenti diretti all’estero promossi da aziende di questa provincia, per un totale investito di oltre 37 milioni di euro Inoltre i finanziamenti per l’internazionalizzazione sono stati oltre 120 per un totale erogato di 81 milioni euro. Il nostro obiettivo è di accrescere il volume delle nostre operazioni sfruttando sempre meglio le sinergie con SACE”.”Siamo orgogliosi di aver ospitato a Bergamo per la prima volta il Roadshow SACE SIMEST nell’ambito di una collaborazione ormai consolidata. Confindustria Bergamo ha aperto nel 2014 un SACE Point nella propria sede, seguito dall’apertura dello sportello SIMEST nel 2016. Un funzionario SACE/SIMEST è presente una volta a settimana o a chiamata, a seconda delle necessità delle aziende associate. A questa attività si aggiungono i numerosi incontri, convegni e tavoli tecnici organizzati con la collaborazione di SACE – ha dichiarato Aniello Aliberti, Vice Presidente di Confindustria Bergamo con delega al Credito, al Fisco di Impresa e all’Internazionalizzazione –. In una provincia come la nostra, fortemente votata all’export, è fondamentale poter contare su strumenti efficaci, tarati sulle reali esigenze delle imprese. Mi riferisco, per esempio, alla possibilità della copertura assicurativa singola o all’emissione di garanzie e cauzioni in tempi rapidi. Il crescente interesse delle nostre imprese verso SACE e SIMEST conferma che siamo nella giusta direzione e che ci sono spazi per un’ulteriore crescita della collaborazione”.Solo nell’ultimo anno, il Polo SACE SIMEST ha servito 5.700 aziende lombarde, in prevalenza PMI, mobilitando oltre 3,6 miliardi di euro di risorse a sostegno di export e investimenti all’estero.

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Obama-Putin-Trump: La storia continua

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 1 gennaio 2018

putinDall’archivio della Fidest proviamo a fare una ricostruzione dei precedenti che ci hanno portato alla crisi odierna tra Federazione russa e Stati Uniti e alla quasi certezza di una sua ricomposizione con la nuova presidenza Trump dichiaratamente amica di Putin. Il tutto è iniziato sul finire degli anni novanta dello scorso secolo. Fu il giorno in cui m’incontrai con un giornalista ucraino che dietro le mie insistenze mi confidò i retroscena che portarono alla caduta del muro di Berlino e al collasso dell’Unione Sovietica. La storia,
a suo avviso, ebbe inizio alcuni anni prima dell’evento berlinese quando in una notte al Cremlino si accesero le luci di una piccola sala di riunioni dove alcuni massimi esponenti del soviet sovietico, e non dopo un’accesa discussione che durò alcune ore, presero una decisione che il mio interlocutore definì storica. Da quel momento si attese solo l’occasione propizia per provocare la caduta del sistema comunista. Perché fu deciso in tal senso? La spiegazione parve ovvia al mio confidente. La guerra fredda in atto tra i due blocchi, quello comunista e il capitalista, era giunta a un punto morto. Nessuno dei due poteva prevalere senza rendere il pianeta terra invivibile dopo una tremenda guerra atomica. Bisognava, quindi, fare una scelta diversa, più radicale ma al tempo stesso più pragmatica. L’Urss si sarebbe liberata di gran parte dei paesi, diventati troppo ricalcitranti e critici al controllo politico e anche militare della guida russa e sarebbe diventato, altresì, un buon affare lasciare all’occidente le loro disastrate economie. Al tempo stesso avrebbe dato l’impressione all’occidente della sua incapacità di nuocere mentre avrebbe avuto tutta la possibilità di riorganizzarsi e di tessere nuove alleanze e di rinforzarsi senza apparire una minaccia.
Ora a distanza di circa 20 anni da quel racconto ci troviamo con una federazione russa sotto la guida di Putin, ritenuto da molti l’unico vero leader mondiale di indiscutibile potere e levatura di statista, con una Russia che sembra ritornata alla potenza militare, politica e diplomatica del passato e per giunta con un occidente debole, poco determinato e con un capitalismo di taglio statunitense che sta mostrando tutti i suoi limiti. Su questo scenario è evidente che la leadership statunitense a livello mondiale è in declino e che altri stati ed economie stanno prendendo il suo posto: penso alla Cina, all’India e alla stessa Federazione russa. In un mio libro ho avuto modo di prefigurare tali scenari futuri e di considerare anche il declino se non il disfacimento dell’Europa comunitaria che sarà destinata a spaccarsi in due parti tra l’Europa del Nord e quella del Sud federata con i paesi del Nord Africa e dell’Asia che si affacciano sul Mediterraneo. Il 2017, quindi, posso considerarlo l’anno della svolta che avvia la fase esecutiva del processo prefigurato dagli strateghi russi degli anni ottanta del XX secolo per una nuova leadership mondiale riducendo gli Stati Uniti ad una entità regionale di secondaria importanza. E Trump in questa fattispecie ne sarà il traghettatore come lo è, del resto, l’attuale inquilino del Vaticano. (Riccardo Alfonso del Centro studi di politica internazionale della Fidest)

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“Azionario Usa: il punto ad un anno dopo l’elezione di Trump”

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 7 novembre 2017

wall streetDall’inizio della ripresa l’azionario USA ha fatto meglio di quello globale perché l’economia statunitense inizialmente è stato l’unico motore della crescita economica mondiale, mentre in Europa si combatteva ancora contro la crisi. Quando l’economia USA si è ripresa, guidata dal mercato immobiliare, dal settore della raffinazione dei carburanti e da quello finanziario, anche i profitti delle imprese sono tornati a salire. Dopo sette anni di ripresa, l’economia sta ancora crescendo in modo costante, senza troppa esuberanza, che potrebbe mandarla fuori rotta. I profitti sono ora favoriti non solo dal solido contesto nazionale, ma anche dalla ripresa globale che porta ad un aumento internazionale della richiesta di prodotti statunitensi. Con un 35% di ricavi provenienti da oltremare, i profitti per il mercato USA nel 2017 e nel 2018 dovrebbero crescere del 10% circa.Spesso pensiamo agli Stati Uniti come a una delle economie più dinamiche e innovative del mondo, può sorprendere quindi sapere che gli Stati Uniti hanno uno dei livelli più alti di tassazione sulle società al 35%. Ciò è in parte dovuto alla natura sempre più partigiana della politica statunitense negli ultimi decenni, il che ha reso difficile far passare il taglio delle tasse sulle società al Congresso in un momento in cui altri membri dell’OEDC stavano riducendo i loro tassi. Se guidata bene, l’amministrazione Trump potrebbe essere in grado di costruire un consenso per migliorare la competitività della tassa sulle società statunitensi tagliando i tassi. Indicheremmo le probabilità leggermente oltre il 50% che il congresso abbia successo nel far passare la riforma fiscale portando i tassi di imposta sulle società al 20%. In questo caso, molte delle aziende che sono maggiormente focalizzate sul territorio nazionale – e che si sono comportate meglio immediatamente dopo le elezioni – potrebbero guidare il mercato. Ciò include banche domestiche, del settore industriale o secondario e piccole imprese che tendono a pagare livelli di tassazione più alti. Ci aspetteremmo anche misure per il rimpatrio di capitali per tasse “intrappolate” all’estero. Tassare il denaro estero al 12% come è stato proposto dal Congresso la settimana scorsa, potrebbe portare indietro miliardi di dollari agli Stati Uniti. Infine, sottolineiamo che i fondamentali del mercato azionario US sono robusti anche senza quanto sopra, data la forte crescita degli utili aziendali che abbiamo visto nel 2017, destinata a continuare l’anno prossimo contemporaneamente alla crescita globale. Poiché il processo politico è difficile da prevedere e nel 2016 ci ha ricordato che può offrire sorprese, riteniamo che un approccio equilibrato alla costruzione del portafoglio sarà fondamentale per gli investitori per navigare le condizioni di mercato in corso.
Infine, con il consensus sui ricavi per i prossimi 12 mesi a 17x, le valorizzazioni delle azioni americane sembrano abbastanza adeguate rispetto al lungo termine e data la forte crescita degli utili. Quando si esaminano altre classi di attivi come le Treasury Bonds, i cui prezzi sono stati distorti dalle politiche monetarie, il mercato azionario sembra poco costoso. (articolo a cura di Nadia Grant, responsabile azionario USA di Columbia Threadneedle Investments).

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How to avoid nuclear war with North Korea

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 agosto 2017

nuclear warIT IS odd that North Korea causes so much trouble. It is not exactly a superpower. Its economy is only a fiftieth as big as that of its democratic capitalist cousin, South Korea. Americans spend twice its total GDP on their pets. Yet Kim Jong Un’s backward little dictatorship has grabbed the attention of the whole world, and even of America’s president, with its nuclear brinkmanship. On July 28th it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit Los Angeles. Before long, it will be able to mount nuclear warheads on such missiles, as it already can on missiles aimed at South Korea and Japan. In charge of this terrifying arsenal is a man who was brought up as a demigod and cares nothing for human life—witness the innocents beaten to death with hammers in his gigantic gulag. Last week his foreign ministry vowed that if the regime’s “supreme dignity” is threatened, it will “pre-emptively annihilate” the countries that threaten it, with all means “including the nuclear ones”. Only a fool could fail to be alarmed.
Yet the most serious danger is not that one side will suddenly try to devastate the other. It is that both sides will miscalculate, and that a spiral of escalation will lead to a catastrophe that no one wants. Our briefing this week lays out, step by step, one way that America and North Korea might blunder into a nuclear war (see article). It also lists some of the likely consequences. These include: for North Korea, the destruction of its regime and the death of hundreds of thousands of people. For South Korea, the destruction of Seoul, a city of 10m within easy range of 1,000 of the North’s conventional artillery pieces. For America, the possibility of a nuclear attack on one of its garrisons in East Asia, or even on an American city. And don’t forget the danger of an armed confrontation between America and China, the North’s neighbour and grudging ally. It seems distasteful to mention the economic effects of another Korean war, but they would of course be awful, too. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop North Korea from perfecting a nuclear warhead that could threaten the American mainland, tweeting that “it won’t happen!” Some pundits suggest shooting down future test missiles on the launchpad or, improbably, in the air. Others suggest using force to overthrow the regime or pre-emptive strikes to destroy Mr Kim’s nuclear arsenal before he has a chance to use it.Yet it is just this sort of military action that risks a ruinous escalation. Mr Kim’s bombs and missile-launchers are scattered and well hidden. America’s armed forces, for all their might, cannot reliably neutralise the North Korean nuclear threat before Mr Kim has a chance to retaliate. The task would be difficult even if the Pentagon had good intelligence about North Korea; it does not. The only justification for a pre-emptive strike would be to prevent an imminent nuclear attack on America or one of its allies.
Can Mr Kim be cajoled or bribed into giving up his nuclear ambitions? It is worth trying, but has little chance of success. In 1994 President Bill Clinton secured a deal whereby Kim Jong Il (the current despot’s father) agreed to stop producing the raw material for nuclear bombs in return for a huge injection of aid. Kim took the money and technical help, but immediately started cheating. Another deal in 2005 failed, for the same reason. The younger Kim, like his father, sees nuclear weapons as the only way to guarantee the survival of his regime. It is hard to imagine circumstances in which he would voluntarily give up what he calls his “treasured sword of justice”.If military action is reckless and diplomacy insufficient, the only remaining option is to deter and contain Mr Kim. Mr Trump should make clear—in a scripted speech, not a tweet or via his secretary of state—that America is not about to start a war, nuclear or conventional. However, he should reaffirm that a nuclear attack by North Korea on America or one of its allies will immediately be matched. Mr Kim cares about his own skin. He enjoys the life of a dissolute deity, living in a palace and with the power to kill or bed any of his subjects. If he were to unleash a nuclear weapon, he would lose his luxuries and his life. So would his cronies. That means they can be deterred.To contain Mr Kim, America and its allies should apply pressure that cannot be misconstrued as a declaration of war. They should ramp up economic sanctions not only against the North Korean regime but also against the Chinese companies that trade with it or handle its money. America should formally extend its nuclear guarantee to South Korea and Japan, and boost the missile defences that protect both countries. This would help ensure that they do not build nuclear weapons of their own. America should convince the South Koreans, who will suffer greatly if war breaks out, that it will not act without consulting them. China is fed up with the Kim regime, but fears that if it were to collapse, a reunified Korea would mean American troops on China’s border. Mr Trump’s team should guarantee that this will not happen, and try to persuade China that in the long run it is better off with a united, prosperous neighbour than a poor, violent and unpredictable one.
All the options for dealing with the North are bad. Although America should not recognise it as a legitimate nuclear power, it must base its policy on the reality that it is already an illegitimate one. Mr Kim may gamble that his nukes give him the freedom to behave more provocatively, perhaps sponsoring terrorism in the South. He may also sell weapons to other cruel regimes or terrorist groups. The world must do what it can to thwart such plots, though some will doubtless succeed.It is worth recalling that America has been here before. When Stalin and Mao were building their first atom bombs, some in the West urged pre-emptive strikes to stop them. Happily, cooler heads prevailed. Since then, the logic of deterrence has ensured that these terrible weapons have never been used. Some day, perhaps by coup or popular uprising, North Koreans will be rid of their repulsive ruler, and the peninsula will reunite as a democracy, like Germany. Until then, the world must keep calm and contain Mr Kim.(This article appeared in the Leaders section of the print edition under the headline “It could happen” by The Economist)

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The Trump presidency may not have helped Kushner Companies

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 23 luglio 2017

trumpWHEN the deal was struck just over a decade ago, for $1.8bn, 666 Fifth Avenue, a 41-storey Manhattan skyscraper, became the most expensive office building ever sold in America. Now it is in limbo, awaiting billions of dollars of investment to rebuild it and raise it almost twice as high. Across the Hudson River, another hunt for money is under way, to build a property called One Journal Square in Jersey City. In June a property-investing start-up called Cadre attracted financial backing from Silicon Valley luminaries including Andreessen Horowitz, a venture-capital company.The thread linking these ventures is Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, whose family business, like that of the president, is in property. Mr Kushner helped conceive all three projects. He has a “passive ownership interest” in Cadre (meaning he is not actively involved in its management). His family co-owns 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square.Unlike the president, Mr Kushner is not exempt from federal conflict-of-interest laws. He has taken steps to distance himself from his wide-ranging property business. Kushner Companies, a complex enterprise that is made up of dozens of limited-liability companies, or LLCs, has more than 20,000 flats and 13m square feet (1.2m square metres) of commercial space across six states. Before joining the Trump administration he stepped down as the head of Kushner Companies and sold his stake in several properties, including 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square.Yet Mr Kushner kept his stake in many of the LLCs that make up the business. He still has a passive ownership interest in about 90% of his holdings in property, worth up to $408m, according to his disclosures. His father, Charles Kushner (photographed with his son, above), has a big role at Kushner Companies. Jared Kushner’s stakes in 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square went into trusts owned by his family. A long list of lenders and partners to the family business could benefit from White House policies.
Now that Mr Kushner is in the White House, two questions preoccupy observers. First, is his family business benefiting financially from his role and from his proximity to the president? Second, is he conflicted despite the steps he has taken to adhere to federal law?Start with the question of financial benefits. This is a pivotal moment for the firm. It is seeking tenants for Panorama and new loans for a residential building along Jersey City’s waterfront (in both of which Mr Kushner still has a stake). More important, it is also looking for investors for 666 Fifth Avenue and One Journal Square (in which Mr Kushner does not have a stake). But the scrutiny that has accompanied Mr Kushner’s White House role appears to be hindering, not helping.In January the New York Times reported that Kushner Companies was seeking equity capital for 666 Fifth from Anbang, one of China’s biggest insurers, which has ties to Beijing’s political elite. At the moment 666 Fifth Avenue’s debt—of $1.4bn, according to Vornado’s recent filings—eclipses the value of the office building itself, says Jed Reagan of Green Street, a research firm. That is partly Kushner Companies’ own doing, because of the price it paid and because it is intentionally letting the building slowly empty of its office tenants so it can be rebuilt. The new design, created by Zaha Hadid, an architect who died last year, would include a hotel, luxurious flats, new space for shops and would cost $7.5bn.The talks with Anbang fell apart in March amid protests from ethics experts and from Democrats, who fretted about conflicts of interest and threats to national security. Another avenue also recently closed. For over two years, Kushner Companies has talked to Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, an eminent Qatari, about investing in 666 Fifth. This month The Intercept, a news site, reported that HBJ, as he is known, had agreed to invest $500m if Mr Kushner could raise other money elsewhere. Kushner Companies confirmed on July 11th that talks had recently ended and that it is reassessing the financing structure of the redevelopment project. Some speculate that Mr Kushner has looked elsewhere, too. In December he met with the head of a government-owned Russian bank that is subject to American sanctions. Vnesheconombank said it was a business meeting. The White House said that Mr Kushner was “acting in his capacity as a transition official”.The proposed One Journal Square development has also hit trouble. In May Nicole Meyer, Mr Kushner’s sister, courted Chinese investors as part of America’s “EB-5” visa programme, which offers a path to citizenship for certain investors. In Beijing Ms Meyer touted One Journal Square, explained Mr Kushner’s new role in Washington and said the building “means a lot to me and my entire family”. That sparked accusations that the family was exploiting Mr Kushner’s public role. Kushner Companies apologised “if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors”.On May 7th Jersey City’s mayor, Steven Fulop, said the project would not receive the tax breaks and bonds that Kushner Companies had sought. The city might not have granted them in any circumstance—the Kushners had asked for a particularly generous package. But Mr Fulop, a Democrat, and city councilmen are up for re-election, and Mr Trump received just 14% of the city’s vote in November. Kushner Companies had already lost its anchor tenant, WeWork, a shared-office company.If Kushner Companies is not yet benefiting from proximity to the presidency, the potential for conflicts remains enormous. Corporate-tax reform would have a sizeable impact on property firms, for example. Mr Trump has said he wants a 15% corporate tax to apply to pass-through entities, which would include the LLCs that comprise much of the Kushner businesses (and Mr Trump’s as well). Loosening of financial regulation, expected under Mr Trump, ought to benefit lenders to Kushner Companies. Citigroup, for example, recently provided $425m to refinance one of its projects in Brooklyn. Blackstone, which lent $375m for Panorama, is raising an infrastructure fund that might be expected to find investment opportunities in Mr Trump’s infrastructure plan. And so on.Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, says that some of this “stinks to high heaven”. That does not mean that Mr Kushner has or is likely to violate any law. The rules governing conflicts of interest bar him from “personally or substantially” participating in matters with a “direct and predictable” effect on his finances. But policies that benefit Mr Kushner’s parents or Kushner Companies’ partners may be allowed, depending on circumstances. “That’s the grey area,” says Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Centre in Washington, DC.What seems to have developed, in sum, is a lose-lose situation. Mr Trump’s presidency appears to be doing Kushner Companies as much harm as good. If potential business partners continue to be wary of the scrutiny that comes with involvement with a firm bearing his name, Mr Kushner might end up having to choose between his property interests and his public role.Yet the list of potential conflicts is so long that public confidence in policymaking is at risk. A White House spokesman says Mr Kushner will recuse himself in any matter with “a direct and predictable effect” on entities in which he retains a financial interest. Those issues include EB-5 financing and affordable housing, he notes. But the White House has not published a complete list of matters in which Mr Kushner would decline to participate. And no such list is planned.This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline “Searching for a Kushy landing” (by The economist – abstract) (photo: trump)

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Trump’s unlawful request

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 luglio 2017

tammyPresident Trump created a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. It’s first order of business was demanding that states hand over voter data — including names, birth dates, political affiliations, voting histories, felony convictions, military records, and the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers.This request goes against federal and Illinois state laws. Federal law protects state governments from having to comply with unnecessary, burdensome information requests, and the Illinois Election Code protects the confidentiality of voter registration data.
I’m proud to say that Illinois State Board of Elections just joined an overwhelming majority of states in refusing to comply with President Trump’s request.We all know President Trump’s true goal is to find a way to put more voter suppression laws on the books. Demand he abolish this committee.If you remember, after President Trump lost the popular vote by three million votes, he started making unsubstantiated claims that millions of voters had voted illegally in the 2016 election — even though state and federal election officials have no evidence voter fraud exists.That’s why this committee is a sham. If President Trump was seriously interested in voting integrity, he would investigate our nation’s vulnerability to foreign interference in our elections and the effect of state’s strict voter ID laws on enfranchisement.But rather than safeguard our election infrastructure or protect Americans’ right to vote, President Trump is trying to take steps to suppress it. (by Tammy Duckworth)

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Scultura alta sette metri che ritrae il presidente Donald Trump

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 luglio 2017

scultura trumpAttivisti di Greenpeace hanno posizionato una scultura alta sette metri che ritrae il presidente Donald Trump su un pontone sul fiume Elba.La scultura ritrae il presidente statunitense come un bambino capriccioso con tanto di pannolino seduto sul pianeta Terra. Nelle mani tiene una copia stracciata dell’Accordo di Parigi, mentre sotto alla scultura si legge il messaggio “Time For a Change”. “Gli altri leader del G20 non possono aspettare che Trump cresca” dichiara Luca Iacoboni, responsabile campagna energia e clima di Greenpeace Italia. “I G19 devono mostrare ora che hanno deciso di abbandonare carbone, petrolio e gas, dando attuazione all’Accordo di Parigi”.
“La decisione di Trump di rinnegare l’Accordo di Parigi rende impossibile una forte dichiarazione congiunta del G20 sul clima. La Merkel non deve però sacrificare l’ambizione per raggiungere l’unità. Abbiamo bisogno di un impegno dei G19 sul clima che mostri l’intenzione di andare anche al di là quanto sottoscritto a Parigi da 195 Paesi” dichiara Jennifer Morgan, direttore esecutivo di Greenpeace International. “Questo è il momento di mostrare solidarietà con le persone di tutto il mondo, inclusi sindaci, governatori e amministratori delegati statunitensi che sono impegnati contro i cambiamenti climatici, dimostrando che la trasformazione verso un’economia a zero emissioni è irreversibile così come l’Accordo di Parigi”. (foto: scultura trump)

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Accordo di Parigi: La decisione di Trump di uscire dall’Accordo è ideologica

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 2 giugno 2017

trump11Uscire dagli Accordi di Parigi è una decisione ideologica che si ritorcerà contro gli interessi USA. Questo è quanto afferma Gianni Silvestrini, direttore scientifico di Kyoto Club, che insiste: “prevedo che si allargherà un altro fronte di resistenza come non si vedeva dai tempi della guerra del Vietnam”. La posizione di Kyoto Club sulla dichiarazione del Presidente Trump. “La decisione di Trump è ideologica e si ritorcerà contro gli interessi Usa. Prevedo che si allargherà un largo fronte di resistenza, come non si vedeva dai tempi della guerra del Vietnam.Gli altri paesi, ad iniziare da Cina e India, numero uno e tre per emissioni prodotte, stanno facendo molto di più di quanto promesso a Parigi. L’Europa adesso deve alzare il livello dell’impegno di riduzione al 2030 delle emissioni climalteranti passando dal 40 al 45% rispetto al 1990”. È quanto dichiara Gianni Silvestrini, direttore scientifico di Kyoto Club, commentando la decisione del Presidente Donald Trump.

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