What Pete Buttigieg Says He Did at McKinsey | The Atlantic


Everything about Buttigieg can seem McKinsey—in part because of the two and a half years he spent there, but mostly because he’s exactly the kind of smart and serious Ivy Leaguer who goes to work at a consulting firm; it’s the surest way to cash in on a fancy education when you’re not sure what else to do.

How, for example, did he begin to tackle his problems attracting black voters?

By releasing “a comprehensive and intentional dismantling of racist structures and systems” that he called his Douglass Plan, as though it were a deliverable for a consulting client. His campaign structure, likewise, is a collection of some of the best operatives in politics, building what they believe will be a much more efficient and successful structure for a presidential campaign.

Source: What Pete Buttigieg Says He Did at McKinsey – The Atlantic

Why Democrats sidelined Mueller in impeachment articles | POLITICO


On Dec. 2, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on a trip to a climate change conference in Spain, she held a conference call with about a dozen of the most vulnerable Democrats who delivered her the House.

Their message to Pelosi: Keep impeachment focused only on the Ukraine scandal. The obvious but unsaid implication was she should exclude a standalone article of impeachment against President Donald Trump based on the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which described numerous instances of potential obstruction of justice by Trump.

Source: Why Democrats sidelined Mueller in impeachment articles – POLITICO

The Inspector General’s ‘Witch Hunt’ Report: A Quick and Dirty Analysis | Lawfare


On Dec. 9, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz declared in more than 450 pages that the “Witch Hunt” narrative was nonsense.

Yes, the investigation had problems—some of them serious. But the problems were not political in character. There was no effort to “get” candidate Trump.

There was no “insurance policy.” There was no coup. There was no treason.

Source: The Inspector General’s ‘Witch Hunt’ Report: A Quick and Dirty Analysis – Lawfare

Building an ambitious US climate policy from the bottom up


The science of climate change is clear that global emissions of greenhouse gases need to fall rapidly to keep the world on a path that limits warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius—a level that already risks significant disruption to ecosystem and human livelihoods. Yet the world collectively is not even close to a trajectory that would achieve this ambitious goal.

Adding to the challenge, actions by the U.S. Administration have slowed progress toward reducing emissions in the world’s biggest economy and second-largest emitter.

As world leaders are now gathered in Madrid for the annual U.N. conference of parties (COP25), raising global ambition over the next 12 months is the existentially important task for the world community, and it is daunting.

Source: Building an ambitious US climate policy from the bottom up

After year of living dangerously, Fed expected to signal time to lie low | Reuters


The policy shift has slashed officials’ forecast for the U.S. central bank’s benchmark overnight lending rate over 2020 to a level half what it was when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell took the reins in February 2018.

The Fed is expected to leave its federal funds rate unchanged at a level between 1.50% and 1.75% when it ends a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and reiterate that it will likely remain at that level through much if not all of 2020, a presidential election year.

Source: After year of living dangerously, Fed expected to signal time to lie low – Reuters

How Uber drains carmaker profits in Latin America’s biggest market | Reuters


Like him, two thirds of Uber’s 600,000 drivers in Brazil do not own their vehicles, an executive told rental car executives in October. That figure, previously unreported, is one of the highest proportions worldwide for Uber.

Cheap access to new cars is turbocharging the growth of Uber and rental car companies in Brazil, as well as lifting automakers’ sales – up 7% this year.

Yet the sales growth also obscures a deeper crisis for carmakers such as General Motors (GM.N): their margins are imploding as rental companies gobble up more and more cars at discounted prices.

Source: How Uber drains carmaker profits in Latin America’s biggest market – Reuters

‘Vindication’ – Saudi Arabia hails 10% debut jump in Aramco shares | Reuters


Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) shares surged the maximum permitted 10% above their IPO price on their Riyadh stock market debut on Wednesday, in a move hailed by the government as a vindication of its towering $2 trillion valuation of the state oil company.

Aramco raised a record $25.6 billion in its IPO last week, the culmination of a years-long effort by the Crown Prince to open up the energy giant to outside investors and raise funds to help diversify the economy away from oil.

Saudi retail investors who hold their Aramco shares for six months from the first day of trading can get up to 100 bonus shares, or one for every 10 held, which could limit supply of the stock, said Zachary Cefaratti, CEO of Dalma Capital.

Source: ‘Vindication’ – Saudi Arabia hails 10% debut jump in Aramco shares – Reuters

Disasters, downturn challenge New Zealand’s Ardern going into election year | Reuters


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faces tough challenges as she heads into a general election campaign next year, with economic growth slowing, divisive referendums looming and a country reeling from disasters both natural and man-made.

Two years since she became the world’s youngest female leader, Ardern remains hugely popular overseas thanks to her compassionate but decisive response to a mass shooting, her appearances on high-profile U.S. chat shows, and her ability to combine motherhood and leadership.

But the reality back home is a little different, with Ardern and her Labour Party’s popularity slipping in opinion polls as voters worry her government has not yet made good on promises including tackling rising levels of homelessness and urban poverty.

Source: Exclusive: Disasters, downturn challenge New Zealand’s Ardern going into election year – Reuters

Nightmare before Christmas? Traders dig in for long British election night | Reuters


It’s the time of year when London’s banker and traders wind down and prepare for holidays. Instead, many are canceling leave and will work all night on Thursday as Britain votes in an unpredictable election that could convulse global markets.

This may seem an oversized reaction in an age where trading is increasingly reliant on robots, but this is a financially pivotal event where investors could make or break fortunes. It is Britain’s first December election in almost a century, and Brexit itself could be on the table.

Source: Nightmare before Christmas? Traders dig in for long British election night – Reuters

UK PM Johnson heads for Brexit election win in tightening race | Reuters


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on course to win Thursday’s election though the race has tightened markedly and he can no longer be sure of a majority, according to opinion polls published on the eve of the vote.

The Dec. 12 election has been described by all parties as Britain’s most important in memory, with Johnson calling for a big majority so he can swiftly pull Britain out of the European Union next month.

The main opposition Labour Party promises a new referendum on Brexit as well as a renationalization of utilities and railroads in its most left-wing platform for decades.

Source: UK PM Johnson heads for Brexit election win in tightening race – Reuters