Stories We’re Watching
Xi Quotes Spiderman, Channels His Inner Donald, and Warns Not to ‘Dictate’ to Beijing
Earlier today, in a speech marking the 40th anniversary since opening China’s economy, President Xi Jinping warned other nations not to “dictate to” Beijing. Analysts point to President Xi’s sharpened rhetoric and an increase in his nationalistic appeals to China’s ruling Communist Party. President Xi faces multiple problems at home and abroad: slowing economic growth and investment, a major US trade war, and mounting criticism over treatment of ethnic Uighurs. Markets in Asia dropped sharply during the speech, given President Xi’s lack of specifics on new policies and future economic reforms.
- Bloomberg: Xi’s Speech Gives No Hope for Stock Traders as Asia Markets
- Financial Times: Asia stocks slip as Xi speech fails to deliver new measures
- The Guardian: Xi Jinping: president warns other nations not to ‘dictate’
- South China Morning Post: Spider-Man quoted as China warns United States
Global Markets Down as President Trump Lowkey Mean Tweets the Fed & Wishes them ‘Good luck!’
President Trump called on the Federal Reserve to avoid making “yet another mistake” just hours ahead of tomorrow’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. (He also wished the Fed ‘Good luck!’) President Trump has repeated called on the US central bank to keep interest rates low. Economists warn that these repeated attempts to interfere with fiscal policy undermines central bank autonomy and risks currency manipulation–an offense that the president has condemned China for. The IMF has warned of recession, and disappointing economic data out of China have stoked fears of a global growth slowdown.
- The Guardian: IMF warns storm clouds are gathering for next financial crisis
- Financial Times: When interest rate forecasts don’t WIRP
- Bloomberg: Trump Urges Fed to ‘Feel the Market,’ Forgo Another Rate Hike
- MarketWatch: Dollar struggles with risk-off sentiment, renewed Trump Fed
Information World War: Russia Weaponized Memes to Undermine US Elections
Yesterday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released two reports detailing exactly how Russia’s disinformation operation used troll farms to weaponize social media before, during, & after the 2016 general elections. Russia’s Internet Research Agency used a variety of social media platforms (from Facebook to Pokemon Go) to sow discord and confusion amongst a variety of Americans. The findings highlight Russia’s disproportionate focus on Black Americans and developing content to exploit and stoke racial tension. The reports come amidst increasing scrutiny over both Facebook and Russian interference in US politics. Last week Maria Butina pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent on behalf of Russia.
- The Atlantic: The ‘Global Cybercrime Problem’ Is Actually the ‘Russia Problem’
- Lawfare: Senate Intelligence Committee Publishes Two Reports
- New York Times: Russian 2016 Influence Operation Targeted African
- Axios: Senate-commissioned reports show scale of Russian misinformation
Mueller Updates: Flynn Sentencing Delayed
After expressing ‘disgust’, a federal judge has delayed sentencing for Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security advisor. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his meetings with Russia’s ambassador. At today’s hearing, Judge Sullivan said to Flynn “Arguably, you sold your country out”. The judge then asked both sides to file status reports within 90 days and made clear that he was not ruling out a prison sentence. Yesterday, two of Flynn’s business associates were charged with acting as foreign agents of the Turkish government. Flynn has also come under fire for his role in a plan to develop nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.
- NPR: Federal Judge Delays Michael Flynn Sentencing In Case Of Lying
- Vox: Judge rakes Michael Flynn over the coals in sentencing hearing
- New York Times: Former Michael Flynn Business Associates Indicted
- Daily Beast: Get Ready for Mueller’s Phase Two: The Middle East Connection
From Deep State Radio
A DEEP STATE XMAS: THORNS FROM THE CROWN OF ENTROPY
Santa is not the only one who knows whether you have been naughty or nice. The rest of the Deep State knows too. And by the rest of the Deep State, we mean…yes, Santa is one of usOf course. On this episode, using our intelligence assets on the North Pole and elsewhere we pluck some thorns from the Crown of Entropy and distribute them to the people, ideas and events of 2018 that most deserve them. Join Kori Schake of IISS, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law School, David Sanger of the New York Times and Ed Luce of the Financial Times for this year-end round-up unlike any other. TUNE IN
A DEEP STATE XMAS, PART II: JEWELS FROM THE TIARA OF OPTIMISM
What made the Tiara of Optimism sparkle in 2018? And who? We pick the positive stories of the past year and the people for whom we are the most grateful so that you can enjoy your holidays in the right spirit of optimism. (Which is the only way you get both the Philippine Coast Guard and Robert Mueller in the same conversation.). Join Kori Schake of IISS, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown, David Sanger of the New York Times and Ed Luce of the Financial Times for a glittering moment of hope in what has sometimes been a pretty dark year. JOIN US