We are now several weeks into the Chinese New Year, which inaugurated the Year of the Fire Rooster. Not a bad moniker for the new president either, who has started off fiery, cocky, and disruptive.
President Donald Trump set off fireworks by doing the unthinkable — fulfilling his campaign pledges. Liberal activists and their media allies are busy trying to demonize Trump’s agenda. Trump responded by calling the media and fake news “the enemy of the American people.” The United States is more politically divided now than at any time since 1968, if not 1860.
With explosions and shrapnel all around us, how should corporate leaders conduct themselves?
With the best interests of shareholders in mind, executives need to take a deep breath and think strategically about the next four years.
Full story: http://www.newsmax.com/RichardTorrenzanoandMarkDavis/business-strategy-presidential-agenda-free-trade/2017/03/03/id/776711/
Retailers and big brands are increasingly getting pulled into partisan fights involving President Donald Trump, as a deeply divided nation seeks to punish those that don’t agree with their political views.
Full story: https://www.wsj.com/articles/retailers-are-caught-in-political-fights-over-trump-1486685345
Newsmax Launches Column by Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis “Corner of Wall St. and Pennsylvania Ave.”
Richard Torrenzano, former chief spokesman for the New York Stock Exchange, and Mark Davis, former White House speechwriter, have launched a new opinion column on Newsmax.com.
Newsmax has rapidly grown to become a top online news site. Their column, posted inside the “Opinion” section, offers unique insights on business, policy and politics.
Their first columns include:
Visit their column at: http://www.newsmax.com/Insiders/RichardTorrenzanoandMarkDavis/id-386/
Richard Torrenzano is chief executive of The Torrenzano Group, a strategic communications and high-stakes issues management firm that helps organizations “take control of how they are perceived™.” For almost a decade, he was a member of the New York Stock Exchange’s Management and Executive Committees. He has managed some of the most visible global corporate crises in our lifetime.
Mark Davis, a former White House speechwriter, advised presidents, governors and other political leaders, as well as executives of the nation’s top defense-aerospace, energy, financial, IT and telecommunications companies.
Torrenzano and Davis are co-authors of, Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks, St. Martin’s Press-Macmillan, praised by Groundswell author Charlene Li as “keen and timely advice,” and by Gen. Mike Hayden (Ret.), former head of the NSA and CIA, as a book that “should be in the hands of anyone who has a good name — or a good business — to protect.”
Donald J. Trump is about to enjoy the best chance any president has had for the fast enactment of an agenda since FDR’s first 100 days.
With Trump and a Republican Congressional majority at each end of Pennsylvania Avenue, that clogged artery can finally see traffic move in the form of economic reform legislation. Of course, the legislative calendar and its arcane procedures always impose some stateliness over the process of change. We should not expect speeds equal to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop. But the pace of change will be brisk, especially for Washington.
After years of stagnation, pragmatism is finally about to take precedence over ideology, "what works" over "what’s politically correct."
Full story: http://www.newsmax.com/RichardTorrenzanoandMarkDavis/president-trump-economy-taxes-business/2016/11/14/id/758816/
With Clinton and Trump neck-and-neck in the polls, one winner is certain — the powerful plaintiffs’ bar. For the first time in history, the presidential nominees of both parties are champions of aggressive legal tactics and excessive litigation.
One candidate, Trump, views legal intimidation as an effective weapon to stymie personal and political criticism. The other, Clinton, is a former law firm partner whose perpetual campaign has long run on trial lawyer donations.
As the plaintiffs’ bar anticipates tightening its grip on the Oval Office, it is also renewing class-action assaults on business. Engorged by large winnings from tobacco settlements, litigants are spinning frivolous claims based on junk science into contingency-fee gold.
Take some recent cases from just one sector, food companies, as examples of a trial bar out of control.
Full story: www.newsmax.com/RichardTorrenzanoandMarkDavis/social-media-lawsuit-corporate-digital/2016/09/28/id/750607/
The four corners of today’s geopolitical earth are blazing wildfires.
In Eastern Europe, for the first time since World War II, military force has been used to redraw borders as a revanchist Russia digests the Crimea. In Syria, Russia is demonstrating its re-emergence as a great power by using aerial sorties effectively in defense of the Assad regime, including bombing bases the United States set up for its allies.
In Southeast Asia, China ignores international law by creating reefs to expand illegal claims on a large portion of the South China Sea. In Northeast Asia, Kim Jong-Un — who starved millions of his people to death and lashed out at his neighbors with terrorist acts — is now doubling down as a global fountain of instability by initiating his fifth nuclear missile test. And, in case anyone missed the significance of this act last week, Kim fired missiles towards Japan.
Continue Reading: http://www.newsmax.com/RichardTorrenzanoandMarkDavis/corporate-risk-iran-north-korea/2016/09/16/id/748732/
American companies that do business in or with China may be on the verge of the ultimate “black swan” event, an international crisis that threatens assets, shipping and supply chains, as well as the safety of employees.
Reuters reports that China’s military, finding humiliation in the Hague’s recent ruling that its expansion into the South China Sea violates Filipino sovereignty, is pushing President Xi Jinping to give the United States and its allies “a bloody nose.”
The dispute over the South China Sea has become a risk that must now be addressed by boards and leaders of global enterprises, as well as by generals and admirals. Seventy percent of world trade passes through the South China Sea, about $5 trillion in goods a year in shipborne trade. “Restricting or managing shipping in the South China Sea would be a huge setback to a world still struggling to recover economically,” reports Xeneta, which benchmarks pricing for shipping and logistics.
The financial stakes of an economic, diplomatic or limited military conflict make it essential that any business operating in China or shipping through these sea lanes prepare now to protect their people, capital and investments in the case of conflict.
China and the United States are escalating toward an aggressive military posture. China has installed surface-to-air missiles in the Paracel island chain and is reported to have built hangers for fighter jets in the Spratlys. The United States dispatched a naval strike group into those disputed waters, led by the supercarrier John C. Stennis.
Dogged along the way by Chinese war ships, the Stennis rendezvoused in June with another supercarrier, the Ronald Reagan, in the Philippine Sea for joint exercises. While U.S. officials are quick to characterize these as routine drills, other observers see them as a deliberate show of US force.
It is tempting to downplay the potential for conflict by pointing to the intimacy between the two largest economies. By this line of reasoning, both sides will realize there is simply too much at stake to risk destroying decades of mutual growth over a few tiny atolls. The United States imported $482 billion of goods and services from China in 2015. China controlled $1.2 trillion of American debt last year.
This sanguine view, however, fails to recognize that human leaders are capable of catastrophic mistakes. The argument that economic interdependence rules out war between industrial nations was first and famously put forward in Norman Angell’s 1909 book The Great Illusion. Of course, Angell was proven wrong five years later when the First World War broke out.
It wouldn’t take a shooting war between the two powers to pose a severe challenge for those who do business in China. Both sides state diametrically opposed goals, and ostentatiously display determination to protect those goals with force. “Let us face squarely the paradox,” a chastened Angell wrote years later, “that the world which goes to war is a world, usually, genuinely desiring peace.” Despite a desire for peace from both sides, some confrontation at some level seems inevitable. Even a diplomatic standoff could entail serious consequences for those with assets in China.
While such a clash is not inevitable, it would be irresponsible for any US company with substantial holdings or business in China to be unprepared for a spectrum of scenarios, and to have a strategy at the ready to manage them.
Companies must foresee the wide-ranging effects this dispute might have on brand, asset and equity value, as well as supply chains. At the forefront, of course, is protection of human capital, from the need to move people out of harm’s way, to scenario planning for repatriating employees stranded under belligerent regimes.
While there is time for cooler heads to prevail, now is the time for responsible business leaders to discreetly address these scenarios. Detailed, well thought-out plans and likely effects must be mapped. To some, this may seem like overkill, but the current world instability requires such planning as an urgent priority.
Richard Torrenzano is a former New York Stock Exchange senior officer who organized and was part of the U.S. delegation sent by President Reagan to open exchanges in China. Mark Davis is a former White House speechwriter and has drafted foreign policy and arms control addresses for President George H.W. Bush.
For article on Journal of Commerce, visit: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/industry-must-prepare-worst-south-china-sea_20160908.html
Companies quickly protect brand, when bad behavior by athletics or celebrities erupts publicly on the global stage. Seattle Times interviews Richard Torrenzano on why companies protect affiliations and brand name. He says trust, honesty and Olympic values of sportsmanship and fairness are what corporate sponsors seek. And nowadays, they’re quicker to drop athletes betraying those ideals.
Read the full article here: http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/olympics/hope-solo-or-ryan-lochte-whose-earning-potential-was-damaged-more-during-olympics/
On Sunday, more than 100 media outlets reported the first sensational news from the Panama Papers – a huge array of documents exposing global tax evasion by heads of state and high-net worth individuals around the world.
As reporters, analysts, and tax authorities sift through this leak, there will undoubtedly be a steady drumbeat of startling headlines with the potential to more than rattle governments, billionaires, boards, and global executives.
When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times in 1971, he had to photocopy 7,000 pages of top secret Vietnam War Documents. Technology has made what was once laborious now easy. WikiLeaks released 1.8 GB collection of classified State Department documents, nearly 100 times bigger than the Pentagon Papers leak.
Now, the Panama leaker has released 2 terabytes (one million/million) - or almost 12 million documents - and all he likely had to do was to insert a drive and click.
Many honest companies and high-profile individuals will undoubtedly be tarred by association in the Panama Papers case. More to the point, hackers and insiders can now Hoover-up every potential bit of data from a corporation or high-profile person in order to zero in on something that looks off or is embarrassing.
We are now in the "Era of Mega Leaks," one that puts names and brands at greater risks than ever before.
What I've learned from years of managing crisis, brands and reputation is that the old PR “hunker down” playbook doesn’t cut it anymore.
A company – or a high-profile individual – must assess vulnerability, to know as much about oneself as a potential attacker. Only with such an audit – accompanied with modern digital strategies and action maps -- can they be proactively prepared, and be ready to aggressively pre-empt or contextualize stolen information.
That’s what we do for clients. This is what business, government leaders and brands need to be thinking about today.
Read the original story from Richard Torrenzano on his LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/panama-papers-age-mega-leak-richard-torrenzano?trk=prof-post
The higher the cost, the higher the...risk. And that may outweigh the reward, Richard Torrenzano, said in his conversation with the Seattle Times before yesterday's game.
“How many of these ads do you remember?’’ Torrenzano said. “Do you remember even three from last year, except for perhaps Budweiser? Most people can’t remember most of them and that’s the issue. You may get a lot of eyeballs, but this is a one-time event.’’
Besides ad time, there’s costs creating the commercial and coordinating staff and social media to market it, inviting clients to the game and staff to accompany them. By the time the commercial runs, that 30-second ad might cost $20 million. And that’s outrageous.
“You can probably get a lot more bang for your buck,’’ he said. “They can be spending it on social media, on more focused advertising on the Internet. All sorts of things.
Click here to keep reading: Higher costs alter the strategy for Super Bowl ads