Frontrunning: November 21

  • U.S. sues to stop AT&T buying Time Warner, says would hike rates (Reuters)
  • Merkel Tells Her Rivals: Back Me or Face Voters (BBG)
  • German Turmoil Threatens Europe (WSJ)
  • European Giants Are Making a Bad Month Worse for Stock Market (BBG)
  • Taylor Swift Is Building a Wall (VF)

Putin Holds Surprise Meeting With Assad, Will Call Trump By Phone Later Tuesday

Vladimir Putin held a surprise meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, ahead of a diplomatic drive this week in Sochi where he will meet with Erdogan and Touhani to outline the terms of the end to Syria's bloody civil war. Just as notably, Putin said he would speak by phone with President Donald Trump later Tuesday.

France's Macron Covers For Saudi Aggression

"...Less charitably, what Macron is really doing is giving cynical cover to the Saudi rulers for their extraordinary acts of aggression towards Lebanon and their violation of that country’s sovereignty..."

Britain's Gravest Economic Challenge Isn't Brexit

Few British budgets have mattered as much as the one that Philip Hammond will deliver to the House of Commons on Nov. 22. He must shore up Theresa May’s perilously shaky government ahead of a vital Brexit summit of European leaders in mid-December, but the gravest challenge he faces is economic: Britain’s persistent productivity blight.