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Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
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"Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer"
"Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die
Moritat von Mackie Messer", is a song composed by Kurt Weill with
lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper,
or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in
Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. The song has become
a popular standard recorded by many artists, including a US and UK
number one hit for Bobby Darin in 1959.
Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne,
Und die trägt er im Gesicht.
Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer,
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht.
And the shark, it has teeth,
And it wears them in the face.
And Macheath, he has a knife,
But the knife can't be seen.
“In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.”
― Bertolt Brecht
“It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank
clerk.”― Bertolt Brecht
The following script is from "28 Pages" which aired on April 10, 2016.
Law & Politics
In 10 days, President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia at a time of deep
mistrust between the two allies, and lingering doubts about the Saudi
commitment to fighting violent Islamic extremism.
It also comes at a time when the White House and intelligence
officials are reviewing whether to declassify one of the country's
most sensitive documents -- known as the "28 pages." They have to do
with 9/11 and the possible existence of a Saudi support network for
the hijackers while they were in the U.S.
The Facts as presented are unbelievable as were the facts as presented
around the assassination of President JFK.
The Once and Future Superpower Why China Won't Overtake the united states Foreign Affairs
After two and a half decades, is the United States’ run as the world’s
sole superpower coming to an end? Many say yes, seeing a rising China
ready to catch up to or even surpass the United States in the near
future. By many measures, after all, China’s economy is on track to
become the world’s biggest, and even if its growth slows, it will
still outpace that of the United States for many years. Its coffers
overflowing, Beijing has used its new wealth to attract friends, deter
enemies, modernize its military, and aggressively assert sovereignty
claims in its periphery. For many, therefore, the question is not
whether China will become a superpower but just how soon.
Despite China’s ascent, the United States’ superpower position is more
secure than recent commentary would have one believe—so secure, in
fact, that the chief threat to the world’s preeminent power arguably
Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
Dollar Index 94.71
Japan Yen 108.06 The yen rose 0.7 percent. U.S. Treasury Secretary
Jack Lew on Friday called foreign-exchange market moves “orderly” -- a
signal that the U.S. doesn’t view yen-selling intervention as
Swiss Franc 0.9675
Aussie 0.7667 The Australian dollar dropped 0.7 percent to 76.70 U.S.
cents as of 12:55 p.m. Tokyo time, set for the largest decline since
India Rupee 66.627
South Korea Won 1150.49
Brazil Real 3.5321
Egypt Pound 8.8838
South Africa Rand 14.6533
Transcript of African Department Press Briefing Washington, D.C. April 15, 2016 @IMFNews
MR. KANYEGIRIRE: Thanks for making the time to come to this briefing
on the African Department here at the IMF. And we'll start with some
opening remarks from the Director of the African Department. It's
Madame Antoinette Sayeh -- after which, we shall take some questions.
Please keep the questions brief and precise. I'll invite Antoinette
now to make her opening remarks.
MS. SAYEH: Good morning, and welcome to everyone. Before I start, just
to say that, there's certainly an opportunity to learn a lot more
about some of our reflections on sub-Saharan Africa, in the form of a
seminar that we are having at 11:30. That's called "Sub-Saharan
Africa: Just a Rough Patch?" It will be 11:30 to 1:00 -- not too long
after this exchange. And it's going to be at the Jack Morton
Auditorium at George Washington University. So, I hope those of you
who are able to take advantage of that opportunity to hear more, not
just from ourselves but from a panel, a very good panel, with African
authorities represented in that panel. So, before I invite your
questions, let me make a few remarks on the region's current economic
performance and outlook, and our assessment of how countries might go
about addressing the challenges they are currently facing.
After an extended period of strong economic growth, sub-Saharan Africa
is set to experience a second difficult year. Growth for the region,
as a whole, fell to 3.5 percent in 2015, which was the lowest level in
some 15 years. And we project growth to be even slower this year, at
about three percent, about half of what has been customary over the
last decade, and barely above population growth. Indeed, both last
year and this year, GDP per capita growth will be below one percent --
something that has not happened since the late 1990s.
To be sure, growth across the region is not uniformly affected. And
many countries continue to register robust growth, including in
per-capita income. Most oil importers are generally faring quite well,
with growth in excess of five percent or even higher rate in countries
such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Senegal -- and in many low-income
countries. In most of these countries, growth is being supported by
ongoing infrastructure investment efforts and strong private
First, the sharp drop in commodity prices has put many of the larger
sub-Saharan African economies under severe strain. While oil prices
have recovered somewhat, compared to the beginning of the year, they
are still more than 60 percent below their 2013 peak levels. And this
is truly a shock of unprecedented magnitude. As a result, oil
exporters, such as Nigeria and Angola, but also most of the CEMAC
countries continue to face particularly difficult economic conditions.
We forecast growth to slow further for the group of the region's oil
exporters in 2016, to 2.5 percent from as much as 6 percent in 2014.
Non-energy commodity exporters, such as Ghana, South Africa, and
Zambia, have also been hurt by the decline in commodity prices.
Second, for most of the region's frontier markets, external financing
conditions have tightened substantially, compared to the period until
mid-2014, when they enjoyed ample access to global liquidity.
Third, several Southern and Eastern African countries, including
Ethiopia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, are suffering from a severe drought
that is putting millions of people at risk of food insecurity.
All this notwithstanding, let me stress that, in our view, medium-term
growth prospects remain favorable. True, the immediate outlook for
many sub-Saharan African countries unfortunately remains difficult and
clouded by downside risk, but beyond these current challenges, the
drivers of growth at play domestically over the last decade generally
continue to be in place. In particular, the much-improved business
environment and favorable demographics should play a supportive role
in the coming years.
But to reap this strong medium-term potential, a substantial policy
reset is critical in many countries of the region. And the reset is
urgent, as the policy response to-date has generally been
insufficient. In commodity-exporting countries, fiscal and foreign
reserves are depleting rapidly, and financing is constrained.
Consequently, commodity exporters should respond to the lower export
earnings and budgetary revenues promptly and robustly, to prevent a
As revenue from the extractive sector is likely durably reduced, many
affected countries critically need to contain fiscal deficits and
build a sustainable tax base from the rest of the economy.
For countries outside monetary unions, exchange rate flexibility as
part of a wider macroeconomic policy package should also be part of
the first line of defense.
Given the substantially tighter external financing environment, market
access countries in which fiscal and current account deficits have
been elevated over the last few years will also need to adjust their
fiscal policies. Such readjustment would help to rebuild scarce
buffers and mitigate vulnerabilities, should external conditions
Some of these measures may dampen economic growth and activity in the
short term, but they are essential to prevent a possibly sharper and
more disruptive adjustment in the future if decisive action is not
taken now. With a policy reset, we believe that countries in the
region will be well-positioned to reap the substantial economic
potential that lies ahead.
Let me stop here and mention that our semiannual Regional Economic
Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, which deals with the issues I just
mentioned and other critical topics, will be published on May 3. The
launch events will take place in Kampala and Abidjan.
Finally, I would like to close by providing an update on Mozambique,
given recent press reports about the existence of new loan
transactions associated with the security and defense sectors. We have
received confirmation this week from the authorities of the existence
of a large amount of borrowing that had not previously been disclosed
to the IMF. The undisclosed borrowing exceeds $1 billion and
significantly changes our assessment of Mozambique's macroeconomic
outlook. We are currently ascertaining, in cooperation with the
authorities, the facts regarding this borrowing. We have advised the
authorities that any undisclosed debt-related transactions,
irrespective of their purpose, need to be reported transparently and
publicly. Such disclosure is essential to ensure full accountability
of the government to its citizens and Parliament, allow an accurate
assessment of the previously undisclosed debt on the macroeconomic
outlook, and assess the impact of these possible transactions on the
IMF-supported arrangements with Mozambique. The mission that was
scheduled to initiate discussions next week for reviews of
Mozambique's arrangements under the policy support instrument and
standby credit facility has been cancelled, pending a full disclosure
and assessment of the facts. Thank you very much for your attention.
Let me now open the floor to your questions.
MR. KANYEGIRIRE: Thank you very much, Antoinette. So, we have about 35
minutes left. It's a full room again. Keep the questions precise.
Mention your name and media house. We shall start from my right on the
QUESTIONER: Thank you very much. I am interested in the Portuguese
speaking countries in Africa. Angola has made a formal request to the
IMF to start discussions on the Extended Fund Facility – can you
please elaborate about this three year economic program. And going
back to Mozambique, it is a country that depends on external dollars
to keep up with its domestic budget so on this new secret loan isn’t
it affecting the countries international credibility and are you happy
with explanations that Mozambique has given to you in the past few
MS. SAYEH: Thank you very much. For the first question on Angola, of
course, this is one of the economies that has been hit very badly by
the oil price shock, with Angola depending on 95 percent of its
exports on oil and 70 percent of government revenues. It is a very
difficult time for Angola. The Angolans have pursued efforts to adjust
to that shock. There is still more work to be done, of course, given
the magnitude of this shock, but some efforts have been encouraging
and indeed they have very recently in March made a formal request to
the IMF for a three year program under the extended fund financing
facility. We are in the process of beginning discussions with them on
a possible program that would be supported by that facility in the
context of the Spring Meetings, of course, with the delegation here we
have had some discussions and we expect to follow that up with a
mission to Angola to further discuss the details of that program. It
is still too early to say what the details would be because we have
just started that, but we certainly expect to follow up fairly quickly
on those discussions.
On Mozambique, certainly this is a very major development that we are
still seeking to fully understand and that all of Mozambique’s
partners I am sure are eager also to understand and to appreciate the
impact the macroeconomic impact of this considerable volume of debt,
and how that impacts their ability to continue to provide their
planned financing to Mozambique. We have certainly had discussions
with the Minister here who has, as I said in my opening remarks,
confirmed to us that borrowing and has also promised to give us
additional information so that we have all the facts we need to make
our assessment. So on that basis I certainly am comfortable with
waiting to get the promised information from the Minister and then to
pursue our assessment of the overall impact both on the macroeconomic
prospects for Mozambique and for what next steps our relationship will
And you'll see in the Article IV Report, that we discussed that in
some detail, given the fact that those restrictions are at odds with
Nigeria's commitments as an IMF member country in terms of exchange
restrictions. So we hope that those restrictions can be eliminated,
and that Nigeria can move to a more flexible management of exchange
On the monetary policy side also, we have seen a recent increase in
the policy rate. That is encouraging in terms of looking at an overall
package for adjusting to the shock. It is not simply fiscal policy on
its own, or monetary policy on its own, or exchange rate policy on its
own, but a combination of those as a coherent package, and that is in
addition to structural reforms that Nigeria needs to take forward to
adjust appropriately to the shock in a way that promotes growth, and
QUESTIONER: Could you tell us? Did the Mozambicans give you any
indication, where this billion dollars came from, and where it went?
MS. SAYEH: As I said before, we are still ascertaining all of the
information, and still waiting to receive more information from
Mozambique on the nature of this borrowing, and the use of that
borrowing. We certainly have learned from the Mozambicans that that
borrowing came from two sources, and as you saw this was also reported
in The Wall Street Journal, and in other sources. One of those sources
was Credit Suisse, and the other was VTB Bank, the Russian bank. So,
that’s what we know today, and we expect that we will learn more about
the nature of the borrowing, and eventually HIA was used as well. We
don’t have more details on that.
QUESTIONER: I would like to find out if borrowing externally will be
the best option for Zambia to meet against the economic shocks arising
from the falling corporate prices and what are the possibilities of
Zambia not falling into another death trap if we continue borrowing?
MS. SAYEH: I hear your concern in that question and we certainly have
our own concerns about borrowing and too much borrowing. Zambia of
course borrowed on the issued sovereign bonds at high rates. The
proceeds of those bonds were used to finance some infrastructure, but
also to cover the regular budget deficit including current expenditure
and in light of the expense of that financing that was certainly not
the best use of very expensive financing. And our advice to the
Zambians has been to really quickly work to put in place measures to
reign in the huge fiscal deficit that is underpinning that borrowing
and to adjust its spending pattern which is heavily driven also by
current spending including the wage bill and to really work towards
containing the deficit with a view to reducing its borrowing
requirements. That is the only way to reduce the borrowing
requirements – to contain the deficit and to make sure that the
deficit that you may need to carry forward for development purposes
are used to the best possible needs with high quality investments.
QUESTIONER: What is the general growth rate for sub-Saharan Africa in 2016?
MS. SAYEH: Okay, I did say in my introductory statement that in 2015,
our estimate of growth was only 3.5 percent, and that we expected
growth will be only some 3 percent this year, 2016.
IMF Suspends Lending to Mozambique WSJ
WASHINGTON—The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it has
suspended lending to Mozambique after determining that the African
country had violated terms of its borrowing arrangement with the IMF
by failing to disclose more than $1 billion in other loans.
The IMF said it had stopped a $55 million loan disbursement to
Mozambique after it became aware of the unreported loans made by
Credit Suisse Group AG and VTB Group of Russia.
The IMF approved in December a $283 million rescue loan package for
Mozambique. The agreement with the IMF requires the southern African
country to fully disclose all borrowings and to meet regularly with
the multilateral agency to provide updates on its progress.
A Credit Suisse spokesman declined to comment. VTB and Mozambique
officials couldn’t be immediately reached to comment.
The IMF’s announcement could cause some investors to steer clear of
the country. Many rely heavily on information from the IMF when
deciding whether or not to invest in developing countries such as
Antoinette Sayeh, director of the IMF’s Africa department, said the
organization investigated Mozambique’s borrowing after an April 3
report in The Wall Street Journal, which detailed how Mozambique
borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars through previously
undisclosed loans from the banks.
The report revealed that investors who voted last month to exchange
existing bonds due 2020 for longer-term bonds weren’t told about the
additional borrowing at the time of the vote. The price of
Mozambique’s new 10.5% bonds due 2023 fell to 87.50 cents on the
dollar from 90.50 cents on the dollar after the IMF announced the loan
suspension, an investor said.
“The undisclosed borrowing exceeds $1 billion and significantly
changes our assessment of Mozambique’s macroeconomic outlook,” Ms.
Sayeh said in Washington, D.C., at a Friday news conference for the
IMF’s spring meetings. “We are currently ascertaining in cooperation
with the authorities, the facts regarding this borrowing.”
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said at the meetings Thursday
that if the agency learns of corruption, it stops lending.
“We want this hanky-panky business to go away,” Ms. Lagarde said.
The loans made by Credit Suisse and other lenders starting in 2013
materially affect the value of Mozambique’s bonds, investors say. The
undisclosed debt, in addition to the $850 million in bonds sold in
2013 for tuna fishing that was largely also used for military
spending, represent a significant addition to the $6 billion in
national debt reported at the end of 2012.
Investors said they wouldn’t have purchased the bonds in the first
place if they had known about the additional loans, which also were
used for military equipment.
Following a December report from Mozambique, the IMF said it had
immediately made a $117.9 million disbursement to stabilize the
country, augment its reserves and help reduce poverty.
The IMF cited debt management among its chief concerns in Mozambique.
“A vigorous debt management strategy will be crucial to address the
challenges of significant infrastructure gaps at a time when debt
vulnerabilities have been rising,” the IMF said in its report.
China and Africa A despot's guide to foreign aid Want more cash? Vote with China at the @UN Economist
AidData, a project based at the College of William and Mary in
Virginia, keeps a huge database on official aid flows. Its
number-crunching shows how much China appears to reward African
countries that vote with it. The relationship is not a simple one (see
chart), according to Brad Parks, a director of the organisation. China
gives proportionally more money to poorer countries, for instance. But
by and large countries that support China do better. AidData reckons
that if African countries voted with China an extra 10% of the time,
they would get an 86% bump in official aid on average. If Rwanda, for
instance, were to cast its ballot alongside China 93% of the time
(instead of its current 67%), its aid from China could jump by 289%.
As one seasoned investor puts it: "Nigeria, with help from South Africa, is killing the African story." FT
This week, China has offered help with a currency swap, and the
promise of $6bn in infrastructure loans. The terms of these deals are
not yet clear. But they could go some way towards plugging an $11bn
budget deficit. The danger is that, together with the modest recent
rise in oil prices, China’s help will encourage Mr Buhari to defer the
tough decisions once again.
The president wants to eliminate the wasteful patronage on which venal
elites have thrived and create an economy more dynamic in creating
jobs for the masses. These are laudable long-term aims for which his
government has yet to articulate a convincing strategy. In the
meantime, however, the short term is pressing. No economy can survive
without fuel, electricity or foreign exchange
PZ Cussons Pays 70% Premium for Dollars in Nigeria on Shortage
PZ Cussons Plc said it is paying as much as 70 percent more than the
official rate for dollars in Nigeria as central-bank trading
restrictions reduce availability of foreign currency in Africa’s
“Whilst the official naira exchange rate continues to be stable, a
lack of availability at that rate is resulting in the majority of
dollars being purchased at a premium of 50-70 percent,” the
Manchester-based maker of Imperial Leather soap said in a trading
update on Thursday. “The resultant cost impact is being managed
through changes to relative pricing in an environment where trading
conditions remain challenging. The situation in Nigeria remains
Narcotics in Africa An emerging drug market @Economist
IN THE early morning at a bar in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, electronic
beats pump from a DJ on a stage. Shielded from the autumn rains under
tarpaulins, a substantial crowd, mostly of young Kenyans but with
several European and American expats, dances. Outside the women’s
toilets, attendants turn their eyes away—in exchange for a tip—as
groups of young people go in together and then wander out, wiping
The drug scene is not entirely new to Nairobi. “There has been cocaine
here since I was 14 years old,” says one young Kenyan woman, who works
for an e-commerce firm and is now 26. But whereas in the geriatric
West recreational drug use is falling and many night clubs are
closing, in Africa’s capitals it appears to be growing, both among the
new middle class and the poor. Drug-use surveys are rare in Africa,
but governments are worried.
Africans have consumed drugs for decades, if not centuries. Cannabis
is grown and toked across the continent: the UN estimates that roughly
7.5% of African adults smoke weed in a typical year, almost double the
global figure of 3.9%. In Somalia and Ethiopia, many men chew vast
amounts of qat, a leaf with mild amphetamine properties, (much to the
irritation of their wives).
The more recent spread of harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine is
driven by the expansion of Africa as a transit route for chemicals on
their way to Europe. Cocaine is smuggled from South America to West
Africa by boat or small plane. In some small countries, the trade is
huge. In Guinea-Bissau, Colombian drug dealers are alleged to have
funded the re-election campaign of President João Bernardo Vieira in
2005. Mostly, the product is then smuggled out to Europe by land, sea
or air. But much is sold locally, too. Cocaine-snorting in West Africa
is now thought to be as common as in Europe.
18-APR-2016 Chase Bank and the Story of the 3 Wise Monkeys Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru @TheStarKenya
The situation in the Banking Sector remain fluid and fast-moving. The
Central Bank Governor held a Presser Friday and I have relied on
@DannMwangi for the following Tweets from that Presser.
NJOROGE: If we had to move forward past the tipping point into the new
normal, this had to happen
NJOROGE: If auditors see large differences in a banks books, they are
required by law to report to CBK. Chase Bank's auditors did that
NJOROGE: People were having less confidence in their bank's, and the
'storm' was waiting for Monday when bank doors would be open to erupt.
NJOROGE: The announcement of CBK's new funding facility calmed the
storm and it was visible when we looked at the numbers on Monday
NJOROGE: It's not a loan, not a credit, not a bail-out. It's the CBK
that decides when to come in [No Bank apparently has drawn down on the
Facility yet] NJOROGE: Insider lending calls to question the
governance of the institution. A bank is not a 'mama mboga'.
NJOROGE: Five suitors lined up to buy Chase Bank, CBK says [CBK is
probably going to have to go the route of a ''Good Bank Bad Bank'' in
order to effect the Sale]
Chase Bank was the 11th largest at the time it was placed into
receivership on April 7, shortly after announcing restated earnings
with a qualified audit opinion [Deloitte] which was deliberately
miniaturised in the restated Earnings Release. Mr Kabui said in his
statement to the police that the so-called insider loans were assets
held in Chase Iman’s joint ventures financed under Musharakah. The
Pertinent Question to ask Mr. Kabui and his Board is when these assets
were classified as ''Musharakah'' The entire Tale [that has been spun]
took me back to the Story of The three wise monkeys. Together they
embody the proverbial principle "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no
evil" The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no
evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru,
covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.
You have to ask yourself
What is the duty of a Board? Was there a functioning Board at Chase
Bank or even at Imperial Bank? Or Just a Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru?
Where was the Credit Committee? Dishing out 84.96% of your Core
Capital on an unsecured basis to an Insider has to surely pass through
some kind of process? Because if it didn't then as Patrick Njoroge
said Chase Bank was a ''mama mboga'' and not a Bank.
Where was the Internal Audit Division?
“It’s cases of rot at the top and abuse of privilege,” Kato Mukuru,
head of equity research at Exotic told Bloomberg. “It’s not a crisis,
it’s a governance issue.”
The Truth is that the last line of Defence is the External Auditor.
And Deloitte are to be commended for calling a Spade a Spade. The
calculation has entirely changed for Audit Companies the world over.
KPMG threw the Guptas over because of the reputational risk. Deloitte
could not put their name to a ''cockamamie'' [ridiculous, pointless,
or nonsensical: full of wild schemes and cockamamie ideas] story.
Chase Bank staff risk Sh600m invested in a cash call last year @BD_Africa
Disclosures carried in a credit rating note of the bank by Global
Credit Rating company (GCR) last year showed the bank raised Sh600
million through expanding its employee share ownership plan (Esop)
around the time it was carrying out a rights issue which raised Sh1.6
On top, the workers whose jobs could be on the line have to contend
with their savings being locked up in the previously fast-growing
financier. Any takeover is likely dilute the current shareholders.
In case a company in administration eventually gets liquidated,
ordinary shareholders are usually the last to get compensated after
statutory bodies, regular creditors, preferential shareholders and in
the case of banks, depositors.
“The bank has since raised a further Sh1.6 billion via a rights issue
concluded in June 2015, plus Sh0.6 billion from an increase in the
Esop,” GCR said in the rating note. The bank needed the rating for its
bond and other fund raising.
Chase has been closed since April 7 after Central Bank of Kenya (CBK)
moved in and appointed a receiver manager after customers made a run
on the bank leaving it facing liquidity problems.
The bank had on April 6 issued restated financial results showing it
had under-reported insider loans by a Sh8 billion, and in the process
had not received an endorsement of its financials by its auditor
Deloitte & Touche.
The GCR note showed that the Esop held 429.621 shares before the
additional investment was made, representing 4.3 per cent of the
lender’s total shareholding. This holding ranked the employees eighth
in the lender’s shareholding structure.
The bank’s biggest shareholders include Amethis Finance, German fund
DEG, European Investment Bank and Zurich-based asset management firm
Responsibility Participations AG.
The fact that the bank’s shares do not trade on any over-the-counter
platform and it is not listed on the securities exchange makes it
difficult to establish the number of shares the employees got for
their Sh600 million investment or previous shares.