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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Wednesday 05th of August 2020
 










Nasim Taleb @nntaleb said ''they talk about thinking “outside the box”; and when they die they are put in a box''
World Of Finance

They are born, put in a box; they go home to live in a box; they study by ticking boxes; they go to what is called “work” in a box, where they sit in their cubicle box; they drive to the grocery store in a box to buy food in a box they talk about thinking “outside the box”; and when they die they are put in a box.

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13-JAN-2020 :: 2020 Opens with a Bang.
Law & Politics



Its been an extraordinary opening to the new decade worthy of the best cinematic sequences ever, something like the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ helicopter scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1978’s classic Apocalypse Now. 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb referenced another Francis Ford Coppola classic ‘’The Godfather’’


its been very cinematic and stream of consciousness in 2020. The Shoo- ting down of #PS752 out of the night Sky a couple of nights before the luminous ‘’Wolf Moon’’ 

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Global #COVID19 deaths passed 700k. Cases and deaths per day, total, and growth rate visualized. @jmlukens
Misc.


Total cases: 18,535,898 New cases: 257,765 Growth rate: 1.39%

Total deaths: 700,566 New deaths: 6,952 Death Rate: 3.78%

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On Single Point Forecasts for Fat-Tailed Variables Nassim Nicholas Taleb∗†, Yaneer Bar-Yam‡, and Pasquale Cirillo @nntaleb @yaneerbaryam @DrCirillo
World Of Finance



(i)– Forecasting single variables in fat-tailed domains is in violation of both common sense and probability theory.

(ii)– Pandemics are extremely fat-tailed events, with potentially destructive tail risk. Any model ignoring this is necessarily flawed.

(iii)– Science is not about making single points predictions but about understanding properties (which can sometimes be tested by single point estimates and predictions).

(iv)– Sound risk management is concerned with extremes, tails and their full properties, and not with averages, the bulk of a distribution or naive estimates.

(v)– Naive fortune-cookie evidentiary methods fail to work under both risk management and fat tails, because the absence of raw evidence can play a large role in the properties.

(vi)– There are feedback mechanisms between forecast and reaction that affects the validity of some predictions.

(vii)– Individuals risks fail to translate into systemic risks under multiplicative processes.


The lognormal has milder tails than the Pareto which has been shown to represent pandemics.



pandemic deaths are patently fat-tailed

Even more, the estimated tail parameter α is smaller than 1, suggesting an apparently infinite risk [6], in line with destructive events like wars [4], [5], and the so-called "dismal" theorem [39]. Pandemics do therefore represent a source of existential risk.

More uncertainty in a system makes precautionary decisions more obvious. If you are uncertain about the skills of the pilot, you get off the plane when it is still possible to do so. 

And if people take action boarding up windows, and evacuating, the claim "look it was not so devastating", that someone might afterwards make, should be considered closer to a lunatic conspiracy fringe than scientific discourse.

Ancestral wisdom has numerous versions such as Cineri nunc medicina datur (one does not give remedies to the dead), or the famous saying by Seneca Serum est cavendi tempus in mediis malis (you don’t wait for peril to run its course to start defending yourself).

Notice in fact that 1014 observations are needed for the sample mean of a Pareto "80/20", with α ≈ 1.13, to emulate the gains in reliability of the sample average of a 30-data-points sample from a Normal distribution [33].

For this and other reasons specified later, the application of a non-naive precautionary principle [23] appears to be the viable solution in front of potentially existential risks.

Figures 1 and 3 show the extent of the problem of forecasting the average (and so other quantities) under fat tails. Most of the information is away from the center of the distribution. 

The most likely observations are far from the true mean of the phenomenon and very large samples are needed for reliable estimation. 

In the lognormal case of Figure 1, 85% of all observations fall below the mean; half the observations even fall below 13% of the mean. 

In the Paretian situation of Figure 3, mimicking the distribution of pandemic deaths, the situation gets even worse: the mean is so far away that we will almost never observe it.


Implication: one cannot naively translate between the rate of growth r and XT , because errors in r could be small (but surely not zero), but their impact will be explosive on X, because of exponentiation.

Simply, if r is exponentially distributed (or part of that family), X will be power law. The tail α is a direct function of the variance: the higher the variance of r, the thicker the tail of X.


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In the first 7 months of 2020, #COVID19 killed at least 673,000 people. How does this compare with the usual number of deaths from other causes? @redouad
Misc.


• Homicide: 236,000

• Malaria: 362,000

• Suicide: 463,000

• HIV/AIDS: 557,000

• Tuberculosis: 690,000

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Chinese scientist who fled to US claims coronavirus originated from ‘military lab’
Misc.
Dr Li Meng-Yan, a specialist in virology at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, says she “clearly assessed” that Covid-19 was from a laboratory linked to the People’s Liberation Army.

China has already faced allegations it covered the early days of the coronavirus outbreak and angrily dismissed claims that the virus could come from a lab.

Dr Li, however, claimed that the source of the outbreak was a military lab she discovered while studying person-to-person transmission of the virus.

Speaking in a live interview with Lude Press, she claimed she was not taken seriously when she reported her findings to her boss, Taiwan News reports.

Dr Li said, “At that time, I had clearly assessed that the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party military laboratory.

“The Wuhan wet market was just being used as a decoy. ”
“He warned me… ‘Hands off the red line,’” Dr Li said, referring to Beijing’s unspoken limits on such investigations.
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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19
Misc.

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”― William S. Burroughs

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.@WHO experts will travel to #China this weekend to work together with their Chinese counterparts to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of #COVID19. @DrTedros
China


“An inquiry that presupposes — without evidence — that the virus entered humans through a natural zoonotic spillover and that fails to address the alternative possibility that the virus entered humans through a laboratory accident, will have no credibility,” said Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“To have any credibility and any value, an investigation must address the possibility that the virus entered humans through a laboratory accident and must also address the further possibility that the ability of the virus to infect humans was enhanced through laboratory manipulation — ‘gain-of-function research of concern’.”

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Dear @MaEllenSirleaf & @HelenClarkNZ The starting point of your enquiry has to be precisely what is being precluded below because “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” #COVID19
Law & Politics


I am convinced that the only ‘’zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory.

There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released – Wuhan is to the CCP as Idlib is to the Syrian Regime – and propagated world wide.

According to Daszak, the mine sample had been stored in Wuhan for six years. Its scientists “went back to that sample in 2020, in early January or maybe even at the end of last year, I don’t know. They tried to get full genome sequencing, which is important to find out the whole diversity of the viral genome.”

However, after sequencing the full genome for RaTG13 the lab’s sample of the virus disintegrated, he said. “I think they tried to culture it but they were unable to, so that sample, I think, has gone.”

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Currency Markets At A Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1816

Dollar Index 93.067

Japan Yen 105.72

Swiss Franc 0.9125

Pound 1.3093

Aussie 0.7188

India Rupee 74.95

South Korea Won 1189.44

Brazil Real 5.2911

Egypt Pound 15.9898

South Africa Rand 17.3218

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Best markets, YtD in USD - mostly Nordics and China @akcakmak
World Of Finance


1) Denmark +21%

2) Lithuania 15%

3) China 11%

4) Taiwan 10%

5) Latvia 7%

6) Finland 4%

8) Sweden 3%

10) US 2%

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Worst markets, YtD in USD - mostly Latin America and Africa @akcakmak
World Of Finance



1) Colombia -39%

2) Mauritius -32%

3) Brazil -31%

4) Zambia -30%

5) Austria -29%

6) Namibia -29%

7) Greece -28%

8) Mexico -27%


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Gold Barrels Past $2,000 With Stage Set for Prices to Rally More @markets $2,030.50
Commodities


“The stage has been set for gold to continue to climb higher,” Paul Wong, market strategist at Sprott Inc., said in a report. 

“We see increased fiscal spending ahead, extremely accommodative monetary policy in place for years and a challenging economic recovery, as stated by the Fed.”

Shifts in the U.S. bond market have also underpinned gold’s meteoric ascent, with an added lift from a weaker dollar. 

Real yields on 10-year Treasuries have collapsed below zero and hit a record low below -1% on Tuesday. After sinking 3.3% in July, the U.S. currency is now lower in 2020.

Spot gold rose as much as 0.6% to a record $2,031.14 an ounce and traded at $2,019.74 at 8:51 a.m. 

in Singapore, while most-active futures traded as high as $2,048.60 on the Comex. 

Spot silver climbed as much as 1.3% to $26.3473 an ounce, the highest since 2013, before trading lower.

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Gold touched above $2,000/oz @EdVanDerWalt
Commodities

“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused to believe -that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return.’’

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21 days now of Turkey's new coronavirus cases being below 1,000 but above 900. 996 three days ago, 995 yesterday. @RencapMan
World Currencies


Just a coincidence that this is when #Turkey is trying to attract tourists back in this crucial quarter for Turkey's balance of payments

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“These are things that are outside the reach of most Zimbabweans. It’s like the people of Zimbabwe are in a chokehold,” @efie41209591 told @ReutersAfrica
Law & Politics


Tsitsi Dangarembga, whose latest book “This Mournable Body” has been nominated for a Booker Prize, was bundled into a police truck while holding placards on Friday and charged with breaking the COVID-19 lockdown to hold an illegal gathering.

Bailed pending trial after a night in jail, the 61-year-old said she could not keep quiet while neglect and mismanagement left Zimbabweans unable to afford a decent meal and healthcare.

“These are things that are outside the reach of most Zimbabweans. It’s like the people of Zimbabwe are in a chokehold,” she told Reuters from her home in Harare’s affluent Borrowdale suburb.

“It’s a matter of survival really.”

Security forces deployed on Friday to block planned opposition protests over corruption and economic hardships. 

Foes say Mnangagwa is behaving like his autocratic predecessor Robert Mugabe and exploiting the coronavirus crisis as cover.

Popular anger is high over inflation above 700%, hospital strikes, and shortages of medicines and foreign currency.

Mnangagwa blames the opposition, Western sanctions, droughts and the pandemic. “Dark forces both inside and outside have tampered with our growth and prosperity,” he said in a speech on Tuesday.

Dangarembga said she had been lucky after rights groups said some activists rounded up over Friday’s unrest were abducted and tortured. The government denies that.

“When we got into the (police) truck one of the first thing that happened is I was asked ‘who is paying you?’ I was very outraged by that question,” she recalled.

“What was going through my mind was:’what do we do now? The main thing is not to escalate the situation, we have not done anything wrong so we shouldn’t be frightened’.”

Dangarembga noted that a new hashtag #ZimbabweansLivesMatter was helping focus global attention.

“Trying to change Zimbabwe for the better is going to be a long engagement and we have to strategise,” she said.

Dangarembga’s first novel “Nervous Conditions” was part of Zimbabwe’s school curriculum and won the African section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989.

She also wrote “Neria”, Zimbabwe’s most successful film.

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"It took Africa nearly 5 months to hit 500,000 cases, but about a month to double that number... We fear that health systems could be overwhelmed" -- Patrick Youssef, ICRC Africa director. @geoffreyyork
Africa

The African continent is approaching the 1 million mark in total confirmed COVID cases. "It took Africa nearly 5 months to hit 500,000 cases, but about a month to double that number... We fear that health systems could be overwhelmed" -- Patrick Youssef, ICRC Africa director.

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Africa is entering a Fast Growth ‘’escape’’ velocity Phase #COVID19
Africa


It took 123 days to go from the first case of #coronavirus to 250,000 confirmed cases Africa. From 250,000 to 500,000 21 days. From 500,000 to 750,000 14 days

Africa on track to pass 1 million diagnosed #COVID19 cases shortly @jmlukens



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Africa has a Problem COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ @AP #COVID19
Africa


Africa has a Problem COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ @AP #COVID19 and it’s good to prepare for the worst-case scenario, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said 

’We’ve crossed a critical number here,” he said of the half-million milestone. 

“Our pandemic is getting full speed.”

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South Africa continues to report highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the WHO African Region, now passing the 500 000 mark, with more than 8 000 deaths #AFROWeekly Health Emergencies Bulletin
Africa


Community transmission is well established across all provinces of the country. Gauteng Province remains the hot spot of the country’s outbreak, although KwaZulu-Natal is now passing Eastern Cape Province in terms of case numbers. 

The outbreak remains mainly localised in the four most populous provinces in the country; however, there is a rapid rise in cases in the less populous provinces, which is of grave concern. 

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On the 10-MAY-2020 : Africa was at 56,000 confirmed #COVID19 cases
Africa

The number of confirmed cases in Africa has been rising by about 30% a week over the past month, but is set to incline steeply now.

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02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word
Africa


We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and multiplicative.

what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world. 

Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ... then cluster, cluster, cluster then BOOM!

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Kenya #AFROWeekly Health Emergencies Bulletin
Africa

The COVID-19 outbreak in Kenya is escalating rapidly, with 46 out of 47 counties now affected and cases doubling around every two weeks, although deaths remain low. High rates of health worker infection in private health facilities are also a concern.

Nairobi City and Mombasa Counties have the highest attack rates of COVID-19 at 301.9 and 171.6 per 100 000 population respectively. This is in comparison to an attack rate of 44.9 per 100 000 population overall and indicates that these areas need specific targeted interventions. 

Currently, 22 053 (97%) of the total number of confirmed cases are known to be local transmissions.

In the 24 hours up to 2 August 2020, a total of 5 393 samples were tested, bringing the cumulative total of tests in the country since the start of the outbreak in March 2020 to 304 287. 

The laboratory testing rate currently stands at 6 284 samples per 1 million people. The test positivity rate is 7.1%.

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Remittances to Kenya (up 4% 2020H1 / 2019 H1) continue to defy predictions by World Bank of a 20% drop in remittances to Africa this year @DWteVelde
Kenyan Economy


High frequency data hard to interpret; CBK now predicting 1% growth this year Data for June 20 surprisingly good 



This is positive 

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Data from @CBKKenya shows that non-performing loans (NPLs) rose to Sh379.9 billion in June, up from Sh349.9 billion at the end February — the sharpest four-month increase in recent history. @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy


The NPL growth emerged in a period when Kenyans deferred payments on nearly a third of the bankers’ total loans, a pointer that defaults — which is credit that remains unpaid for more than 90 days — could have been worse without the credit rescheduling.

The ratio of NPLs rose from 12.7 per cent in February to 13.1 per cent — the highest since August 2007 when it stood at 14.41 per cent.

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Hair scavenged from Nairobi dump ends up in salon amid COVID-19 pandemic @ReutersAfrica
Kenyan Economy


NAIROBI (Reuters) - Stylist Julia Wanja picks her way delicately through piles of food waste, discarded masks, rubber gloves and other rubbish at Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite, looking for used hair extensions she can clean and resell to customers.

The pandemic means fewer clients with less money and she is cutting down on costs by cleaning and reselling hair from the dumpsite.

Officials direct trucks to dump their loads depending on where the waste has come from. Domestic and commercial waste - which includes bags of hair extensions discarded by other salons - goes to different sections. Medical waste is usually incinerated.

“I have fewer customers,” the mother of three told Reuters from her wooden stall near the Dandora dumpsite as vehicle horns blared in the background. “If you are not going to work, there is no need to style your hair.”

Wanja said she washes the used hair extensions carefully using detergent, Dettol and hot water. Most of her customers trust her to wash the hair well, she said, although a few like to clean it themselves as well.

Like other scavengers, she wears a mask to sort through the trash.

“We cannot allow anyone to enter the dumpsite without a mask on,” fellow scavenger Denis Githaiga said, as he ripped through piles of plastic bags.

Wanja has been selling second-hand hair since 2008, but says there is more demand now since many people cannot afford new extensions.

“New hair is more expensive than second-hand hair,” the 38-year-old said. “People don’t have money.”

Wanja’s customers say as long as the hair has been cleaned, they do not mind where it is from. The hair looks new: long, luxuriant locks hang from the walls in Wanja’s stall, or are perched on a battered styrofoam head.

“The hair bought new from a shop and bought used only differs in price. But once it is plaited, there is no difference,” said Cecilia Githigia as Wanja’s fingers worked a weave into her hair.

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Africa’s Worst Stock Market Faces More Pain From Bank Earnings @markets @eombok @adengat
N.S.E General


There is no recovery in sight yet for Africa’s worst-performing stock market as investors look to bank earnings this month to assess how hard the coronavirus pandemic hit Kenyan lenders.

Net foreign-investor outflows and reduced dollar earnings led the Nairobi Securities Exchange 20 Share Index to slide for seven consecutive months through July, falling to the lowest in 17 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Investors from outside Kenya increased their trading in the three months through June, ramping up net foreign-portfolio outflows to 10.3 billion shillings ($95.5 million), compared with an inflow of 1.17 million shillings a year ago. 

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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August 2020
 
 
 
 
 
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