|Monday 23rd of March 2020
For whom the bell tolls a poem (No man is an island) by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
The Decline and Fall of the Gulf's Oil Empire Is Looming @markets @bopinion
Law & Politics
For much of the world, oil wealth is a curse. Endowed with ample
reserves of hydrocarbons, the likes of Nigeria, Angola, Kazakhstan,
Mexico and Venezuela frittered the benefits away.
Only in the Persian Gulf has oil been a nation-building blessing. The
discoveries of petroleum in the mid-20th century turned an anarchic,
desperately poor region into one of the most affluent places on the
Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are all richer than
Switzerland. Even Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman are on a par with
Japan or the U.K.
The transformation has been so complete that it’s easy to believe the
wealth derives from some eternal law of nature. That’s not true,
The current price war in oil markets will only hasten the moment when
the unsustainable nature of Gulf economies faces a brutal reckoning.
Right now, all six monarchies are joining with Russia in opening the
taps to flood the crude market and flush out higher-cost producers.
While the planned 2.5 million barrels per day increase from Saudi
Arabia is by far the biggest wave in this tsunami, its neighbors
aren’t holding back.
The U.A.E. will daily add about 200,000 barrels or more, according to
consultancy Rystad Energy, while Kuwait will lift output by 110,000
barrels. Russia will raise daily production by 200,000 barrels.
That splurge of supply isn’t due to geopolitics. Instead, it’s a
mathematical result of the decline in the oil price. With fewer
dollars coming in for each barrel of crude, Gulf monarchies need to
pump much more to maintain something resembling current revenues.
In principle, there’s ample firepower to fight this war. It costs
about as much to pump a barrel of oil from a Gulf oilfield as it does
to buy a bottle of fancy mineral water.
Even in an extreme scenario where crude prices fall as low as $10 a
barrel and almost the entire global oil industry loses money, Gulf
producers would remain in the black.
The problem, as we wrote last week, comes for their economies, which
need a far higher price to balance their budgets and support
The region’s central banks and sovereign wealth funds have assembled
vast sums to see them through such a crisis, as well as the
longer-term risk of declining demand. Faced with lower prices,
however, these buffers could disintegrate quickly.
Take the net financial assets held by Saudi Arabia’s government —
central bank reserves, plus sovereign wealth fund assets, minus
government debt. These declined to just 0.1% of gross domestic product
from 50% over the four years through 2018 as crude plunged from levels
of around $100 a barrel at the end of 2014.
The kingdom is now likely to be a net debtor for the foreseeable
future, even if prices rise back above $80.
Over the same four years, net financial assets held by the six Gulf
monarchies fell by around half a trillion dollars, to around $2
trillion, according to a study last month by the International
Even if peak oil demand doesn’t hit until 2040, that remaining sum
could be depleted by 2034, according to the Fund. Oil at $20 a barrel
would run it down even faster, emptying the coffers as soon as 2027.
With oil prices in the range of $50 to $55 a barrel, Saudi Arabia’s
international reserves would fall to about five months of import
coverage as soon as 2024, according to an IMF report last year.
That should be a deeply alarming prospect, bringing the kingdom within
months of an unthinkable balance-of-payments crisis and the
abandonment of the dollar peg, which has underpinned the global oil
trade for a generation.
Yet the prices we’re now seeing make this look almost like an
There’s still time to avert this future, but it will involve major
changes to our ideas about the Gulf and its the role in the global
Governments in the region enacted vicious budget cuts in the wake of
the 2014 price decline, removing subsidies and adding sales taxes in a
way that’s fraying the edges of their sumptuous welfare states.
If they fall to an even-lower ledge, there will be pressure to add
further taxes and shrink bloated civil services.
Neither will be popular with citizens who have never been allowed a
Lavish defense and security spending, which accounts for nearly a
third of Saudi Arabia’s budget, may have to shrink.
The era when the Gulf nations and their sovereign wealth funds were
magic cash machines prepared to pay top dollar for assets on every
continent may be coming to an end. They may even have to turn into net
That will affect institutions from the U.S. Treasury market, where
Saudi Arabia holds about $183 billion of securities; to Softbank Group
Corp., which may find Riyadh a less generous partner for funding
Masayoshi Son’s expansive visions.
The monarchies have surfed a remarkable tide of wealth over the past
half-century or so, but every wave eventually crashes.
Future generations will never again see the wealth that current
subjects enjoy. Perhaps the Gulf wasn’t spared from oil’s curse, after
all. That moment was only deferred.
"Oil creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without work, life for free. Oil is a resource that anaesthetises thought, blurs vision, corrupts." Ryszard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs
Law & Politics
“Oil kindles extraordinary emotions and hopes, since oil is above all
a great temptation. It is the temptation of ease, wealth, strength,
fortune, power. It is a filthy, foul-smelling liquid that squirts
obligingly up into the air and falls back to earth as a rustling
shower of money.” ― Ryszard Kapuściński, Shah of Shahs
13 NOV 17 :: a 32-year-old wannabe king
In all the history books I have read, its probably wisest to operate
on one front not two and certainly not three. The desperate impulse to
act is also up against a four- year deadline. The speed of decline in
FX reserves produces a 48 month shelf-life.
@washingtonpost US intelligence warned Trump in January and February as he dismissed coronavirus threat @CNN
Law & Politics
(CNN)President Donald Trump ignored reports from US intelligence
agencies starting in January that warned of the scale and intensity of
the coronavirus outbreak in China, The Washington Post reported
Citing US officials familiar with the agencies' reports and warnings,
the Post reported that intelligence agencies depicted the nature and
global spread of the virus and China's apparent downplaying of its
severity, as well as the potential need for government measures to
contain it -- while Trump opted to dismiss or simply not address their
"Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other
people in the government were -- they just couldn't get him to do
anything about it," the official noted to the Post. "The system was
The CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
declined to comment to the Post. When asked for comment on the report,
White House spokesperson Judd Deere directed CNN to fellow
spokesperson Hogan Gidley's comment to the Post.
"President Trump has taken historic, aggressive measures to protect
the health, wealth and safety of the American people -- and did so,
while the media and Democrats chose to only focus on the stupid
politics of a sham illegitimate impeachment," Gidley told the paper in
"It's more than disgusting, despicable and disgraceful for cowardly
unnamed sources to attempt to rewrite history -- it's a clear threat
to this great country."
A source familiar told CNN that the congressional intelligence
committees were briefed on the threat coronavirus posed in January and
The intelligence reports did not predict when the virus might hit the
US or recommend steps that should be taken in response, the source
The reports tracked the spread of the virus in China and then other
countries, and warned that Chinese officials were minimizing the
Within the administration, Trump's aides tried in vain to convince him
of the virus's seriousness, according to the Post.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was unable to discuss
the virus with Trump until January 18, two senior administration
officials told the Post -- at which point the President interrupted
him to ask when sales of flavored vaping products would resume, senior
administration officials told the paper.
Later in January, aides met with then-acting White House chief of
staff Mick Mulvaney in an effort to convince higher level officials to
monitor the virus -- with White House Domestic Policy Council Director
Joe Grogan asserting that if the White House did not seriously address
the virus, an issue likely to be front and center for months,
Trump could risk losing his reelection, people briefed on the meeting
told the Post.
Mulvaney subsequently held regular meetings, though officials told the
paper that Trump did not take the virus seriously because he did not
think it had circulated extensively in the United States.
The President also seemed to deny the virus's threat in favor of
believing information provided by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the
Administration officials told the Post that even after some of his
advisers insisted that China was providing inaccurate data on
infection and death rates from the disease, Trump publicly praised
China's handling of the coronavirus in late January.
In a February meeting, Trump argued that if he put more pressure on
Xi, Beijing would be less likely to share how it was handling the
Even when cases reached the US, Trump opposed characterizing the virus
as a serious threat, the paper reported.
Two senior administration officials told the paper that while
returning from India, Trump complained that senior Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention official Nancy Messonnier was frightening
investors with her assessment in late February that changes to normal
life could be "severe" in light of serious spread.
Call @realDonaldTrump's News Conferences What They are: Propaganda @nytopinion
Law & Politics
In a time of global emergency, we need calm, directness and, above
all, hard facts. Only the opposite is on offer from the Trump White
House. It is therefore time to call the president’s news conferences
for what they are: propaganda.
We may as well be watching newsreels approved by the Soviet Politburo.
We’re witnessing the falsification of history in real time.
When Donald Trump, under the guise of social distancing, told the
White House press corps on Thursday that he ought to get rid of 75 to
80 percent of them — reserving the privilege only for those he liked —
it may have been chilling, but it wasn’t surprising. He wants to thin
out their ranks until there’s only Pravda in the room.
Sometimes, I stare at Deborah Birx during these briefings and I wonder
if she understands that this is the footage historians will be looking
at 100 years from now — the president rambling on incoherently,
vainly, angrily, deceitfully, while she watches, her face stiff with
the strangled horror of a bride enduring an inappropriate toast.
If the public wants factual news briefings, they need to tune in to
those who are giving them: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Chancellor Angela Merkel of
Germany, whose addresses appear with English subtitles on Deutsche
They should start following the many civic-minded epidemiologists and
virologists and contagion experts on Twitter, like Harvard’s Marc
Lipsitch and Yale’s Nicholas Christakis, whose threads have been
invaluable primers in a time of awful confusion.
These are people with a high tolerance for uncertainty. It’s the
president’s incapacity to tolerate it — combined with his bottomless
need to self-flatter and preserve his political power — that leads, so
often, to his spectacular fits of deception and misdirection.
At his Thursday news conference, a discussion of chloroquine and other
experimental therapies formed the core of his remarks, when those
drugs and therapies are untested and unproven and, in some cases,
won’t be ready for several months, as NBC’s Peter Alexander pointed
out the following day.
“What do you say to Americans who are scared?” Alexander pressed.
“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump answered.
Only a liar — and a weak man with delusions of competence — would be
so unnerved by the facts.
Compare this to Cuomo, who takes questions at his news conferences
calmly and systematically — and, more to the point, has a substantive
response when asked the same questions about anxiety. He hears it. He
relates to it. He says it’s real.
“People are in a small apartment, they’re in a house, they’re worried,
they’re anxious. Just, be mindful of that,” the governor said Friday.
“Those three-word sentences can make all the difference: ‘I miss you.’
‘I love you.’ ‘I’m thinking about you.’ ‘I wish I was there with you.’
‘I’m sorry you’re going through this.’ ‘I’m sorry we’re going through
On Friday, Cuomo said something else that was quite striking, as he
was issuing his executive order for nonessential workers in New York
to stay home, other than to run errands or exercise outside.
“If someone wants to blame someone or complain about someone, blame
me,” he said. “There is no one else who is responsible for this
Cuomo is nothing if not politically shrewd. He knows full well how
this comment compares to Mr. Trump’s “I don’t take responsibility at
But telling the media that they’re peddling fake news is straight from
the playbook of the political gangsters of the last century. So many
of Trump’s moves are.
Having each of his cabinet members fulsomely thank him for his
leadership and congratulate him for his “farsightedness” before each
of their remarks:
Check. Making sure each one stays on a message, even if that message
has nothing to do with his or her purview: Check.
(Alex Azar may have been the worst offender, speaking Friday to the
urgency of closing the southern border. He’s the secretary of health
and human services, not homeland security. Yet he was parroting
Trump’s message about the coronavirus, one specifically tailored to
the base: We’re keeping brown immigrants from spreading it.)
How about Orwellian doublespeak? Ooooooh, check. Trump and his team
are continually deploying words and phrases that disguise a reality
that suggests the opposite.
Vice President Mike Pence talks about a “strong and seamless”
partnership with the states, when at the same time Mr. Trump is
trolling the states, telling Cuomo to get his own respirators.
Pence speaks relentlessly of a “whole-of-government approach,” when in
fact the government is hollowed out — defunded to fight pandemics,
denuded of experts — and broken in shards, with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention sidelined in this fight, and the
president’s task force now mutely competing with a shadow group run by
the president’s son-in-law.
On Friday, Trump said he cherished journalism, and his secretary of
state complained about disinformation on Twitter. There are simply too
many two-plus-two-is-five moments to count.
But most dangerous of all is Trump’s insistence that things are fine,
or will be shortly, that they’ll be stronger and better and greater
We don’t have any evidence that this is true, and the president finds
any suggestion to the contrary quite rude. When a journalist pointed
out to him on Thursday that the economy had all but ground to halt,
Trump cut him off.
“What’s the rest of your question?” he snapped. “We know that.
Everybody in the room knows that.”
Here’s the truth: Things might be hard — unfathomably hard — for
months, perhaps even north of a year.
Anyone who’s reading or listening to other sources of news besides the
president knows that. It takes sensitivity and strength and
intelligence to speak truthfully to the public about imminent
hardship, the prospect of enduring pain.
So I listen to Justin Trudeau, a sci-fi experience, a dispatch from an
alternate universe that prioritizes the needs and anxieties of the
He speaks about concerns: The kids will be all right. There’ll be
food. You won’t be booted out of your home.
Not how our president is speaking right now, but it’s a road map for
the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 to follow.
And I listen to Cuomo, who says the same thing. His news conference on
Friday was about the practical things, knowing the entire state —
country, globe — had just taken a precipitous slide down Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs, with food, shelter and safety now topmost on many
No one can evict you for 90 days. We’re getting hospital beds. We’re
recruiting doctors and nurses in training to fight this fight, and
we’re coaxing medical professionals out of retirement.
Then he spoke from the heart. One of his daughters was in quarantine.
“To tell you the truth, I had some of the best conversations with her
that I’ve ever had,” Cuomo said. She was alone for two weeks.
“We talked about things in depth that we didn’t have time to talk
about in the past,” he continued, “or we didn’t have the courage or
the strength to talk about in the past — feelings I had, about
mistakes I had made along the way that I wanted to express my regret
and talk through with her.”
He was expressing fallibility. Imagine that.
The Hollow Men Mistah Kurtz - he dead
Law & Politics
The Hollow Men
Mistah Kurtz — he dead
A penny for the Old Guy
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
how many #WuhanVirus cases #Wuhan city had on March 14 & the number is 22 times the official numbers, 91 cases instead of the official 4. @EpochTimes
Law & Politics
首頁 > 新聞 > 大陸新聞 > 天災人禍 > 正文
更新 2020-03-20 6:34 AM 人氣 9988 標籤: 武漢肺炎, 新冠肺炎, 中共病毒, 核酸檢測 Facebook
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The picture shows the "Statistical Summary of New Coronavirus Nucleic
Acid Detection" received by the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health
Commission on March 14.
The data show that the number of first positive nucleic acid tests
(the actual number of newly confirmed diagnoses) in a single day in
Wuhan was 91, which was at least 22 times more than the number of
newly confirmed diagnoses published on the same day. (The Epoch Times)
Although the Communist Party of China announced a major outbreak of
the Chinese Communist Party's pneumonia (Wuhan pneumonia) epidemic,
the People's Daily also issued the latest five outbreaks. Propaganda
However, the nucleic acid test data from the city of origin of the
epidemic in Wuhan shows that the epidemic is still fierce.
The actual number of newly confirmed cases in Wuhan on the day was at
least 22 times more than the "officially released data"; Infectious,
may infect family members in home isolation.
The actual number of new cases in Wuhan is at least 22 times greater
than the "official data"
The number of positive nucleic acid test samples on that day is the
number of infections detected on that day.
Because it contains re-tested samples of some hospitalized patients,
the number of positive tests for the first time is the newly added
On February 21, the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Committee has
announced that "the inventory is cleared! The nucleic acid test is
cleared daily", which means that the nucleic acid test inventory of
clinically confirmed, suspected, close contacts, and fever patients in
Wuhan has been completely cleared.
The inspection day will be cleared and the day will end.
Therefore, the nucleic acid tests performed on March 14 were all
samples taken the previous day. Among them, 91 were positive for the
first time, representing 91 new diagnoses that day.
In the official outbreak data released by the Communist Party of China
from March 14th to 16th, the newly confirmed cases in Wuhan were 4
cases, 4 cases, and 1 case respectively.
That is to say, within three days from March 14, the CCP issued a
maximum of 4 new cases in Wuhan in a single day.
Buy Gold 'Right Here and Now,' Top Wealth Manager Says After Dip @markets
Now’s the time to buy gold, according to one of the world’s leading
wealth managers, which flagged bullion’s prospects after the haven
lost out to the dollar in recent weeks as the pandemic roils markets.
“When I think about what would I buy in the right here and now, I
would be buying gold,” Wayne Gordon, executive director for
commodities and foreign exchange at UBS Group AG’s wealth-management
unit, told Bloomberg TV.
Prices would appreciate over three to six months, according to Gordon.
Bullion is set for back-to-back weekly losses for the first time since
September after the dollar hit a record, although its drop was pared
Friday as investors took stock of the outlook for the global economy,
the spread of the disease, and looser monetarty policy.
With deep losses in risk assets this month, some investors have been
forced to sell gold to raise cash. A similar pattern -- losses at
times of extreme market stress -- was seen in bullion at the onset of
the global financial crisis in late 2008, before it went on to peak in
Gold “provided what it should during times of crisis, a form of
insurance to cash in when liquidity was required,” Peter Grosskopf,
chief executive officer at Sprott Inc., said in a note, referring to
It’s one of the first assets to be cashed in when leverage is reduced,
and long-term investors not subject to margin pressures will be
rewarded owning gold at this time, he said.
Gold traded 1.6% higher at $1,484.86 an ounce at 6:32 a.m. in London
as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell after an eight-day rally.
The metal is down 2.3% this week after an 8.6% fall last week, the
most since 1983. Earlier this month, it topped $1,700 to hit the
highest level since 2012.
Given additional quantitative easing from central banks “you should
see a weaker dollar over the next 12 months,” Gordon said. “On the
back of that, you’ll see real rates go back into negative territory,”
he said, adding: “That will be a potent power for gold.”
02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA.
The First Issue is whether The #CoronaVirus will infect the Continent.
We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and
multiplicative.what exponential disease propagation looks like in the
Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ...
then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!
02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word.
The First Issue is whether The #CoronaVirus will infect the Continent
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!
Debt, virus and locusts create a perfect storm for Africa @TheAfricaReport
The year began with promise for sub-Saharan Africa.
All the major institutions tracking African growth said so:
The African Development Bank pronounced in its Economic Outlook that
Africa’s economic outlook continues to brighten. Its real GDP growth,
estimated at 3.4% for 2019, is projected to accelerate to 3.9% in 2020
and to 4.1% in 2021.
The IMF said in its World Economic Outlook sub-Saharan Africa growth
is expected to strengthen to 3.5% in 2020–21 (from 3.3% in 2019).
The World Bank predicted ”Regional growth is expected to pick up to
2.9% in 2020”
Interestingly the World Bank added a caveat which was prescient:
A sharper-than-expected deceleration in major trading partners such as
China, the Euro Area, or the United States, would substantially lower
export revenues and investment.
A faster-than-expected slowdown in China would cause a sharp fall in
commodity prices and, given Sub-Saharan Africa’s heavy reliance on
extractive sectors for export and fiscal revenues, weigh heavily on
Those forecasts are now defunct and it’s only March.
The Coronavirus has to date barely made landfall on the African
continent with only 5 countries reporting infections but a Virus is in
its essence non-linear, exponential and multiplicative and it would be
a Shakespeare-level moment of hubris if policy makers were to pat
themselves on the back.
Diagnostic kits were only recently availed and if South Korea had
tested the same number of People as the entire African Continent, they
too would be reporting single digit cases.
We all know now ”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!” and
therefore we will know soon whether we really have dodged the
#Coronavirus Infection Bullet.
The issue at hand now is around the violence of the blowback from the
China #Coronavirus feedback loop phenomenon.
The virus is not correlated to endogenous market dynamics but is an an
exogenous uncertainty that remains unresolved and therefore, it is a
Fantasy predictions of a V shaped recovery in China have been dashed.
In fact China cannot just crank up the ‘Factory’ because that will
risk a second round effect of infections.
Therefore, I expect negative GDP Growth through H1 2020 in China as my
Standard Bank’s Chief Economist has calculated that a one percentage
point decrease in China’s domestic investment growth is associated
with an average 0.6 percentage point decrease in Africa’s exports.
Those countries heavily dependent on China being the main taker of
their commodities are at the bleeding edge of this now negative
feedback loop phenomenon. Commodity prices [Crude Oil, Copper, Coal]
have crashed more than 20% since the start of the year.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or an Economist to calculate
which countries in are directly in the line of fire. Angola, Congo
Brazzavile, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Nigeria and South Africa
spring immediately to mind.
Notwithstanding comments by the always upbeat and bright-eyed
President Adesina of the African Development Bank that Africa is not
facing a debt crisis.
He told Bloomberg, “Debt is not a problem, it’s very bad debt that’s a
The point is this.
SSA Countries with no exception that I can think off have gorged on
borrowing and balance sheets are maxed out.
Africa’s sovereign issuance in the Eurobond markets totaled $53bn in
2018 and 2019 and total outstanding debt topped $100bn last year.
Debt burdens have increased and affordability has weakened across most
of Sub-Saharan Africa, while a shift in debt structures has left some
countries more exposed to a financial shock, said Moodys in November
Very few of the investments made are within spitting distance of
providing an ROI [Return on Investment].
Rising debt service ratios are best exemplified by Nigeria where the
Government is spending more than half of its revenue servicing its
More than 50% of SSA GDP is produced by South Africa, Nigeria and Angola.
South Africa reported that GDP in Q4 2019 shrank by a massive 1.4%.
Annual growth at 0.2% is the lowest yearly growth since 2009 and the
tape is back at GFC times.
The rand which has been in free fall has a lot further to fall in 2020.
And this is before the viral infection.
Nigeria’s oil revenue is cratering and there is $16bn of ”hot money”
parked in short term certificates which is all headed for the Exit as
we speak. A Currency Devaluation is now predicted and predictable.
South Africa, Nigeria and Angola are poised to dive into deep recession.
East Africa which was a bright spot is facing down a locust invasion
which according to the FAO could turn 500x by June.
It is practically biblical.
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the
locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;”
– 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
This is a perfect storm. Buckle up, and let’s stop popping the Quaaludes.
.@flyethiopian Airlines Losses From #Coronavirus Reach $190 Million @business @Habesh_
Ethiopian Airlines Group has lost over $190 million as the impact of
the coronavirus on global travel hurts Africa’s only consistently
“Under the current situation, it is facing huge challenges,” Ethiopian
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a televised address to the public on
The carrier has suspended flights to 30 destinations as demand
collapses and some countries impose travel bans to try and contain the
Aviation is one of the hardest hit industries by the virus, facing
billions of dollars of lost revenue.
In Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, the coronavirus
will be a “huge burden” on the economy, Abiy said, adding that the
government will impose economic measures to help the most vulnerable.
Guinea Forges Ahead With Referendum That Could Entrench Conde @bpolitics
Guinea is pushing ahead with a controversial referendum on Sunday to
revise the constitution, paving the way for President Alpha Conde to
seek a third term, despite concern from the European Union and
regional heads of state.
The vote that takes place on the same day as long-delayed
parliamentary elections is widely seen as a power grab by the
82-year-old president, who assumed office in 2010 and is due to step
down this year after completing two five-year terms.
The opposition has objected to a new constitution that will reset the
clock. Presidential elections are due in October.
The world’s biggest bauxite exporter has a history of authoritarian
rule. Its first two presidents, Sekou Toure and Lansana Conte, died in
office after clinging to power for 26 and 24 years respectively.
At Conte’s death in 2008, military junta leader Dadis Camara ruled for
a year until he was incapacitated by an assassination attempt.
While Conde hasn’t explicitly said he plans to seek a third term, the
European Parliament has urged him to preserve current presidential
term limits, and nations from the U.S. to France have reiterated the
need for a democratic transition of power.
African leaders are worried too. The West African economic bloc on
Tuesday canceled a last-minute visit by the presidents of Niger,
Nigeria and Burkina Faso, their second such attempt to discuss the
poll with Conde, who canceled the first meeting.
This time around, the visit was scrapped over widening travel
restrictions and concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Guinea
confirmed its first case, a Belgian national, on March 13.
Conde postponed the referendum and parliamentary elections, originally
scheduled for March 3, for almost three weeks after international
observers questioned whether the vote would be credible.
The African Union withdrew its election observer mission earlier this
month, citing concerns about the voters roll.
Yet Conde has the support of at least one important nation: Russia.
Last year, the country’s then-ambassador to Guinea, Alexander
Bregadze, openly backed Conde in a speech and said that constitutions
“are no dogma, Bible or Koran.”
Bregadze has since been named head of United Co. Rusal, the largest
producer of aluminum outside China.
Rusal sources about one-third of its bauxite from Guinea, the key
ingredient in aluminum.
“Russian actors are betting on Conde to win, in which case the ties
between the two countries could grow even stronger,” said Daphne
Piriou, a consultant at London-based strategic advisory firm Africa
Since October, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the
streets to call on Conde to abandon any potential third-term plans.
At least 37 people were killed in crackdowns by security forces,
according to human-rights groups. Sunday’s vote will be boycotted by
all main opposition parties, with one of its most influential leaders,
former Prime Minister Celou Dallein Diallo, predicting a low turnout.
The proposals to change the constitution have even caused a rift
within the ruling Rally of the Guinean People and prompted three
ministers to resign.
While Conde has hinted a third term should be allowed, he has so far
refused to discuss whether he plans to run again in October, saying
the ruling party will select a candidate.
He has however openly backed the referendum, arguing that the
constitutional changes are necessary because the current law, drawn up
under the military junta, is out of date.
Conde earlier this week banned flights from high-risk countries,
cautioned people against shaking hands and prohibited gatherings of
more than 50 people.
It’s not clear how authorities will enforce the measures during the vote.
How Putin Got a New Best Friend Forever in Africa @business
Alpha Conde of Guinea had a favor to ask Vladimir Putin when the two
presidents met at the inaugural Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea
resort of Sochi in October.
“I would like, if possible, to spend most of our meeting in a
one-in-one format because I have things to say to you that are not
worth discussing in such a large group,” the 81-year-old West African
“My pleasure,” Putin, 67, replied as aides began to herd the several
dozen officials and reporters in attendance out of the room, leaving
him and Conde alone with their respective translators.
Russia, on the other hand, is throwing its weight behind Conde’s
undeclared campaign. That makes Guinea, holder of the world’s largest
deposits of bauxite, a key raw material for making aluminum, the
latest focus in a renewed tug-of-war among global powers for influence
and profit across resource-rich Africa.
The U.S., western Europe and China have advantages over Russia in
other areas of the continent. But in Guinea, the Kremlin is leveraging
a mix of old Soviet ties, new capitalist might in the form of aluminum
giant United Co. Rusal and Putin’s popularity among other leaders.
Putin is widely viewed as a kind of “guru” in Africa, Viktor Boyarkin,
a former diplomat and ex-Rusal security chief who’s known Conde for a
decade, said in an interview in Moscow. “People come to him for
Initially hailed when he came to power for ushering in democratic
rule, Conde has cracked down in recent years as opposition has grown.
In August, the International Monetary Fund called the poor, mainly
Muslim nation of 13 million “a fragile country with heightened risks
of social and political instability.”
In a speech broadcast on state television, then-Ambassador Alexander
Bregadze called Conde “legendary” and argued that constitutions
shouldn’t be considered immutable works akin to “The Bible or Koran.”
Four months later, Rusal hired the ambassador as its country chief in
Guinea. Rusal, which was run by billionaire Oleg Deripaska until U.S.
sanctions imposed over his ties to Putin forced him to step down in
2018, sources about 40% of its bauxite from Guinean mines.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia isn’t involved in anything
to do with Guinea’s “internal affairs.”
Still, Russia’s embrace of Conde has put it at odds with the U.S. and
France, both of which have mounted public and private diplomatic
campaigns to get him to step down at the end of his term.
In August, during a tense exchange in southern France, French
President Emmanuel Macron told Conde he was concerned about the
tensions that a possible third term could cause in Guinea and warned
he’d be watching closely, according to two people familiar with the
Boyarkin blames the protests mainly on “outside forces” and has
nothing but praise for Conde. “I consider him a savior for Guinea.”
“Since the days of the Soviet Union, you have been alongside us,
protecting us,” he told Putin.
Coronavirus hits tourism industry on Kenya's coast @ReutersAfrica
MOMBASA,Kenya, March 19 (Reuters) - Restrictions on foreigners coming
into Kenya, imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, have delivered
a big hit to the country’s tourism industry, with some hotels on the
coast reporting occupancy rates of well below 10%.
A spot check in various hotels around the city of Mombasa on Thursday
showed most of the hotels now had an average of 7% occupancy rate or
Tourism is among Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earners, bringing in
163.56 billion shillings ($1.56 billion)last year. Mombasa depends
largely on tourism for its livelihood.
“We were at 88%, right now we are at 7%. It does not look as if it is
growing, and 7% (is) because of the cancellations we had this week,”
Victor Shitaka, general manager of Flamingo Beach Hotel, told Reuters.
Kenya banned entry on Sunday to people travelling from any country
with reported coronavirus cases for 30 days, with the exception of
Kenyan citizens and foreigners with residence permits, who will have
to undergo a period of self-quarantine.
Kenya reported its first case of coronavirus a week ago and now has
seven confirmed cases.
Curio traders said the situation felt worse than the years from 2012
to 2015 when visitor numbers fell after a spate of attacks claimed by
Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, which wants Kenya to pull its
troops out of Somalia.
“Just look around, no one else here but you and me. This virus it
seems has doomed us and sadly after leaving here, mouths are waiting
for us back home to feed them,” Safari Juma, a curio trader, told
Reuters in Mombasa.
Equity Group reports FY 2019 Earnings EPS +13.602% Earnings here
Par Value: 0.50/-
Closing Price: 39.00
Total Shares Issued: 3773674802.00
Market Capitalization: 147,173,317,278
Equity Group Holdings PLC FY 2019 results through 31st December 2019
vs. 31st December 2018
FY Kenyan government securities – held to maturity 172.208187b vs.
FY Loans and advances to customers (net) 366.440456b vs. 297.226915b +23.286%
FY Total assets 673.682541b vs. 573.384730b +17.492%
FY Customer deposits 482.752134b vs. 422.758486b +14.191%
FY Borrowed funds 56.600944b vs. 44.179673b +28.115%
FY Total shareholders’ funds 111.776665b vs. 94.957725b +17.712%
FY Loans and advances interest income 41.458529b vs. 36.415466b +13.849%
FY Government securities interest income 16.872322b vs. 16.301265b +4.293%
FY Total interest income 59.722807b vs. 53.230254b +12.197%
FY Customer deposits expense [11.072280b] vs. [9.426897b] +17.454%
FY Other interest expenses [2.969642b] vs. [1.849890b] +60.531%
FY Total interest expenses [14.740446b] vs. [11.808066b] +24.834%
FY Net interest income 44.982361b vs. 41.422188b +8.595%
FY Fees and commissions income on loans and advances 5.596635b vs.
FY Other fees and commissions income 15.608742b vs. 13.332054b +17.077%
FY FX trading income 3.503661b vs. 3.308959b +5.884%
FY Total non-interest income 30.780053b vs. 25.861374b +19.019%
FY Total operating income 75.762414b vs. 67.283562b +12.602%
FY Loan loss provision [5.302566b] vs. [3.713521b] +42.791%
FY Staff costs [12.808766b] vs. [11.455559b] +11.813%
FY Other operating expenses [19.583855b] vs. [16.865467b] +16.118%
FY Total operating expenses [44.284984b] vs. [38.820612b] +14.076%
FY Profit/ [Loss] before tax and exceptional items 31.477430b vs.
FY Profit/ [Loss] after tax and exceptional items 22.560714b vs.
Basic and diluted EPS 5.93 vs. 5.22 +13.602%
Dividend per share 2.50 vs. 2.00 +25.000%
Total NPL and advances 31.974770b vs. 21.094581b +51.578%
Kenyan Shilling Plunges to Record Low as Virus Fears Intensify @economics
The Kenyan shilling fell to a record low against the dollar ahead of a
central bank monetary policy meeting on growing fears the coronavirus
will hit the East African economy hard.
The shilling fell as much as 1.4% to 106.51 against the dollar in
Friday trade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The coronavirus pandemic is seen hitting tourism receipts due to
travel restrictions and slow diaspora remittances,” according to
Churchill Ogutu, a senior research analyst at Nairobi-based Genghis
The Central Bank of Kenya’s monetary policy committee may cut the
benchmark rate by 75 basis points to 7.5% at its meeting on Monday,
according to Genghis.