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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 22nd of June 2020
 


This Documentary Uncovers an Afro-Cuban Community Singing in an Almost Extinct African Language @REMEZCLA
Africa


“It’s completely incredible that they’ve kept these songs and dances alive for all these centuries!” 

The songs were being sung in a very particular kind of language — the Banta tongue — which is nearing extinction in Western Africa.

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The Toppling: How the Media Inflated the Fall of Saddam's Statue in Firdos Square @propublica @NewYorker
Law & Politics


A few minutes after the toppling, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told reporters, "The scenes of free Iraqis celebrating in the streets, riding American tanks, tearing down the statues of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad are breathtaking. Watching them, one cannot help but think of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain."

Propaganda has been a staple of warfare for ages, but the notion of creating events on the battlefield, as opposed to repackaging real ones after the fact, is a modern development. It expresses a media theory developed by, among others, Walter Lippmann, who after the First World War identified the components of wartime mythmaking as "the casual fact, the creative imagination, the will to believe, and out of these three elements, a counterfeit of reality." 

As he put it, "Men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities [and] in many cases they help to create the very fictions to which they respond." 

In the 1960s, Daniel J. Boorstin identified a new category of media spectacle that he called "pseudo-events," which were created to be reported on. 

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However, it was later learned that the scene was closely managed by a US Colonel and PSYOP (Psychological Operations) team who cordoned off the square (Fahmy, 2007; Griffin, 2008)
Law & Politics


However, it was later learned that the scene was closely managed by a US Colonel and PSYOP (Psychological Operations) team who cordoned off the square, allowed a relatively small group of Iraqi émigrés to gather around the statue, and then used armored vehicles and steel cables to pull the statue down for the cheering Iraqi group (Fahmy, 2007; Griffin, 2008)

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The Pentagon is eager to exploit the audiovisual impact of real-time mass communication (remember Saddam's statue being toppled?) City of Panic by Paul Virilio
Law & Politics


Our minds are literally besieged by these Weapons of Mass Communication (as he calls them), creating a "panic-driven tele-reality" and resulting in an odd kind of "emotional synchronisation ... in which terror must be instantaneously felt by all ... on the scale of a global terrorism". Virilio maintains that the global village has created hyperterrorism as its "integral accident" (just as derailment is the integral accident of a train). The Pentagon is eager to exploit the audiovisual impact of real-time mass communication (remember Saddam's statue being toppled?), but unfortunately so are the terrorists. The same impulse drives contemporary art, says Virilio, and he often returns to Stockhausen's incendiary remark that 9/11 was "the greatest work of art ever".

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Saddam Hussein's Last Words: "To the Hell that is Iraq!?" The execution fell during Eid ul-Adha, a holy day for Muslims.
Law & Politics


The date of the execution is perhaps one of the most compromising signals that the execution was indeed a psychological operation (PSYOP)


Several individuals say several times: "To Hell [hell-fire]!" [This can be translated as "Go to Hell!"]

Saddam Hussein mockingly replies/asks: "To the hell that is Iraq!?"


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#statues #taliban #bamiyan #buddhabamiyan @ramonpradosan
Law & Politics


You remember those twin statues of the Buddha that I told you about? Carved out of a mountain in Afghanistan, that got dynamited by the Taliban back in the spring? Notice anything familiar?"

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How China and India Came to Lethal Blows @nytimes @ajaishukla
Law & Politics


NEW DELHI — Tensions between Indian and Chinese troops have simmered since early May in the remote, high Karakoram mountains that separate India’s northern Ladakh region from the alkaline desert of Aksai Chin, which is claimed by India but controlled by China and abuts its Xinjiang province.

It is a forbidding landscape of cold deserts, snow-capped peaks, sparse vegetation and freezing temperature about 14,000 feet above sea level. 

On Monday evening, in a brutal hand-to-hand battle, Chinese soldiers killed at least 20 Indian soldiers with wooden staves and nail-studded clubs, in the severest escalation of the dispute on the Sino-Indian frontier in decades.

British colonial authorities bequeathed India a border with China that was neither delineated on a map nor demarcated on the ground. 

After China invaded Tibet in 1950 and the two Asian giants sought to formalize their frontier, the territorial dispute emerged. 

The Sino-Indian border dispute involves about 13, 500 square miles in Ladakh and Aksai Chin and about 35,000 square miles in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.

In 1962, the border dispute flared into a war. China won conclusively but retreated after a cease-fire to what were broadly its prewar positions. 

That de facto border, which is called the Line of Actual Control, is patrolled by both armies. 

Occasional unarmed clashes have taken place over the years despite five agreements aimed at reducing the risk of combat.

China has built a network of roads and tracks on its side of the Line of Actual Control, but the Chinese military has consistently objected to India’s far slower but steady improvement of borderland infrastructure.

Mr. Modi also bifurcated the state into two federally administered territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. India’s home minister and Mr. Modi’s confidante, Amit Shah, insisted in the Indian Parliament that both Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin belonged to India.
Between May and June, the Chinese military seized about 40 square miles of Indian territory, including an area known as the Galwan River valley

The high ridges of the Galwan valley overlook the strategic Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road leading toward Aksai Chin and Karakoram Pass. 

The seizure of the Galwan River valley allows the Chinese Army to watch the road and, when necessary, bring down artillery fire to preclude its use, rendering a significant strategic asset inoperative.

India protested. On June 6, Indian and Chinese military officers started talks to de-escalate the crisis. The Chinese agreed to vacate some positions. 

On the evening of June 15, an Indian Army patrol set out to verify whether the Chinese had withdrawn from positions on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control.

A shocked and stunned New Delhi took a full day to release statements acknowledging the debacle

In sharp contrast to the bellicose Indian statements that follow attacks by Pakistani militants, the Indian government’s reactions were mild, almost careful not to offend China.

The reasoning was underlined by Rajiv Pratap Rudy, a spokesman of Mr. Modi’s party, who argued on television that the confrontation was “with China, not with Pakistan.”
ver the years, Mr. Modi has invested a great deal of personal and political capital into building a relationship with President Xi Jinping, whom he hosted in his hometown, Ahmedabad, during a state visit to India in 2014.

Mr. Modi also set up India as a soft target through his pusillanimous handling of an earlier border crisis in 2017 at Doklam, at the disputed tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan. 

Mr. Modi’s government chose to do nothing about the remilitarization of Doklam by the Chinese military. 

Beijing could have drawn a lesson from it: Seize disputed territory at multiple points, withdraw from a few places, and let New Delhi claim that as a victory.

For the Sino-India border, the current tensions have destroyed the existing playbook, which had maintained peace since 1993, when the two sides signed the Border Peace and Tranquillity Agreement.

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Chinese J-10 fighter jet advances on Taiwan as tensions rise @NAR
Law & Politics


TAIPEI -- A Chinese fighter jet approached Taiwan for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, Taiwanese defense officials said, a sign of rising cross-strait tensions as the island deepens its relationship with the U.S.

A People's Liberation Army Air Force Chengdu J-10 fighter jet entered Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone during the noon hour, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said.

The aircraft left after receiving radio warnings from Taiwanese patrol planes.

This marks the sixth such incident this month. Apart from the four-day streak starting Tuesday, Chinese military aircraft was spotted in the area on June 9 and June 12. The incidents involved either a fighter jet or a transport plane.

On June 9, Taiwan authorized a C-40A military cargo plane deployed by the U.S. to fly over local airspace. 

Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, denounced the flight on June 11, warning the Taiwanese government not to misjudge the mainland's resolve to safeguard national sovereignty.

"We deplore and firmly oppose the act," Zhu said.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has made clear her stance against China's ambition to unify the island with the mainland. 

Her administration has been looking to strengthen its ties to the U.S., which the island relies on for defense.

With Washington ratcheting up frictions with Beijing, the U.S. has extended support to Taiwan. 

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper indicated in a tweet Monday that he will continue to be involved in Taiwanese regional security.

"We remain committed to a democratic Taiwan," wrote Esper.

The U.S. overflight on June 9 was proof of a high-level trust relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, said Alexander Huang, an associate professor of strategic studies at Taiwan's Tamkang University. 

But with the threat tensions escalating between the U.S. and China, Taiwan will need to be on the alert for an unintended military clash, Huang added.

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It has come to a Put Up or Shut Up moment Matters India Taiwan South China Sea et al. and the ‘’Wolf Warrior’’ Strategy all point at more intensity rather than less.
Law & Politics

Neither Side have an ‘’Off Ramp’’ and the US Electoral Cycle and the ‘’Wolf Warrior’’ Strategy all point at more intensity rather than less.

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Global numbers: • Log log plot up • R is up • Trend accelerates • China outbreak ongoing Brazil² out of control. >5%: Brazil² Argentina³² Iraq⁴¹ Guatemal⁵⁹ Cameroon⁶³ Morocco⁶⁵ Ivory Coast⁷² Mauritania⁹⁴ @video4me
Misc.

Global numbers: • Log log plot up • R is up • Trend accelerates • China outbreak ongoing Brazil² out of control. >5%: Brazil² Argentina³² Iraq⁴¹ Guatemal⁵⁹ Cameroon⁶³ Morocco⁶⁵ Nepal⁶⁹ Ivory Coast⁷² Mauritania⁹⁴ Costa Rica¹⁰⁰

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Pandemic nearly EXPONENTIAL again R_d1_d2 > 1 & ► =>Pandemic exponential @oli3be
Misc.


R_d1_d2 > 1 & ▲ => more than exponential

R_d1_d2 > 1 & ▼ => grow but not exponential

R_d1_d2 < 1 => decreases

R_d1_d2 = (1+d1_Days_Delta[Cases - Recovered - Deaths])^(d2/d1) #COVID19

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#COVID19 and the Spillover Moment
Misc.


They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

―In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.

But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.

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10-MAY-2020 :: Daily Confirmed Cases in the 80,000-100,000 Cases Range
Misc.

We are witnessing a Spill Over into EM and Frontier Geographies

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Nelle acque di scarico di Milano e Torino c’erano già tracce del virus SARS-CoV-2 a dicembre 2019. via @Rossana38510044
Misc.


In the waste waters of Milan and Turin there were already traces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in December 2019. This was discovered by a study being published by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità carried out through the analysis of waste water collected in times prior to the occurrence of COVID-19 in Italy. 


The results, confirmed in the two different laboratories with two different methods, showed the presence of SARS-Cov-2 RNA in the samples taken in Milan and Turin on 12/18/2019 and in Bologna on 01/29/2020




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SARS-CoV-2’s entire RBM was introduced through recombination with coronaviruses from pangolins
Misc.

Three small insertions are identical in SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 but not found in other CoVs in the Sarbecovirus group (27,  28). The RaTG13 sequence was sampled in 2013, years before SARS-CoV-2 was first identified. It is unlikely that both SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 independently acquired identical insertions at three different locations in the S gene. Thus, it is plausible that a RaTG13-like virus served as a pro-genitor to generate SARS-CoV-2 by gaining a complete hu-man ACE2 binding RBM from Pan_SL-CoV_GD-like viruses tThe average of all pairwise dN/dS ratios, defined as ω, among SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, and Pan_SL-CoV viruses at the S2 subunit is ω = 0.013, compared to the much higher values ω =0.053 in the S1 region preceding the furin cleavage site, and ω = 0.042 at the S2 subunit for all other CoVs hrough recombination. Genetic divergence at the nucleic acid level between Wuhan-Hu-1 and Pan_SL-CoV_GD viruses is significantly reduced from 13.9% (Fig. 1E) to 1.4% at the amino acid level (Fig. 2B) in the RBM region, indicating re-combination between RaTG13-like CoVs and Pan_SL-CoV_GD-like CoVs. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 has a unique furin cleavage site insertion (PRRA) not found in any other CoVs in the Sarbecovirus group (Fig. S3) (27), although simi-lar motifs are also found in MERS and more divergent bat CoVs (29). This PRRA motif makes the S1/S2 cleavage in SARS-CoV-2 much more efficient than in SARS-CoV and may expand its tropism and/or enhance its transmissibility (20)

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01-MAR-2020 The Origin of #COVID19
Misc.

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” ― Thomas Pynchon

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I am going to explain why this fact, the highly non-random mutation between RaTg13 and Sars_Cov_19 proves, by a 5 quadrillion to one odd, that their connection is artificial, not natural. The virus is man-made. @JJ2000426
Misc.



2/ Natural mutation is random. But the pattern show is highly non-random. There is a 4 pt insert and a region of 67 pts with 17 mutations, the remaining 1202 pt contains only 12 mutations. Let's calculate the odd this happens naturally, using simple mathematics.

3/ The S protein has length 1273 and contains 33 mutations. Number of ways to scatter 33 mutations in 1273 locations is C(1273,33) = 1273!/33!/(1273-33)! = 2.1788x10^65. 

Then how many ways can 4 mutations happen in a 4 pt insert and 17 happen within a 67 segment?

4/ There are C(1204,2) ways of positioning the 4 pt insert and 67 pts focused region, or 7.242x10^5. And C(67,17) ways of placing 17 mutation within 67 pts section, or 3.054x10^15. Then C(1202,12) = 1.797x10^28 ways of placing 12 mutations in the rest 1202 pts.

5/ Overall there are 7.242x10^5*3.054x10^15*1.797x10^28 = 3.9744x10^49 ways this pattern could occur naturally, vs 2.1788x10^65 ways of random mutations. 

The odd this pattern happens randomly is 3.9744x10^49/2.1788x10^65 = 1.824x10^-16, or 0.2 parts per quadrillion.


6/ Conclusion: This is undisputable science fact that connection between RaTg13 and Sars_cov_19 is non-random, and thus artificial, by an odd of 5 quadrillion to one. 

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Thucydides wrote his description of the plague as part of his narrative, History of the Peloponnesian War
Misc.

 


He was writing his history, he said, “as a possession forever,” in order to provide “a clear record” of what had happened in the past and will, in due course, tend to be repeated with some degree of similarity (I.22). 

Thus, Thucydides’ work amounted to a social scientist’s effort to make general, fundamental, principles emerge from particular actions in order to ensure that knowledge of the past form an effective guide to the future. (63)

The Plague of Athens is treated by Thucydides in the same way as the war with careful attention to the recording of empirical detail without suggesting any reasons for the epidemic. 

His purpose is entirely instructive in the hope that future generations would be able to learn from the lessons of the past.

The following narrative comes from the History of the Peloponnesian War, II.vii.3-54 as translated by scholar P. J. Rhodes and given by Michael Grant in his Readings in the Classical Historians:   


[The plague] is said to have broken out previously in many other places, in the region of Lemnos and elsewhere, but there was no previous record of so great a pestilence and destruction of human life

The doctors were unable to cope, since they were treating the disease for the first time and in ignorance: indeed, the more they came into contact with sufferers, the more liable they were to lose their own lives

No other device of men was any help. Moreover, supplication at sanctuaries, resort to divination, and the like were all unavailing. In the end, people were overwhelmed by the disaster and abandoned efforts against it.
The disease began with a strong fever in the head and reddening and burning in the eyes; the first internal symptoms were that the throat and tongue became bloody and the breath unnatural and malodorous. 

This was followed by sneezing and hoarseness, and in a short time the affliction descended to the chest, producing violent coughing. 

When it became established in the heart, it convulsed that and produced every kind of evacuation of bile known to the doctors, accompanied by great discomfort. 

Most victims then suffered from empty retching, which induced violent convulsion: they abated after this for some sufferers, but only much later for others.

The exterior of the body was not particularly hot to the touch or yellow, but was reddish, livid, and burst out in small blisters and sores. 

But inside the burning was so strong that the victims could not bear to put on event the lightest clothes and linens, but had to go naked, and gained the greatest relief by plunging into cold water. 

Many who had no one to keep watch on them even plunged into wells, under the pressure of insatiable thirst; but it made no difference whether they drank a large quantity or a small. 

Throughout the course of the disease, people suffered from sleeplessness and inability to rest. For as long as the disease was raging, the body did not waste away, but held out unexpectedly against its suffering. 

Most died about the seventh or the ninth day from the beginning of the internal burning, while they still had some strength. If they escaped then, the disease descended to the belly: there violent ulceration and totally fluid diarrhea occurred, and most people then died from the weakness caused by that.

The disease left its mark by catching his extremities. 

It attacked the privy parts, and the fingers and toes, and many people survived but lost these, while others lost their eyes. 

Others, on first recovering, suffered a total loss of memory, and were unable to recognize themselves and their relatives.

The nature of the disease was beyond description, and the sufferings that it brought to each victim were greater than human nature can bear. 

There is one particular point in which it showed that it was unlike the usual run of illnesses: the birds and animals which feed on human flesh either kept away from the bodies, although there were many unburied, or if they did taste them it proved fatal. 

To confirm this, there was an evident shortage of birds of that kind.
The most terrifying aspect of the whole affliction was the despair which resulted when someone realized that he had the disease: people immediately lost hope, and so through their attitude of mind were much more likely to let themselves go and not hold out. 

In addition, one person caught the disease through caring for another, and so they died like sheep: this was the greatest cause of loss of life. 

If people were afraid and unwilling to go near to others, they died in isolation, and many houses lost all their occupants through the lack of anyone to care for them. 

Those who did go near to others died, especially those with any claim to virtue, who from a sense of honor did not spare themselves in going to visit their friends, persisting when in the end even the members of the family were overcome by the scale of the disaster and gave up their dirges for the dead.




 

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Prospering in the pandemic: the top 100 companies @FT
World Of Finance

In a dismal year for most companies, a minority have shone: pharmaceutical groups boosted by their hunt for a Covid-19 vaccine; technology giants buoyed by the trend for working from home; and retailers offering lockdown necessities online.The iPhone maker managed to rake in $58.3bn in revenue in the March quarter, despite closing all of its retail stores.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1198

Dollar Index 97.538

Japan Yen 106.92

Swiss Franc 0.9511

Pound 1.2384

Aussie 0.6860

India Rupee 76.105

South Korea Won 1215.83

Brazil Real 5.3119

Egypt Pound 16.18

South Africa Rand 17.39



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There have now been over 52,000 Jun20 Comex gold "deliveries" @TFMetals
Commodities

For context, understand that for time immemorial, anything over 10,000 was considered a big/busy month. Thus far in 2020...there were 8,234 in Feb, 31,666 in April and now 52,022 thus far in June.

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The GERD gives Ethiopia unprecedented control over how much water reaches downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt, both of which are almost totally dependent on the Nile. With this control comes great power. @thecontinent_
Law & Politics

The GERD rudely interrupts the water cycle. It gives Ethiopia unprecedented control over how much water reaches the downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt, both of which are almost totally dependent on the Nile. With this control comes great power.

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African countries are struggling to keep track of covid-19 @TheEconomist
Africa


Others in South Africa may soon follow suit. The country had the 11th highest five-day moving average of confirmed new cases as of June 16th—and the rate of growth is accelerating.

If South Africa—which with Ghana accounts for about half of all tests in sub-Saharan Africa—is not testing enough, then nor are most other countries in the region. 

At the start of June African countries had tested, on average, fewer than 1,700 people per 1m, a fraction of the number in rich countries (America had done 26 times more per million people). 

“Testing is our Achilles heel,” says John Nkengasong of Africa cdc, a pan-African health institution. 

Nigeria has the capacity to do at least 10,000 tests per day, but has averaged fewer than 900 since announcing its first case on February 27th
Philanthropy has helped. In most African countries most of the testing kits used are those donated by the charitable foundation of Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder. 

He has given at least 20,000 kits to every country in Africa. Yet this is far short of what is required. On June 3rd Dr Nkengasong said Africa needed at least 20m new test kits within 100 days.


The number of confirmed cases in Africa has been rising by about 30% a week over the past month. 

But that glosses over trouble spots, such as South Africa or Guinea-Bissau, where almost one-tenth of health workers have been infected

And it means that the absolute number of cases is mounting: it took 98 days for Africa to go from 1 to 100,000 cases, but only 18 days to reach 200,000.


The overall numbers matter, because African health systems will tend to be overwhelmed at an earlier point than those in Asia or Europe. 

With that in mind the Western Cape is rationing public testing to those over the age of 55 and opening field hospitals. “We cannot test our way out of the crisis,” he says. ■

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SA #COVID19 UPDATE 20 June • 4,966 new cases - new daily record Chart with upwards trend Positivity rate = 15% today @rid1tweets
Misc.



• 46 more deaths today

• 4,966 new cases - new daily record Chart with upwards trend

• 33,174 tests conducted. Positivity rate = 15% today 

• 2,501 more recoveries Folded hands

• Active cases = 40,478. Increase of 6.4% Chart with upwards trend


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


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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10-MAY-2020 :: The worrying development is Transmission Hotspots #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment
Misc.

Kano in Nigeria for example
Western Cape growing at an alarming rate @sugan250388
Someone with close knowledge of the medical profession said it was almost impossible to secure a hospital bed in several cities.
The Aga Khan hospital in Dar es Salaam had a well-equipped ward for 80 coronavirus patients, but several were dying each night, he said.
The Question for SSA is whether these Transmission Hot Spots expand and conflate?

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.@FitchRatings Revises Kenya's Outlook to Negative; Affirms at 'B+'
Kenyan Economy

Kenya's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Negative from Stable

The revision of the Outlook on Kenya's IDRs reflects Fitch's view that the coronavirus shock will drive a sharp economic slowdown and deterioration in the budget deficit and government debt/GDP ratio in 2020, against a background of a weak track record of fiscal consolidation.

Fitch forecasts Kenya's GDP growth to slow to 1% in 2020, as the slowdown in global trade and services impact Kenya's export and tourism sectors. 

We expect more than a 30% fall in Kenya's agribusiness exports, including horticulture, tea and coffee, which accounted for approximately 3% of GDP in 2019

We expect government debt/GDP to begin levelling off in FY22, but the government's uneven track record in implementing fiscal policy brings significant risk. 

Highlighting the issue of rising debt and weak revenue growth, we forecast Kenya's government debt to revenue ratio will reach 350% in FY20, well above the 'B' median of 259%.

Fitch forecasts a widening of the general government deficit to 8.6% of GDP in FY20, reflecting an additional hit to revenue from the coronavirus shock itself, tax relief measures adopted by the government that cost an estimated 0.5% of GDP in foregone revenue, and COVID-19 related spending costing an additional 0.4% of GDP.

The widening of fiscal deficits will increase the sovereign's external financing needs, which along with the fall in travel receipts and remittance flows will worsen Kenya's external balances. 
Furthermore, the shock to Kenya's horticulture industry from COVID-19 exceeds the threat from locusts. 
At the beginning of 2020, the outlook for Kenya's banks was positive following the 2019 repeal of the interest rate cap and consolidation in the sector that would reduce some of the risk from the sector's smaller banks. 

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