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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 27th of July 2020
 


27-JUL-2020 :: Drinking the Kool-Aid
World Of Finance


“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.” ― Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

US China linguistics is blinking amber


In the Year [2020] of the Virus, which began with a Bang and the Assassination of the iconic Qasem Suleimani, it is as if everything has turned viral, non linear and multiplicative and that Feedback Loops can spin with dizzying speed and out of control, in a blink of an eye.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Last week, the US China ‘’Tit for Tat’’ went ‘’Rat a Tat Tat’’ with the US shutting down the Chinese Consulate in Houston

@marcorubio tweeted Jul 22 #China’s Houston consulate is a massive spy center, forcing it to close is long overdue.

The Chinese shut down Chengdu in response and put the whole shutdown show on a Live Feed



Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added some accelerant

Frequent criticism of “Communist” China and its ruling Communist Party - @SecPompeo used the word 27 times in a speech on Thursday that called a more assertive approach to China the “mission of our time”

"Today we sit wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP failed in its promises." - @SecPompeo


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I am convinced that the only ‘’zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory #COVID19
Misc.

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.

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This is intergalactic Darwinism. @bopinion @nfergus
World Of Finance



The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ... The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him.

[In fact, the Truth of the Matter, is this. If the US were serious about repelling the Chinese advance then it is a Now or Never moment]

"...the CCP regime is a Marxist-Leninist regime. General Secretary Xi Jinping is a true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology. His ideology informs his decades- long desire for global hegemony built on Chinese Communism." - @SecPompeo

"This isn’t about containment. It’s about a complex new challenge we’ve never faced before: The USSR was closed off from the free world. Communist China is already here, within our borders." - @SecPompeo

It is a PUT UP or SHUT UP MOMENT and @SecPompeo is signaling the US will not SHUT UP


a Chinese H-6K bomber patrolling islands and reefs including Huangyan Dao in the South China Sea. Photo: Xinhua @globaltimesnew

US Allies much derided by President Trump are falling into line.

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Australia Joins U.S. in Opposing Beijing’s South China Sea Claim @bpolitics
Law & Politics



Australia joined the U.S. in rejecting China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, calling them “inconsistent” with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“There is no legal basis for China to draw straight baselines connecting the outermost points of maritime features or ‘island groups’ in the South China Sea,” Australia’s mission to the UN wrote in a filing on Friday.

“Australia rejects China’s claim to ‘historic rights’ or ‘maritime rights and interests’ as established in the ‘long course of historical practice’ in the South China Sea.”

Paper Tiger @NarendraModi will also have to step up notwithstanding that Xi has him in a chokehold.

Geopolitically speaking we have entered ‘’a furin cleavage site’’ moment


It is impossible to ignore the introduction of a PRRA insert between S1 and S2: it sticks out like a splinter. This insert creates the furin cleavage site


And the Run Up to the November Election is going to add more volatility not less.

There are plenty of Merchants of Propaganda in the matter of

#COVID19 spanning Nobel Prize Winners


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US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks with a total reported death below 170,000. How will we know it is over? Like for Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. @MLevitt_NP2013
Misc.

US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks with a total reported death below 170,000. How will we know it is over? Like for Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. Reported COVID19 deaths may continue after 25 Aug. & reported cases will, but it will be over.

Professor @MLevitt_NP2013 is in the company of President @SE_Rajoelina [The Purveyor of the Miracle Cure COVID ORGANICS - which was recently debunked and pronounced an effective Cough mixture]



And of course the Bulldozer Dr. @MagufuliJP

@MagufuliJP #COVID19 was equivalent to “Satan” and that it would naturally be defeated with prayer, since “Satan cannot reside in the body of Christ.”

Sifting the #COVID19 Signal from the Propaganda Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases @OurWorldInData

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Newly reported cases reached a high of 130,400 on June 3.
Misc.

#Pandemic accelerate ~ 600,000 new cases in 2 days ~ 22,500 new deaths in 3 days @oli3be

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We are not there yet. The exponential moment is still in front of us. #COVID19 500,000 daily new cases before the end of summer. @oli3be
Misc.


The current trajectory suggests there will be more than 25 million cases globally by the end of August. #COVID19 @TetotRemi

A virulent plague that “travelled through the air as if on wings, it burned through cities like fire”.

24-FEB-2020 :: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett 

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Jul 23 Global #COVID19 diagnosed case growth average 1.8%. @jmlukens
Misc.
Jul 25 #USA, #Brazil, & #India lead world with millions of #COVID19 cases. #Russia number four with slowing growth.

#SouthAfrica, #Columbia & #Argentina fast exponential growth since May. #Israel 2nd wave growth rate among fastest in world. #Kenya & #Ethiopia on fast growth watch list.


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

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



CFR = 4.04% Regression of CFR begins to slow down (new deaths are increasing faster than new cases) @oli3be

5 days :

~ 36,750 new deaths ▲▲▲ ~ 1,350,000 new cases ▲



Conclusions

The virus is not correlated to endogenous market dynamics but is an exogenous uncertainty that remains unresolved #COVID19 http://bit.ly/3atix0b

No-one has ever produced a safe and effective vaccine against a coronavirus. Birger Sørensen, Angus Dalgleish & Andres Susrud Immunor & St Georges University of London



Currency Markets Euro resurgent Dollar slides

Just look at the extraordinary difference in the return to restaurants in Germany and the U.S @bopinion


This explains why the Euro is rallying My Target is 1:25


The $DXY has further to Fall

USD sentiment: Dollar Optimism Index is at the *lowest* 1% of readings over the past 10 years. @sentimentrader


Dollar Index 3 Chart @creentheburner

The PRINTER is still in overdrive

US money supply is +33% so far in 2020. Even Hugo Chavez couldn't keep up with that. @JeffWeniger H/T @Biancoresearch

However, The Dollar is holding versus EM which is an interesting Signal


PRECIOUS METALS TURN VIRAL

Gold trades over $1,900 an ounce @markets [TARGET $2,200 BEFORE YEAR END]

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The Message Behind Gold’s Rally: The World Economy Is in Trouble @business
Commodities


It’s easy to forget now but there was a time early on in the pandemic when the price of gold was in freefall.

It was a curious thing, what with the virus sparking a collapse in the global economy, and it would prove in time to be one of the great head-fakes in the recent history of financial markets.

For the pandemic of 2020 would soon show itself to be the driving force behind one of the most ferocious rallies the gold market has ever seen.

At the close of trading in New York on Friday, bullion had spiraled to $1,902.02 an ounce, some 30% higher than the low it hit in March and just 1% off a record high set back in 2011.

The virus has unleashed a torrent of forces that are conspiring to fuel relentless demand for the perceived safety from turmoil that gold provides.

There’s the fear of further government-ordered lockdowns; and politicians’ decision to push through unprecedented stimulus packages; and central bankers’ decision to print money faster than they ever have before to finance that spending; and the plunge in inflation-adjusted bond yields into negative territory in the U.S.; and the dollar’s sudden decline against the euro and yen.

Meanwhile, gold posted its seventh weekly gain on Friday, and analysts don’t expect the increases to end anytime soon.

“When interest rates are zero or near zero, then gold is an attractive medium to have because you don’t have to worry about not getting interest on your

gold,” Mark Mobius, co-founder at Mobius Capital Partners, said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

“I would be buying now and continue to buy.”

The crisis a decade ago was all about banks, said Afshin Nabavi, head of trading at Swiss refiner and dealer MKS PAMP Group, who nows sees gold “pointing towards $2,000.”

“This time, to be honest, I do not see the end of the tunnel,” he said, at least until U.S. elections in November.

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22-JUN-2020 :: Gold is a No Brainer targets $2,000.00
Commodities



Race to the bottom. This is a global synchronized debasement. @TaviCosta

SILVER #SILVER chart @creentheburner [My Target is $50.00]


The silver rally likely far from over. Silver to money supply is still near historic lows! A parabolic move looks to be ahead of us. Call it “The Big Long”. @TaviCosta

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Brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and Herbert Hunt attempted to corner the world silver markets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at one stage holding the rights to more than half of the world's deliverable silver.
Commodities


During the Hunts' accumulation of the precious metal, silver prices rose from $11 an ounce in September 1979 to nearly $50 an ounce in January 1980.

Silver prices ultimately collapsed to below $11 an ounce two months later,[2] much of the fall occurring on a single day now known as Silver Thursday, due to changes made to exchange rules regarding the purchase of commodities on margin.[3]

“Hunt had a paranoid world view and it made sense to him to amass silver and hang on to it.”

Most traders buy and sell paper. The actual stuff represented by that paper is delivered to someone else. Hunt wanted the silver.

He chartered three 707 jet aircraft to haul the metal to warehouses in Switzerland and hired a dozen sharpshooting cowboys to provide security, according to Knight.

When he began buying silver with his brothers in 1973, it cost $2 an ounce and a big consumer was Eastman Kodak to make film.

Before the Hunts were through, seven years later, they’d stockpiled more than 200 million ounces, the price was soaring past $45 an ounce and regulators were preparing to take measures to make sure nothing like what Nelson Bunker Hunt had done would ever happen again.

“They broke the ascent by basically outlawing the buying of silver,” said Knight, who blogs at slopeofhope.com.

“Only liquidation orders would be accepted. It’s almost criminal what they did.”

On March 27, 1980 — what came to be known as “silver Thursday” — Comex asked Bache Group, the Hunts’ broker, for $134 million.

The three Hunt brothers had $4.5 billion in silver holdings, $3.5 billion of it profit, Knight said. But they didn’t have $134 million.

A $180 million judgment against them pushed the Hunts into bankruptcy.

All Bunker Hunt had left from his billions were a few million, a stable of racehorses and a $90 million tax bill to be paid over a 15-year period, Knight said.

Conclusions

Euro 1.25 $DXY < 90.00 Gold $2,200+ Silver $50.00+ EM a Sell

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Gravity's Rainbow is a 1973 novel by American writer Thomas Pynchon.
Misc.


Lengthy, complex, and featuring a large cast of characters, the narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II, and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military. 

In particular, it features the quest undertaken by several characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the "Schwarzgerät" ("black device"), slated to be installed in a rocket with the serial number "00000".

parabolic trajectory of a V-2 rocket:

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Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
Misc.


“I dream that I have found us both again,

With spring so many strangers' lives away,

And we, so free,

Out walking by the sea,

With someone else's paper words to say....

They took us at the gates of green return,

Too lost by then to stop, and ask them why-

Do children meet again?

Does any trace remain,

Along the superhighways of July?” 

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No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public @nytimes
Law & Politics


Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force, was “to standardize collection and reporting” on sightings of unexplained aerial vehicles, and was to report at least some of its findings to the public every six months.
While retired officials involved with the effort — including Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader — hope the program will seek evidence of vehicles from other worlds, its main focus is on discovering whether another nation, especially any potential adversary, is using breakout aviation technology that could threaten the United States.
Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who is the acting chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told a CBS affiliate in Miami this month that he was primarily concerned about reports of unidentified aircraft over American military bases — and that it was in the government’s interest to find out who was responsible.
He expressed concerns that China or Russia or some other adversary had made “some technological leap” that “allows them to conduct this sort of activity.”
Mr. Rubio said some of the unidentified aerial vehicles over U.S. bases possibly exhibited technologies not in the American arsenal. 

But he also noted: “Maybe there is a completely, sort of, boring explanation for it. But we need to find out.”

In 2017, The New York Times disclosed the existence of a predecessor unit, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. 

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05-DEC-2016:: "We have a deviate, Tomahawk." "We copy. There's a voice." "We have gross oscillation here"
Law & Politics



Don DeLillo, who is a prophetic 21st writer, writes as follows in one of his short stories:

The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable poignancy”.

He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm officers at Colorado Command:

“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”

“We copy. There’s a voice.”

“We have gross oscillation here.”

“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m not sure it’s helping.”

“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”

“Thank you, Colorado.”

“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on the step-function quad.”

“It was a voice,” I told them.

“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We will correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”

The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest sadness”.

“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60 years ago.”


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Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is holding live-fire drills with powerful ammunition near Leizhou Peninsula of South China's Guangdong Province, on the doorstep of the South China Sea @globaltimesnews
Law & Politics


The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is holding live-fire drills with powerful ammunition near Leizhou Peninsula of South China's Guangdong Province, on the doorstep of the South China Sea, starting Saturday, amid continuous US military provocations in the region.

The drills likely feature anti-ship and anti-aircraft exercises by warplanes of the PLA Air Force, said a Chinese military expert, who also hopes to see the drills to include other military branches including the Navy and Rocket Force in joint operations, and China's anti-aircraft carrier ballistic missiles.

According to a notice released by the PLA Unit 95180 via local media Beihai Television on Thursday, the drills will be conducted in two phases. 

The first phase is from Saturday to Monday, in a large, roughly rectangle-shaped area in the waters off the Leizhou Peninsula to the west, and the second phase is from Tuesday to August 2, in a smaller circle with an eight-kilometer-radius in the same region.

It also said the live-fire exercises will cover an extensive area with powerful ammunition, and the general public should not enter the designated sea areas.

The notice did not reveal any further detail on the drills.

According to publicly available information, including a report on Beihai city government's website, the Unit 95180 is affiliated with the PLA Air Force.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Saturday that maritime live-fire drills by the air force usually include shooting aircraft and surface vessels. Such drills could train securing air superiority and target hostile warships in the South China Sea.

In an analysis article on Friday, Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based magazine on the national defense industry, highlighted the wording in the PLA notice of "powerful ammunition". 

It said ballistic missiles in the DF series of the PLA Rocket Force should be among the first to be identified as powerful ammunition.

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"Today we sit wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP failed in its promises." - @SecPompeo @NAR
Law & Politics

"Today we sit wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP failed in its promises... reading new headlines of repression in Hong Kong and Xinjiang...seeing staggering statistics of Chinese trade abuses that cost American jobs..." -  @SecPompeo

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This is intergalactic Darwinism. @bopinion @nfergus
Law & Politics

The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ... The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. 

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07-OCT-2019 :: China turns 70
China



They have “stood up.” Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.

The World in the 21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight. 


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''President Reagan dealt with the Soviets on the basis of 'trust but verify.' When it comes to the CCP, I say, 'Distrust and verify.'" - @SecPompeo
Law & Politics

"The only way to truly change Communist China is to act on the basis of what its leaders do, not what they say. President Reagan dealt with the Soviets on the basis of 'trust but verify.' When it comes to the CCP, I say, 'Distrust and verify.'" - @SecPompeo

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Almost 40 countries have reported record single-day increases in coronavirus infections over the past week, around double the number that did so the previous week @Reuters tally showing a pick-up in the pandemic in every region of the world
Misc.
“We will not be going back to the ‘old normal’. The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week. 

“We’re asking everyone to treat the decisions about where they go, what they do and who they meet with as life-and-death decisions – because they are.”

The Reuters data, compiled from official reports, shows a steady rise in the number of countries reporting record daily increases in the virus that causes COVID-19 over the past month. 

At least seven countries recorded such increases three weeks ago, rising to at least 13 countries two weeks ago to at least 20 countries last week and to 37 countries this week.
In Africa, Kenya recorded a record high daily case number less than two weeks after reopening activity, including domestic passenger flights. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had announced international flights would resume on Aug. 1, has summoned officials to an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the surge in cases.

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―They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences. #COVID19
Misc.


―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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US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks with a total reported death below 170,000. How will we know it is over? Like for Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. @MLevitt_NP2013
Misc.

US COVID19 will be done in 4 weeks with a total reported death below 170,000. How will we know it is over?  Like for  Europe, when all cause excess deaths are at normal level for week. Reported COVID19 deaths may continue after 25 Aug. & reported cases will, but it will be over.

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Cold and stale air conditions allowed coronavirus particles to travel more than 8 meters (26 feet) at a German slaughterhouse
Misc.

Researchers reconstructed the likely cause of the outbreak at a Toennies Group slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, where about 1,500 workers contracted the virus. 

The Toennies outbreak likely began from one employee in May and was largely transmitted in the plant’s dismantling area, where rooms are often chilled to 10C degrees (50 Fahrenheit). 

Chilly air circulated without frequent changes 

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关停纸坊污水处理厂 改善汤逊湖水质
China


2007年,纸坊污水处理厂投入运行,日处理能力7万吨。随着江夏的快速发展,纸坊污水处理厂已逐渐不能满足江夏污水的处理需求。为了解决污水问题,2015年,江夏区政府启动江夏污水处理厂一期工程及配套管网工程建设,将纸坊污水处理厂的污水直接转送至江夏污水处理厂进行深度处理。2019年9月6日,纸坊污水处理厂正式关停,代表着尾水排汤逊湖的问题彻底得到解决。目前,江夏污水处理厂一期工程及配套管网工程正在正常运行,污水处理量达到了每天13万吨,污水通过转输管道排到长江。

On September 6, 2019, the Zhifang Sewage Treatment Plant was officially shut down, representing that the problem of tail water draining to Tangxun Lake was completely resolved. At present, the first phase of the Jiangxia Sewage Treatment Plant and the supporting pipeline network are in normal operation. The sewage treatment capacity has reached 130,000 tons per day, and the sewage is discharged to the Yangtze River through the transfer pipeline.

On September 9th, the Zhifang Sewage Treatment Plant was shut down, and in accordance with the termination agreement, it is preparing to go through the asset inventory and transfer procedures.

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01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19
Africa


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

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Currency Markets At A Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1703

Dollar Index 94.058

Japan Yen 105.56

Swiss Franc 0.9187

Pound 1.2820

Aussie 0.7123

India Rupee 74.83

South Korea Won 1197.28

Brazil Real 5.2332

Egypt Pound 16.0087

South Africa Rand 16.579

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GOLDMAN: The dollar’s decline “ranks in the 2nd historical percentile of 2-month moves since 1973” & remains “overvalued.” @carlquintanilla
World Currencies

It is also “negatively correlated with the health of the global economy, which continues to improve much more rapidly outside of the [US] than domestically.”

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Electric Crypto Balkan Acid Test @thebafflermag @alexander_clapp
World Currencies



IN EARLY 2018, millions of digital clocks across Europe began falling behind time. Few took notice at first as slight disruptions in the power supply caused bedside alarms and oven timers running on the frequency of electric current to begin lagging. 

Three minutes were lost in January, three more in February. In March, the Brussels-based European Network of Transmission System Operators of Electricity issued an apology. 

Whoever was causing the unprecedented power shortages “must cease”—but, until they did, the thirty-six nations plugged into Europe’s common electric grid were tasked with ratcheting up their voltage frequencies to speed the continent’s clocks back up.

European authorities soon traced the power fluctuations to North Kosovo, a region commonly described as one of Europe’s last ganglands

Since 2015, its major city, Mitrovica, has been under the control of Srpska Lista, a mafia masquerading as a political party. Around the time Srpska came to power, North Kosovo’s electricity consumption surged

Officials at the Kosovo Electricity Supply Company in Prishtina, Kosovo’s capital city, told me that the region now requires 20 percent more power than it did five years ago. 

Eventually, it became clear why: across the region, from the shabby apartment blocks of Mitrovica to the cellars of mountain villages, Bitcoin and Ethereum rigs were humming away, fueling a shadow economy of cryptocurrency manufacturing.

Elsewhere in Europe such operations could hardly be profitable; the cost of electricity is prohibitive. In North Kosovo, though, cryptomining is about as close to printing free money as one can get

The region is an anomaly—not just within the country, but across almost all of Europe—for the fact that it doesn’t charge its residents for their electricity. 

In a strange twist of fate, locals pay for almost none of their public services. The Serbian government, insisting on maintaining some degree of control over North Kosovo, covers its pensions system and creaking health care, not to mention water and much of its garbage collection services. 

As for electricity, that is covered by Kosovo, which is dominated by ethnic Albanians but is inclined to act like it cares for the ethnic Serbs concentrated north of its Ibar River.

When the crypto harvest began in North Kosovo, its beneficiaries were strictly the Kosovar Serbs


When the crypto harvest began in North Kosovo, its beneficiaries were strictly the Kosovar Serbs

For a population struggling with mass unemployment and wages averaging four hundred euros a month, it proved to be a relatively effortless source of income. 

Some of the operations are quite sophisticated: last May in Mitrovica, I met a high school mathematics teacher who had outfitted the basement of a bistro with two hundred rigs along with a bespoke cooling system—all together costing one hundred thousand euros and at one point kicking back the equivalent of five hundred euros a day

Others are more improvised: in the border town of Zubin Potok, a group of pensioners told me they had pitched together three thousand euros for a rig that, at the time, returned the investment within half a year. 

Many crypto entrepreneurs are, unsurprisingly, teenagers, who have little else to do; youth unemployment in North Kosovo surpasses 50 percent.

But Albanian politicians in Prishtina soon caught on to North Kosovo’s crypto hustle. And for all their putative hatred of their Slavic counterparts, few could resist such an opportunity

By late 2016, these politicians—some of whom had led guerrilla units against the Serbs two decades earlier—had gotten into the mining business, too, pitching hundreds of cryptocurrency rigs north of the Ibar River and cashing in at the expense of the very taxpayers they incite against the lawless and freeriding north at every election. 

Today, over two-thirds of the currency farms north of the Ibar are Albanian-owned, or so I’m told by Veton Brahimi, an entrepreneur who opened one of Kosovo’s first Bitcoin ATMs in Prishtina. 

After decades of conflict, which has twice bordered on ethnic cleansing, all it’s taken for Serb and Albanian politicians to finally put aside their ancient resentments is the prospect of getting rich.

The irony of North Kosovo being reduced to a cryptoquarry is that for millennia it was renowned across Europe for actual mining


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27-JAN-2020 :: “But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola.''
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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A state of disconnect @Africa_Conf
Africa


The message from African finance ministers is that while the overall picture facing the continent is bleak in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many economies are resilient enough to ride out the storm. 

The expansive optimism of East African finance ministers as they unveiled their budgets for 2020/21 has been repeated across much of the continent (AC Vol 61 No 13, Rose-tinted budgets).

That is hard to square with the warnings from markets, grim economic forecasts and the lack of urgency at international level to provide adequate debt relief or emergency funding. 

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank forecast recessions of minus 2.8% and 3.2% respectively in sub-Saharan Africa (AC Vol 61 No 14, Doubts over post-slump bounce). 

Yet few in government, business or the international system show signs of preparing for an  approaching tsunami.

That means no new initiatives until the autumn meetings of the Fund and World Bank.
More sobering messages come from credit rating agencies, which are warning that negotiating and restructuring sovereign debt will be classified as a default. 

They reckon that at least a handful of African states are likely to default within the next 12 months.

Fitch expects average budget deficits in Africa to reach 7.4% in 2020, from 4.9% in 2019. 

The result, combined with currency depreciation, will mean a 14% average increase in debt-to-GDP ratios this year which will, in turn, undermine creditworthiness in the absence of special arrangements. 

Debt-to-GDP ratios of 70% are likely to become 'the new normal' among African countries, say analysts, and sub-Saharan African government debt burdens are escalating at a faster pace than anywhere else in emerging markets.

Fitch has downgraded seven of the 19 rated SSA sovereigns since March, and adds that four sovereigns in the region have 'Negative Outlooks' on their rating, which is unusually high.

Kenyan finance minister Ukur Yatani has already said his country would not seek a suspension of debt payments because the terms of the deal were too restrictive, and that debt relief could hurt his country's credit rating. 

Nigeria and Togo have also indicated that they will not use the DSSI.

This feeds into a lively debate about the risks and rewards of African borrowers restructuring debt. 

Bankers argue that longer-term arrangements could undermine market access for African governments and companies and will hold back the development of capital markets there.

Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire are still planning to issue Eurobonds before the end of 2020.

The IMF's emergency funding mechanism will not come close to plugging the gap. However, the funds required by African countries are, in relative terms, small. 

Compared to other regions, the stimulus measures made by sub-Saharan African governments are, at 3.4% of GDP on average, easily the lowest in the world. 

In comparison, Latin American states have spent just under 6% of GDP on stimulus budgets to counter the pandemic.

Without debt relief, or budgetary austerity (and the latter appears to have been ruled out partly because of the damage it will do to private businesses), bankers warn that countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sudan will face deeper debt repayment problems.

Adam Wolfe of Absolute Strategy Research, reckons that Egypt, Zambia and Ghana are most vulnerable to debt distress, while large economies such as South Africa and Nigeria also face elevated levels of risk.

While Nigeria is among several sovereigns to have shied away from issuing new Eurobonds this year after seeing a spike in interest rates, those that do go to market later this year might be timing it well. 

With budget deficits set to widen dramatically, and little sign from African treasuries that tax rises and spending cuts will be made to rein them in, the bond market is unlikely to be any more generous in a year or 18 months.

More likely is that without a 'V-shaped' recovery – which looks increasingly unlikely – many countries' public finances will be looking over the edge of the precipice in a year's time. 

In the meantime, the disconnect between hard economic data and ministerial rhetoric is getting wider.

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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 #COVID19 UPDATE 26 July @rid1tweets
Africa


• 11,233 new cases. Daily doubling rate = 27 days 

• 42,966 tests conducted. Positivity rate = 26.1% 

• 114 more deaths today 

• 2,023 additional recoveries

• Active cases = 173,587 

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

There was a lot of FOX News level, mathematically illiterate magical thinking about Africa and how it was going to dodge a ‘’Silver Bullet’’

That thinking is now debunked. Africa is playing ''Whack a Mole'' with a blindfold on

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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 - Madagascar drug treats cough not COVID-19 @APO_source
Africa


ABUJA, Nigeria, July 25, 2020/APO Group/ -- The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire has disclosed that the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development {NIPRD) has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics from Madagascar.  

“The initial report had showed that its main ingredient is the same as Artemisia anua, while the preparation at high dose showed activity in reducing the frequency of cough, it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against COVID-19. However, we shall continue to support all genuine efforts towards finding local COVID 19 cures''

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Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah which sought to explain the intrinsic relationship between political leadership and the management of pandemics in the pre-colonial period.
Africa


States with such rulers can get “seized by senility and the chronic disease from which [they] can hardly ever rid [themselves], for which [they] can find no cure”


Angela Merkel: “You cannot fight the pandemic with lies and disinformation...the limits of Populism are being laid bare.” Angela Merkel

The Correlation between the Case Load and Populism has a stupendously high correlation coefficient.


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Welcome to the Angola Economic and Political Risk Briefing, Issue 15 @ZitamarNews @Markbohlund
Africa

 


Angola has performed well on these measures, with its foreign reserves standing at $10.3bn in May, above the IMF’s indicative target. 

It has performed less well in the structural benchmarks regarding the banking sector, including corruption allegations at BFA bank (see Angola Economic Briefing – 17 July), and the central bank breaching the new Central Bank Act in its liquidity support for BPC and BANC banks (see Angola Economic Briefing – 5 June). 

The choice of increasing the existing EFF rather than adding a Rapid Financing Instrument program, which involves less conditionality, indicates that the IMF wishes to keep the Angolan authorities under close surveillance for it to maintain its financial support. 

See the following story for our view on potential IMF disbursements to Angola in the second half of the year.

This would be worth around $2.64bn according to our calculations, and we expect Angola could draw down as much as $2bn during Q3, given that it is one of the hardest hit African economies by the fall in the oil price and covid-19 prevention measures. 

One hurdle to increased IMF disbursements, however, is likely to be the need for temporary debt-service relief from China.

We believe the position of the US, the biggest shareholder of the IMF with an effective veto, on the need to include loans from the China Development Bank in the DSSI is very close to that expressed by World Bank President David Malpass over the weekend


Attorney General seizes three buildings in Sonangol bust (Jornal de Angola).This could be a first indication that President Lourenço is now considering moving against the previously untouchable trio of General Dino, Manuel Vicente and General Kopelipa, which would have wide-reaching implications for the Angolan business world. 


 

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These are hardly the best of times. In fact, they may very well be the worst @washingtonpost @gathara via @joan_rollins
Kenyan Economy



Kenya looked to be off the blocks early. But was it too early?

The lockdown was instituted as coronavirus numbers were in the single digits, and for a time, it seemed to be working. 

Predictions of 10,000 infections by the end of April turned out to be overblown, with the government claiming credit for preventing them. 

But with weeks of economic standstill taking a toll and as even wealthier residents began to hawk vegetables by the roadside, it was clear that the economy had to be reopened

The government begun a phased reopening in the final week of April, but by then, there were already indications that infections were ticking up.



On July 6, Kenyatta scrapped internal travel restrictions and announced that international flights would resume starting Aug. 1. 

Less than a week later, infections had crossed the 10,000 mark and in another two weeks stood at just over 15,000. 

These numbers may not be large when compared to the situation in countries such as the United States, but the rate at which they are increasing cause for concern. 

It took the country 15 weeks to register its first 5,000 cases. It has taken just another four weeks since to get to 15,000 — and many experts believe Kenya is undercounting cases because the number of tests carried out is still woefully low.

As its strategy appears to be falling apart — with hospitals beds reportedly full and patients being turned away; badly needed medical equipment such as ventilators going missing, just as tales of intensive-care beds being installed in governors’ mansions emerge; and cash meant to cushion the economy against coronavirus-related shocks reportedly being stashed away in private accounts — the government’s priority has apparently been to cover itself.

“Personal Responsibility” is the mantra that has been taken up by public officials from the president down. 

It places the burden of responsibility for the disease on the public and not the state. 

Throughout the crisis, the government has sought to paint Kenyans as the villains, blaming the rise in infections on their “indiscipline.” 

Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that the guidelines issued by authorities often took little account of Kenyans’ actual circumstances. 

Further, the brutality with which they were enforced and the terrible conditions those taken into mandatory quarantine had to endure did little to reassure them that the state was sincere. 

Reports of missing health equipment and recovery funds have done little to bridge the credibility gap.



So what happens now? The country feels as though it is standing on the edge of a cataclysm and yet, at this crucial moment, the government is conspicuous by its absence

The last plan to be made public covered February to April and was seemingly abandoned after the country’s first case was registered in March.

That plan articulated a worst-case scenario that sounds pretty much like what is happening today, with unexplained respiratory illnesses, high person-to-person transmission and an overwhelmed health-care system

It goes on to recommend that in such a scenario, the president would declare a national disaster. That is yet to happen.

More people are speaking of the government abandoning Kenyans at their hour of greatest need, and it is breeding a dangerous fatalism. 

“Where will I get time to sanitise a client? At whose expense? How can I keep social distance? I will die of hunger if I remain at home. If coronavirus will kill me as I eke out a living, so be it!” a commercial sex worker told the Daily Nation.


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Kenya 364 Day T-Bill Chart via @TheAbojani
Africa

•364 Day Treasury bills weighted average interest rate stands at 7.46%pa  vs 9.1% pa  in June,2020

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