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Thursday 04th of February 2021
 
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Africa




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04-JAN-2021 :: What Will Happen In 2021
World Of Finance



My Top Trades are Gold and Silver. I expect Gold to top $2,500 this year and Silver to reach $50.00

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[Putin is losing control of the Narrative] 22-JUN-2020 :: Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World
Law & Politics




Putin's system was also ripe for export, Mr Surkov added. Foreign governments were already paying close attention, since the Russian "political algorithm" had long predicted the volatility now seen in western democracies.

"It was the first non-linear war," writes Surkov in a new short story, "Without Sky," published under his pseudonym and set in a dystopian future after the "fifth world war"



Conclusions

the Russian "political algorithm" [is scrambled]


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The Country Where Covid-19 is Becoming Covid-21 @umairh
Misc.



This country that I’m talking about has already bred its own mutant strain of Covid

Now, though, in this country, mutant strains from around the world appear to be merging and converging.  This country’s existing mutant strain itself seems to be acquiring mutations from other mutant strains from other countries. 

It has developed a particularly troublesome and dangerous mutation that lets the virus’s spike protein hook into and attach itself much more strongly and stickily to cells that it infects. And so this mutation is vaccine resistant.

In the country I’m talking about, Covid-21 is now developing. Mutant strains from around the world are merging there, swapping mutations, or pushing one another to evolve faster and faster, in a kind of genetic arms race of lethality. 

Those mutant strains are converging — to form one that’s a) more infectious b) more deadly and c) vaccine resistant.That’s Covid-21.

In Britain, the British Strain appears to merging with the South African and Brazilian Strains. Does that sound a little terrifying? It should.

Because if it’s unleashed, will cause utter havoc for who knows how long. It will have added a pandemic to a pandemic. 

We haven’t even vaccinated the world against Covid-19 yet. So what happens now that Britain’s breeding Covid-21?

When Covid hit, it’s government trumpeted “herd immunity” in the absence of a vaccine — a recipe for mass death — and then quickly backtracked, and did…a whole lot of nothing. 

Translation: Britain now has merging mutant strains of Covid, which are already on the way to becoming Covid 21. 

That’d be worrying enough, but it also has an inept, unscientific, politically compromised half-way vaccination program that’s literally the perfect petri dish for fuelling an evolutionary arms race: one that doesn’t wipe viruses out, but just causes them to become resistant at light speed. 

Bang! This is literally the worst case scenario for human beings — and the best case scenario for a virus.

The British government is gambling desperately, foolishly, incredibly dangerously, with the lives of its people. 

They are currently guinea pigs in the world’s largest and most dangerous social experiment.

 You’d think that might have provoked some level of backlash — do you want your life to be gambled with? 

Instead, the British government enjoys fairly stable approval ratings. All of that tells us two things. 

One, the British government is either malicious, incompetent, or foolish, more so than any other in the world. Two, British people are really, really horrifically dumb.

But the stakes here are not about Britain. It’s now a virtual certainty that variants fuelling the evolutionary push toward Covid-21 infect the whole country, because it’s simply too late. 

The British Strain is the dominant one in most parts of the country, obviously — and the South African and Brazilian Strains are now spreading in clusters, all of which, even more obviously, is how these strains are merging. The stakes here are about the world.

The world is shattering under the strain of Covid-19. Debt loads are being pushed to massive levels. Societies like America have been ripped apart. The poor world has no realistic way of getting vaccines yet. The rich world is bickering over them. What do you think a new strain of Covid is going to do?

Can the world survive another year, two, three in lockdown? Can the economy’s shuttered shops? Culture’s empty theatres and clubs? Society’s distanced norms of isolation? Can you?

I doubt it. And I think the world knows it, because nobody is as incredibly stupid as Britain right now on the face of planet Earth. 

I think when — not if, but when — Britain breeds Covid-21, the world will have to quarantine it hard, making sure not a single person is allowed to enter. 

And in Britain, a failed vaccination program will mean that Covid goes thermonuclear.

Covid-21 is the biggest short term risk to our civilisation. I wish I could say: we didn’t have to worry about it. But we do.

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19-OCT-2020 :: Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
World Of Finance



"What is your general approach, in view of the mounting chaos in the country at the moment?" and replied:

Well, that's a judgment that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.

The next day's edition of The Sun headlined its story "Crisis? What crisis?"

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The 3 major variants, updated: @EricTopol
Misc.



—Green= mutations shared between them

—A variant that combines B.1.1.7 plus E484K has been detected in the UK (@CovidGenomicsUK) 

—The drop in efficacy for vaccines (B.1.351>>B.1.1.7) to date has not been seen for hospitalizations or deaths

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The variant in Brazil, known as the P.1 (or B.1.1.248) lineage, has a potent combination of mutations. @TheAtlantic
Misc.



Not only does this variant seem to be more transmissible; its lineage carries mutations that help it escape the antibodies that we develop in response to older lineages of the coronavirus. 

That is, it at least has a capacity to infect people who have already recovered from COVID-19, even if their defenses protect them against other versions of the virus. 

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies



Euro 1.2008

Dollar Index 91.318

Japan Yen 105.22

Swiss Franc 0.9006

Pound 1.3586

Aussie 0.7629

India Rupee 72.9055

South Korea Won 1117.625

Brazil Real 5.3539

Egypt Pound 15.71

South Africa Rand 14.9955

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Critical point for $GOLD. $1820-$1830 has been support for weeks, during which its done nothing but bounced and returned. @AdamMancini4
Africa


It needs to move now & recapture the 200dma at $1853 which starts the rally to $1890 then $1940. If it loses this area it likely needs another low to $1760

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United Arab Emirates record 3,977 #COVID19 cases yesterday even with 34 vaccination doses admistered per 100 people. @jmlukens
Emerging Markets



Countries w/ new record COVID-19 cases yesterday

#UAE: 3,977

#Honduras: 2,152

#Albania: 1,007

#Benin: 226

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Picking Winners in the Riskiest Bond Markets Just Got Harder @markets
Emerging Markets




Discerning investors could eke more gains out of developing-nation bonds, but the bulk of the rally in the riskiest corners of the market may have passed.

The gap between spreads on emerging-market high-yield debt and global peers has narrowed from a record 470 basis points in May to 124 basis points, close to the 10-year average of 94. 

Developing-nation high-yield bonds lost 1% in January, halting a two-month rally that handed investors returns of more than 8%.

Morgan Stanley prefers BB rated and stronger single-B bonds, urging investors to differentiate between credits by assessing borrowers’ external funding vulnerabilities and prospects for reforms as the coronavirus pandemic pressures economies. 

With oil prices rebounding, Fidelity International favors energy-linked borrowers such as Oman and Mexican oil producer Pemex.


“There is some value in selective BB rated names in emerging markets, but most of the spread compression and total return gains have already come and gone,” said Paul Greer, a London-based money manager at Fidelity International, whose debt fund outperformed 90% of peers in the past three years.


“We have much less conviction on B or CCC-rated emerging-market credits with elevated cash prices,” he said. 

These include Costa Rica, El Salvador and Angola, which were among the biggest gainers in January.

There are other signs that the rally has matured. High-yield bonds in emerging markets have become the least remunerative to investors, and the riskiest, since May 2013, based on the option-adjusted duration on the Bloomberg Barclays gauge for the debt. 

This measure of sensitivity to interest-rate changes has risen to 5.65%.

The last time it was that high, eight years ago, the index’s yield rose 3 percentage points in as many months. 

The yield itself has fallen to its 2018 low, evoking memories of the sell-off fueled by the U.S.-China trade war.

A surge in U.S. yields will probably cause sentiment toward riskier assets to sour. 

While that is likely to happen in the event that the Federal Reserve pulls back its asset purchases or there’s a faster-than-expected rise in inflation, that’s at least “several quarters away,” said Bryan Carter, global head of emerging-market debt at HSBC Global Asset Management in London.



“Although high-yield credit spreads are back to historical average levels, having recovered from the Covid-19 crisis panic period, we see room for spreads to enter a euphoric zone based on a Goldilocks combination of economic growth rebound, easy monetary policy and another fiscal stimulus from Congress,” Carter said. 

“This could last several months or quarters.”

Even then, the manager prefers credits from Africa and in the Middle East that have been “mispriced” by expectations of new supply or the lack of recent market access, while avoiding sovereigns with debt-sustainability issues or untenable debt service levels.

A tidal wave of monetary support and optimism that coronavirus vaccine rollouts will sustain a global economic recovery, amid more than $16 trillion of negative-yielding debt worldwide, have emboldened investors to hunt for returns in riskier assets. 

That enabled junk-rated sovereigns, including Turkey, Oman and Benin, to cushion the blow to their budgets from the pandemic by selling bonds last month that yield as high as 7.25%.

“That’s been giving investors comfort that the market is open and there’s time for countries to appropriately adjust policy,” said Michael Cirami, a Boston-based money manager at Eaton Vance Corp., which oversees $583 billion. 

But “there’s always a concern about a liquidity event turning into a solvency event,” he said.

Still, the riskiest of the risky has struggled to borrow. Laos, which was downgraded to CCC by Fitch Ratings in September, has yet to pull off a deal after last month reviving a bond offering that it had postponed in December.

“There’s still room to go in the high-yield space but it’s really dependent by country,” said Cirami. 

He’s sticking with Egypt, which has enacted sweeping reforms since 2016 and whose bond due 2050 offers “reasonably good compensation” with a spread of about 650 basis points over Treasuries.


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CoViD19-ΛFЯICΛ: Update: Feb 3, 2021 - Confirmed: 3 595 023 (+ 14437) Actives: 401 567 (-10657) @NCoVAfrica
Africa



Confirmed: 3 595 023 (+ 14437)

Actives: 401 567 (-10657)

Deaths: 92 374 (+ 876)

Recoveries: 3 098 609 (+ 24218)

Update: Feb 3, 2021 - 09:45 am

Conclusions

Actives 22.75% below record high Print in January 2021 

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Malawi has seen its number of confirmed cases of the disease go above 23,000, including a total of 702 deaths as of Monday, according to Dr. John Phuka, co-chair of the presidential task force on COVID-19 @AP
Africa



The numbers appear relatively small in a country of 18 million, but the 14,000 active cases are many times more than the number of established hospital beds. 

Officials are setting up makeshift facilities to increase the number of treatment units from 400 to at least 1,500, sometimes erecting tents on the lawns of hospitals.

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




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





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



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Conflict levels in 2020 slightly decreased from 2019 in all regions except Africa. @ACLEDINFO
Africa



Because the pandemic is a unique development, we expect global conflict levels, loca- tions, and agents to increase significantly in 2021 — ultimately to a higher point than both 2019 and 2020.

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Turning to Africa the Spinning Top
Africa





Democracy from Tanzania to Zimbabwe to Cameroon has been shredded.

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator
Africa



Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: “After the Arab Spring, this is the Black Spring”.We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000?

This is another point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.

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Ethiopia: At risk of multiplying conflicts stretching the capacity of the state @ACLEDINFO
Africa



With national elections scheduled for 5 June 2021, and the country gripped by several co-occurring conflicts, Ethiopia is headed towards a tumultuous year.


In addition to a costly occupation and the task of re- placing the political leadership of the Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration faces the daunting task of establishing security in many areas of the country

The many conflicts across the state are less acknowledged in the international media, but each of these threats are associated with dire outcomes, including thousands of deaths, millions of displacements, and variable levels of disruptions to economic and political development. 

Economically, investment has slowed as the future of the country is uncertain and large-scale farms and development projects have been the subjects of attacks by rioting groups.


Several conflicts are simultaneously occurring in Konso, West and Kelem Wollega, Gujji, Tigray, and the Oromo/Somali border area. 

All have resulted in the death of hundreds and the displacement of millions. 

Recent violence in the Sudan border region adds to the list (BBC, 3 January 2021). 

The common thread linking these conflicts are the ‘administrative contests’ that have emerged as groups driven by ethno-regional nationalism seek formal recognition, authority, and territory. 


The Amhara political elites have sought to extract significant concessions for their actions in Tigray and for their ongoing support for Abiy. 



The deployment of federal forces into the regions of Ethiopia is a costly intervention. 

Each operation both strengthens and weakens the government’s hand: by gaining the control of territory and overtaking the political structure, concessions are made to those agents who will hold the areas for the government and in line with central directives. 

These decisions, and the overall costs of securing territory, are long-term transactions by the government that trade some risks (e.g. direct violence) for others (e.g. the rise of local subnational autocrats and associated violence).

 Although Abiy initially rode a wave of Oromo mobilization into office, his popularity has plummeted following the arrest of several popular Oromo opposition leaders and a series of violent incidents in 2019 that left the Oromia region engulfed in unrest (Al Jazeera, 19 September 2019). 

Even more seriously, splinter factions of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) are actively engaged in an insurgency across remote areas of the Oromia region, launching violent operations against local government representatives and federal troops.

Ethiopia’s position as a linchpin for security in the region means that violence occurring in the state will have consequences beyond domestic implications, affecting policy and conflicts across the Horn of Africa.


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@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.
Africa



Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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The fugitive leader of Ethiopia’s defiant Tigray region on Monday called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops
Africa


The fight is about self-determination of the region of around 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it “will continue until the invaders are out.” 

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Analysis: Abiy’s crown cracks ahead of Ethiopia election @AfricanBizMag
Africa




As those tensions risk fuelling a protracted guerrilla war in the north, Abiy could face significant challenges ahead of his June re-election bid. 

“I don’t think he’s the person who can deliver that development. I don’t think the regions want him to deliver or have the faith in him to deliver it,” says Aly Khan Satchu, CEO of Investment Advisory firm Rich Management.

With ‘the genie out of the bottle’, Abiy is fast losing ground ahead of the poll, says Satchu. 

“Everybody else is going to start wanting more freedom within the constitution. It’s impossible for the state to manage a guerrilla war up there and at the same time manage to control the rest of the country. If he put more resources into Tigray he’s going to lose more control of the other regions.

“There’s no hope for him. If he has a fair election he will lose full stop.


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Mozambique: No end in sight for the Cabo Delgado insurgency @ACLEDINFO
Africa




In Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, an increasingly sophisticated Islamist insurgency, growing numbers of IDPs, and outbreaks of cholera as well as COVID-19 have combined to expose the government’s capacity constraints in effectively countering worsening insecurity. 

These constraints, along with insurgent incursions into neighboring Tanzania, are pushing the Cabo Delgado conflict into an increasingly internationalized theater.

Though the insurgents are predominantly comprised of local youth, an extremist Islamist narrative has resulted in cross pollination with Tanzanian extremists (The East African, 11 Au- gust 2018), and exposure to Somali and Congolese jihadi influences, including the Ugandan and Congolese rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (Mail & Guardian, 4 May 2020).

During 2020, ACLED records more than 1,600 fatalities in the province, more than three times the number of fatalities reported in 2019. 

Insurgents also demonstrated an ability to operate across a large expanse of territory throughout the province, establishing an operational presence across 11 districts, from the northern district of Nangade to Ancuabe district in the south. 

Militant operations have threatened critical infrastructure and undermined Mozambican territorial control.

In December, attacks were launched near Mute in Palma district, forcing Total to close its flagship liqui- fied natural gas (LNG) project.


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The Sahel: Insurgency and fragile politics at the center of an unabated crisis @ACLEDINFO
Africa



As the Sahel crisis nears a decade, numbers of events and fatalities from armed, organized acts of political violence in 2020 surpassed 2019’s full totals in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. 

This escalating trend continued for the fifth consecutive year.

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Zambian Currency’s 42-Day Losing Streak Not About to End @markets.
Africa



The Zambian kwacha’s 42-day record losing streak against the dollar is set to continue until the government deals with its $12 billion of external debt, despite official attempts to support the beleaguered currency, according to StoneX Group Inc.

A copper price that has climbed to almost eight-year highs has failed to stem the tide after Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal became the continent’s first pandemic-era default. 

It failed to make a $42.5 million payment on a $1 billion Eurobond in November, and the government stopped servicing most external commercial debt.

“In an attempt to reduce the volatility and devaluation seen during large parts of 2020, the Bank of Zambia has introduced some curbs on local foreign-exchange pricing which has helped to stem excessive volatility,” David Willacy, a senior foreign-exchange trader at StoneX Group Inc. in London, said in an emailed response to questions. 

“It is likely the kwacha will continue to depreciate in the absence of any new large dollar inflows, or debt agreements from the government.”

The currency has weakened 9% against the dollar since September, but its depreciation has been more gradual this year after the government introduced regulations limiting dollar pricing variance for banks.

The Bank of Zambia has much greater control of the foreign-exchange market after legislation was introduced requiring mining companies, which account for more than 70% of export earnings, to pay taxes and royalties in dollars directly to the central bank.

Still, foreign exchange reserves have continued to slide and reached a near-record low of $1.28 billion by the end of October, according to the latest data from the central bank. 

Continued kwacha weakness will place further pressure on inflation that’s already breached 20%, and on the nation’s debt metrics.

The country is scheduled for talks with the International Monetary Fund from Feb. 11 to March 3, and an agreement is crucial as holders of $3 billion in Eurobonds have demanded a deal with the Washington-based lender as a condition for agreeing to a restructuring of the debt. 

That’s unlikely to happen before elections scheduled for August.

The Bank of Zambia will continue to use all monetary and foreign-exchange intervention options to manage the volatility of the kwacha, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu told lawmakers Tuesday in Lusaka, the capital. 

It’s also working with commercial lenders to increase liquidity in the foreign-exchange market, and changed rules to avoid volatility fueled by speculation, he said.

The central bank declined to comment.

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Burkina Faso's tourism sector faces hardship with cancellation of @fespacoofficiel @RFI
Africa




Burkina Faso’s hospitality sector is holding its breath after the cancellation of international events due to the coronavirus pandemic, signalling a significant loss of revenue for businesses in Ouagadougou. 

Fespaco, the annual pan-African festival for cinema and television, was the latest event to be postponed this week over concerns about Covid-19. 

Burkina Faso’s hotel and tourism sector has been hit hard by the economic slowdown due to restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. 

Hotel owners and restaurant managers were counting on international events to help keep them afloat and are calling on government support to help save their businesses. 

“The sector isn’t doing well and tourists haven’t been coming for over a year now. These events were a source of revenues,” Célestin Zoungrana, president of the Professional Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs, told correspondent Boudani. 

The cancellation of high-profile international exhibitions, a major source of revenue for the country, has forced businesses to seek assistance. 

Zoungrana urged the authorities to review the situation with business taxes and try to provide some kind of financial relief to companies facing challenging conditions. 

An inter-ministerial commission has evaluated the impact on the hotel and tourism sector, but with the cancellation of Fespaco, the authorities must revisit this and make necessary adjustments, according to Zoungrana. 

Fespaco is Africa’s largest film festival and celebrated its 50th birthday in 2019. It attracts some 100,000 people each year, who see some 450 screenings. 


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Positivity rate creeping up this week and today’s aggregated data from MOH stands at 4.8% @DrAhmedKalebi
Africa



We have seen a rise in positive cases from hospital samples referred to @LancetKenya_PLK This is very worrying.

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TheNortherner @alaminkimathi Muigai is either a genius or a darn lucky one. Look what he has got out of a mere handshake!
Africa



- He not only shut up his greatest critic, he got him to become his biggest sychophant. 



Conclusions



A Political Wizard 

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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February 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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