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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 07th of April 2021

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Old Town, Nice @CNTraveler

Nice’s colorful Vieille Ville, or Old Town, is a delightful maze of narrow streets full of lively restaurants, galleries, and shops. 

There are cafés dotted all around the Old Town's many squares, so take the opportunity to sit down, coffee in hand, and people-watch the day away. 

For a more active visit, spend some time strolling along the near-mile Promenade du Paillon, the city's public park and botanical garden that links the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (also worth visiting) and the Promenade des Anglais.

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Grasse is a quiet, pretty medieval village that also holds the distinction of being the world’s perfume capital. @CNTraveler

While famous perfumeries like Fragonard offer free tours of their factories, the real reason to come here is to take in the near-endless fields of lavender that dominate the area’s hilly landscape. 

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06-JAN-2020 :: a major escalation in the “shadow war”.
Law & Politics

“This is an aggressive show of force and an outright provocation that could trigger another Middle East war.”

“This is how U.S.-Iran tit-for-tat spirals out of control. Iran’s response will be severe and deadly. And certainly may include escalating attacks on energy infrastructure.”

Later, Suleimani and the group stand on the banks of a creek, where he reads aloud the names of fallen Iranian soldiers, his voice trembling with emotion. 

During a break, he speaks with an inter- viewer and describes the fighting in near-mystical terms. “The battlefield is mankind’s lost paradise—the paradise in which morality and human conduct are at their highest,” he says.

“One type of paradise that men imagine is about streams, beautiful maidens, and lush landscape. But there is another kind of paradise—the battlefield.

”The front, he said, was “the lost paradise of the human beings.”

The supreme leader, who usually reserves his highest praise for fallen soldiers, has referred to Suleimani as “a living martyr of the revolution.” “In the end, he drank the sweet syrup of martyrdom.”-

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28-MAR-2021 :: Just a reminder that this pandemic, far from being over, is gathering steam once again globally with cases going up across the world. @kakape

The Virus remains an exogenous uncertainty  that is still not resolved though all the virologists who have metastasized into vaccinologists will have you believe its all sunlit uplands from here.

Glorious sunrise at the Borana conservancy @nickdimbleby @JamboMagazine

Lets start with headline numbers. 

Just a reminder that this pandemic, far from being over, is gathering steam once again globally with cases going up across the world. @kakape 

You can see infection numbers have been rising since early February.

Wave 3 - We are once again entering an exponential escape velocity Phase #COVID19

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Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 6 April 2021 @WHO

Globally, new COVID-19 cases rose for a sixth consecutive week, with over 4 million new cases reported in the last week. 

The number of new deaths also increased by 11% compared to last week, with over 71 000 new deaths reported.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from India (513 885 new cases; 38% increase), 

Brazil (505 668 new cases; 5% decrease), 

United States of America (444 756 new cases; 5% increase), 

Turkey (265 937 new cases; 43% increase), 

France (244 607 new cases; 4% decrease)

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P.1 variant, which packs a suite of mutations that make it more transmissible is no longer just Brazil’s problem. It’s South America’s problem — and the world’s. @washingtonpost

“It’s spreading,” said Julio Castro, a Venezuelan infectious-disease expert. “It’s impossible to stop.”

In Lima, scientists have detected the variant in 40 percent of coronavirus cases. In Uruguay, it’s been found in 30 percent. In Paraguay, officials say half of cases at the border with Brazil are P.1. 

Other South American countries — Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile — have discovered it in their territories. 

Limitations in genomic sequencing have made it difficult to know the true breadth of the variant’s spread, but it has been identified in more than two dozen countries, from Japan to the United States.

“We share 1,000 kilometers of dry border with Brazil, the biggest factory of variants in the world and the epicenter of the crisis,” said Gonzalo Moratorio, a Uruguayan molecular virologist tracking the variant’s growth. “And now it’s not just one country.”

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08-MAR-2021 My concern is that Brazil which was the epicenter of the Virus in May 2020 is once again a Precursor and a Harbinger

“I see a huge storm forming in Brazil.” Denise Garrett, vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington
"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett 

Exponential growth unlike any other that we have seen. Brazil is a global threat @bollemdbModel-based evaluation of transmissibility and reinfection for the P.1 variant of the SARS-CoV-2

The variant of concern (VOC) P.1 emerged in the Amazonas state (Brazil) and was sequenced for the first time on 6-Jan- 2021 by the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

It contains a constellation of mutations, ten of them in the spike protein.

The P.1 variant shares mutations such as E484K, K417T, and N501Y and a deletion in the orf1b protein (del11288-11296 (3675-3677 SGF)) with other VOCs previously detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa (B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351, respectively).

Prevalence of P.1 increased sharply from 0% in November 2020 to 73% in January 2021 and in less than 2 months replaced previous lineages (4).

The estimated relative transmissibility of P.1 is 2.5 (95% CI: 2.3-2.8) times higher than the infection rate of the wild variant, while the reinfection probability due to the new variant is 6.4% (95% CI: 5.7 - 7.1%).

If you have a "normal" pandemic that is fading, but "variants" that [are] surging, the combined total can look like a flat, manageable situation. @spignal

I expect P.1 Lineage to be dominant worldwide in 8-12 weeks notwithstanding the Focus on SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7
My Thesis is based on the ultra hyperconnectedness of the c21st World.

Therefore, I would be tempering my COVID19 optimism and holding my horses which introduces interesting dynamics into the markets.

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Covid nightmare: Vaccine panic as NEW Brazil variant 'alters itself to defeat antibodies'

Mutations at both the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and the amino (N)-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein can alter its antigenicity and promote immune escape. 

We identified that SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in Brazil with mutations of concern in the RBD independently acquired convergent deletions and insertions in the NTD of the S protein, which altered the NTD antigenic-supersite and other predicted epitopes at this region. 

These findings support that the ongoing widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil is generating new viral lineages that might be more resistant to neutralization than parental variants of concern.

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Executive Summary @IMFNews #WEO April 2021
World Of Finance

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the accumulating human toll continues to raise concerns, even as growing vaccine coverage lifts sentiment. High uncertainty surrounds the global economic outlook, primarily related to the path of the pandemic

Improved outlook: After an estimated contraction of –3.3 percent in 2020, the global economy is projected to grow at 6 percent in 2021, moderating to 4.4 percent in 2022. 

Divergent impacts: Output losses have been particularly large for countries that rely on tourism and commodity exports and for those with limited policy space to respond. 

High uncertainty surrounds the global outlook. Future developments will depend on the path of the health crisis, including whether the new COVID-19 strains prove susceptible to vaccines or they prolong the pandemic

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IMF World Economic Outlook: #WEO @PriapusIQ
World Of Finance

Global GDP growth forecasts upgraded for 2021 (+0.5ppts) and 2022 (+0.2ppts)

Advanced Economies forecasts upgraded for 2021 (+0.8ppts) and 2022 (+0.5ppts)

EM forecast upped for 2021 (+0.4ppts) and unch. for 2022

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@Nouriel Warns Higher U.S. Yields Will Bite in Era of Excess Risk @markets
World Of Finance

A fresh spike in Treasury yields will rattle markets and could send more family offices and hedge funds down a similar path to Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management, according to Nouriel Roubini

Roubini, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and a former adviser to the U.S. government, said the combination of low-to-negative rates across advanced economies and fiscal stimulus is leading investors to take excessive risk. 

He pointed to cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratios at highs seen in 1929 and the early 2000s as one sign of the recklessness.

“We’re seeing widespread frothiness, bubbles, risk-taking and leverage,” Roubini said on Bloomberg TV. 

“Lots of players have taken too much leverage and too much risk and some of them are going to blow up.”

The professor, who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” for his ominous prognostications about the economy and financial system, joins investors including Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Investments in warning that more Archegos-style meltdowns could be triggered. 

Roubini said one shock could come if 10-year U.S. Treasury yields climb higher than 2% this year. 

Other risks include the return of inflation and the prospect of a hot war between the U.S. and China, he said.

While a stronger dollar has led some hedge funds and other investors to capitulate on their bearish bets, the greenback will weaken over the medium term as twin deficits in the world’s largest economy widen, according to Roubini. 

Meantime, U.S. sanctions may lead countries like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea to diversify away from dollar assets.

“Even if in the short-term growth outcomes in the U.S. strengthen the dollar, the direction of the dollar is south over time,” he said.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1876

Dollar Index 92.38

Japan Yen 109.77

Swiss Franc 0.9299

Pound 1.3794

Aussie 0.7640

India Rupee 74.179

South Korea Won 1117.165

Brazil Real 5.5916

Egypt Pound 15.6999

South Africa Rand 14.5294

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IMF GDP Growth Forecasts 2021 #WEO @Rob_Kimbell

+8.7% Botswana

+7.6% Kenya

+6.6% Mauritius

+6.3% Uganda

+6.0% Gambia

+5.7% Rwanda

+4.6% Ghana

+3.4% Cameroon

+3.1% South Africa

+3.0% Sierra Leone

+2.7% Tanzania

+2.6% Namibia

+2.2% Malawi

+2.1% Mozambique

+1.8% Seychelles

+1.5% Nigeria

+0.6% Zambia

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Zimbabwe is one of the few countries where people got poorer in the last 4 decades. @MaxCRoser

On the left you see the decline in GDP per capita and on the right you how household incomes changed at the same time – the share of people who live in extreme poverty increased.

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WHO regional overviews African Region Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 6 April 2021 @WHO

The Region reported around 59 000 new cases and 1000 new deaths last week, a 6% and 20% decrease respectively compared to the previous week. 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

Ethiopia (14 517 new cases; 12.6 new cases per 100 000 population; a 10% increase)

Kenya (8747 new cases; 16.3 new cases per 100 000; a 5% decrease), 

South Africa (7035 new cases; 11.9 new cases per 100 000; an 8% decrease).

The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from South Africa (306 new deaths; 0.5 new deaths per 100 000 population; a 46% decrease) 

Ethiopia (152 new deaths; <0.1 new deaths per 100 000; a 11% increase),  

Kenya (102 new deaths; 0.2 new deaths per 100 000; a 13% decrease)

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Starving Tigray How Armed Conflict and Mass Atrocities Have Destroyed an Ethiopian Region’s Economy and Food System and Are Threatening Famine WPF

'They have destroyed Tigray, literally.’ Mulugeta Gebrehiwot speaking by phone from Tigray January 27, 2021

the sole reason for the scale of the humanitarian emergency is that the coalition of Ethiopian Federal forces, Amhara regional forces, and Eritrean troops are committing starvation crimes on large scale.

This report does not go into legal details, but we believe that accountability for mass starvation crimes should follow.

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@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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 metical has appreciated 14% against the dollar since the beginning of February, making it the world’s best performing currency in the period. @markets

A deadly raid by insurgents that stopped work at a gas project that Mozambique depends on for an economic revival has done little to derail a world-beating rally in the country’s currency.

The metical has appreciated 14% against the dollar since the beginning of February, making it the world’s best performing currency in the period

And its stellar run isn’t over yet, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s Johannesburg-based analysts Neville Mandimika and Daniel Kavishe.

“Given the excess dollar liquidity in the market, as aggregate mining activity gains traction, we expect the metical to strengthen,” they said in a note Tuesday. 

“We expect the central bank to allow for further build-up in dollar liquidity, which will see the currency strengthen even further, in order to counter the effects of import inflation.”

Total SE evacuated workers from its $20 billion liquefied natural-gas project in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province last month for the second time this year, following an attack on a nearby town that houses many contractors. 

The company hasn’t given a date by which it’ll resume work on the project, that was scheduled to start exporting the fuel in 2024.

Mozambique’s currency has appreciated even as its dollar bonds fell to the lowest since June, with yields spiking to 10.7%. 

The International Monetary Fund on Monday cut its economic-growth forecast for Mozambique to 1.6% this year, from 2.1% it had predicted in October.

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Contrary to some optimistic reports, Zambia is 'very far' from securing a bail-out deal from the @IMFNews banking and official sources have told @Africa_Conf

It is less than six weeks from the time when government effectively shuts down for campaigning for the general election on 12 August, making any breakthrough on Zambia's massive debt even less likely. 

At the same time, a new assessment by a leading bank of a higher than previously reported level of debt has been leaked to Africa Confidential.

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Kenya Airways announces it will suspend all flights to UK from 9 April citing directive from Kenya government. @RAbdiAnalyst
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services

Row triggered when UK put Kenya on its Covid-19 "Red List". Kenya retaliated with 14 day quarantine for UK nationals.

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

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