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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 11th of November 2021

[AND A REGIME CHANGE is coming ] There is no training – that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. @ptj_official

There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign.

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Black swan, golden sunrise @Astrid_Tontson
World Of Finance

For the denouement to happen we need to return to March 2020

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FairmontMtKenya in Nanyuki became a mecca for the international jet

It was William Holden [who was the best man at Ronald Reagan’s wedding to Nancy Davis] who founded the Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki in 1959.

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The Prix Goncourt – has been awarded to 31-year-old Mohamed Mbougar Sarr from Senegal. He’s the youngest winner since 1976 and jury made a unanimous decision calling his work a hymn to literature

The Most Secret Memory of Men plays with reality and fiction. It tells the story of a young Senegalese author, Diégane Latyr Faye, who lives in Paris. 

In high school in Senegal he had come across mentions of a mysterious novel published in 1938 by a Senegalese author called T.C. Elimane, The Labyrinth of the Inhuman. 

Unable to find a copy, he had put his quest aside, considering it to be one of the many lost books of literature. 

But, by chance a few years later, he meets a Senegalese writer, Siga D, who gives him a copy of the book. 

The reading (and numerous re-readings) of what he considers to be a masterpiece revives his desire to find out what happened to the mysterious T.C. Elimane.

The Most Secret Memory of Men is a novel about writing and literature. It is full of literary references – like to celebrated Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño and prolific Polish author Witold Gombrowicz. 

But it’s the obscure references that are probably the most interesting: the fictional T.C. Elimane’s book and his fate echoes that of real-life Malian author Yambo Ouologuem – who Mbougar Sarr’s own novel is dedicated to.

As much as it is about writing, The Most Secret Memory of Men is also about reading. 

The work is polyphonic (with many narrators besides Faye), it is transcultural (set in Europe, Africa and South America) and it mixes different literary genres (letters, articles, conversations), encouraging many different types of readings. 

Some may focus on the historical events depicted – the novel alludes to colonialism, the World Wars, Nazism and the Holocaust, the dictatorship in Argentina and recent Senegalese demonstrations against state corruption. 

Others may focus on the mysterious elements that recall some features of magical realism. Or on the literary references, both African and global, that punctuate the text. Or all of the above.

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China Is Evading U.S. Spies — and the @WhiteHouse Is Worried @business

A lack of top-tier intelligence on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inner circle is frustrating senior Biden administration officials struggling to get ahead of Beijing’s next steps, according to current and former officials who have reviewed the most sensitive U.S. intelligence reports.
Those officials, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive issues, say China is becoming a harder target, more opaque, just as the demand for insights into Xi’s decision-making is soaring and tensions with the U.S. are heating up over issues from Taiwan to high technology.

That reality comes after officials in both the Trump and Biden administrations said they were surprised by Beijing’s rapid moves to consolidate control of Hong Kong, project military power across the South China Sea, limit probes into the origins of Covid-19, undercut Chinese companies going public in the U.S. and ramp up hacking against adversaries.

The current and former officials emphasize that America’s spy agencies have long struggled to provide the insights policy makers demand on China. 

The hurdles facing the U.S. intelligence community are both deep-seated — Beijing did significant damage to American spy networks in China prior to Xi’s presidency — and basic, including a continuing shortage of Mandarin speakers. 

“Our human intelligence has been lagging for decades,” former National Security Advisor John Bolton said in an interview, when asked about China. 

“I never feel I have enough intelligence. I’m always willing to hear more. I’m never satisfied. No decision maker should be.” 

As the Biden administration seeks to shift more of its foreign policy strategy toward countering China, Central Intelligence Agency Director Bill Burns last month announced the creation of a China Mission Center to hone the agency’s focus on “an increasingly adversarial Chinese government.” 

Some of the people interviewed by Bloomberg said that such announcements are more symbolic than substantive and need to be backed up by increases in spending and staffing to have credibility. 

CIA officials declined to comment.

Several of the current and former officials say U.S. intelligence shortfalls are worsening, a problem that comes as the 68-year-old Xi seeks to cement his legacy alongside former leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping at a key Communist Party meeting in Beijing this week. 

That gathering, one of the last hurdles before Xi likely secures a third term as head of the party next year, takes place with the U.S. having little insight on some basic issues, such as who his eventual successor is likely to be. 

And it comes after some high-profile intelligence flubs on other topics, including the failure to foresee the Taliban’s rapid takeover in Afghanistan. 

Criticism of the intelligence community’s insights on China weigh most heavily on the CIA, which has primary responsibility for recruiting spies and saw its network severely damaged more than a decade ago by Beijing’s counterintelligence efforts. 

Those efforts were detailed extensively in 2017 by the New York Times, which said as many as a dozen U.S. sources were executed by China, with others jailed, in what represented one of the worst breaches ever of American spying networks.
The creation of the CIA mission center was denounced as a “typical symptom of the Cold War mentality” by China Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. 

The U.S. “should view China’s development and China-U.S. relations in an objective and rational light and stop doing things detrimental to mutual trust and cooperation,” he added. 

But for the leading consumers of intelligence in the Biden administration — a group that includes the senior-most officials with access to the highly classified President’s Daily Brief — a stronger pivot to China can’t come soon enough. 

Last week the Pentagon said it now sees China’s nuclear arsenal growing faster than forecast, the latest in a series of stepped-up assessments of Beijing’s global ambitions. 

CIA Looks Beyond Hardware
Xi’s sweeping efforts to change China’s domestic politics and consolidate his control also have taken a toll on American intelligence. 

The shift from a system of “collective” leadership under former Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao toward one dominated by Xi means that the CIA has had to go from focusing on the inner circles of seven or even nine top leaders to, effectively, just one.
Even before Xi, China’s political system was highly secretive and organized using a “stove-piped” system where information flows up to top leaders but rarely is disseminated widely inside the system. 

Chinese academia, the media and civil society organizations are all closely controlled by the government, further compounding the challenge of reporting on the country.
Consumers of intelligence often fail to recognize the severity of these challenges, former U.S. officials explained, and may have unrealistic expectations for what conclusions can be drawn from any raw intelligence collected in the field. 

Xi’s broad anti-corruption campaign, which has punished more than 1.5 million officials, has also led to greater scrutiny of Chinese officials’ income, making payments to potential sources far more problematic, two former officials said. 

Why China’s a ‘Hard Target’
Despite China’s history as a “hard target” for the CIA to penetrate, the agency exists precisely to overcome such challenges, whether it’s deciphering the leadership of al-Qaeda or Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea.
What’s more, the agency was capable of providing significant insights into the upper reaches of the Chinese political system as recently as a decade ago, one former intelligence official said. 

Its ability to penetrate the Chinese leadership has ebbed and flowed over time, but the agency’s current ability to do so is more limited, the person said.
Another former official said that if he were sitting in the White House Situation Room today, his priority requests of the intelligence community would center on projections for China’s buildup of its Navy, cyber and artificial intelligence capabilities; Xi’s plans for Taiwan; and better intelligence on Beijing’s strategy for the South China Sea. 

This person said the Trump White House also lacked good intelligence on China’s strategy toward Vietnam, India and North Korea.
The frustrations of administration officials echo public assessments from Congress.
A partially redacted House Intelligence Committee report from September 2020 concluded that U.S. spy agencies were failing to meet the multifaceted challenges posed by China and were overly focused on traditional targets such as terrorism or conventional military threats.
“Absent a significant realignment of resources, the U.S. government and intelligence community will fail to achieve the outcomes required to enable continued U.S. competition with China on the global stage for decades to come, and to protect the U.S. health and security,” according to the report.
The report also cited America’s foreign policy focus on the Middle East and the “war on terror” as reasons the intelligence community came to treat “traditional intelligence missions as secondary to counterterrorism.”
The China-Taiwan Conflict
A leading concern now is the question of whether Xi would invade Taiwan, or possibly seek to take smaller islands controlled by Taiwan, a move that would be seen as a significant test of Western resolve.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last week reiterated his view that China is unlikely to take Taiwan by force within the next 24 months

And China’s state media have sought to quiet online speculation that a conflict with Taiwan may be imminent.
“Xi has sent contradictory signals on Taiwan,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. 

“It is difficult to disaggregate which signals Xi intends for the Party elite, the general domestic audience, Taiwan audiences or the United States.”
For now, the intelligence community’s analysis relies more on inductive reasoning about whether an invasion would align with Xi’s stated objectives than on raw intelligence on the Chinese leader’s views, according to the people.
Former officials explained that recovering from China’s dismantling of the CIA’s network in China involves a multiyear process that includes the recruitment and onboarding of new assets, followed by systematically increasing the asset’s access to sensitive information. That’s probably still underway, the people said.
In addition, CIA officers in China face daunting challenges posed by China’s burgeoning surveillance state, which has blanketed Chinese cities with surveillance cameras and employs sophisticated facial recognition software to track threats.
In an interview with National Public Radio in July, Burns said the agency was looking into how to deal with “ubiquitous technical surveillance” and other “very advanced capabilities on the part of the Chinese intelligence service.”
Problem-Solving Outside China
Burns also has hinted at one potential fix for the agency’s problems.
The CIA chief told NPR that the agency was considering whether to deploy China specialists in locations outside China, following the approach used to counter Soviet influence in the Cold War. 

One of the former officials said the effort was being undertaken partly in the hope that overseas destinations prove a more fertile recruitment environment than the closely surveilled streets of Beijing.
But that strategy is more of a long-term fix. In the short term, officials are having to brace for more of the rapid moves that have distinguished Xi’s leadership in recent years, without knowing what they may be.
Bolton, who served under former President Donald Trump, said that means officials will have to play the hand they are holding now, making the best use of what they have, even if that information has gaps that are widening over time.
“There comes a point when you have to make a decision,” he said. “You’re not going to have complete intel. Live with it.”

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The President for Life was seeking to project a sense of inevitable forward motion
Law & Politics

The President for Life was seeking to project a sense of inevitable forward motion and a fulfilment of the promise that Mao Zedong made on the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949 that China would stand up.
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.

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@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 9 November 2021

During the week 1 to 7 November 2021, a slight upward trend (1% increase) in new weekly cases was observed, with over 3.1 million new cases reported. 

Over 48 000 new deaths were reported, a 4% decrease from the previous week. 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from the 

United States of America (510 968 new cases; 3% decrease)

Russian Federation (281 305 new cases; 3% increase)

United Kingdom (252 104 new cases; 12% decrease)

Turkey (197 335 new cases; 8% increase)

Germany (169 483 new cases; 29% increase)

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If you step back at the global level, clearly the declines that the world was seeing that began in late August-early September for COVID-19 infections have essentially stopped, and we’re starting to see flattening & actual reversals. @IHME_UW

If you step back at the global level, clearly the declines that the world was seeing that began in late August-early September for COVID-19 infections and then by mid-Sept. for cases and deaths have essentially stopped, and we’re starting to see flattening & actual reversals.

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Cryptic transmission of Delta in a hospital ward between vaccinated patients, beginning with an asymptomatic individual @VABostonHC @NEJM @EricTopol

PCR cycle thresholds are shown Delta were viral loads were >1000-fold that of earlier variants in this health system

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1480
Dollar Index 94.903
Japan Yen 113.94
Swiss Franc 0.9188
Pound 1.3417
Aussie 0.7310
India Rupee 74.4476
South Korea Won 1181.78
Brazil Real 5.4914
Egypt Pound 15.7083
South Africa Rand 15.41

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WHO regional overviews Epidemiological week 1-7 November 2021 African Region

After a decreasing trend since July 2021, case incidence rates in the African Region have begun to plateau, with over 20 000 new cases reported this week. 

Over 500 new deaths were reported, a 27% decrease as compared to the previous week. 

However, substantial increases (>15%) in new cases were reported in a third of the countries in the region (15/49; 31%). 

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from 

Botswana (6341 new cases; 269.6 new cases per 100 000 population; a 279% increase; largely due to batch reporting)

Ethiopia (2102 new cases; 1.8 new cases per 100 000; a 37% decrease)

South Africa (1865 new cases; 3.1 new cases per 100 000; a 27% decrease).
The highest numbers of new deaths were reported from 

South Africa (156 new deaths; <1 new death per 100 000 population; a 37% decrease)

Ethiopia (80 new deaths; <1 new death per 100 000; a 32% decrease)

Cameroon (45 new deaths; <1 new death per 100 000; a 48% decrease).

19-JUL-2021 Many Folks seem to feel we are in the final Act of the COVID-19 Play. I would be limit short that particular narrative.

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COVID-19 Resurgence Map % Change in new cases per million (7 day average)

Burkina Faso +600%
Guinea-Bissau +479%
Chad +211%
Sierra Leone +200%
Eritrea +168%
Botswana +154%

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Seychelles has a population of 90,024 and that is the smallest population of any independent African state.

The minister for Finance, Trade and The Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam informed me that the Seychelles receives tourists three times its population every year.

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Kenyan Growth Beats Estimates With Fastest Expansion Since 2001 @markets
Kenyan Economy

Kenya’s economy grew at the fastest pace in at least two decades in the second quarter, as restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic were eased.
Gross domestic product expanded 10.1% from a year earlier, compared with 0.7% in the three months through March, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday in an emailed statement. 

That’s up from a low base in the second quarter of 2020 -- when a strict Covid-19 lockdown shuttered most activity -- and the highest rate since at least 2001. The median estimate of four economists in a Bloomberg survey was 5.2%.
“This performance is encouraging and signals a positive and progressive recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Kenyan economy,” Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani said in an emailed statement.

While the latest data supports forecasts that East Africa’s largest economy will rebound from its biggest contraction in almost three decades, a drought that President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a national disaster on Sept. 8 could weigh on growth. 

Agriculture is the biggest economic sector in Kenya, the world’s top exporter of black tea and the largest supplier of cut flowers in Europe.

The latest quarterly weather forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department suggests most parts of the country are likely to experience below-average rainfall in the final three months of the year. 

Farm output contracted for a second quarter in a row, shrinking 0.9% in the three months through June.

The easing of lockdown restrictions and the lifting of a dusk-to-dawn curfew in October may offset some of the negative impact of the drought on the economy.
Kenya’s Finance Ministry expects the economy to expand at least 6% in 2021, compared with the African Development Bank’s projection of 6.3% and the International Monetary Fund’s growth estimate of 5.6%, down from 7.6% forecast in April. 

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In Kenya, @TullowOilplc and its partners, including @TotalEnergies SE, are considering selling more than 10% of their project. @markets
Minerals, Oil & Energy

“We’re willing to dilute ourselves materially,” he said. “Material isn’t 5% or 10%. It’s more than that. But we’re pretty open to what exactly that percentage is. We’re looking for someone who will add value to the group, someone with an understanding of the region.”
The $3.4 billion Kenyan project will include a pipeline to the coast for exports and an estimated output of 120,000 barrels a day. 

The fields are expected to produce 585 million barrels over their lifetimes.

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

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