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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 06th of September 2022

Elinga Teatro.This place means fight, strugle, union, integration. Resistance, friendship, Love and hapiness through art. @AngolaRoads

Elinga Teatro.This place means fight, strugle, union, integration. Resistance, friendship, Love and hapiness through art. @AngolaRoads

Elinga Teatro. The country stage theatre or just the representation of one of milion stages in the Angolan daily life. Connect on their FB and keep an eye on their events.This place means fight, strugle, union, integration. Resistance, friendship, Love and hapiness through art.

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Russia halts gas supplies to Europe until western sanctions lifted @FT
Law & Politics

 Russia halts gas supplies to Europe until western sanctions lifted @FT 

Russia’s gas supplies to Europe will not resume in full until the “collective west” lifts sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has said.
Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, blamed EU, UK, and Canadian sanctions for Russia’s failure to deliver gas through the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
“The problems pumping gas came about because of the sanctions western countries introduced against our country and several companies,” Peskov said, according to the Interfax news agency. 

“There are no other reasons that could have caused this pumping problem.”
Peskov’s comments were the most stark demand yet by the Kremlin that the EU roll back its sanctions in exchange for Russia resuming gas deliveries to the continent.
Gazprom, Russia’s state-run gas monopoly, said on Friday it would halt gas supplies through Nord Stream 1 because of a technical fault, which it blamed on difficulties repairing German-made turbines in Canada.
The EU has already rolled back some sanctions against Russia explicitly to allow the turbines to be repaired. 

European leaders have said there is nothing to prevent Gazprom from supplying the continent with gas and has accused Russia of “weaponising” its energy exports.
Peskov said Russia could not resume supplies in full until the west lifted the sanctions. 

He accused western countries of causing “turmoil” by denying Gazprom legal guarantees that the turbines sent for repair would be returned.
But Russian officials have made little secret in recent weeks of their hope that the growing energy crisis in Europe will sap the bloc’s support for Ukraine. 

“Obviously life is getting worse for people, businessmen, and companies in Europe,” Peskov said. “Of course, ordinary people in these countries will have more and more questions for their leaders.”

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‘’You can print money, but not oil to heat or wheat to eat’’ wrote @CreditSuisse’s Zoltan Pozsar. Apocalypse Now
Law & Politics

‘’You can print money, but not oil to heat or wheat to eat’’ wrote @CreditSuisse’s Zoltan Pozsar. Apocalypse Now

if you believe that the West can craft sanctions that maximize pain for Russia while minimizing financial stability risks and price stability risks in the West, you could also believe in unicorns.

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One of the preeminent Thinkers today is @CreditSuisse's Zoltan Pozsar and he said
Law & Politics

One of the preeminent Thinkers today is @CreditSuisse's Zoltan Pozsar and he said 

The policymakers to follow are no longer central bankers, but heads of state at the pinnacle of power who aren’t known for the transparency of their thinking – especially not when at war. @CreditSuisse Zoltan Pozsar
I have no faith in those at  the pinnacle of power. None. So I expect more babble and a doubling down.

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We are getting closer to literally thousands of People freezing to death in their homes. A dystopian finale
Law & Politics

We are getting closer to literally thousands of People freezing to death in their homes. A dystopian finale

What I know is it has gone exponentially wrong. About them knowing I am still trying to work that out because I have to admit I can’t believe leadership is this insane. 
We are getting closer to literally thousands of People freezing to death in their homes. A dystopian finale

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Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity
Law & Politics

Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity

In terms of a method to ‘manage’ government, it is not far from tribal elders howling incantations around the camp fire after inspecting the entrails of slaughtered animals. 
Layer on top of this a highly managed media construct which is essentially a Claque where alternative voices are deplatformed and we have an environment which was accurately described thus by @FukuyamaFrancis
The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble.
At a time when what is required is agile multi disciplinary thinking we have ''weaponized babble''

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Sheep spend their entire lives being afraid of the wolf, but end up eaten by the shepherd. Fabio Vighi
Law & Politics

Sheep spend their entire lives being afraid of the wolf, but end up eaten by the shepherd. Fabio Vighi

The sacrifice of a sheep (1997) Kourush. Daghestan. RUSSIA Thomas Dworzak @fatalstrategies

“the price of liberty”

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Professor Thomson “a grasp of geopolitical realities is also essential Western governments must either invite economic misery on a scale that would test the fabric of democratic politics in any country or face the fact that energy supply constrains
Law & Politics

Professor Thomson “a grasp of geopolitical realities is also essential … Western governments must either invite economic misery on a scale that would test the fabric of democratic politics in any country – or face the fact that energy supply constrains the means by which Ukraine can be defended”. 

In other words, it’s either save the European political class’ skin through reverting to cheap Russian gas, or stay aligned with Washington and subject your electorates to misery – and its leaders to a political reckoning that is unfolding already.

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Western nations are now telegraphing the idea of bailing out everyone and everything due to the energy crisis. @thesiriusreport
Law & Politics

Western nations are now telegraphing the idea of bailing out everyone and everything due to the energy crisis. @thesiriusreport

The fear of major civil unrest is now weighing heavy on rational minds in western govts.

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Law & Politics


We have entered a global cycle of secular inflation that is unique in history. 

The cynical attempt to preserve a system based on the ontological assumption of permanent monetary injections now entails the controlled demolition of the real economy and the world it supports. 

Ever-expanding artificial liquidity can only destroy currencies. The immediate consequence of this implosive process, however, is not liberation from capitalism, but a new capitalist phase of ideological manipulation and authoritarian violence, which is now upon us

Each step in the global economic downfall will continue to be matched with emergency narratives of corresponding gravity. 

This is why any resistance to the new status quo in the making, whether motivated by the unsustainable rise of the cost of living or the increased discrimination over human life, will entail a struggle to define the cause of our predicament as systemic rather than exogenous.
The inflation genie
What sort of world do we live in? There is one answer that takes precedence over all others: our globalised world is a debt-based system of simulated financial growth that relies on the continuous expansion of liquidity, which is created “out of nothing” in the form of debt/credit. 

Our civilization is addicted to money printing and asset bubbles, a dependence that can hardly be broken. 

In a debt-soaked world like ours, nothing is more dangerous than interfering with the expansion of fake liquidity; nothing more threatening than a sudden “credit crunch”, a haemorrhage of freshly minted money. 

The cash-flow heading to the stock markets must continue to increase, whatever it takes. 

As I have argued in my previous pieces on this matter, COVID-19 was, in essence, an unprecedented attempt to restore the expansive capacity of artificial liquidity at a critical time in the history of casino-capitalism. 

By the end of 2019 the financial sector was, again, at risk of rapidly becoming illiquid as the Monopoly money was drying up – a predictable occurrence that had already triggered the Great Financial Crisis. 

However, in 2019 the stakes were much higher than in 2008, for the system’s monetary addiction had reached breaking point. 

Today, in seemingly post-pandemic times, we remain hostage to a Ponzi scheme where toxic liabilities act as collateral for other toxic liabilities, in what is an endless trail of insubstantial paper. 

Central Banks expand their balance sheets to purchase these liabilities merely to prevent their loss of paper value.
Putting an end to monetary expansion is like provoking a cardiac arrest. 

If the money supply curve declines or even flattens, our world experiences convulsions, withdrawal symptoms, and goes cold turkey. Eventually, it collapses

With a grotesquely over-leveraged financial industry like ours, the entire economy and social fabric is hanging on the edge of a cliff. 

The choice faced by most countries, including the affluent ones, will soon be either default or hyperinflation of the currency needed to repay the IOUs. 

This means that capital accumulation itself is now on life support, as its managers are caught in what can only be described as a lose-lose situation. 

On the one hand, they know that they must find reasons to pull more liquidity (debt) into the present by dint of what is conventionally known as “printing it.” 

On the other, they also know that this hardly original escamotage can only lead to runaway inflation, and then hyperinflation

What takes place today as a matter of monetary normality used to characterise wartime economies, namely direct financing via the money presses. 

While this can only result in depressing the real economy, simultaneously generating the highest wealth inequality on record, what should give us pause is the thought that a world hostage to bubble inflation inevitably “melts into thin air”, losing its social grounding as well as the language to articulate any form of resistance. 

Collapse is at once economic, socio-political, and cultural.
In August 2019, Blackrock (perhaps the most powerful single entity on the planet) issued a white paper unambiguously titled ‘Dealing with the Next Downturn: from Unconventional Monetary Policy to Unprecedented Policy Coordination.’ 

The paper warned against two strictly interrelated risks: first, that markets were becoming illiquid while the policy toolkit was empty (interest rates being already negative); 

second, that continued monetary expansion carried the risk of Zimbabwe-like hyperinflation. 

Betraying more than a hint of anxiety, Blackrock urged Central Banks (the Federal Reserve) to find ‘unconventional’ remedies to avoid the coming downturn. 

Specifically, they pushed an ‘unprecedented response’ described as ‘going direct’: 

‘Going direct means the central bank finding ways to get central bank money directly in the hands of public and private sector spenders’, while making sure that such monetary behemoth does not trigger a potentially devastating inflation. 

A few months later, something truly unprecedented happened: COVID-19, followed by what continues to appear as an unstoppable stream of global emergencies. 

As I have argued in more detail elsewhere (here and here), Virus allowed the ‘going direct’ plan – the methadone-like injection of trillions in mouse-clicked cash – to be executed in safety mode. 

The hyperinflationary tsunami feared by Blackrock was postponed courtesy of, again, ‘unprecedented’ lockdowns, which prevented the liquidity-flooded economy from overheating. 

Unsurprisingly, however, after the first year of deflationary Covid hysteria the monster came out of the closet with a vengeance, reminding us of Blackrock’s existential dilemma: ‘how to get the inflation genie back in the bottle once it has been released.’

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A SYSTEM ON LIFE SUPPORT Fabio Vighi [continued]
Law & Politics

A SYSTEM ON LIFE SUPPORT Fabio Vighi [continued] 

Keeping up appearances

The key to understanding our economic predicament is to realize that inflation – or more precisely the calamitous devaluation of the money-medium – is now structural, since the simulation of monetary growth has penetrated all forms of capital. 

Insubstantial financial liquidity has long colonised commodity production and consumption, making both hostage to the credit industry. 

The financial sector responds to what happens in bond markets, which are increasingly propped up artificially by Central Banks’ monetary inoculations. 

Bonds are issued to raise money, and pay regular fixed interest to the bondholder. 

However, bonds are also tradeable, which means they give returns called bond yields. 

When, in a critically stressed economic environment like ours, bond yields rise sharply and in seemingly uncontrolled fashion, it is usually a sign that bond prices are falling at a similarly dramatic pace. 

This suggests that investors are pulling out and, as a consequence, the bond market is tanking – which is bad news for the debt-doped stocks. 

In short, the cost of financing one’s debt surges rapidly, and the insolvency ghost rears its ugly head. 

Because debt-binging went through the roof after 2008, any turbulence in bond markets is now registered as a shock in stock markets. 

It is very much like clockwork: when bond yields rise fast, stocks get a hit, which normally prompts the Central Bank cavalry into action. 

The only way to keep bonds from deteriorating is for Central Banks to use their unlimited firepower and print more cash to buy the unloved debt securities; which is intrinsically inflationary, thus dealing yet another fatal blow to the purchasing power of fiat currencies.

Consider the benchmark yield on the 10-year US Treasury: when that yield spikes rapidly, it indicates that investors in US debt are running to the door, which spells doom for Wall Street’s credit-craving “creative finance”. 

So, what happens when investing in debt – the lifeblood of contemporary capitalism – loses its appeal? 

On June 13, 2022, the Italian bond yields breached 4% causing a “fragmentation” in the cost of borrowing across the EU. 

With lightning speed, the ECB (European Central Bank) ran to the rescue selling German and other Northern European bonds close to maturity to buy Italian and other Southern European bonds – a subterfuge that hardly thrilled the “frugal” northerners. 

Moreover, it instituted the TPI (Transmission Protection Instrument), also known as “anti-spread shield”, which allows for targeted and unlimited debt purchases – de facto, putting the countries who need TPI under external (ECB) administration

The point, however, is that any such Central Bank intervention continues to be inflationary, which brings us back to the original quandary of irreversible money debasement.

Despite first denying inflation, then calling it ‘transitory’, and eventually blaming it on Putin, our political leaders (the executors) and their central and not-so-central bankers (the enforcers) have recently had to admit that “we have an inflation problem.” 

So, when on August 10, 2022 President Biden prompt-read from his White House podium that in the month of July the US had been blessed with 0% inflation, adding that the US economy is in fact booming, we should of course smell a rat: 

the blatant distortion of reality is not only an electoral stunt in view of midterms, but would also seem to prepare the ground for a “Fed pivot”, i.e. a stop to rate hikes and a return to Quantitative Easing (easy money). 

This is because if rate hikes were to continue beyond the current cosmetic levels, and the cost of borrowing rise substantially, the debt-saturated markets would crash, along with currencies and everything else. 

A return to QE legitimized by a narrative of peak inflation (including oil prices) appears like a credible scenario for the near future. 

However, while QE would fulfil its task of keeping the markets liquid, it would nevertheless turn back the clock to 2019, with the system requiring even more ‘unconventional’ ways of dealing with the inflation monster. Such as (again) lockdowns.

Hot Autumn in Europe?

When looking at the ongoing energy crisis, which threatens to bring Europe to its knees no later than this Winter, lockdowns (or similar restrictions) cannot fail to appear as the most “practical” way of achieving large-scale energy savings. 

Social restrictions would not only tame inflation but also help us conscientious citizens to “do our bit” against climate change, feeding the noble illusion that a zero-net “Green New Deal” – supported of course by a massive programme of fiscal stimulus (i.e., more debt) – will unleash a new era of capitalist growth. 

Adopting lockdown policies may well be the only way for “green capitalism” to affirm itself, for the system needs to keep both the inflationary spiral and the impoverished masses under control. 

The key point here is that “sustainable growth” through green technology remains a pious illusion for a system that requires increasing levels of labour-intensive production to generate real economic value. 

Every leap in post-industrial technological innovation driven by capital, no matter how green or desirable, will cause unemployment and poverty to grow, together with the imposition of widespread repressive measures upon entire populations.

In this respect, a new pandemic wave starting this Autumn might provide further cover for the social and economic disaster in the making. 

In recent weeks virologists, health ministers, mainstream media, and the WHO have started “voicing concerns” about new and rapidly spreading Covid variants in the ‘European region’, which are expected to become dominant already in September. 

Germany, a country at high risk of energy rationing due to its dependence on Russian gas, has already approved a new package of pandemic restrictions, which will come into effect on 1 October and will last till 7 April of next year. 

These will include not only mandatory facemasks but also, where necessary, proof of vaccination and negative testing. 

In short, the corona spectre is still haunting Europe, suggesting that the unmanageable contradictions of contemporary capitalism will continue to be tackled in authoritarian ways, and by conning people into obedience.

As confirmed by Greta Thunberg’s disappearance from mainstream media (where she now appears to be berated) this is probably not the best time to preach the capitalist net-zero agenda – which is one of the underlying reasons for the energy shortages that the war in Ukraine has exacerbated (not caused). 

Europe, rather, is prepping for the coming energy-crunch scenario. 

Germany is planning public warm-up zones for those who cannot pay their energy bills. 

In France (and elsewhere) night illumination is being switched off, while Emmanuel Macron warns of the coming ‘end of abundance’, conveniently blaming it on the war in Ukraine and climate change – as if destitution was not already rampant. 

In the UK, thousands have joined a “Don’t Pay” campaign against the rising cost of energy bills. 

And the Vice President of the European Commission is encouraging people to fight Putin by not washing their clothes.

Will the wealthy technocrats manage to convince the impoverished, cold, and unwashed people heroically to form a united front against Russian gas in the name of the debt-creation programme also known as “green(washing) transition”? 

Will the people warm to their politicians’ patronising suggestions to “weatherize” their homes and shift to prohibitively expensive electric vehicles?

 Or will our leaders need a new “pandemic emergency” to conclusively persuade us? 

Whatever the outcome, the bottom line is that, no matter how many times Wikipedia changes the definition of “recession”, this Winter many Europeans and Americans will be forced to choose between putting food on the table and footing their energy bills. 

It will be a matter of heating or eating – an absurd alternative considering the technological and productive potential at our disposal. 

Needless to say, the problem is not technology per se, but its being tied to a declining and hence particularly virulent economic logic based on mass extraction of surplus-value from human labour. 

The world has more than enough human and technological capacity to satisfy the needs of all, but because this potential remains subject to the blind dynamics of capital, it cannot be utilized for the common good.

Remember the “lock step” scenario in the 2010 Rockefeller Foundation pamphlet, which predicted so accurately both a deadly zoonotic pandemic (‘the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit’) and the ensuing imposition of ‘airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets’? 

Which also foresaw that ‘the Chinese government’s quick imposition and enforcement of mandatory quarantine for all citizens, as well as its instant and near-hermetic sealing off of all borders, saved millions of lives, stopping the spread of the virus far earlier than in other countries and enabling a swifter post-pandemic recovery’? 

And which moreover prophesized that ‘after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified. 

In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems—from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crises and rising poverty—leaders around the world took a firmer grip on power’? 

What is spelt out in this remarkable piece of creative writing from the Rockefeller think-tank is, ultimately, the connection between Lockdowns and Poverty: ‘authoritarian control’ helps against ‘global problems’ like ‘rising poverty’. 

Is this authoritarian world not the world we already live in? Is the fiction not more real than reality itself? 

Those who believe that lockdowns are a thing of the past, had better think twice. The normalisation of repression and surveillance that began with 9/11 and continued with COVID-19 is now about to accelerate.

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Law & Politics

A SYSTEM ON LIFE SUPPORT Fabio Vighi [continued] 

Two roads, one destination

In the meantime, the globalized West is engaged in a wacky race to the bottom. Europe is leading the way, thanks to the all-too-predictable backfiring of the sanctions against Russia. 

Having made itself dependent on Russian gas, Europe has scored the clumsiest of own-goals – intentionally? 

For how could European leaders who invoked and even engineered the draconian sanctions (while also hoping to continue to buy Russian gas on the sly) not see that these sanctions would boomerang to hit Europe on the head? 

It is either a case of extreme incompetence, blind submission to external (US) dictates, or deliberate self-immolation – perhaps a mix of all these. 

The likely outcome is that as soon as the recession is officially declared, and new social restrictions are in place, we are going to see Central Banks moving from hawkish (rate-hiking) to dovish (rate-lowering), i.e. the Fed & Co. will return to a policy of more inflationary large-scale asset purchases and cheap money.
The only other available option is running the markets to the ground through sustained and significant rate hikes. 

This scenario would be deflationary, but only at the cost of a sudden and devastating depression pulverising capitals both in the financial markets and on the ground, causing sweeping job losses, business closures, rioting, looting, and so on. 

If liquidity does dry up, we will hit the deflationary spiral, like drink-driving at full speed against a wall. 

Whatever can no longer be financed through credit will be brought to a standstill. 

Banks will refuse to lend and bank accounts could be frozen. 

Deflationary capital destruction through the meltdown of debt & stock markets would annihilate currencies and livelihoods. 

The least one can say is that for this to happen as a controlled accident, reliable (authoritarian) countermeasures aimed at controlling social unrest must already be in place.

For most of us, then, the future seems to offer a choice between structural stagflation (stagnant economy with high inflation) and an abrupt deflationary depression – like a choice between bleeding to death and suffering a heart attack. 

Either way, the divide between the super-rich and all the rest will increase further, with catastrophic consequences for humanity. 

It is no longer the classic swing between boom and bust, or a financial cycle ending in a “Minsky moment”, for we have reached the absolute limit to capitalist expansion. 

It is important to reiterate that we are facing systemic implosion, not a crisis engineered by evil bankers motivated by sadism and greed. 

While the latter are the main attributes of the capitalist drive as such – since capital is nothing but a perverse end in itself – the current implosion reflects the historical exhaustion of the value-creating substance of capital; the fact that the fundamental ingredient of value itself – labour – is vanishing irreversibly while automated (technological) productivity takes off. 

It should be enough to observe that in a healthy capitalist economy the price of labour would rise. 

Instead, labour has been devalued for decades, which dramatically confirms that any monetary boost to the economy is without value substance, and destined to cause further misery. 

It is therefore inevitable that, at some point soon, capitalist reproduction will be brought back to the ground through the severe contraction of insubstantial masses of money (“bubbles”). Fictitious liquidity, created without any basis in real production, will be violently debased.

From denial to sacrifice

What continues to be denied, then, is that the devaluation of the money-medium is the key symptom of the implosion of capitalism as a global commodity-producing work society mediated by the market and driven by the blind pursuit of profit as end in itself. 

What is most painful about this denial is that it has long conquered the heart and soul of (what still dares to call itself) the left. 

The political left is either opportunistically ignorant or caught in the neoliberal illusion that a virtualized type of financial capitalism is possible – perhaps even “with a human face”. 

As a result, hardly anyone on the left dares or is even able to connect the rapid deterioration of socio-economic conditions with the authoritarian turn of today’s “emergency capitalism” – already explicit in the brutally discriminatory treatment of “the unvaccinated”, or in the rising levels of our mainstream media’s propaganda. 

Is it not yet clear to the left that the political face of “breakdown capitalism” is fascism, albeit articulated in new and more sophisticated (progressive!) forms of violence and repression? 

The only way our comatose system can prolong its lifespan is by ditching its liberal façade and dramatically increase its inherent capacity for barbarism.

In capitalist terms, we are facing an ironic twist on Margaret Thatcher’s infamous TINA: there is no alternative. 

Whatever happens, we will continue to see a drastic devaluation of fiat currencies, and the rapid dissolution of the social bond. 

As I see it, the endgame involves two main strategies: 

1. The manipulation of a continuous stream of fear-inducing global emergencies, whose ultimate function is to shift the blame for systemic implosion onto some external agent while ushering in 

2. A novel social-credit system (or rating system) based on mass immiseration and CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currencies), which are now being tested in more than 100 countries.

The subject enslaved to capitalist dystopia “will have nothing, and yet be (convinced that they are) happy”, both through fear and, especially, the internalization of a new system of values based on collective guilt, responsibility, sacrifice, and obedience. 

In other words, we will not only have nothing, but most crucially we will be persuaded “to enjoy it.” 

The consumerist ideology that drives modern capitalism is already being replaced by the injunction to “enjoy (having) nothing.” 

Whether such conversion to a punishing form of capitalism will succeed, it remains to be seen. 

For sure, a paradigm shift of this calibre needs the support of a belief-system capable of transforming consumerist hubris into slave-like submissiveness. 

Humanity (particularly the middle classes) will need to commit to common causes that might justify their being deprived of the “gift” (even as a fantasy object) of boundless consumption – fear alone will not suffice. 

For the neo-feudal paradigm to succeed, the “work and enjoy” fantasy that keeps the modern consumer ticking must fade into the background and be replaced by a new ethics of sacrifice. 

As spelt out by Macron in his already mentioned “end of abundance” speech, we are at a point where ‘our system based on freedom… can demand sacrifices from its citizens’. 

Here is the ideological ruse of senile capitalism: riding an endless wave of “global emergencies” that might induce us to accept the loss of elementary freedoms in order to save the freedom of capital.

What changes here is the subject’s relation to nothingness: if in consumer capitalism “nothing” is disguised as “more” (since the capitalist logic of desire relies on never having enough of “it”), in neo-feudal capitalism “more” will be sold as “nothing”, that is to say, a quasi-religious attachment to renunciation. 

Harnessing human desire to a new social contract predicated on protecting us from global calamities will be crucial for the system’s capacity to reproduce itself. 

Emergencies are the new capitalist “gift”, and they keep on giving. 

The potential of this modern-day Leviathan could be unlocked by a new spirit of collective sacrifice, which is why contemporary capitalism is so eager to hijack the rhetoric of the left: it “knows” that only in the name of “progressive ideals” can the exploited masses accept new forms of domination disguised as necessary sacrifices. 

If that is the case, supposedly “progressive” and “humanitarian” narratives will translate into higher forms of conservatism and tyranny.

Today, this logic emerges clearly with the emotional blackmail concerning climate change: progressive individuals are supposed to take on drastic lifestyle changes (for the worse) through sharing guilt for causing harm to Mother Earth, while the planet continues to be exposed to the (re)productive, market-mediated dynamics of capital. 

This attitude can be recognized in the well-known phenomenon of “celebrity eco-warriors”, a spin-off of “philanthropic capitalism”. 

Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, regularly tweets about the collective fight against climate change (e.g., ‘If we don’t act together, we will surely perish!’), but does so from his 315ft, helicopter-decked, 110-million-dollar superyacht, which by travelling only a couple of miles pollutes as much as your average car does in a year – hardly “acting together.” 

Precisely as an actor, however, he should know better, for he started with Titanic and we all know how that film ended. 

In other words, the devious elitist attempt to co-opt the leftist spirit of engagement to a collective cause might, at some point during the system’s downfall, backfire – which is probably the only hope we have.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ

Euro 0.994475
Dollar Index 109.642
Japan Yen 140.5900
Swiss Franc 0.97874
Pound 1.156450
Aussie 0.680205
India Rupee 79.8425
South Korea Won 1373.99 
Brazil Real 5.1550
Egypt Pound 19.235000
South Africa Rand 17.111450

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U.K. may be on road to another @IMFNews bailout, strategist warns @MarketWatch
World Of Finance

 U.K. may be on road to another @IMFNews  bailout, strategist warns @MarketWatch 

Is the U.K. on the road to an International Monetary Fund bailout?
That’s the view of Peter Chatwell, head of global macro strategies trading at Mizuho Securities, as expressed in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Monday.
Liz Truss, he says, is promising fiscal policy the government can’t afford. And he doesn’t believe the Bank of England can get inflation anywhere near its 2% mandate over the medium term.
“I’m thinking of two potential crises that this reminds me of. One is the [European Exchange Rate Mechanism], so 1992. And then I’m thinking about the possibility of an IMF bailout, like in 1976.”
If the Truss government is then replaced by a Labour-led government, Chatwell said, then those are the scenarios the markets will increasingly price in, he said.
He said the pound GBPUSD, 0.56% falling to parity against the dollar isn’t priced into options markets, and said the Bank of England may need to take interest rates to 5%.

Chatwell wasn’t the only person putting the U.K. and the IMF in the same sentence on Monday.

“A balance of payments funding crisis may sound extreme, but it is not unprecedented: a combination of aggressive fiscal spending, severe energy shock, and a slide in sterling ultimately resulted in the UK having recourse to an IMF loan in the mid 1970s. Today, the UK does retain some key lines of defense against a sudden stop, but we worry that the risks are rising nevertheless,” said Shreyas Gopal, strategist at Deutsche Bank.
Gopal says the trade-weighted sterling would need to fall another 15% to bring the U.K.’s external deficit back to its ten-year average.
It should be pointed out that the U.K. is one of the largest contributors to the IMF, with the same quota level as France.

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UK at risk of EM-style ‘sudden stop’ @DeutscheBank @FT
World Of Finance

UK at risk of EM-style ‘sudden stop’ @DeutscheBank @FT 

This may shock you, but investors are a little bit worried about the UK’s “policy paralysis”, as they described it to our colleagues last week. 

However, things could get a lot worse, according to Deutsche Bank.
Here’s what Deutsche Bank’s Shreyas Gopal wrote in a note just published as Liz Truss is formally announced as the UK’s next prime minister (our emphasis below):
With the current account deficit already at record levels, sterling requires large capital inflows supported by improving investor confidence and falling inflation expectations. However, the opposite is happening. 

The UK is suffering from the highest inflation rate in the G10 and a weakening growth outlook. A large, unfunded and untargeted fiscal expansion accompanied by potential changes to the BoE’s mandate could lead to an even bigger rise in inflation expectations and — at the extreme — the emergence of fiscal dominance. 

Taking emergency measures around the Northern Ireland Protocol could add to the uncertainty on trade policy. 

With the global macro backdrop so uncertain, investor confidence cannot be taken for granted. 

The risk premium on UK gilts is already rising, coincident with unusually large foreign outflows. 

If investor confidence erodes further, this dynamic could become a self-fulfilling balance of payments crisis whereby foreigners would refuse to fund the UK external deficit.
. . . With the current account at risk of posting an almost 10% deficit, a sudden stop is no longer a negligible tail risk

The UK is increasingly at risk of no longer attracting enough foreign capital to fund the external balance. If so, sterling would need to depreciate materially to close the gap in the external accounts. In other words, a currency crisis typically seen in EM.
As DB points out, a balance of payments crisis may sound extreme for a G7 economy, but it’s hardly unprecedented. 

Aggressive fiscal spending, a big energy shock and a sterling slide sent the UK into the IMF’s arms back in the 1970s. 

Today’s environment looks eerily similar.
Gopal estimates that sterling needs to slump another 15 per cent in trade-weighted terms simply to bring the UK’s external deficit back to its 10-year average. 

At the same time, the economic fundamentals look . . . not great.

So in an extreme EM-style sudden stop scenario, how far could sterling fall?

A whopping 30 per cent might be required, DB estimates.
Truss wants to avoid a recession by cutting taxes and supporting households through the spike in energy costs. DB is worried that while fiscal support is appropriate to support growth, massive largesse could be dangerous.
A very large but untargeted spending package — such as a 10ppt VAT cut — would risk materially worsening the already wide current account deficit and exacerbating investors’ fears about its sustainability — quite apart from worries about fiscal sustainability. 

Indeed, given the ongoing real income squeeze, the bar is extremely high for a rise in private-sector savings to offset rising government borrowing. 

This is not a time to expect ‘Ricardian equivalence’. Hence, debt-financed government spending should almost mechanically widen the current account deficit.
. . . To be sure, in the UK, the incoming government is likely to verbally commit to a smaller state and a desire to keep the debt-to-GDP ratio down, but the bar for the market to believe this would be high if actual policy consisted of sweeping and unfunded VAT cuts.
This is not the first time that people have worried about the UK. Bill Gross famously said that the UK government bond market rested “on a bed of nitroglycerine” back in 2010, but gilts had the last laugh.
The country’s net international investment position has weakened, but is still a defence against a sudden stop

. The money that finances its external deficit is not “hot money” that emerging markets historically relied on, and the UK has not borrowed money in other currencies — another classic EM vulnerability.

The price of insuring against an outright UK default has ticked up a little lately but it remains very low, and far below the levels seen in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

But DB remains worried that there is a “non-zero probability” of policy mistakes that lead to a balance of payments crisis.

Sterling weakness this year is far from just being a story of pure pessimism on the pound itself. 

There is a broad global dollar factor at work, too. To the extent that sterling weakness has been idiosyncratic, we would argue that a mild recession is now in the price. 

But from here, we argue that the pound is threading a fine needle. 

The risk is that policy exacerbates the key vulnerability: the external imbalance. If large and untargeted fiscal stimulus pushed the current account deficit toward 10% of GDP, risks of a sudden stop would rise materially, in our view.
Let’s hope Nigel Farage’s gin venture takes off abroad.

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Why the US is re-engaging with Africa @FT @davidpilling

Why the US is re-engaging with Africa @FT @davidpilling 

Donald Trump thought it was full of “shxtholes” and countries with names such as “Nambia”. 

Barack Obama, for all his eloquence and family ties to Kenya, was underwhelming when it came to defining a practical strategy towards Africa — a continent that always slipped behind other regions in the list of priorities.
You have to go back to George W Bush, particularly his principled stance in fighting the Aids epidemic, or Bill Clinton, with his Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, a preferential trade pact, for an American leader with a compelling offering.
If the US has been relatively low key, others have not. 

Since the turn of the century, China has moved from a bit-part player to the main investor and trading partner for many countries from Angola to Ethiopia. 

Much of the infrastructure that has sprung up across the continent has been built by Chinese companies.
Outside the extractive industries, American companies have been slower to see commercial opportunities than those from emerging nations such as Turkey and India. 

More recently, Russia has pursued a cut-price diplomacy, sending mercenaries to Mali and the Central African Republic to prop up dictatorships and shady companies.
President Joe Biden is now seeking to redress the balance. The reticence of African states to vote with the west in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (26 refused to do so) may have sharpened his thinking. 

Diplomatic engagement has been stepped up. Washington will hold a US-Africa summit in December, the first in eight years. 

Biden has reversed a decision by the Trump administration to draw down US troops from Somalia and the Sahel, both regions of persistent terrorist threat.
Antony Blinken, secretary of state, has made two tours of the continent, the latest in August when he swept through the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. In South Africa, he launched what was billed as a reset of relations.
As he said, the 54 countries that make up the continent play a more important role in world affairs than is widely recognised. 

By 2050, one in four people on Earth will be African. If a majority are flourishing, they will be a source of huge dynamism and ideas. 

If many are floundering, they will fuel the problems of uncontrolled migration and unstoppable deforestation.
A third of the minerals that will be needed for the transition to sustainable energy lie beneath African soil. 

African people — and not just their elites — must benefit from the potential windfall with more transformation of raw materials on the continent itself. 

In the Congo Basin rainforest, central African states host the world’s second-largest lung. African capitals marshal a quarter of UN votes. 

A Nigerian heads the World Trade Organization and an Ethiopian leads the World Health Organisation.
The policy paper that underlies the new approach lays out broad strategic objectives. 

Washington will support open societies, democracies, recovery from the shock of the pandemic and a just energy transition (for which read: it won’t oppose gas). Washington will work with its “African partners”: a phrase intended to convey that it is listening, not hectoring.
The US offering is positioned in deliberate contrast to what it calls China’s “narrow commercial and geopolitical interests” and the Russian view of Africa as a playground for private military companies.
What are African governments to make of this? Many were not impressed with US leadership during the pandemic, when the west gobbled up available vaccines and left Africans to fend for themselves. 

(Biden’s support for overriding intellectual property on Covid vaccine technology was seen as an important exception). 

The US — with its contested elections and rolling back of liberties — has also somewhat lost the democratic high ground.
Chidi Odinkalu of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University detects a cold war throwback. “The US has come to the conclusion that, if they don’t re-engage, they will be abandoning Africa to Russia and China.”
Still, Alex Vines, director of the Africa Programme at the UK think-tank Chatham House, sees an opportunity for the continent. 

“This is Africa’s moment,” he says of the multinational engagement. However shaky, the US with its deep well of wealth, innovation and democratic ideals is a partner worth courting, he says. If diplomacy is transactional, then the countries of Africa should get ready to deal.

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Africa turns to the IMF - over half the countries in #Africa have/are negotiating a programme with the IMF. @Jmollel

 Africa turns to the IMF - over half the countries in #Africa have/are negotiating a programme with the IMF. @Jmollel

Majority agreed in 2021‑22 and the #IMF has committed US$16bn:Egypt, Tunisia, Ghana & Malawi are actively reaching agreements before year end

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UNITA shakes the foundations of MPLA rule in Angola @issafrica

UNITA shakes the foundations of MPLA rule in Angola @issafrica 

The near defeat of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in last week’s general legislative elections has created hope and uncertainty about the country’s future.
The MPLA squeaked home with an official 51% of the vote to the 44% of its old civil war enemy and later political rival, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). 

UNITA contested the election as part of a de facto coalition with PRA-JA Servir Angola and the Democratic Bloc.
Many observers, and UNITA itself, believe the National Election Commission (CNE), which the MPLA controls, doctored the outcomes. 

UNITA challenged them with the electoral body and is expected to announce its own parallel voter tabulation. 

The CNE parried UNITA’s objection – saying it was submitted too late – and promptly released the results the next day. So it seems UNITA will resort to the Constitutional Court.
But even the official result was a stunning setback for the MPLA and a huge psychological boost for the opposition.  In the 2017 elections, the MPLA won 61% and UNITA only 26.67%. 

In slashing the ruling party’s majority by 27% last week, UNITA and its United Patriotic Front coalition delivered its best election result thus far. 

This was by far the MPLA’s worst performance since multiparty democracy began in 1992.

UNITA also completely swept Luanda, beating the MPLA by about 63% to 33%. 

The opposition party radically transformed itself from a rural, traditionalist and provincial party under its late founder Jonas Savimbi, into an urban party supported by young people.
This was by far the MPLA’s worst performance since multiparty democracy began in 1992
UNITA’s dynamic new leader Adalberto Costa Júnior gets much credit for this about-turn. 

But the MPLA’s failure to address grinding poverty, which is in many ways worse in the city, also played a role.
The ball is now in UNITA’s court. The CNE could refuse any re-appraisal of the election, and the Constitutional Court – also partisan – could uphold the MPLA’s victory.

 UNITA might then demand an international observer team visits Angola to verify the official results against those calculated by UNITA and civil society groups like Mudei, which also believes UNITA won.
What will UNITA do if this fails, as it probably will? In 2017, the party’s leaders were criticised for accepting defeat and taking up their seats in Parliament after the Constitutional Court rejected their challenge. Should it resort to the streets this time?
Independent Angolan expert Paula Cristina Roque told ISS Today that if UNITA called its supporters to march on the presidential palace, ‘there’ll be a massive wave of popular support that will put pressure on [President João] Lourenço and the MPLA.’ 

The problem is that although the march would probably be peaceful, ‘they will be received with violence … not rubber bullets … live ammunition. And that’s what everyone wants to avoid.’
So Roque suggests another possibility – that UNITA uses its potential for mass mobilisation as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from the MPLA. 

The main goal would be to pressure the government to allow local elections, particularly in Luanda. 

Angola’s constitution provides for these polls, and UNITA has been demanding them since the end of the civil war. ‘But for 20 years the MPLA has been dragging its feet,’ Roque says.
The reasons are probably the MPLA’s desire for total power and more recently, its suspicion that UNITA was gaining support in Luanda. 

Local government elections could allow the opposition to translate a symbolic victory in the capital into real power – even if only municipal – and demonstrate its ability to govern. The same could apply in other cities.
However Borges Nhamirre, an Institute for Security Studies consultant, remains sceptical of UNITA winning even this consolation prize. 

He suspects that if local elections did happen, the MPLA could still rig them like it apparently rigged the national vote.
Nhamirre cites the example of Mozambique, where the main opposition party, Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), always wins the most votes in five central and northern provinces in the general elections. 

‘But when local elections finally took place, RENAMO voters magically began to “vote” for [ruling party] FRELIMO candidates. In provinces such as Zambézia, Nampula and Sofala, where RENAMO always won the most votes in the general elections … when it came time to elect governors, RENAMO lost them all.’
Will the MPLA retreat even further from democracy to avoid another embarrassing near defeat?
If UNITA eventually gets to govern Luanda, would the MPLA allow it to do so unobstructed? 

Or would it sabotage the opposition party as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has done to prevent the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) from governing Harare?
Angola’s 2022 elections have shown that the MPLA is rapidly becoming a rural party. 

This follows a downward trend evident in other former liberation movements now in government, such as ZANU-PF and South Africa’s African National Congress.
So far no one seems to be talking, at least publicly, about the MPLA dropping Lourenço as its presidential candidate because of the party’s poor performance. It presumably could, since he is indirectly elected by Parliament.
Roque observes that Lourenço’s position is ‘very fragile. The MPLA is deeply divided. He doesn’t have the support of many of the old guard. He doesn’t have the support of the generals. 

So he’s in a situation where he has disgruntled members of the security apparatus, disgruntled members of the political elite, and a very strong opposition.’
Roque believes that UNITA’s challenge of the election results will fail. 

But the MPLA will then have to undertake drastic reforms to avoid an even larger defeat in 2027 that might be too difficult to conceal. 

‘They will have to start governing properly,’ she says. This requires tackling corruption generally and not just targeting political rivals like the Dos Santos family, as Lourenço has done so far. And fundamentally, it means tackling poverty.
The danger, as Nhamirre fears, is that the MPLA will merely continue to manipulate elections so its leaders can keep enriching themselves by looting Angola’s vast resources. 

And perhaps the ruling party might also retreat even further from democracy to avoid another embarrassing near defeat.
One recalls Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections when ZANU-PF made the tactical error of allowing the MDC to win. 

That error was soon corrected, and since then, the ruling party has been steadily but systematically dismembering the MDC.
None of Southern Africa’s former liberation movements in government has yet conceded power – so it’s hard to imagine any of them doing so.
Peter Fabricius, Consultant, ISS Pretoria

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11-FEB-2019 this is a ‘’Born Free’’ generation.

11-FEB-2019 this is a ‘’Born Free’’ generation.

speech which was delivered to the Parlia- ment in Cape Town on February 3rd 1960 and by a British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan who said;
‘’The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact’’

new African political horizon and this brings me to the ‘’Vision’’ thing.
Where is it? Who is providing it? Its high time we authored it because this is a ‘’Born Free’’ generation.

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Paul Virilio Speed and Politics

Paul Virilio Speed and Politics

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’

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Zambia debt relief to mix haircuts, maturity extensions - finmin official @Reuters

Zambia debt relief to mix haircuts, maturity extensions - finmin official @Reuters 

Zambia's debt restructuring will be a mixture of haircuts to loans' original value and maturity extensions, a senior Zambian finance ministry official said Thursday, after the Fund approved a $1.3 billion program for the southern African country.
Negotiations with creditors to restructure debt that reached $17 billion at the end of 2021 are starting now, Mukuli Chikuba, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, said at a joint Zambian government and IMF news conference in Zambia's capital Lusaka.
The IMF Executive Board approval, a crucial step in the southern African country's quest to restructure its debts and rebuild an economy ravaged by mismanagement and COVID-19, would unlock an immediate disbursement of about $185 million, the Fund said on Wednesday. read more
Zambia became the first African country to default in the pandemic era in 2020, struggling with debt that reached 120% of its gross domestic product.
"The choice between haircuts and stretching the repayment period...is a matter of negotiations. And that negotiation will reflect the preference of the particular creditor," said Zambia's finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane. @S_Musokotwane
Some creditors "will choose to have their money faster," he said. "Others will choose not to have a haircut but get the money to be paid over a longer period of time."
China, Zambia's largest bilateral creditor, holding $5.78 billion of its debt at the end of 2021 according to Zambian government data, has tended to opt for extending loan repayment periods in other restructurings, rather than writing down original loan value.
The Zambian officials declined to comment on how Chinese loans would be restructured, noting that the negotiations were ongoing.
The IMF's Debt Sustainability Analysis, which will form the basis of debt restructuring negotiations with Zambia's creditors, will be published early next week, IMF representative Preya Sharma said at the press conference.
The outlook for Zambia is more positive but the government still has to do more, Sharma said.
The $1.3 billion IMF loan has a zero interest rate, she said.
Half of the IMF loan will be used for budget support and half for the country's reserves, central bank governor Denny Kalyalya said, with price stability and building international reserves a priority.
Even after restructuring its debt, the level of servicing will still be "substantial", Musokotwane said.
He said, though, that confidence and exchange rate stability had returned to the economy.
Now that Zambia is on the IMF programme, future borrowing would be only on concessional terms, Secretary to the Treasury Felix Nkulukusa said.

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Zambia not to pay euro bond due in September - Finance Minister @S_Musokotwane @Reuters

Zambia not to pay euro bond due in September - Finance Minister @S_Musokotwane @Reuters 

-Zambia will not be paying its $750 million euro bond due in September until new terms of payment are agreed between the government and bondholders, its Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane said on Sunday.

“The bonds fall due (but) we will not pay on this basis. Let’s talk. Let’s agree on new terms before we can start servicing,” Musokotwane told local news channel ZNBC in an interview.
The negotiations with private creditors are likely to be tough but Zambia has the support of the international community, the minister said.
Besides the $750 million euro bond, Zambia has a $1 billion euro bond due in 2024 and another $1.25 billion euro bond due for repayment in 2027.

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It is in fact the Supreme Court which is on Trial
Law & Politics

It is in fact the Supreme Court which is on Trial

And the judges arrive. 30 minutes to judgment delivery. @KinyanBoy

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In a subtle and nuanced manner, the court expressed exasperation with the petition going by some of the choice descriptions; @tonimugo
Law & Politics

1. Outright forgeries
2. Hot air
3. Wild goose chase
4. Red herring
5. Not a single evidence
7. Unproven hypothesis

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Equity Group Holdings Ltd share data & HY 22 Earnings
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Equity Group Holdings Ltd share data & HY 22 Earnings

HY 22 Fair value changes in FVOCI assets [38.945243b] versus [2.445727b]
HY 22 Total comprehensive income for the year [13.877697b] versus 16.432692b
HY 22 EPS 6.29 versus 4.65 +35.26% 

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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September 2022

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