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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Thursday 06th of January 2022
 
Morning
Africa

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Fed members seem more willing to shrink the balance sheet sooner after liftoff, and potentially more quickly since the current maturity of the Fed’s holdings is shorter than in prior years @isaabramowicz1
World Of Finance


Fed members seem more willing to shrink the balance sheet sooner after liftoff, and potentially more quickly since the current maturity of the Fed’s holdings is shorter than in prior years & would shrink more quickly if the central bank stopped reinvesting repayments.

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Yields on 5-year notes climb to the highest since February 2020. It's noteworthy that the cost for the U.S. to borrow for five years has quadrupled in the past 12 months. @lisaabramowicz1
World Of Finance


29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change
https://j.mp/32AZEK5

A REGIME CHANGE IS UNDERWAY [in the markets]
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. Paul Tudor-Jones

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Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice
Misc.

Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door

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Tsunamis also start by receding For years now Central Banks have been enabling governments unwilling to confront structural problems by flooding economies with money. @ELuttwak
World Of Finance

For years now Central Banks have been enabling governments unwilling to confront structural problems by flooding economies with money.  But when we had deflation instead of inflation, the Krugmans told us not to worry ("different this time") Tsunamis also start by receding

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AMC closed 11% lower in New York, while GameStop declined 13%, helping send the basket of meme stocks tracked by Bloomberg to its lowest close since Jan. 21
World Of Finance





De-SPACs, which are also quite popular with individual investors, slumped as a Bloomberg basket of 25 companies fell 6.1% to another record low

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A backdrop of Nairobi’s skyline. @gufydox
Africa


"Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable."

-T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton, Four Quartets 

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Taiwan should destroy chip infrastructure if China invades: paper @NikkeiAsia @kenmoriyasu & editors of @Journal_INDOPAC
Law & Politics


NEW YORK -- In the most-downloaded paper published by the U.S. Army War College in 2021, two American scholars propose a Taiwan deterrence strategy to render the island so "unwantable" that it would make no logical sense for China to seize it by force.
One key recommendation is for the U.S. and Taiwan to threaten to destroy facilities of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. -- the world's most important chipmaker and China's most important supplier -- if Beijing invades.
Samsung, based in U.S. ally South Korea, would be the only alternative for cutting-edge designs. 

If TSMC went offline, "China's high-tech industries would be immobilized at precisely the same time the nation was embroiled in a massive war effort," the authors note. 

"Even when the formal war ended, the economic costs would persist for years," the paper suggests, adding that such a scenario could hurt the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party.
The challenge, the authors argue, is to make such a threat credible. "An automatic mechanism might be designed, which would be triggered once an invasion was confirmed," they write.
"Despite a huge Chinese effort for a 'Made in China' chip industry, only 6% of semiconductors used in China were produced domestically in 2020," the paper notes.
"Broken Nest: Deterring China from Invading Taiwan" was written by Jared McKinney, chair of the Department of Strategy and Security Studies at the eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education, Air University, and Peter Harris, associate professor of political science at Colorado State University. 

The views do not necessarily represent those of Air University or the U.S. Air Force, McKinney said.
China has responded strongly to the report. 

On Dec. 23, the website of the Chinese State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office posted an article noting that "the mainland's pursuit of cross-strait reunification is definitely not for TSMC."
The controversial approach stems from an acknowledgement that traditional deterrence strategies -- such as forward-deploying American warships in Taiwan's vicinity -- may not be enough to discourage Beijing from taking action in the Taiwan Strait.
The People's Liberation Army's goal for a successful invasion is 14 hours, a Chinese analyst with connections in the PLA Navy told the authors, while the PLA projects the U.S. and Japan to need 24 hours to respond.
"If this scenario is close to being accurate, China's government might well be inclined to attempt a fait accompli as soon as it is confident in its relative capabilities," McKinney and Harris write.
While ensuring that key chip-producing facilities do not fall into Beijing's hands, the U.S. and allies could also form contingency plans to quickly evacuate highly skilled Taiwanese working in this sector and give them refuge, the paper proposes.
The authors acknowledge that this "scorched-earth" strategy will be unappealing to the Taiwanese. 

But the costs "will be far less devastating to the people of Taiwan than the U.S. threat of great power war, which would see massive and prolonged fighting in, above, and beside Taiwan," they continue.
McKinney told Nikkei Asia that the plan brings the economic instrument of power into the deterrence argument and that it offers "an alternative to fighting a great power war at a location 5,000 miles west of Hawaii, a prohibitively difficult proposition."
Harris said: "If the U.S. and Taiwan wish to deter China from invading, then they should look for means of doing so that do not rely on the threat of U.S. military reprisals. Relying exclusively on military threats is becoming less credible and thus more dangerous."
Meanwhile, the paper proposes making efforts to convince Beijing of the "considerable advantages" to maintaining the status quo.
"Washington must restate in unambiguous terms the status of Taiwan is undetermined, that the United States has no plans to support independent statehood for Taiwan, and it will not seek to shift the status quo using gray-zone tactics that violate the spirit of Sino-American rapprochement," the authors write.

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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the government's resignation on Wednesday, his office said, after a fuel price increase triggered protests in which nearly 100 police were injured.
Law & Politics


Police used tear gas and stun grenades late on Tuesday to drive hundreds of protesters out of the main square in Almaty, the former Soviet republic's biggest city, and clashes resumed on Wednesday.

Speaking to acting cabinet members, Tokayev ordered them and provincial governors to reinstate LPG price controls and broaden them to gasoline, diesel and other "socially important" consumer goods.

Nazarbayev, 81, had run the country for almost 30 years before resigning abruptly in 2019 and backing Tokayev as a successor. Nazarbayev retains sweeping powers as the chairman of the security council; he has not convened the council or commented on this week's violence.
Tokayev declared the emergency in Almaty and Mangistau and has said that domestic and foreign provocateurs were behind the violence.

Separately, the interior ministry said that in addition to Almaty, government buildings were attacked in the southern cities of Shymkent and Taraz overnight, with 95 police officers wounded in clashes. Police have detained more than 200 people.
Almaty mayor Bakytzhan Sagintayev said in an address to residents that the situation in the city was under control and security forces were detaining "provocateurs and extremists".

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A burning police car following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 5, 2022. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev @GuyReuters
Law & Politics


21 OCT 19 ::  The New Economy of Anger


Paul Virilio pronounced in his book 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.’’

The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot. 

Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feed- back loop.

“Revolution must be distinguished from revolt, coup d’état, palace takeover. A coup or a palace takeover may be planned, but a revolution—never. Its outbreak, the hour of that outbreak, takes everyone, even those who have been striving for it, unawares. They stand amazed at the spontaneity that appears suddenly and destroys everything in its path. It demolishes so ruthlessly that in the end, it may annihilate the ideals that called it into being.”
Ryszard Kapucinski also said: “If the crowd disperses, goes home, does not reassemble, we say the revolution is over.”

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This antigenic map shows that all of the VOCs up to Omicron likely form a single antigenic cluster However, Omicron is substantially different from all other major VOCs, likely forming a new antigenic cluster @colinrussell
Misc.


29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change

https://j.mp/32AZEK5

The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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Nations w/ high COVID avg 2wk case/day increase @jmlukens
Misc.

Philippines: 2,486%
Cote d'Ivoire: 1,933%
Saudi Arabia: 913%
Dominican Republic: 910%
Montenegro: 888%
Morocco: 837%
Australia: 822%
United Arab Emirates: 816%
Argentina: 709%
Greece: 655%

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Still see commentary attributing all reduction in severity of Omicron waves to inherent virus properties, rather than immunity accumulated from earlier waves/vaccine. @AdamJKucharski
Misc.




It's important to distinguish, because affects ability to extrapolate to other places,

"By tracking evolutionary trajectories of vaccine-resistant mutations in >2.2 million SARSCoV2 genomes, we reveal that occurrence & frequency of vaccine-resistant mutations correlate strongly with vaccination rates" @ifihadastick



23-AUG-2021 ::  We have now crossed peak Vaccine Euphoria
https://j.mp/384Arar

28-MAR-2021 we are seeing a sustained acceleration in mutant viruses.
https://bit.ly/3szfEo5

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.12973
Dollar Index 96.29
Japan Yen 115.8870
Swiss Franc 0.91848
Pound 1.351750
Aussie 0.716400
India Rupee 74.5056
South Korea Won 1203.290
Brazil Real 5.7090632
Egypt Pound 15.723365
South Africa Rand 15.983225

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Letter from Silicon Valley Money in the Metaverse @NewYorker
World Of Finance


Years ago, while on vacation in the Northwest, my husband and I rented a room in the home of a middle-aged couple, one of whom had recently retired. 

The house was old, beautiful, and cozily laden with objects that signalled domestic inertia. 

It sat on a lush, wild sprawl of farmland that immediately inspired fantasies of leaving San Francisco and our tech jobs, foraging for mushrooms, administering to septic systems, and turning over soil.

One morning over breakfast, conversation shifted to our host’s retirement. He was glad to have more time at home with his wife and their dog. He was baking a lot. He was spending hours playing FarmVille.

“FarmVille?” I asked, half awake, spreading honey over a slice of toast. Through the picture window, we could see mist rising from the evergreens

The dog nosed around in the vegetable beds. FarmVille, our host confirmed pleasantly—it was a game, a farming simulator, played by tens of millions of people on Facebook—before asking if we might be interested in some eggs. We were. The eggs were fresh. The sun was emerging. Our host seemed very happy with his lot.

It is hard to know what anyone else really wants, and I think of this man often. I thought of him most recently while watching Mark Zuckerberg deliver an hour-long presentation on Facebook’s rebrand—it is now called Meta—and its newfound focus on building the “metaverse”: a vast and integrated virtual world. 

Watching Zuckerberg stroll through a blandly monied virtual set, appointed, as if from a drop-down menu, with books and trinkets and unused-looking sports equipment, I wondered if there were people who wanted this, or would find this vision exciting. 

Then I reminded myself: FarmVille. I think it is useful, in attempts to forecast the future, to be humble about the enormous mystery of other people’s desires.

In recent months, the metaverse has been described as a kind of online place, combining virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet, entertainment experiences, gaming, and remote work. 

The key idea is that, no matter what you’re doing in the metaverse, or where you are, your identities and assets will be multi-platform and transportable: you’ll be the same “you” at work and at leisure. 

As the concept of the metaverse has snaked into the discourse, predictions about it have seemed mainly to reflect the desires of the corporations that are setting the terms of the conversation. 

(The term “metaverse” itself, which has its origins in dystopian science fiction, has been aggressively promoted by companies with worlds to sell.) 

Reading about the metaverse, I’ve often had the uneasy feeling that I am taking something far too seriously—giving credence to the wrong things, internalizing the wrong logic—simply because a small number of world-historically wealthy people have told me to.

What they are saying is incredible, not least because it is entirely speculative. 

They suggest that the metaverse will be a “massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users” (the venture capitalist Matthew Ball)

They offer that it might enable companies “to embed computing into the real world and to embed the real world into computing” (the Microsoft C.E.O., Satya Nadella)—and that it could make “the virtual world more real and the real world more rich with virtual experiences” (the Tencent C.E.O., Pony Ma)

Tim Sweeney, the C.E.O. of Epic Games, has said that the metaverse may be “a multi-trillion-dollar part of the world economy”; 

Jensen Huang, the C.E.O. of Nvidia, thinks that it could create “a new economy that is larger than our current economy.” 

The over-all point is that it will be simultaneously a place for connection, community, and so on, and also a forum for transaction and extraction. 

For its makers, the metaverse will be stuffed with money—in every dimension, all the way down.

If the metaverse materializes, it will probably look and behave like a video game, at least for a little while

For millions of people, video games already serve as everyday, immersive virtual experiences; gaming companies provide infrastructure for Hollywood films, spatial visualizations, and live performances. 

Aesthetically, the metaverse could have the gauzy realism of 2019’s “The Lion King,” the anesthetized cheerfulness of The Sims, the pixel-art graphics of the sixteen-bit era, or any other vibe

Physically, it will probably be accessed through headgear—V.R. headsets, A.R. glasses—or simply a computer screen. 

Financially, it could look something like FarmVille, in which players spent millions of dollars on virtual windmills, fertilizer, farm animals, and water, tending to what Alenda Y. Chang, an associate professor of film and media studies at U.C. Santa Barbara, has called an “ecologically absurd” landscape, in which dying crops could be revived by “unwither” spray, and sheep produced wool sweaters after eating tomatoes.

The gaming industry’s business models tend to evolve on the heels of technological development. In the early two-thousands, premium games were sold as standalone products; like blockbuster films, they came with large marketing budgets, vivid advertising campaigns, and hotly anticipated release dates, around which the bulk of revenue was collected. 

But as personal computers grew faster and more powerful and the Internet became more reliable and ubiquitous, the model began to shift. 

Some games were no longer stored on disks or cartridges but in the cloud; often, people accessed them not on gaming consoles but through their smartphones. 

Massively multiplayer online games, such as World of Warcraft, brought small-scale, in-app purchases—known as microtransactions—into the mainstream. 

Microtransactions were most common in “free-to-play” games. These cost nothing to download, but grew increasingly complex—and, crucially, more fun—with every additional expenditure. 

Now game companies could charge for new levels, new features, and new things to buy, pushed directly to users’ devices.

Alexander Bernevega and Alex Gekker, researchers in Amsterdam, have described this transition as the “assetization” of top-tier video games—a shift toward what Jathan Sadowski has called “new rentier capitalism.” 

The future of the industry, Bernevega and Gekker write, will be one of “fully assetized gaming,” in which “gamers will own neither the games nor the consoles” but pay for seasonal “battle passes” or owe subscription fees. 

At the same time, the logic of ownership will live on inside the games themselves, in the form of customizable skins for avatars, character attire weapons, tools, and so on, acquired through microtransactions. 

“This is what makes the modern blockbuster game a highly productive asset,” the authors write. “By combining the rent-based and commodity-based models,” the games “are able to continually draw income.”

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Letter from Silicon Valley Money in the Metaverse @NewYorker [continued]
World Of Finance


As in-game economies grew, they generated robust black markets for virtual items, with players buying and selling everything from ordinary game elements (armor, weapons, gold) to the equivalent of collectibles (a limited-edition party hat). 

Because players were accustomed to spending real money on virtual goods—or, in some cases, real money on digital currency, which could be spent on virtual goods—these black markets could be lucrative. 

Real-money trading, or R.M.T., began with one-to-one exchanges on sites like eBay, but was quickly scaled up and professionalized. 

Some players, usually in places with limited economic opportunity, took up gaming full-time in order to rack up in-game loot, treasure, and bonuses, selling those assets for profit, outside the game, to other players—a practice known as “gold-farming.”

In 2004, the president of Internet Gaming Entertainment—a virtual-asset-trading startup, established in 2001, that relied on the labor of low-wage players—estimated that the market for virtual goods and services was about eight hundred and eighty million dollars a year. 

By 2009, as many as a million “farmers” worked in China, many of them in tightly packed, open-plan computer labs, under conditions that were often compared, in the media, to sweatshops. 

In 2011, the Guardian reported that prisoners at a Chinese labor camp were being made to play online multiplayer games, “to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money.” 

Reading about people who played games for profit reminded me of “Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games,” a seminal work in video-games studies published in 2009, by Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter, academics working in media studies. 

The authors, argue that video games are the “paradigmatic media of Empire”—a totalizing regime of “planetary, militarized hypercapitalism.”

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games fell out of fashion in the early twenty-tens, eBay banned the sale of virtual goods, pushing it to smaller, more ephemeral Web sites and marketplaces. 

Game developers, sometimes under regulatory pressure, tried to crack down on off-platform sales, which were almost always against their end-user license agreements and terms of service anyway. 

But in recent years, real-money trading has seen a minor resurgence. Old School RuneScape and Tibia, online multiplayer games set in fantasy worlds, have attracted players from Venezuela, who have found that their in-game currencies are more valuable and stable than the bolívar. 

(The games are popular in part because of their retro graphics, which can run well on older computers with slow internet connections.) 

In 2019, when Venezuela was hit with widespread power outages, there was an immediate economic crisis in Old School RuneScape.

Above-board video-game marketplaces, meanwhile, have become more abundant and varied. 

These days, people spend more than eighty billion dollars a year on virtual goods sold in video games

Game-studies scholars have long argued that gaming allows players to experiment with new identities and modes of being: 

“Virtual games simulate identities as citizen-soldiers, free-agent workers, cyborg adventurers, and corporate criminals,” Dyer-Witheford and de Peuter write

“Virtual play trains flexible personalities for flexible jobs, shapes subjects for militarized markets, and makes becoming a neoliberal subject fun.” 

Virtual worlds, it seems, also train players to be eager, expectant, and constant consumers.

Games reflect their creators’ societies and circumstances. FarmVille, in which players obsessively managed capricious fiefdoms, was launched in 2009, and has had two sequels. 

In 2011, FarmVille players spent an estimated hundred million dollars on virtual goods; the writer Cory Doctorow later characterized it as “an unregulated, low-yield casino game.” 

In retrospect, the game looks like an artifact of Silicon Valley’s post-recession startup scene, which flourished during a transitional, confusing time when smartphones weren’t yet ubiquitous and uneasy borders still held between online and offline life. 

The game was played on Facebook, and revolved around virtual crops that died without constant attention. 

It relied on the defining features of its technological moment—social-media networks, data collection, reëngagement hacks, user-generated content, and native advertising. 

FarmVille’s success, the artist and designer A.J. Patrick Liszkiewicz has written, depended on its adoption of social-media logic—it entangled users “in a web of social obligations.”

The metaverse, if it takes off, will reflect its cultural and technological moment, too. Taking cues from today’s tech ecosystem, it will probably be privatized, centralized, and financialized, with rampant artificial scarcity. 

Players of FarmVille were not digital natives; players of games like Fortnite and Minecraft almost certainly are, and, in the metaverse, will be the target audience for companies selling digital skins, virtual trinkets, and cloud-based space. 

Some vocal proponents of “web3”—an as-yet unrealized idea for the Internet’s next phase, based on visions for a decentralized, blockchain-based digital substrate—have fixed their gaze on the metaverse, seeing it as an opportunity for epochal transformation. 

(Arguments in favor of web3 are frequently made using utopian rhetoric—democratization, decentralization, transformation, freedom, revolution, and so on—that elevates, or obscures, what would otherwise be a financial conversation.) 

We don’t yet know if cryptocurrency and the blockchain will have anything to do with what Microsoft, Meta, Roblox, or Tencent are building (although the torrent of venture capital flowing into cryptocurrency-related companies is notable). 

But the future importance of money in the metaverse seems indisputable. Meta-life will probably involve a reimagination of financial life and, possibly, a shift in our existing social hierarchies and institutions. 

“Many of today’s dominant visions for the future of money are unlinked from the political and territorial structures of nationhood,” the media scholar Lana Swartz writes, in her book “New Money: How Payment Became Social Media,” published in 2020. 

“All of these visions are, on some level, postdemocracy fantasies.”

A new crop of video games, categorized as “play-to-earn,” might give us a sense of where the metaverse is headed. 

Players of such games are often rewarded with native cryptocurrency—that is, with the game’s version of Bitcoin or Ethereum. 

Unlike FarmVille’s Farm Bucks or RuneScape’s gold pieces, which were in-game only, these new cryptocurrencies can be traded, off-platform, for other cryptocurrencies or government-issued money. 

Currently, the most prominent play-to-earn game is Axie Infinity, which is frequently compared to the game Pokémon. 

Characters in Axie Infinity, called Axies, are N.F.T.s, or “non-fungible tokens,” which serve as certificates of ownership for stoned-looking cartoon axolotls. 

By winning battles with their Axies, or selling them to others, players rack up tokens of Smooth Love Potion (S.L.P.), and “governance” tokens called Axie Infinity Shards (A.X.S.); today, on cryptocurrency exchanges, a single S.L.P. token is valued at about three cents, and an A.X.S. token is worth about ninety-three dollars. 

During the pandemic, people in the Philippines have taken to playing Axie Infinity professionally, finding it more lucrative than local employment. 

“We believe in a future where work and play become one,” the game’s F.A.Q. states. ‌“We believe in empowering our players and giving them economic opportunities.”

Recently, on a podcast produced by the venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Jeff Zirlin, a co-founder of Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese gaming company that makes Axie Infinity, used the same extravagant rhetoric to describe the game’s appeal. 

“What we’ve built is not just the gaming community,” he said. “It is, in many ways, a nation where people have shared cultural values.” 

In this nation, it seemed, any distinctions between culture and finance had collapsed. 

Some critics note a sense in which Axie Infinity’s revenue model is like a ponzi scheme: to start, players are required to purchase three Axie N.F.T.s, which can cost anywhere from a hundred to a thousand dollars, and this props up the value of current players’ Axies

If new players stop signing up, the internal economy may sputter and crash. 

Even so, any cash flow problems might be mitigated, for a time, by venture funding: Sky Mavis recently raised more than a hundred and fifty million dollars in venture capital, at a three-billion-dollar valuation; the funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, which was an early investor in Zynga, the creator of FarmVille

Even when the game changes, certain strategies—and players—stay the same. (“Gaming is going to be a key way in which the next hundreds of millions of users onboard into crypto,” Arianna Simpson, an Andreessen Horowitz partner, noted, on the podcast.)

Listening, I wondered, Could I make this my life? Banking dashboards, cryptocurrency wallets, ledgers and spreadsheets. 

I tried to imagine myself in a corporate-owned and venture-funded metaverse: a virtual axolotl in a virtual sweater, writing for a virtual magazine in a virtual office, hemorrhaging virtual money. 

I might covet the Gen Z copy-editor’s avatar, and hope that readers would invest in N.F.T.s of my work. I could be paid in CondéCoin, with a cut going to Meta or Minecraft or Microsoft, whatever corporation or game was my virtual landlord. 

Weekends would be spent at the arcade, or the casino. My husband and I would go on virtual vacations to virtual worlds, stay with virtual hosts who played virtual games set on virtual farms. I could play to earn—and earn, and earn. I could have everything I wanted, and nothing at all.

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Uranium surged almost 8% to $45.25 a pound on Wednesday from $42 Tuesday, according to UxC data. @markets
Commodities


The Central Asian nation, a part of the former Soviet Union that produces more than 40% of the world’s uranium, has disrupted communications networks and restricted some travel in a bid to quell the unrest. 

The Kremlin said Russia and its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization will send “peacekeeping forces” after Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed for assistance.
Uranium surged almost 8% to $45.25 a pound on Wednesday from $42 Tuesday, according to UxC data. 

The turmoil could lead to more reliance on suppliers outside Kazakhstan, resulting in a surge in shares of uranium companies in North America and Australia.
Given Kazakhstan’s role as the world’s No. 1 uranium supplier, “it’d be like if the Saudis had issues in oil,” said Jonathan Hinze, president of UxC LLC, a leading nuclear fuel market research and analysis firm. 

“Even if there isn’t a shortage right now, the potential for this to create a shortage is what people now are trading on.”
The nuclear fuel made a stunning comeback in September with prices surging 24% for the best monthly performance since late 2008. 

Investors are betting nuclear power will enjoy a renaissance as governments turn away from fossil fuels.
Shares of NAC Kazatomprom JSC, the biggest uranium miner, declined as much as 11% in London, while most uranium companies in North America extended gains from earlier this week after the European Union pushed ahead with a plan to label certain nuclear projects as sustainable.  
With the unrest in Kazakhstan, “people wake up to the fact that maybe we can’t rely on one major producer,” said Nick Piquard, a portfolio manager at Horizons ETFs.

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29-NOV-2021 :: Regime Change
Africa


The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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.
https://bit.ly/3Bk45Gj


Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 25 days @ReutersGraphics
https://bit.ly/3mJXddZ

12 countries are still at the peak of their infection curve.


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Still see commentary attributing all reduction in severity of Omicron waves to inherent virus properties, rather than immunity accumulated from earlier waves/vaccine. @AdamJKucharski
Africa

Still see commentary attributing all reduction in severity of Omicron waves to inherent virus properties, rather than immunity accumulated from earlier waves/vaccine. It's important to distinguish, because affects ability to extrapolate to other places

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Hugh Masekela said ’I want to be there when the people start to turn it around.’Sudan is a Masekela pivot moment.
Africa

The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating
As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.
And now we have two visions of the Future. One vision played out on our screens, the protestors could have been our wives, children. 
The other vision is that of MBS, MBZ and Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw. 

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Car & General (Kenya) Ltd reports FY Earnings through 30th Sep 2021 EPS +227.44%
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied


Par Value:                  5/-
Closing Price:           33.95
Total Shares Issued:          40103308.00
Market Capitalization:        1,361,507,307
EPS:               22.43 
PE:                 1.513
 
Franchise holder for leading automotive and engineering products.

Car & General reports FY Earnings through 30 Sep 2021 versus 30 Sep 2020

FY Revenue 17.141960b versus 12.117976b +41.45% 

FY Gross Profit 3.051118b versus 1.950775b +56.4%

FY Other Income 118.884m versus 131.866m

FY Impairment provision for Financial Assets [15.629m] versus [31.311m]

FY Operating Expenses [1.955631b] versus [1.495284b] +30.786% 

FY Share of profit in an associate 370.373m versus 247.452m

FY Profit before Finance costs and Taxation 1.606759b versus 0.742722b +163.33%

FY Finance costs [503.517m] versus [612.883m]

FY Profit before Taxation 1.103242b versus 129.839m +749.7%

FY Profit after taxation 887.243m versus 274.134m +223.65%

FY EPS 22.43 versus 6.85 +227.44%

Cash and Cash Equivalents 349.12m versus 229.779m

FY Dividend Shs 3.20 per share

Bonus share 1:1

Company Commentary 

The year to 30 September 2021 was positive in spite of the impact of Covid 19. The Group posted 42% growth in turnover. 

Overall, sales in Kenya grew 55% and sales outside Kenya grew 22%. Uganda and Tanzania now represent over 35% of Group sales

Our two-wheeler (“boda boda”) and three-wheeler (“tuk tuk”) businesses experienced reasonable growth. 

Our equipment businesses (namely tractors, construction equipment and forklifts) also grew particularly Doosan.

As a result of the above, turnover for the year ended 30 September 2021 was Shs 17.1 billion against Shs 12.1 billion achieved the previous financial year. 

EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) grew by 100% to Shs 1.8 billion from Shs 936 million. 

Profit after tax over the same period was Shs 887 million which is over 300% higher than Shs 274 million made during the same period last year. 

Profitability was significantly impacted by demurrage losses of Shs 103 million resulting from global logistical issues and localization of production. 

Our cashflow was negatively impacted by supply chain issues, resulting in higher levels of paid-up stock to the tune of Shs 1.4bn.

Our investment in Watu Credit is also performing well and driving growth in the consumer segment. 

In addition to Kenya, Watu has now established operations in Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone. The contribution from Watu to the Group's net profit was significant.

Conclusions

Singularly impressive results. Share Price has plenty of upside 

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