home | rich profile | rich freebies | rich tools | rich data | online shop | my account | register |
  rich wrap-ups | **richLIVE** | richPodcasts | richRadio | richTV  | richInterviews  | richCNBC  | 
Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Wednesday 19th of January 2022
 
Morning
Africa

Register and its all Free.

read more







My Struggle: Book One | Karl Ove Knausgard
Misc.

The moment life departs the body, it belongs to death. 
We are constantly surrounded by objects and phenomena from the realm of death. Nonetheless, there are few things that arouse in us greater distaste than to a see a human being caught up in it, at least if we are to judge by the efforts we make to keep corpses out of sight. 
A town that does not keep its dead out of sight, that leaves people where they died, on highways and byways, in parks and parking lots, is not a town but a hell.

Understanding the world requires you to take a certain distance from it. Things that are too small to see with the naked eye, such as molecules and atoms, we magnify. Things that are too large, such as cloud formations, river deltas, constellations, we reduce. At length we bring it within the scope of our senses and we stabilize it with fixer. When it has been fixed we call it knowledge. Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we strive to attain the correct distance to objects and phenomena. We read, we learn, we experience, we make adjustments. Then one day we reach the point where all the necessary distances have been set, all the necessary systems have been put in place. That is when time begins to pick up speed. It no longer meets any obstacles, everything is set, time races through our lives, the days pass by in a flash and before we know what is happening we are forty, fifty, sixty . . . Meaning requires content, content requires time, time requires resistance. Knowledge is distance, knowledge is stasis and the enemy of meaning. My picture of my father on that evening in 1976 is, in other words, twofold: on the one hand I see him as I saw him at that time, through the eyes of an eight-year-old: unpredictable and frightening; on the other hand, I see him as a peer through whose life time is blowing and unremittingly sweeping large chunks of meaning along with it.

The only thing that does not age in a face is the eyes. They are no less bright the day we die as the day we are born. The blood vessels in them may burst, admittedly, and the corneas may be dulled, but the light in them never changes.

read more






Also notable in the #UAE attack: The targeted ADNOC site in Abu Dhabi is less than 10 km away from the al-Dhafra air base, an Emirati military base that also hosts US and French forces @michaelh992
Misc.


23-SEP-2019 :: "If you want peace and security for your facilities and towers made of glass that cannot withstand one drone, then leave Yemen alone" which streamed into my consciousness.
http://bit.ly/2m9jhnh

7. 5 OCT 15 :: Putin is a GeoPolitical GrandMaster


read more


The danger of a military attack by Russia in the direct European neighborhood is permanent and a military attack could be imminent at any time. What’s Russia’s plan? /1 @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

The danger of a military attack by Russia in the direct European neighborhood is permanent and the most recent escalation caused by its drastic troops mobilization will send a strong signal once again that a military attack could be imminent at any time. What’s Russia’s plan? /1

read more


Russia‘s Putin is preparing for the long game, that is the systemic rivalry between USA and China. He seeks to upgrade his regional positioning /2 @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

Russia‘s Putin is preparing for the „long game“, that is the systemic rivalry between USA and China. He seeks to upgrade his regional positioning by testing the American reaction (he knows that there won’t be a military involvement by US in Ukraine due to mid-term elections). /2

read more


We exist in a Tripolar World [US China and Russia]
Law & Politics

I am not discounting Fortress Europe but one senses the Fortress is keener on a more defensive posture unlike the US [notwithstanding its withdrawal from Afghanistan], China and Russia. 

read more



@JoeBiden is in a Pincer with Xi & Vladimir holding the console & ratcheting up the pressure & [and] they own the timing on the Ukraine Taiwan Two Step
Law & Politics


The POINT remains @POTUS has to do a deal with Putin in order to avoid triangulation in the new Tri Polar World

read more


Moscow has put its conditions on the table. /4 @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

And at the same time, by showing muscle, Putin makes Russia an indispensable player, without which neither of the two rivals - USA & China, could win the future competition against each other. How many countries in the world could mobilize so many troops in such a short time? /3


Putin sees this optimal window of opportunity to test the readiness of US for bilateral talks with Moscow but also the red line for future  concessions if Washington really intends to get Russia out of China’s orbit in the long term. Moscow has put its conditions on the table. /4

5 DEC 16 :The Parabolic Rebound of Vladimir Putin
https://bit.ly/3xLiyJE 

read more


Simultaneously, Russia coordinated its view on Ukraine with China’s view on Taiwan & they created diplomatically a two-fronts-scenario /5 @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

Simultaneously, Russia coordinated its view on Ukraine with China’s view on Taiwan & they created diplomatically a  two-fronts-scenario which provides a breather for Beijing ahead of the Olympics following the upcoming Western boycotts. Russia keeps the West busy until Feb 20. /5

read more



Putin sees an optimal window of opportunity to capitalize on this geopolitical context. His response is three-dimensional: /6 @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

Putin sees an optimal window of opportunity to capitalize on this geopolitical context. His response is three-dimensional: 1) against Ukraine, which must always fear an imminent attack; 2) against the EU by humiliating Flag of European Union powers because of their irrelevance in this escalation /6

read more


And finally in the long run, 3) against China and the US by raising the price of Russia's future participation in their systemic rivalry as the new free rider of the Global System. /7 @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

And finally in the long run, 3) against China and the US by raising the price of Russia's future participation in their systemic rivalry as the new free rider of the Global System. The two-fronts-scenario helps Moscow leverage its positions against China & United States for different reasons./7

read more


By keeping #Tokayev in power, Putin suddenly gained immense leverage @vtchakarova
Law & Politics

By keeping #Tokayev in power, Putin suddenly gained immense leverage over Kazakhstan and increased Russia’s bargaining power against China (commodities, access to BRI, CSTO-SCO, heartland), US  (Biden-Putin talks) & European Union (KZ is the third non-OPEC oil & uranium supplier).

read more






Autocracies outdo democracies on public trust - survey @EdelmanPR @Reuters
Law & Politics


Public trust in governments running the world's democracies has fallen to new lows over their handling of the pandemic and amid a widespread sense of economic pessimism, a global survey has found.
The Edelman Trust Barometer, which for two decades has polled thousands of people on trust in their governments, media, business and NGOs, conversely showed rising scores in several autocratic states, notably China.
It also highlighted that business, thanks to its role developing vaccines and adapting workplace and retail practices, had retained strong levels of trust globally, albeit with reservations about its commitment to social fairness.
"We really have a collapse of trust in democracies," said Richard Edelman, whose Edelman communications group published the survey of over 36,000 respondents in 28 countries interviewed between Nov. 1-24 of last year.
"It all goes back to: 'Do you have a sense of economic confidence?'" he added, noting high levels of concern about job losses linked either to the pandemic or automation.
The biggest losers of public trust over the last year were institutions in Germany, down 7 points to 46, Australia at 53 (-6), the Netherlands at 57 (-6), South Korea at 42 (-5) and the United States at 43 (-5).
By contrast, public trust in institutions in China stood at 83%, up 11 points, 76% in United Arab Emirates (+9) and 66% in Thailand (+5).

The trillions of dollars of stimulus spent by the world's richest nations to support their economies through the pandemic have failed to instil a lasting sense of confidence, the survey suggested.
In Japan, only 15% of people believed they and their families would be better off in five years' time, with most other democracies ranging around 20-40% on the same question.
But in China nearly two-thirds were optimistic about their economic fortunes and 80% of Indians believed they would be better off in five years.
Edelman said higher public trust levels in China were linked not just to economic perceptions but also to a greater sense of predictability about Chinese policy, not least on the pandemic.
"I think there is a coherence between what is done and what is said...They have had a better COVID than the US for example."
According to the Reuters pandemic tracker, the United States currently leads the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported, while China has regularly been reporting no new deaths for months as it pursues strict "zero-Covid" policies.
The results of the latest Edelman survey are in tune with its findings in recent years that charted rising disillusionment with capitalism, political leadership and the media.
Concerns about "fake news" were this time at all-time highs, with three-quarters of respondents globally worried about it being "used as a weapon". 

Among societal fears, climate change was now just behind the loss of employment as a major concern.
The burden of expectation on business leaders remains heavy, with strong majorities saying they bought goods, accepted job offers and invested in businesses according to their beliefs and values.
Around two-fifths, however, also said that business was not doing enough to address climate change, economic inequality and workforce reskilling.

Fast Forward


This is a moment of Maximum Danger to the Control Machine

read more






In 75% of the waves, the post-wave was longer. And it was significantly longer (p<0.02, t-test), by 11 days on average! @erlichya
Misc.


On average, post-waves generate 1.4x more cases than their pre-waves! @erlichya


So post-waves are longer - but do they generate more cases? The answer is YES!
The histogram shows the ratio between total cases in the post-wave compared to pre-wave (notice the log10 scale).
On average, post-waves generate 1.4x more cases than their pre-waves!

read more



A fourth dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was insufficient to prevent infection with omicron variant of Covid-19, according to data from a trial in Israel @business
Misc.


Last week, European Union regulators warned that frequent Covid-19 booster shots could weaken the immune system and may not be feasible. 

read more





Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.132905
Dollar Index 95.668
Japan Yen 114.2910
Swiss Franc 0.91590
Pound 1.360700 
Aussie 0.719125
India Rupee 74.6060 
South Korea Won 1191.39 
Brazil Real 5.5669000
Egypt Pound 15.69040 
South Africa Rand 15.507090

read more




The good economic news behind China's population free fall @NikkeiAsia @lajohnstondr
China


China's just-released socio-economic data for 2021 reveal a population growth rate just ahead of its death rate, at 0.75% versus 0.72%, implying China's imminent entry into the club of population decline countries

In South Korea, the total fertility rate, the expected number of births per woman known as TFR, has fallen to 0.92, the lowest in the world and well below the replacement rate of 2.1.

The share of South Korea's population aged 0-14 years peaked in 1962 at 44% accordingly. Today youths comprise little over 12% of the country's population, the third-lowest in the world after Singapore and Japan. 

At the same time, life expectancy has increased from 55 years in 1960 to 83 years in 2018, helping to elevate the share of the population aged over 64 from 3% in 1960 to 16% in 2020. 

The senior share is rising near exponentially. The total population is forecast to have begun a long decline from last year.

China's demographic and economic transitions started two decades later than South Korea's, in the 1980s, by which time family planning technologies had advanced.
China's demographic transition, moreover, also set off ahead of its economic transition in the late 1960s. 

Today, China's youth share is just 18%, down from a mid-1960s peak of 38%. In contrast, over 65s are up from a low of some 3% in the 1960s to 12% in 2020, with life expectancy up 20 years from 52 in 1960 to 73 in 2019. 

That is slightly less than South Korea's 25-year jump for life expectancy, but China's seniors share is still rising exponentially.
In South Korea, it took just 35 years to transition to the high-income group of countries in the mid-1990s. 

In the three decades since, sustained investment in higher education has resulted in some 70% of youths accessing tertiary education. 

Herein lies the downside, for South Korea's higher education sector, possibly the world's ultimate aging frontier.
Each year fewer youths graduate from high school than the year before, such that by midcentury just half of the 385 higher educational institutions in South Korea today will survive. 

While some regional institutions are already starting to close, Seoul is forecast to keep most of its higher educational institutions. 

The higher education sector is expected to consolidate around the capital, and competition for fewer and fewer academic positions to intensify.
In middle-income China, however, the situation looks quite different. Frontier cities such as Shanghai are plagued by many of the same demographic issues as South Korea: sustained TFR below one; life expectancy above 80 years; some 16% of the population already aged over 64. 

The educational attainment of Shanghai's younger population share, moreover, has also broadly reached OECD averages. 

Hence the number of high school graduates peaked in 2007. 

Just as in Seoul, demand for places in the city's post-secondary institutions is holding largely thanks to nationwide demand.
But most Chinese youths do not live in Shanghai; they in rural areas, where education levels are so low relative to China's frontiers that in contrast to having peaked more than a decade ago, in provinces such as Guangxi, Guizhou, Qinghai, Xinjiang and Yunnan the number of high school graduates, let alone postsecondary graduates, is still rising, even as the overall population falls.
In other words, regional demand for higher education has barely begun to be tapped. 

In line with this, China recently announced a 10.7 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) plan to foster new higher education institutions in central and western areas. 

Broadly equivalent in aim to Germany's universities of applied sciences, or the U.K.'s polytechnics, these will focus on modern industries, future technologies, intelligent agriculture and public health.
So, while China got old before it has yet become per capita rich, South Korea's population aged roughly at the same time as they got rich. 

In China's case, even as the population falls, it may still be possible to expand not just human capital per capita, but even total human capital, and its higher education sector may be a good place to be. 

South Korea's total human capital, on the other hand, risks declining as a function of its population decline, and its higher education sector is already shrinking.
It was John Maynard Keynes who warned in 1937 that "if we are careless," once population growth was controlled, then lower aggregate demand, lower aggregate savings and less capital accumulation will follow. 

To avoid carelessness, then, we should move beyond the linear analysis of births and deaths and instead, focus on the interaction of the economy and population over time -- the economic demography transition.
In the case of China, the world's second-largest economy and its leading driver of growth, this is even more important to get right, especially since China is the only country in the world to have intervened in family planning over a period of decades. 

Another underappreciated fact is that China's long-run development plans have, more or less, accounted for its economic demography transition for decades.
In sum, prophecies of China's demography-led demise may be premature. 

Understanding how flat and falling population growth of any country impacts its economy requires context and careful study of its unique economic demography transition. 

The divergent trajectories of demand and supply for higher education in rapidly aging China and South Korea help to communicate that importance.

read more









.@USAmbUN: When I was @AsstSecStateAF we saw #Ethiopia as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and now we’re in a situation where Ethiopians are in a major crisis of fighting against each other. Yonigussie
Africa

.@USAmbUN: “On a scale of 1-10, I’m at a 10. When I was @AsstSecStateAF we saw #Ethiopia as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and now we’re in a situation where Ethiopians are in a major crisis of fighting against each other.”

read more



There is a military coup that has halted the democratic transition. He kills his own people every day. Without defining a clear position on the military coup, the United Nations will not be able to play a positive role @FaisalMohSalih
Africa


The situation in Sudan is different. There is a military coup that has halted the  democratic transition. He kills his own people every day. Without defining a clear position on the military coup, the United Nations will not be able to play a positive role

read more


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. 

read more


Despite promising signs of a continuing global economic recovery in 2022, the African #debt situation remains worrying, write @Yu_JieC Creon Butler @CH_EconFin and Dr Alex Vines @AfricaProg @ChathamHouse
Africa


More than 20 low-income African countries were in debt distress or at risk of debt distress in autumn 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The good news is that while overall debt levels have generally risen, action requested by African governments from development finance institutions (DFIs) and multilateral lenders has meant many African countries have been able to support their economies without taking on too much additional private debt.
The IMF has also allocated Africa $33 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs), providing an immediate liquidity boost without adding to the debt portfolio.
At the same time, the G20’s short-term crisis management tool – the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) – has just ended and its intended replacement – the ‘Common Framework for Debt Treatment beyond the DSSI’ – has been implemented far more slowly than originally envisaged with only Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia engaging with it so far.
Lending dropping from a 2016 peak
Over the past 20 years China has become the continent’s largest source of development finance and now accounts for about one-fifth of all lending to Africa. 

This lending, until recently, was concentrated in seven strategic or resource-rich countries – Angola, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Zambia – and peaked at $29.5 billion in 2016 before falling back in 2019 to $7.6 billion.
A necessary condition for further progress is that African nations clearly want this and so push for China and the West to reach consensus on implementation of the Common Framework
Nonetheless China’s extensive trade and investment links with the region, as well as the importance of some of these borrowers, means it is an essential player in any African and global solution to excessive debt.
China’s involvement in African debt varies considerably, both between countries and over time. 

Although in recent years it has been framed in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it has for the most part been uncoordinated and unplanned, and carried out by competing lenders with links to different elements of the Chinese state.
Rapid expansion in Chinese lending to resource-rich African states in the early 2000s, particularly oil producers such as Angola and the Republic of Congo, contributed to infrastructure development but was undermined by poor governance, forcing China to make further loans to buttress its African partners against the negative effects of resource dependence.
In Kenya and Zambia, China’s lending for major infrastructure projects such as Kenya’s standard gauge railway has been undermined by bloated concepts, poor planning, and a parallel sharp rise in private sector debt. 

Lack of transparency over the precise nature of the terms which governments agreed to has led to intense domestic criticism and accusations China is seeking control over strategic assets.
China’s lending to Djibouti and Ethiopia does indeed have strategic or geopolitical goals but the current situation is one in which leverage typically lies with the debtor rather than the creditor. 

More broadly, African ‘agency’ is a key factor in the current debt situation.
As the poor quality of much of its past lending has emerged over recent years, Chinese authorities have sought greater control over new development lending and required more attention to sustainability. 

Loans are generally now on a smaller and more manageable scale than before and ambitious strategic visions of linking central Africa to the BRI via integrated transport corridors appear to have been abandoned.
With the introduction of a global development initiative in September 2021, there are indications China is moving to a ‘new development paradigm’ with a focus on supporting SMEs and human capital investments, green development, and an emphasis on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows rather than loan financing.
This shift has been reinforced by China’s rethinking of its own domestic development strategy under the ‘dual circulation policy’ which puts more weight on domestic consumption as a driver for growth versus external demand as the latter has become less reliable.
At the same time China is keen to preserve as much value as possible in what has already been lent, and also sustain its reputation in the developing world which remains a core supporter for Beijing on many UN-led platforms.
The result is China has cautiously moved away from a strong preference for dealing bilaterally with problem debtors. 

The Chinese state does not want to be a rule taker vis-à-vis the West on debt issues but increasingly appears to recognise that multilateral approaches – ideally on an ‘a la carte’ basis – can help manage both the pressures on its African partners and its own challenges.
It therefore cautiously supported the DSSI for some African states when it launched in April 2020, and similarly the Common Framework when it was launched in 2021. 

However, the Common Framework’s slow implementation reflects four specific problems linked to China’s role.
China’s extensive trade and investment links with the region, as well as the importance of some of these borrowers, means it is an essential player in any African and global solution to excessive debt
First is China’s uneasiness with the central and independent role played by the IMF in determining how much a country can afford to pay through its debt sustainability analysis (DSA). 

And second is the concern of public and private sector lenders in the West over a lack of transparency in the total amount of debt African countries borrowed from China.
Third is a difference of view between the Chinese authorities and Western governments on exactly how burden sharing should be implemented between different types of official lending institution. 

And fourth is the differences between Chinese lenders and private sector lenders on the way in which any relief should be delivered – for example, the choice between maturity extension and reduced interest rates versus debt haircuts.
Africa must push for progress
Sustained efforts have been made over the past year to try and resolve these issues, but progress has been slow. 

A necessary condition for further progress is that African nations clearly want this and so push for China and the West to reach consensus on implementation of the Common Framework.
A joint initiative should comprise three elements. 

First, a broad-based ‘G20 plus’ dialogue focused on building a stronger framework to deliver Africa’s longer term external financing needs, building in part on the cooperation mechanisms created to deal with the immediate debt relief crisis with an emphasis on African voices.
Second, a high-level political understanding on strengthened cooperation between the West, China, and other G20 lenders in relation to African debt and longer-term financing needs. 

Third, a technical programme led by the G7/G20 finance tracks to address immediate problems in the Common Framework and related debt relief initiatives.
Such a package would not solve all the problems attached to multilateral debt relief. Some, such as those linked to China’s role in the IMF and the size of its quota, cannot be addressed through an initiative centred on international debt alone. 

Nor could it end competition between China and the West, and indeed within the West, over trade and investment links with Africa.
This will continue, and it is in the interest of African borrowers that it does so too. 

But it would ensure that African countries which have unsustainable debt can address this burden through a longer-term framework which could provide substantial benefits, not just for themselves but also for their lenders.
2022 provides a window of opportunity to reach agreement on such a package and all sides would do well to take it.

read more


15-MAR-2021 :: Africa Emerging from The Pandemic
Africa


19 APR 20 ::  The End of Vanity China Africa 


To quote a Chinese saying, "The ocean is vast because it rejects no rivers."

Interestingly, At that 2018 FOCAC Meeting Xi Jinping also delivered a thinly veiled warning
China's Xi says funds for Africa not for 'vanity projects' Reuters #FOCAC2018
Our African Leaders did not take notes and that Warning was missed.
“Let the people of the country see what the terms of the debt are as their government makes commitments,” Malpass said.
The Terms of these debts are hidden precisely because they are so egregious.

read more










Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya chief executive Okisegere Ojepati says they will be going to Brussels in March to try and convince Europe to relax the rules that require Kenya to ban at least 260 chemicals @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy

Ms @GladysShollei  argues that cancer-causing herbicides and pesticides that have been banned in the United States and Europe were still being imported and sold in Kenya in total disregard to health risks it poses to people.

Conclusions

A Fool's Errand 

read more








 
 
by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
Login / Register
 

 
 
Forgot your password? Register Now
 
 
January 2022
 
 
 
 
 
COMMENTS

 
In order to post a comment we require you to be logged in after registering with us and create an online profile.