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Wednesday 29th of June 2022
 
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Blow-Up and Other Stories | Author: Julio Cortazar
Misc.


Beyond the great windows the air of afternoon danced under the oak trees in the park.

It was unusual as a dream because it was full of smells, and he never dreamt smells. First a marshy smell, there to the left of the trail the swamps began already, the quaking bogs from which no one ever returned. But the reek lifted, and instead there came a dark, fresh composite fragrance, like the night under which he moved, in flight from the Aztecs. And it was all so natural, he had to run from the Aztecs who had set out on their manhunt, and his sole chance was to find a place to hide in the deepest part of the forest, taking care not to lose the narrow trail which only they, the Motecas, knew.

He stood erect slowly, sniffing the air. Not a sound could be heard, but the fear was still following, as was the smell, that cloying incense of the war of the blossom. 

The war of the blossom was the name the Aztecs gave to a ritual war in which they took prisoners for sacrifice. It is meta-physics to say that the gods see men as flowers, to be so uprooted, trampled, cut down.

 the last half-mile in the phaeton, the gate, the eucalyptus trees along the road leading up to the house. 

Rema’s hands which made you want to cry and feel them on your head forever, a caress like death almost and pastries with vanilla cream, the two best things on earth

It’ll never be known how this has to be told, in the first person or in the second, using the third person plural or continually inventing modes that will serve for nothing. 

If one might say: I will see the moon rose, or: we hurt me at the back of my eyes, and especially: you the blond woman was the clouds that race before my your his our yours their faces. What the hell.

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Russia's Medvedev says any NATO encroachment on Crimea could lead to World War Three @Reuters
Law & Politics


Russia's Medvedev says any NATO encroachment on Crimea could lead to World War Three @Reuters    

"For us, Crimea is a part of Russia. And that means forever. Any attempt to encroach on Crimea is a declaration of war against our country," Medvedev told the news website Argumenty i Fakty.

"And if this is done by a NATO member-state, this means conflict with the entire North Atlantic alliance; a World War Three. A complete catastrophe."

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Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity
Law & Politics



Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity

The geoeconomic debacle is off the scale. 


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Last Friday, a US Navy Poseidon P-8A intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew through the Taiwan Strait. This seemingly routine event was anything but. @asiatimesonline
Law & Politics

Last Friday, a US Navy Poseidon P-8A intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew through the Taiwan Strait. This seemingly routine event was anything but. @asiatimesonline 

Indeed, it appears to have been the latest US gambit in its dispute with China over the legal regime governing such passages – and thus their conflicting views of the relevant “international order.”
In an unusual “in your face” statement, the US Indo-Pacific Command proclaimed that the flight was a demonstration of the United States’ “commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” 

It said the plane transited the Taiwan Strait in “international airspace” and that “the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows including within the Taiwan Strait” 

The flight and statement were apparently in response to China’s assertion that it had jurisdiction over the Strait.

The US maintains, “The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway, meaning that the Taiwan Strait is an area where high-seas freedoms, including freedom of navigation and overflight, are guaranteed under international law.”
China’s Foreign Ministry said China “has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait” and says it is “a false claim when certain countries call the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters.'”

If Taiwan is part of China as the “one-China policy” stipulates, then the entire Strait is under China’s jurisdiction. 

The one-China policy recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, but only acknowledges, and does not endorse, the PRC position that Taiwan is part of China. 
If the US is implying by its statements and actions that Taiwan is not part of China and has separate jurisdiction and regimes governing its claimed portion of the Strait, then this challenges China’s sovereignty claim to Taiwan.

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1-4-2-1
Law & Politics


1-4-2-1

1-4-2-1. The first 1 refers to defending what has since come to be called the homeland. 

The 4 refers to deterring hostilities in four key regions of the world. 

The 2 means the U.S. armed forces must have the strength to win swiftly in two near-simultaneous conflicts in those regions. 

The final 1 means that we must win one of those conflicts “decisively,” toppling the enemy’s regime.

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Biden Goes to the Middle East @UnzReview
Law & Politics


Biden Goes to the Middle East @UnzReview 

So, Joe Biden is heading into a crap shoot in the Middle East. Israel will be squeezing him hard and might even do something stupid, while the Saudis have little incentive to give the American president what he wants. 

The Palestinians meanwhile will wind up abandoned by everyone, once again. 

But one thing that is for sure is that when Joe returns the spin on how it was a fabulously successful trip will fill the newspapers and airwaves. 

And then everyone will sit back and hold their breaths to see if that ploy has worked. Come November we will know

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
U.S. Economy

Euro 1.04923
Dollar Index 104.341
Japan Yen 135.9010
Swiss Franc 0.95608
Pound 1.217825 
Aussie 0.688245
India Rupee 78.9725 
South Korea Won 1299.205
Brazil Real 5.2678886 
Egypt Pound 18.760800 
South Africa Rand 16.06314 

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What’s behind the sharp drop in Bitcoin’s value? $BTC #Bitcoin @AJInsideStory
World Currencies

What’s behind the sharp drop in Bitcoin’s value? $BTC #Bitcoin @AJInsideStory 
Presenter: Sami Zeidan
Guests
Aly-Khan Satchu – Investor and CEO at Rich Management
Naeem Aslam – Chief market analyst at AvaTrade
Brian Lucey – Professor of international finance and commodities at Trinity Business School

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OIL MARKET: According to preliminary DoE data, the US released 6.9 million barrels of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve last week (~985,000 b/d). @JavierBlas
Minerals, Oil & Energy


OIL MARKET: According to preliminary DoE data, the US released 6.9 million barrels of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve last week (~985,000 b/d). @JavierBlas

The latest weekly release has pushed the SPR below the 500 million barrels mark for the first time since 1986 

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Recession Woes Hand Emerging Stocks Worst First Half Since 1998 @markets
Emerging Markets


Recession Woes Hand Emerging Stocks Worst First Half Since 1998 @markets 

Emerging market equities are on track for their worst first-half performance in 24 years, as investors fret over high inflation and a potential hit to the global economy from monetary tightening.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has fallen about 17% this year through Monday, the second-steepest plunge for the period in data stretching back to 1993. 

The benchmark slid more than 20% during first six months of 1998 when the Asian financial crisis upended markets. A few months later, Russia defaulted on its local debt. 

Once again, plenty of clouds hang over developing country assets: There are fears that aggressive interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve to curb US inflation might tip the world’s biggest economy into recession, spreading gloom in emerging markets. 

Russia recently defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century and China is still winding back strict Covid-19 curbs.

“Clearly, higher US rates, US dollar strength, and high fuel and food prices are a toxic cocktail for poor, indebted parts of EM, although much of that risk is already digested in the affected markets,” said Hasnain Malik, a strategist at Tellimer in Dubai.
The MSCI EM Index has slumped for the last four quarters in the longest losing streak since 2008 and now trades at about 11.9 times estimated earnings, hovering near its lowest valuation since March 2020, the start of the pandemic. 
Despite those cheaper valuations, headwinds persist, said Marija Veitmane, senior strategist at State Street Global Markets. 

Global financial conditions are tightening, which “drains liquidity from financial markets and makes it less likely for investors to try to find bargains in risky emerging markets,” she said. 

State Street is also concerned about the outlook for company earnings in developing countries, given the threat of a recession brought on by central bank interest rate hikes.

“We continue to see a difficult environment for EM stocks for the second half and we would therefore suggest a higher degree of selectivity while investing in these markets,” said Leonardo Pellandini, an equity strategist at Bank Julius Baer. 
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is more optimistic. Strategists led by Marko Kolanovic expect emerging-market equities to outperform developed peers in the second half, forecasting a 20% upside from current levels to the MSCI Emerging Markets by the end of the year.

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Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since its independence, with foreign exchange reserves at a record low of $1.92 billion, according to the Central Bank, though analysts estimate a lower level of useable funds.
Emerging Markets


Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since its independence, with foreign exchange reserves at a record low of $1.92 billion, according to the Central Bank, though analysts estimate a lower level of useable funds.

The government closed urban schools for about two weeks from Tuesday and allowed fuel supplies only to services deemed essential like health, trains and buses as stocks would only last only a week or so based on regular demand.

Sri Lanka is facing the possibility of running out of staples, especially rice, partly due to a fall in production because of a now-reversed ban on chemical fertiliser last year.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament this month that Sri Lanka needed about $5 billion to pay for imports including fuel, fertiliser and food.

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


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.
Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.”
Ryszard Kapucinski also said: “If the crowd disperses, goes home, does not reassemble, we say the revolution is over.”
It is not over. More and more people are gathering in the Streets.

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Paul Virilio Speed and Politics
Law & 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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A limited border war may have utility for both Khartoum and Addis at this stage. It diverts attention away from the mess in the centre, galvanises citizens to rally around flag, their armies. @RAbdiAnalyst
Africa


A limited border war may have utility for both Khartoum and Addis at this stage. It diverts attention away from the mess in the centre, galvanises citizens to rally around flag, their armies. @RAbdiAnalyst

Problem is that war plans never work to plan, have a habit of taking a different course

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21-JAN-2019 :: @harari_yuval & money
Africa

21-JAN-2019 :: @harari_yuval & money
''Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any system of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”
“Cowry shells and dollars have value only in our common imagination. Their worth is not inherent in the chemical structure of the shells and paper, or their colour, or their shape. In other words, money isn’t a material reality – it is a psychological construct. It works by converting matter into mind.”
The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between high Inflation and revolutionary conditions, Zimbabwe is a classic example
The Mind Game that ZANU-PF played on its citizens has evaporated in a puff of smoke.

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Angola Inflation decreased again, the monthly print at 0.93% in May, the lowest since 2015. @JMCerdeira
Africa


Angola Inflation decreased again, the monthly print at 0.93% in May, the lowest since 2015.  @JMCerdeira

The Kwanza appreciation and some Gov help in purchase of agricultural goods (local farmers not very happy so far, btw) are taming price rises. Food prices were up 0.79%, below headline.

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Angola Current account showed a USD 4.7 bn surplus in Q1 2022, the highest in at least 10 years (could not find quarterly data before 2012, actually). @JMCerdeira
Africa


Angola Current account showed a USD 4.7 bn surplus in Q1 2022, the highest in at least 10 years (could not find quarterly data before 2012, actually). @JMCerdeira

So exports are the main driver here - up 80.1% yoy, totalling USD 12.6bn, highest since Q3 2014.
Crude exports up 66.5%

LNG exports almost tripled (!!!) - price, price, price! - amounting to USD 1.7bn, the highest ever.

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Today the problem is much bigger, the interbank has collapsed, and banks are not supplying dollars to the interbank market. @BD_Africa @Watimz
Kenyan Economy


Today the problem is much bigger, the interbank has collapsed, and banks are not supplying dollars to the interbank market. @BD_Africa @Watimz

At the same time, banks are quoting a lower screen price to be on the good side of the CBK that averages banks’ screen prices to get its official rate while their rates to customers are much higher creating a wide spread between the two rates.

So, the forex market having a widespread and a parallel market is the same thing.

Lastly, Mr Gachora also mentions that there is a need to make it more valuable to hold the shilling vs the dollar. 

Now, hiking interest rates by CBK won’t be the sharp tool to address that because Kenya’s Eurobonds have yields as high as 14 percent, which doesn’t incentivise those holding the dollar to convert to shillings. 

As a market player, is he looking at the prospects of devaluation of the shilling?

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The depreciation of the shilling inflated Kenya’s external debt by the equivalent of Sh69 billion in the first four months of this year @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy


The depreciation of the shilling inflated Kenya’s external debt by the equivalent of Sh69 billion in the first four months of this year @BD_Africa

Kenya’s debt to gross domestic product ratio, estimated at 68 percent as of June 2021, is forecast to rise to 72.6 percent by the end of the 2022/23 fiscal year.

This could increase at a faster rate if the shilling continues to slide and the government fails to cut its budget deficit, amid prevailing higher interest costs for new debt issuances.

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Nairobi ^NSE20 Bloomberg
N.S.E Equities - Specific

Halting an 11-day losing streak, the NASI gained 0.9% to close at 117.90

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