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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Friday 23rd of September 2022
 



Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice
World Of Finance




Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice




And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"

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’Voodoo Economics’’ a Wizard of Oz moment
World Of Finance


’Voodoo Economics’’ a Wizard of Oz moment 



we have reached the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful”’’ 



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24 August 2022 : in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia... War and Industrial Policy @CreditSuisse Zoltan Pozsar
Minerals, Oil & Energy



24 August 2022 : in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia... War and Industrial Policy @CreditSuisse Zoltan Pozsar




: in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia...

...that’s 100-times leverage more than Lehman’s.


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Happiness is]First sunrise after 40 days of polar night in Murmansk, northern Russia. Can confirm people are losing it on the snowy dance floor @theo_merz
Misc.

Happiness is]First sunrise after 40 days of polar night in Murmansk, northern Russia. Can confirm people are losing it on the snowy dance floor @theo_merz

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These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Wikipedia has an article on: halcyon days and it reads thus
Misc.

These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Wikipedia has an article on: halcyon days and it reads thus

From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers).
When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs.
These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful

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Particularly relevant is "Polybius’ concept of symploke [συμπλοκή] — the study of the interweaving of events." "a more synoptic view of geopolitical developments."
Law & Politics


Particularly relevant is "Polybius’ concept of symploke [συμπλοκή] —  the study of the interweaving of events."  "a more synoptic view of geopolitical developments."

Particularly relevant is "Polybius’ concept of symploke [συμπλοκή] —  the study of the interweaving of events." The pace of geopolitical change demanded "a more synoptic view of geopolitical developments."

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(IRGC) has issued a statement condemning ongoing protests in Iran as the product of an "enemy conspiracy... which attempts to target the pure sentiments of today's youth and exploit them using psychological and media warfare." @IntelTweet
Law & Politics

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has issued a statement condemning ongoing protests in Iran as the product of an "enemy conspiracy... which attempts to target the pure sentiments of today's youth and exploit them using psychological and media warfare."



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Collective Western reaction was derision – sign of failure said UK @BWallaceMP panic said @MinPres sign of weakness sign of Russian failure said @SecBlinken act of desperation said @Bundeskanzler – @asiatimesonline @uwe_parpart
Law & Politics


Suffice it to say here and now that the unison “judgment” of Western leaders has a lot more in common with the regimented official language (“Sprachregelung”, or “speech code”, in the East Germany of old) than with reality.

We listened carefully to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech and disagree not only with Western leaders’ scripted rhetoric but also with our colleague Stephen Bryen (see his accompanying piece here) – at least on one point: Putin’s speech was not incoherent.
Putin has quite coherently and with ample reason concluded that the war is no longer (if ever it was) a matter between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Ukraine and Russia but rather is about Russia and the West – with America in the lead.

Putin made clear as the driven snows to come that he knows that the West – and first and foremost the US – does not want a strategic settlement but rather the destruction and decapitation of the Russia he has long led.
Putin will therefore no longer fight a limited war and can be expected to deploy the entirety of his resources to win the fight. 

The final sentence in his speech was very clear: Putin now sees himself in the historical line of Russian leaders who saved the Motherland from destruction.

“It is our historical tradition and the destiny of our nation to stop those who are keen on global domination and threaten to split up and enslave our Motherland. Rest assured that we will do it this time as well,” he said.
Stephen Bryen is right: We are at a moment more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Not because Putin is incoherent, but because of his apparent cold determination to survive and win
, and because of US President Joe Biden and his advisers’ evident inability to devise or even so much as consider a diplomatic solution.

As or more importantly, this will now be a total war. Civilian infrastructure will be targeted as Russia’s air and naval forces will be fully utilized. 

The shifting tides of war will not likely immediately turn back in Russia’s favor.
But short of direct NATO ground or air intervention, a cold, hard and destructive winter looms on the horizon.

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It's fair to say what Anne Applebaum writes in The Atlantic is reasonably representative of US foreign policy consensus. she says "victory" in Ukraine means regime change in Russia -- elimination of Putin. @mtracey
Law & Politics

It's fair to say what Anne Applebaum writes in The Atlantic is reasonably representative of US foreign policy consensus. And she says "victory" in Ukraine means regime change in Russia -- elimination of Putin. Exactly the kind of existential stakes that could lead to nuclear use

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''part of an alternate reality that is hardly new. But the tone and force are alarming''
World Of Finance

It is HIS REALITY & in order to finally thread the needle we have to also understand his REALITY don't we? Or we can continue talking to ourselves.

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And here comes the nuclear part. He accuses the west of using "nuclear blackmail" against Russia. @maxseddon
Law & Politics


And here comes the nuclear part. He accuses the west of using "nuclear blackmail" against Russia. @maxseddon


"If its territorial integrity is threatened Russia will use all the means at its disposal. This is not a bluff."

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“I am not bluffing” said Putin which I would argue is something to take at face value whereas certainly Saddam Gaddafi and others were bluffing.
Law & Politics



“I am not bluffing” said Putin which I would argue is something to take at face value whereas certainly Saddam Gaddafi and others were bluffing.  

I can’t help feeling a lot of Folks are making this rather elementary error in their analysis.


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FULL INTERVIEW: Gonzalo Lira H/T @georgegalloway
Law & Politics



FULL INTERVIEW: Gonzalo Lira H/T @georgegalloway

Gonzalo is more credible than the entire commentariat


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"It is no longer science fiction to think that the war will end in a matter of weeks or months, not years'' @konrad_muzyka H/T @shashj
Law & Politics


"It is no longer science fiction to think that the war will end in a matter of weeks or months, not years'' @konrad_muzyka H/T @shashj



''In this war, the Ukrainian strategy has been to trade territory for time, and with mounting Russian losses, time is now on Kyiv’s side."

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Jul 3 It is now clear that no amount of gaslighting can finesse a Ukrainian military rebound from here.
Law & Politics



Jul 3 It is now clear that no amount of gaslighting can finesse a Ukrainian military rebound from here.


It is now clear that no amount of gaslighting can finesse a Ukrainian military rebound from here. 

As mentioned before, I see Russia moving eventually towards Odesa, landlocking Ukraine and only then coming to the Table.


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An Off-Ramp for Putin Is Repugnant But Necessary @business via @washingtonpost
Law & Politics


An Off-Ramp for Putin Is Repugnant But Necessary @business via @washingtonpost 


From the outset of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the crucial question hasn’t changed: Can Vladimir Putin be defeated at an acceptable cost? 

Despite all we now know about Russia’s military incompetence and the courage and skill of Ukraine’s forces, the answer is still uncertain.
This leads to an uncomfortable conclusion, one that President Joe Biden showed no trace of understanding in his speech at the United Nations on Wednesday: 

Planning for the end of this conflict needs to weigh outcomes that are disappointing, even disgraceful, for the sake of avoiding those that are catastrophic.
The idea of an off-ramp for Putin strikes many as repugnant — and now, for good measure, entirely unnecessary. Ukraine is winning! Why help Russia snatch so much as a partial victory from the jaws of defeat?
The “Ukraine must win” chorus never clearly sets out what Russia’s defeat really involves. 

Perhaps it means that Russia is pushed back behind its pre-2014 borders and then just comes to terms with it. 

Or maybe Putin’s humiliation causes domestic opposition to explode and he’s removed; his successor is someone the West can do business with; Russia’s claims to superpower status collapse; and its demotion to second-tier status is acknowledged and accepted.
All good stuff, to be sure, and nothing is impossible. But, to put it mildly, these futures aren’t assured.
As governments gathered for the UN meeting, Putin announced his intention to prolong  the war with a “partial mobilization” that in due course will field another 300,000 soldiers. 

And he underlined his threat to use nuclear weapons: “Russia will use all the instruments at its disposal to counter a threat against its territorial integrity. This is not a bluff.” 

Soon that notion of territorial integrity might include areas Russia currently occupies and intends to annex.
I keep reading that one should be aware of Putin’s nuclear threats but not intimidated by them. Call me a coward, but I find it difficult to think about Armageddon without being a little intimidated — and I ask the same of my political leaders. If at all possible, it’s better to avoid than invite mass death and destruction. 

Of course, simply surrendering in the face of such threats would assure defeat — but one can be rationally intimidated, and respond accordingly, without surrendering. 

That’s what mutually assured destruction is supposed to mean.
Am I exaggerating the danger? Won’t Putin be deterred from using nuclear weapons if he’s threatened with a proportionately drastic response? 

Again, maybe — but what’s the deterrent, exactly? 

It’s hard to see how sanctions could be made much tougher, not least because they’re already causing great damage beyond Russia. 

Having gone to such lengths to support Ukraine without putting any of its own forces at risk, can the US credibly threaten (as some advise) to attack Russia in response to a tactical nuclear strike — let alone credibly threaten a nuclear response?
Supposing the threats and counter-threats evolve in that direction, note a worrisome dissonance in much of the analysis of Putin’s calculations. 

His attack on Ukraine was judged to be not just deplorable but also reckless. 

Yet he is expected to parse the pros and cons of “escalating to de-escalate” as prudence demands. What could possibly go wrong?
Ukraine’s remarkable battlefield successes create an opening to bring the war to a close without running these extraordinary risks. 

What’s needed now is a settlement that lets Putin claim a victory that everybody else understands to be a defeat. 

This could emerge from negotiations in a variety of different forms. 

But imagine, to begin with, a ceasefire that set borders according to current battle lines, with a longer-term outcome that ceded some territory to Russia while admitting most of today’s Ukraine to NATO.
Until recently, Putin would have deemed this unacceptable. Now it might not look so bad.
Of course, Ukraine and its most ardent supporters would hate it too. Rewarding Russia’s hostility with territory and sustaining Putin in power seem unconscionable. 

But it has been a grave mistake throughout for the US and its friends to defer as much as they have to Ukraine’s judgment of what’s at stake and how much risk to run. 

Ukraine’s interests and calculations of warranted sacrifice are aligned with those of the West, but not identical to them.
Most of the world would see a negotiated outcome not as Ukraine might, but as a salutary defeat for Russia. 

The suggestion that Putin would simply pause, gather strength, and then renew his wars of expansion in pursuit of Greater Russia is a stretch. 

The course of the war has underlined the limits of Russia’s power, tested the patience of its allies, and cemented the capacity of the West to challenge its actions. 

The total humiliation of Putin, or his removal from power, isn’t necessary to drive this home.
Accepting this deeply unsatisfying result would lessen the risk of a catastrophic wider conflict. It’s a price worth paying.

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Even the @IMFNews Seems to understand the level of seriousness the world is in due to Cost of Living Crisis. @khimasiapunit
Misc.


Even the @IMFNews Seems to understand the level of seriousness the world is in due to Cost of Living Crisis. @khimasiapunit


Whereas Central Bankers and Poiticians seems to be living on a different planet altogether.
Wake up before it late or else this will reach everyone's Doorstep

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Aug 28 This is the Titanic “the price of liberty”
Law & Politics


Aug 28 This is the Titanic “the price of liberty”



Our Economies are teetering and the downside cascade effects are now in plain sight. Is anyone modelling what is now a cliff edge? 
How many Jobs are about to be vaporized? How many Businesses? Are we going to print more worthless Euros?

Are our Leaders going to spin more weaponized babble? as we career at top speed off the cliff.

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“many zombie institutions, zombie households, corporates, banks, shadow banks and zombie countries are going to die,” @Nouriel said. @markets
World Of Finance


“many zombie institutions, zombie households, corporates, banks, shadow banks and zombie countries are going to die,” @Nouriel  said. @markets 


However persistent inflation, especially in wages and the service sector, will mean the Fed will “probably have no choice” but to hike more, he said, with funds rates going toward 5%

Once the world is in recession, Roubini doesn’t expect fiscal stimulus remedies as governments with too much debt are “running out of fiscal bullets.”


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Schumpeter spoke of creative destruction (German: schöpferische Zerstörung), sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale
World Of Finance


Schumpeter spoke of creative destruction (German: schöpferische Zerstörung), sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale


Schumpeter spoke of creative destruction (German: schöpferische Zerstörung), sometimes known as Schumpeter's gale, which is a concept in economics that speaks to a "process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one"

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Mellon advised him to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system''
World Of Finance


Mellon advised him to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system''



Mellon doctrine Territory. Mellon believed that economic recessions, such as those that had occurred in 1873 and 1907, were a necessary part of the business cycle because they purged the economy. 
In his memoirs, Hoover wrote that Mellon advised him to “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. ... enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people.”

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'Voodoo Economics’’ a Wizard of Oz moment
World Of Finance


'Voodoo Economics’’ a Wizard of Oz moment 



we have reached the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful”’’ 


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Aug 28 Our ability to Pull forward is exhausted This is the Titanic
World Of Finance



Aug 28 Our ability to Pull forward is exhausted This is the Titanic


Our Western Economies are like a bonfire of turbo financialised QE, that the violence of the geoeconomic boomerang is going to be unprecedented. 

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Currency Markets At A Glanceies
World Currencies

Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ


Euro 0.98127
Dollar Index 111.524
Japan Yen 142.2655
Swiss Franc 0.97876
Pound 1.121825
Aussie 0.661935
India Rupee 80.9425
South Korea Won 1409.71
Brazil Real 5.1179000
Egypt Pound 19.489777
South Africa Rand 17.67230

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May 2 Currency puzzles I AM EXPECTING THE DOLLAR INDEX TO RALLY TOWARDS 110.00 BECAUSE WE HAVE UNDERGONE A REGIME CHANGE
World Currencies

May 2 Currency puzzles I AM EXPECTING THE DOLLAR INDEX TO RALLY TOWARDS 110.00 BECAUSE WE HAVE UNDERGONE A REGIME CHANGE


MORE IMPORTANTLY FROM A GEOECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE THERE IS A STRONG CASE FOR THE US TO FLEX THE $ 

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Euro versus the Dollar Chart 0.98127
World Currencies

Aug 28 Euro at the cliff edge. 


https://bit.ly/3cuibgD

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$GBP : the great GBP reset is underway (BofA) @CNBCJou
World Currencies


$GBP : the great GBP reset is underway (BofA) @CNBCJou


Look how credit concerns have started to be factored into the currency: structural concerns re: fiscal outlook trumping cyclical: rate hikes

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@trussliz and @KwasiKwarteng are popping quaaludes bigly. Living the dream.. or more accurately, living in a dream. H/T @Syricide
World Of Finance

9 DEC 19 :: Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes


we were all popping Quaaludes [Quaaludes ‘’to promote relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect’’].

Everyone knows how this story ends. When the music stops, everyone will dash for the Exit and the currency will collapse 

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Forget development. Washington's primary interest in Africa today is keeping the Chinese and Russians out. @TheCradleMedia
Africa


Forget development. Washington's primary interest in Africa today is keeping the Chinese and Russians out. @TheCradleMedia 


In a rational environment, the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) would discuss alleviating the trials and tribulations of the Global South, especially Africa.
That won’t be the case. Like a deer caught in the geopolitical headlights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued platitudes about a gloomy “winter of global discontent,” even as the proverbial imperial doomsayers criticized the UN’s “crisis of faith” and blasted the “unprovoked war” started by Russia.
Of course the slow-motion genocide of Donbass russophone residents for eight years would never be recognized as a provocation.
Guterres spoke of Afghanistan, “where the economy is in ruins and human rights are being trampled” – but he did not dare to offer context

In Libya, “divisions continue to jeopardize the country” – once again, no context. 

Not to mention Iraq, where “ongoing tensions threaten ongoing stability.”
Africa has 54 nations as UN members. Any truly representative UNGA meeting should place Africa’s problems at the forefront. Once again, that’s not the case. 

So it is left to African leaders to offer that much-needed context outside of the UN building in New York.
As the only African member of the G20, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently urged the US not to “punish” the whole continent by forcing nations to demonize or sanction Russia. 

Washington’s introduction of legislation dubbed the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, he says, “will harm Africa and marginalize the continent.”
South Africa is a BRICS member – a concept that is anathema in the Beltway – and embraces a policy of non-alignment among world powers. 

An emerging 21st century version of the 1960s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is strengthening across the Global South – and especially Africa – much to the revulsion of the US and its minions.
Back at the UNGA, Guterres invoked the global fertilizer crisis – again, with no context. 

Russian diplomacy has repeatedly stressed that Moscow is ready to export 30 million tons of grain and over 20 million tons of fertilizer by the end of 2022. 

What is left unsaid in the west, is that only the importation of fertilizers to the EU is “allowed,” while transit to Africa is not.
Guterres said he was trying to persuade EU leaders to lift sanctions on Russian fertilizer exports, which directly affect cargo payments and shipping insurance. 

Russia’s Uralchem, for instance, even offered to supply fertilizers to Africa for free.
Yet from the point of view of the US and its EU vassals, the only thing that matters is to counter Russia and China in Africa. 

Senegal’s President Macky Sall has remarked how this policy is leaving “a bitter taste.”
‘We forbid you to build your pipeline’
It gets worse. The largely ineffectual EU Parliament now wants to stop the construction of the 1,445 km-long East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Uganda to Tanzania, invoking hazy human rights violations, environmental threats, and “advising” member countries to simply drop out of the project.

Uganda is counting on more than 6 billion barrels of oil to sustain an employment boom and finally move the nation to middle-income status. 

It was up to Ugandan Parliament Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa to offer much-needed context:
“It is imprudent to say that Uganda’s oil projects will exacerbate climate change, yet it is a fact that the EU block with only 10 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 25 percent of global emissions, and Africa with 20 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 3 percent of emissions. 

The EU and other western countries are historically responsible for climate change. Who then should stop or slow down the development of natural resources? Certainly not Africa or Uganda.”
The EU Parliament, moreover, is a staunch puppet of the biofuel lobby. 

It has refused to amend a law that would have stopped the use of food crops for fuel production, actually contributing to what the UN Food Program has described as “a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude.” 

No less than 350 million people are on the brink of starvation across Africa.
Instead, the G7’s notion of “helping” Africa is crystallized in the US-led Build Back Better World (B3W) – Washington’s anaemic attempt to counter Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which focuses on “climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality,” according to the White House. 

Practical issues of infrastructure and sustainable development, which are at the heart of China’s plan, are simply ignored by the B3W.
Initially, a few “promising” projects were identified by a traveling US delegation in Senegal and Ghana. 

Senegalese diplomatic sources have since confirmed that these projects have nothing whatsoever to do with building infrastructure.
B3W, predictably, fizzled out. After all, the US-led project was little more than a public relations gimmick to undermine the Chinese, with negligible effect on narrowing the $40-plus trillion worth of infrastructure needed to be built across the Global South by 2035.
Have YALI, will travel
Imperial initiatives in Africa – apart from the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), which amounts to raw militarization of the continent – brings us to the curious case of YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative), widely touted in the Washington-New York axis as “the most innovative” policy of the Obama years.
Launched in 2010, YALI was framed as “empowering the new generation of Africa leadership” – a euphemism for educating (or brainwashing) them the American way. 

The mechanism is simple: investing in and bringing hundreds of young African potential leaders to US universities for a short, six-week “training” on “business, civil leadership, entrepreneurship, and public management.” 

Then, four days in Washington to meet “leaders in the administration,” and a photo op with Obama.
The project was coordinated by US embassies in Africa, and targeted young men and women from sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 nations – including those under US sanctions, like Sudan, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe – proficient in English, with a “commitment” to return to Africa. 

Roughly 80 percent during the initial years had never been to the US, and more than 50 percent grew up outside of big cities.
Then, in a speech in 2013 in South Africa, Obama announced the establishment of the Washington Fellowship, later renamed the Mandela-Washington Fellowship (MWF).
That’s still ongoing. In 2022, MWF should be granted to 700 “outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa,” who follow “Leadership Institutes” at nearly 40 US universities, before their short stint in Washington. 

After which, they are ready for “long-term engagement between the United States and Africa.”
And all that for literally peanuts, as MWF was enthusiastically billed by the Democrat establishment as cost-efficient: $24,000 per fellow, paid by participant US universities as well as Coca-Cola, IBM, MasterCard Foundation, Microsoft, Intel, McKinsey, GE, and Procter & Gamble.
And that didn’t stop with MWF. USAID went a step further, and invested over $38 million – plus $10 million from the MasterCard Foundation – to set up four Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Senegal. 

These were training, long distance and in-class, at least 3,500 ‘future leaders’ a year.
It’s no wonder the Brookings Institution was drooling over so much “cost-efficiency” when it comes to investing “in Africa’s future” and for the US to “stay competitive” in Africa. YALI certainly looks prettier than AFRICOM.
A few success stories though don’t seem to rival the steady stream of African footballers making a splash in Europe – and then reinvesting most of their profits back home. 

The Trump years did see a reduction of YALI’s funding – from $19 million in 2017 to roughly $5 million.
So many leaders to ‘train’
Predictably, the Joe Biden White House YALI-ed all over again with a vengeance. 

Take this US press attache in Nigeria neatly outlining the current emphasis on “media and information literacy,” badly needed to tackle the “spreading of disinformation” including “in the months leading up to the national presidential election.”
So the US, under YALI, “trained 1,000 young Nigerians to recognize the signs of online and media misinformation and disinformation.” 

And now the follow-up is “Train the Trainer” workshops, “teaching 40 journalists, content creators, and activists (half of whom will be women) from Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Zamfara, and Katsina how to identify, investigate, and report misinformation.” 

Facebook, being ordered by the FBI to censor “inconvenient,” potentially election-altering facts, is not part of the curriculum.
YALI is the soft, Instagrammed face of AFRICOM. 

The US has participated in the overthrow of several African governments over the past two decades, with troops trained under secrecy-obsessed AFRICOM. 

There has been no serious Pentagon audit on the weaponizing of AFRICOM’s local “partners.” For all we know – as in Syria and Libya – the US military could be arming even more terrorists.
And predictably, it’s all bipartisan. Rabid neo-con and former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, in December 2018, at the Heritage Foundation, made it crystal clear: the US in Africa has nothing to do with supporting democracy and sustainable development. It’s all about countering Russia and China.
When it learned that Beijing was considering building a naval base in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, the Biden White House sent power envoys to the capital Malabo to convince the government to cease and desist. To no avail.
In contrast, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was received like a superstar in his recent extensive tour of Africa, where it’s widely perceived that global food prices and the fertilizer drama are a direct consequence of western sanctions on Russia. 

Uganda leader Yoweri Museveni went straight to the point when he said, “How can we be against somebody who has never harmed us?”
On 13-15 December, the White House plans a major US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington to discuss mostly food security and climate change – alongside the perennial lectures on democracy and human rights.

 Most leaders won’t be exactly impressed with this new showing of “the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa.” Well, there’s always YALI. So many young leaders to indoctrinate, so little time.

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For a while regime change was de rigeur
Africa

For a while regime change was de rigeur 

Muammar Gaddafi was decapitated and the domino effect only stopped when Vladimir Putin decided he was going to put a stop to it and intervened on behalf of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.

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24 OCT 11 :: Gaddafi's Body in a Freezer - What's the Message?
Africa


24 OCT 11 :: Gaddafi's Body in a Freezer - What's the Message?



The image of a bloodied Gaddafi, then of a dead Gaddafi in a meat locker have flashed around the world via the mobile, YouTube and Twitter.

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Murder, Kidnapping Pose ‘Existential’ Threat to South Africa @business
Africa


Murder, Kidnapping Pose ‘Existential’ Threat to South Africa @business 


Surging rates of murder, extortion and kidnapping are among signs that crime is posing an “existential” threat to South Africa, according to a report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
The murder rate has risen 38% since 2010, the number of kidnappings for ransom has quadrupled, and there is a 187 billion rand ($10.6 billion) annual impact from infrastructure theft such as the looting of copper-power cables, the Geneva-based group said in a report released on Wednesday. 

All of these are signs that the state is struggling to contain criminal activity, it said.

“Organized crime is an existential threat to South Africa’s democratic institutions, economy and people,” Mark Shaw, the director of the group, said in an introduction to the 206-page document

“It often lies behind and connects numerous seemingly disparate criminal incidents we see occurring in South Africa every day.” 

GI-TOC, as the group is known, places the blame on the country’s apartheid history, which has resulted in poorer areas being neglected by the state. 

That’s been exacerbated by the weakening of state institutions during the nine-year rule of former President Jacob Zuma, who was ousted by his party in 2018.
While Zuma has denied wrongdoing, the current administration has said at least 500 billion rand was stolen during his rule. 

State corruption became entrenched and public procurement budgets were looted. 
‘Unprecedented Foothold’
Zuma’s rule was “one driven by personality and personal interests,” GI-TOC said. 

This resulted in political appointees to key positions at state companies, resulting in “patronage networks, which in turn helped facilitate grand-scale corruption and enabled business and organized crime to secure an unprecedented foothold in the state apparatus.”
Organized crime in South Africa ranges from heroin, meth and cocaine trafficking to people-smuggling, rhino poaching and the stripping of metal from state power, water and transport companies.
 

Pipelines are targeted and syndicates demand contracts from mining and construction companies, which they are paid for but don’t fulfill. 
Other issues include a surge in vigilante killings and a jump in cash-in-transit robberies. 

Cybercrime is also on the rise, with South Africa becoming the biggest location of internet-protocol addresses used for digital extortion in Africa. 

Gold and platinum are illegally mined or stolen and sold illicitly.
The murder rate is currently more than 40 per 100,000 citizens and over 10,000 people were kidnapped for ransom in the most recent year assessed, GI-TOC said, citing government data.
“South Africa faces a complex, hybrid criminal threat. Having originated in highly constricted conditions under apartheid, in three decades organized crime has spread across the country and forged links across the world,” the group said. 
“Left unchecked, organized crime will continue to seriously impair South Africa’s reputation and development.”

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The monetary policy committee raised the repurchase rate to 6.25% from 5.5%, Governor Lesetja Kganyago said Thursday in an online briefing. @markets @economics
Africa


The monetary policy committee raised the repurchase rate to 6.25% from 5.5%, Governor Lesetja Kganyago said Thursday in an online briefing. @markets @economics 


South Africa’s rand held gains after the central bank’s decision. 

The currency gained 1% to 17.5744 per US dollar as of 3:16 p.m. in Johannesburg. 

Yields on benchmark government debt extended their decline, falling 7 basis points from Wednesday’s close to 10.89%.

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Excluding the covid panic, nonresident holdings of Egyptian T-bills are the lowest since foreigners went into the market. An important headwind to current account deficit financing. @SergiLanauIIF
Africa


Excluding the covid panic, nonresident holdings of Egyptian T-bills are the lowest since foreigners went into the market. An important headwind to current account deficit financing. @SergiLanauIIF

The exchange rate peg may end up crawling faster to make external funding add up.

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Bankers Are Fleeing Nigeria’s Stagnating Economy as “Japa” Beckons @markets
Africa


Bankers Are Fleeing Nigeria’s Stagnating Economy as “Japa” Beckons @markets 


Francis Eze spent nearly a decade at one of Nigeria’s biggest banks working for a salary far lower than the one he’d negotiated in his interview.

 As a bachelor and then as a newlywed, he found a way to manage on a tighter budget.
His wife, a nurse, had long told him about colleagues at her hospital who had been recruited to move abroad but Eze wasn’t interested. 

Then with private school fees for two children coming due this year, the pair joined the flood of skilled Nigerians leaving the country amid a plummeting naira and a stagnating economy.

“I realised how insufficient the money was to take care of a family of four,” Eze, 38, said by phone from Toronto, where his family relocated in January. 

“I told my wife we should do as others were doing.”
The widespread brain drain from Africa’s most populous country -- popularly known as “japa”, which means “to run swiftly out of a bad situation” in the Yoruba language -- is having a devastating effect on the financial sector. 

Banks, already suffering from rising interest rates, higher operating expenses and threats of a spike in non-performing loans, are being forced to increase spending on training and recruiting, and in many cases lower their standards for new hires. 
“It is a reality and we are just ensuring that we are recruiting more than are leaving,” Roosevelt Ogbonna, chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s biggest bank by assets, said by phone, without saying how many employees had left.
Better schools, higher salaries and more fringe benefits abroad, combined with a lack of local job security, is pushing mid- and early-career employees abroad, according to a report released this month by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. 
Africa’s biggest economy has suffered through two recessions in the last six years. 

Soaring inflation, which hit a 17-year high of 20.5% in August, has eroded household purchasing power and shrunk local currency salaries. 

So skilled workers are turning to big western economies, where other Nigerians have built successful lives, particularly Canada, the US and the UK.
The number of Nigerians who received UK work visas rose to 15,772 for the year through June, from 3,918 in the year through December 2019, the last full year prior to the pandemic, according to a report by the UK Home Office released last month. 
Last week, Moody’s warned that higher inflation and interest rates could see non-performing loan rates at Nigerian lenders spike. 

But for the banks, the concern over asset quality is currently being overshadowed by employee flight.
In a bid to fill the gaps, bankers are spending more time “training the existing workforce and equipping new graduates,” which may entail lowering the entry standards at some point, said Abubakar Suleiman, chief executive at mid-size lender Sterling Bank Plc. 

“The opportunity is to hire smarter, train better and make banking more responsive to fill the vacancies.”
The bankers’ union recommended offering remote work and modeling “the work patterns and the work conditions of their staff against global practices.” 

Ogbonna said Access Bank is looking beyond salary to create an environment that is “inclusive and conducive” to retain its workers, without elaborating. 
Eze, who works for a food company in Canada, said ultimately it will come down to money.

“Unless you have good work conditions, including salary that can cover your cost and you also make some savings, even if a little, you’ll be thinking of where to run to,” he said. 

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Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg
Africa

9 DEC 19 :: Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes


we were all popping Quaaludes [Quaaludes ‘’to promote relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect’’].

Everyone knows how this story ends. When the music stops, everyone will dash for the Exit and the currency will collapse 

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Debt Control Key for Frozen-Out EMs, Kenya Central Banker @CBKKenya @njorogep Says @markets @herbling & @jennzaba
Africa


Debt Control Key for Frozen-Out EMs, Kenya Central Banker @CBKKenya @njorogep Says @markets @herbling & @jennzaba 


Emerging and frontier market nations need to manage their debt better after being priced out of global markets, according to Kenya’s central bank governor.
“Financial markets have frozen us out and it is difficult for us to maintain our relationships in the capital markets,” Patrick Njoroge said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. 

“Things would be tougher for a bit longer and that is a big concern for us.”
Njoroge said he has met policymakers from advanced economies including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell asking them to “consider spillover” of their actions on emerging markets as they raise borrowing costs. 

The Fed on Wednesday increased interest rates by 75 basis points for a third straight time and signaled even more aggressive hikes.
The Kenyan central banker earlier this week told the nation’s lawmakers to find ways of easing the nation’s debt burden while supporting growth, such as funding infrastructure projects with private money. 

The cost of servicing the East African nation’s public debt may jump by a third to a record 1.39 trillion shillings ($11.5 billion) in the fiscal year through June 2023, more than half of projected state revenue, according to budget documents.

Central banks in the US, the UK, and Europe have hiked interest rates in a bid to fend off inflation that’s risen to unprecedented levels partly due the war in Ukraine driving up commodity prices. 

That’s luring capital away from developing nations and making borrowing costs prohibitive.
Some domestic factors in emerging markets only accelerated the selloff. 

In Kenya, the worst drought in decades and an initially tense election contributed to a jump in bond yields. 
From Sri Lanka to Ghana, nations have been forced to default or restructure their debts this year. 

Ghana, which has suffered one of the worst sell offs in Africa this year, saw its eurobonds fall to record lows on Wednesday after the government initiated discussions with investors to revamp its obligations. 
“The spillover from central banks raising interest rates to combat inflation has been severe beyond border as global investors pull money out of developing economies,” Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday

“It’s become clear that the international financial structure is skewed significantly against developing and emerging economies like Ghana.”
Kenya, which the International Monetary Fund categorizes as being at a high risk of debt distress, halted a plan to sell eurobonds this year because the yields were too high, and instead started considering bank loans, a move that was also put on hold. 

Newly sworn-in President William Ruto is yet to release new debt plans, though he ruled out restructuring debt during the campaigns.
“Debt management is something that needs to be taken much more seriously given the narrowing space that we have seen in recent months,” Njoroge said.

 “See what else we can do on refinancing whatever high interest debt with low interest debt, looking more towards concessional debt.”

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