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
 
 
Monday 26th of September 2022
 



Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity
Misc.


Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity


Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens[b] to the place where it rises.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,[c]
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things[d] yet to be
among those who come after.
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 2 11 [1]

read more




Equinox
Misc.



Equinox


The word is derived from the Latin aequinoctium, from aequus (equal) and nox (genitive noctis) (night). 

On the day of an equinox, daytime and nighttime are of approximately equal duration all over the planet. 

read more







I first went to the United Kingdom and to Westminster School in January 1979. It was a very cold Winter.
Misc.


 I first went to the United Kingdom and to Westminster School  in January 1979. It was a very cold Winter.


Prime Minister Callaghan was asked by a reporter
"What is your general approach, in view of the mounting chaos in the country at the moment?" and replied:
Well, that's a judgment that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.
The next day's edition of The Sun headlined its story "Crisis? What crisis?"

read more





Von der Leyen threatens the Italians: "We will see the result of the vote in Italy. If things go in a difficult direction, we have tools, as in the case of Poland and Hungary." @RadioGenova
Law & Politics


Von der Leyen threatens the Italians: "We will see the result of the vote in Italy. If things go in a difficult direction, we have tools, as in the case of Poland and Hungary."  @RadioGenova

A desperate attempt to influence the vote in Italy that runs towards the far right. Game over Ursula!

read more




This is Xinhua Gate, the main entrance to the Zhongnanhai compound, where the entire central leadership resides and works, including Xi Jinping. @schorselysees
Law & Politics


This is Xinhua Gate, the main entrance to the Zhongnanhai compound, where the entire central leadership resides and works, including Xi Jinping. @schorselysees



Elite paratroopers have wrested control over the gate, cunningly disguised as the five middle-aged dudes who always stand there. /2

read more




Whoever couldn't make out that this was a third-rate Taiwanese concoction dished out through Indian agents should stand down on "China watching". Shame! @BhadraPunchline
Law & Politics


Whoever couldn't make out that this was a third-rate Taiwanese concoction dished out through Indian agents  should stand down on "China watching". Shame! @BhadraPunchline

Conclusions

These Regime Change Fantasists are not credible. 

read more


Geopolitical tectonic plates are reelin’ and rockin’, and the sound is heard all around the world @UnzReview
Law & Politics


Geopolitical tectonic plates are reelin’ and rockin’, and the sound is heard all around the world @UnzReview  


The SCO in Samarkand and the UN General Assembly have demonstrated how virtually the whole Global South outside of NATOstan does not demonize Russia.
Geopolitical tectonic plates are reelin’ and rockin’, and the sound is heard all around the world, as the twin baby bears DPR and LPR plus Kherson and Zaporozhye vote on their referendums. 

Irretrievable fact: by the end of next week Russia most certainly will be on the way to add over 100,000 km2 and over 5 million people to the Federation.

Denis Pushilin, head of the DPR, summed it all up: “We’re going home”. The baby bears are coming to Mama.
Coupled with the partial mobilization of up to 300,000 Russian reservists – arguably just a first phase – the raise-the-stakes consequences are immense. 

Exit the previous soft format of the Special Military Operation (SMO): enter serious kinetic war, not hybrid, against any actor, vassal or otherwise, that dares to attack Russian territory.
There’s a very short window of Chinese-coined crisis/opportunity for the collective West, or NATOstan, to negotiate. They won’t. 

Even as anyone with an IQ over room temperature knows that the only way for the Empire of Chaos/Lies/Plunder to “win” – 

outside of the cover of The Economist – would be by launching a first-strike flurry of tactical nuclear weapons, which would meet a devastating Russian response.
The Kremlin knows it – President Putin has publicly alluded to it; the Russian General Staff (RGS) knows it; the Chinese know it (and have called, also publicly, for negotiations).
Instead, we have hysterical Russophobia reaching a paroxysm. And from the deer-caught-in-the-headlights vassals, an extra toxic sludge of fear and loathing.
Implications have been sharply and rationally addressed at The Saker and by Andrei Martyanov. 

On the realm of social network “influencing” – a key component of hybrid war – cheap entertainment has been provided by everyone from frightened Eurocrats to crappy retired U.S. generals threatening a “devastating strike” against the Black Sea Fleet “if Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine”.
One of these specimens is a mere P.R. front man for an Atlanticist think tank. 

He was properly disposed of by the now totally unplugged deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev: “Retired idiots with general’s stripes do not need to scare us with talk about a NATO strike on Crimea.”
Freak out on a moonage daydream? Oh yeah. Tawdry wet dreams, stripped off the Bowie glow.
Maskirovka meets Sun Tzu
Moscow’s rerouted strategy takes maskirovka – mask, feint, fool the enemy – to another level, actually dropping the mask, plus the velvet gloves. 

Now it’s all very clear: this is turbo-charged Sun Tzu (“May your plans be dark and impenetrable like the night, and when you move, strike like lightning.”)
There will be plenty of strikes like lightning ahead in the Ukrainian battlefield. This is the culmination of a process that started in Samarkand, during the SCO summit last week. 

According to diplomatic sources, Putin and Xi Jinping had a very serious conversation. Xi asked tough questions – as in you must finish this off – and Putin arguably explained how things would reach the next level.
Yoda Patrushev was on the road to China immediately afterwards – meeting with his Yoda counterpart Yang Jiechi, head of the Foreign Affairs Commission, and the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Committee, Guo Shengkun.
Following-up on Samarkand, Patrushev outlined how Moscow will help Beijing militarily when the Empire tries anything funny in the next battlefield: Asia-Pacific. 

That should happen under the framework of the SCO. Crucially, the Patrushev meetings were requested by the Chinese.
So the Russia-China strategic partnership is about to achieve full-fledged cooperation before the going gets tough in the South China Sea. It’s as if Russia-China were on the brink of creating their own CSTO.
And that is happening even as the Chinese leadership continues to express – mostly in private – that war in Russia’s western borderlands is very bad for business (BRI, EAEU, SCO, BRICS+, all of them) and should be wrapped up a.s.a.p.
The problem is a swift wrap-up is off the cards. 

Foreign Minister Lavrov, in New York for the UN General Assembly, has stressed how.
“Ukraine has eventually become a totalitarian Nazi sort of state” – unconditionally supported by the collective West.
NATOstan has predictably doubled down on its tactics since the non-response response to Russia’s demand for a serious discussion on indivisibility of security, in late 2021: it’s always about shelling Donbass.
This could not possibly be tolerated anymore by the Kremlin and Russian public opinion. 

Thus the partial mobilization – forcefully proposed by the siloviki and the Security Council for quite a while now, with Kostyukov at GRU, Naryshkin at SVR and Bortnikov at FSB on the forefront.
The symbolism is powerful: after so many years, Moscow is finally fully committed to supporting Donbass all the way to the baby bears coming to Mama for good.
There are – unconfirmed – rumors in Moscow that the decision was accelerated because GRU has intel on the Americans soon transferring long-range missiles to Kiev capable of striking Russian cities. 

That’s beyond a red line for the Kremlin – hence Putin’s express mention that every weapon available in Russia’s mighty arsenal will be used to protect the Motherland.
The red line is even more relevant than the much-ballyhooed Kiev all out counter-offensive, which could only happen by Spring 2023. 

With the partial mobilization, Russia may count on a new batch of fresh troops ready for war by the end of the year. The much-touted Ukrainian numerical advantage will soon be nullified.
Slaves humming “Das Rheingold”
So the General Winter picture will be unveiling considerably less slow grind – the prevailing tactic so far – and way more vast scale maneuver war cum devastating strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure.
Europe meanwhile may go dark and freezing, flirting with a return to the Middle Ages, but the imperial Lords of War still will refuse to negotiate. 

The Kremlin and the RGS couldn’t care less. Because Russian public opinion overwhelmingly understands the Big Picture. Ukraine is just a pawn in their game – and what “they” want is to destroy and plunder Russia.
Defense Minister Shoigu put it in a – factual – way even a kid can understand. Russia is fighting the collective West; Western command centers in Kiev are running the show; and the entire array of NATO military and “civilian” satellites is mobilized against Russia.
By now it’s already clear. If these NATO command centers tell Kiev to strike Russian territory after the referendums, we will have the Putin-promised decimation of “centers of decision”. And the same applies to the satellites.
This may be what the RGS wanted to do from the beginning. Now they can finally implement it, because of popular support in the internal front. 

This crucial factor is what NATOstan “intel” simply cannot understand and/or is incapable of professionally evaluating.
Former Pentagon advisor during the Trump administration, Colonel Douglas Macgregor, an extremely rare voice of sanity in the Beltway, totally understands the stakes: 

“Russia already controls the territory that produces 95 percent of Ukrainian GDP. It has no need to press further west.” 

Donbass will be fully liberated and the next step is Odessa. 

Moscow is “in no hurry. The Russians are nothing if not methodical and deliberate. Ukrainian forces are bleeding to death in counterattack after counterattack. Why rush?”
The SCO in Samarkand and the UN General Assembly have amply demonstrated how virtually the whole Global South outside of NATOstan does not demonize Russia, understand Russia’s position, and even profits from it, like China and India buying loads of gas and paying in rubles.
And then there’s the euro/dollar shuffle: to save the U.S. dollar, the Empire is breaking the euro

This is arguably the (italics mine) power play by the USG/Fed in cutting off the EU – most of all Germany – from cheap Russian energy by organizing a controlled demolition of the European economy and its currency.
Yet StupidEUROcrats are so cosmically incompetent they never saw it coming. So now they’d better start humming “Das Rheingold” all the way to a “hello darkness, my old friend” Middle Ages revival.

Switching to a Monty Python register, the sketch would run like an evil Putin masterminding the wreck of the Euro economy and industry; then making the Euros donate all their weapons to Ukraine; and then leaving NATO stranded in the fog, yelling desperate platitudes. In the end, Putin gets rid of his mask – after all, this is maskirovka – and reveals his true usual suspect face.
All the young dudes, carry the (Russian) news: let’s rock. It’s strike like lightning time.

read more


Sunday, April 10, 2022 fault lines are emerging all over the global landscape and exhibiting multiple feedback loops, which feedback loops all have viral and exponential characteristics.
Law & Politics


Sunday, April 10, 2022  fault lines are emerging all over the global landscape and exhibiting multiple feedback loops, which feedback loops all have viral and exponential characteristics.


The moment we find ourselves is in is one of extreme stress and complexity. 

The Geopolitical fault line is most visible in Ukraine and therefore at the European periphery, however, fault lines are emerging all over the global landscape and exhibiting multiple feedback loops, which feedback loops all have viral and exponential characteristics.

read more


Sunday, April 10 Apocalypse Now
Law & Politics



Sunday, April 10 Apocalypse Now



It is also clear that Russia took a military ‘’lite’’ approach. 

read more




Sun Tzu & The Art of War ''victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
Law & Politics


Sun Tzu & The Art of War ''victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” 


read more


Aug 28 Euro at the cliff edge.
World Currencies



This is the Titanic


Our ability to Pull forward is exhausted. 

Emmanuel Macron  warned France to  prepare  for a miserable winter in which they must be ready to pay “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.


read more



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
Law & Politics



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.


read more






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


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



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

read more


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


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



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

read more



The first bursting global sovereign debt bubble in 100 years is accelerating. The outcome below is still inconceivable to most market participants. @LukeGromen
Law & Politics


The first bursting global sovereign debt bubble in 100 years is accelerating.  The outcome below is still inconceivable to most market participants.  @LukeGromen


A few more weeks like the last few and it will go from inconceivable to inevitable to imminent, shockingly fast.  Let's watch.

read more



Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ

Euro 0.9630
Dollar Index 113.72
Japan Yen 144.17
Swiss Franc 0.9847
Pound 1.0566
Aussie 0.6494
India Rupee 81.5237
South Korea Won 1432.775
Brazil Real 5.2603
Egypt Pound 19.6135
South Africa Rand 18.0828

read more








Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity
World Of Finance



Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity



In terms of a method to ‘manage’ government, it is not far from tribal elders howling incantations around the camp fire after inspecting the entrails of slaughtered animals. 

read more






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


read more



16. This is looking more and more like a sterling crisis - currency and UK government bonds plunging in tandem. @ReutersJamie
World Currencies

This is looking more and more like a sterling crisis - currency and UK government bonds plunging in tandem. @ReutersJamie

Sterling sinks 3% to 37-year low of $1.09 - there have only been 14 bigger falls in the past 50 years.
10-year gilt yield +67 bps this week, biggest rise since 1982.

read more





The @trussliz Mini Budget is an act of fiscal annihilation. Tens of billions are being hurled at an experiment that cannot work. @MaryRiddell
World Of Finance


The @trussliz Mini Budget is an act of fiscal annihilation. Tens of billions are being hurled at an experiment that cannot work. @MaryRiddell

No one voted for this nightmare, and no one, bar the very rich, will escape it. Never has a government posed such a threat to voters

read more






Hard to imagine a worse response to a cost of living crisis. @JolyonMaugham
World Of Finance

Liz Truss' budget means that those earning a million a year will have £54,400 extra in their pockets after tax and NICs. For those earning £25,000, the equivalent figure is about £280.

Hard to imagine a worse response to a cost of living crisis.

read more








Jul 3 One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity.
Commodities

Jul 3 One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity.

Western markets are turbo finiancialized and for an eternity, Western banks and Central Banks have been able to distort the commodity price complex with little difficulty. 
Take the Gold market for example where derivatives are 100x the underlying. 
One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity. 
There are plenty of examples of these inorganic price moves. In essence, the Tail wags the dog. 
The challenge is where the Supply/Demand balance is precarious and a small adjustment [reduce Supply or increase Demand] tips the situation into disequilibrium. 
The Tail will no longer wag the Dog and the Dog will simply run amok.

read more





Addis and Tigray return to the battlefields @Africa_Conf
Africa


Addis and Tigray return to the battlefields @Africa_Conf 

Ahead of the resumption of fighting in early September, both Tigrayan and federal forces had repositioned their troops as tensions rose amid the faltering peace process. 

This followed a coordinated flurry of peace missions to Ethiopia, a month earlier, by senior officials from the United States, the European Union and the African Union.
Whatever message they conveyed to the diplomats, military commanders in Addis Ababa and Tigray were evidently on high alert, preparing for a return to the battlefield

A day before the rival forces clashed at a front line cutting across the Tigray boundary in northern Amhara region, the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) warned reporters it was illegal to publicise the army's activities. 

On 24 August, just hours before the war resumed, Tigray's authorities entered a World Food Programme compound in Mekelle and seized 12 fuel tankers with 570,000 litres of fuel, the same amount that it said it lent to WFP earlier in the year.
The humanitarian truce declared in March by Ethiopia's federal government did not end the suffering as its policies continued to asphyxiate Tigray's economy

With power, telecommunications and banking services to Tigray still cut off, trading blocked, and fuel in desperately short supply, its leaders tried to break out of the blockade, or at least strengthen their bargaining power. 
Worsening hunger in the region added to the pressure on people in Tigray, forcing their leaders into action. 

More fighting is unlikely to break this siege unless Tigray's leaders can put Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in an even weaker position than when they routed federal forces on their march towards Addis late last year.
Truce over
Over the past few months, Abiy's government was weighing whether it should join serious peace talks with the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders that are widely despised outside their home base.
Any serious engagement would have meant that Addis Ababa would have had to lift the blockade that was central to constraining Tigray's forces. 

Addis faced growing pressure from international officials to negotiate and had reached the limits of the time bought by its uneasy truce with Tigray.
The humanitarian situation in Tigray was continuing to  deteriorate but the logic of the federal government's siege strategy meant that any action to relieve the pressure on Tigray's economy would also be seen as increasing the capacity of the region's forces. 
Rather than address its dilemma head on, Addis Ababa took piecemeal steps to alleviate the conditions inside Tigray and move incrementally towards talks. 

But that failed to rebuild any trust with Tigray. That all culminated in a return to war when Tigray's leaders sensed they were being played by Addis as thousands in the region were dying of malnutrition and lack of healthcare
Additionally, for Abiy, whose mother is Amhara and father is Oromo, launching formal talks with the TPLF risked losing more support from the Amhara.

 That is partly because the Amhara suffered heavily during Tigray's offensive last year and want to see the region disarmed. 
Their other concern is the status of Western Tigray, which borders Sudan. 

Amhara took over the territory by force in late 2020 and has been administering it ever since (AC Vol 63 No 12, Abiy risks Amhara backlash). 
The Amhara are not interested in negotiating over the area, which they call Welkait and regard as historical Amhara land; the TPLF administration also deems the issue non-negotiable, arguing its brutal takeover was unconstitutional and must be reversed. 
Any move by the federal government to put Western Tigray on the negotiating table would turn even more Amharas against Abiy. 

And without a creative structure, perhaps a proposal for a flexible joint-control system, any negotiations would be highly unlikely to lead to a peaceful resolution given the zero-sum dispute over blood and soil.
Eritrea and its supreme leader President Issayas Afewerki present another set of intractable challenges to peacemakers (AC Vol 62 No 21, Abiy's war party digs in). 

Asmara wants implementation of the Algiers agreement on the Ethio-Eritrean border that awarded disputed land to Eritrea. 

But should Addis end its military campaign against Tigray, the TPLF would resume total control of the territory and block any concessions to Eritrea.
Behind all that is Issayas's desire to bury the TPLF, which he believes betrayed him by turning the full force of Ethiopia's military against Eritrea in its 1998 war, then manipulating the international system to isolate Eritrea in the ensuing decades. 

Issayas and the TPLF started off as rebel allies in the 1980s against the Derg regime, but had become implacable foes by the mid-1990s. 

Issayas and TPLF leader, and Ethiopia's first federal prime minister Meles Zenawi were archetypal frenemies.
Alongside Ethiopian forces, Eritrean troops advanced into Tigray on 13 September, capturing Shiraro town, near the border of Tigray and Eritrea. 

After two weeks of clashes, the US regional envoy Mike Hammer was bringing together federal and Tigray representatives, including spokesman Getachew Reda, in Djibouti to try and agree a new truce. 

As the talks continued, the federal military continued air strikes in Tigray, and we hear they targeted Reda's house there.
Suggesting further escalation, Eritrean forces have been deployed to Afar region to Tigray's east, while Ethiopian troops went to Eritrea, which started mobilising reservists on 15 September. 

All that suggests that despite tensions between Abiy and Issayas over the past year, there was some joint planning for this latest assault on the TPLF.
As the battle raged on multiple fronts, Tigray's leaders stepped up their diplomatic game, welcoming an African Union-led peace process after previously upsetting the continental bloc by saying that its envoy, ex-Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, was biased towards Abiy (AC Vol 63 No 14, Rivals differ over talks location). 

International officials welcomed Tigray's offer, putting the ball back in Addis's court. 
Foreign responses to Tigray's call for peace talks included the regional group of nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the AU, and the UN Secretary-General's office: they all referred to Tigray's political leaders as the 'government of Tigray', adding some of the legitimacy needed if the federal government is going to sit around the table with an entity it still classifies as a terrorist organisation.
Another minor positive is that all parties seem willing to extend the peace process beyond Obasanjo, adding Kenya's outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, while formalising supporting roles for Hammer, his European Union counterpart, Annette Weber, 

and the UN Secretary-General's Horn of Africa special representative Hanna Tetteh, a former foreign minister of Ghana, widely seen as one of the more effective of the UN envoys. 
This marks an improvement from the preceding months, when a federal-Tigray meeting in June overseen by the US extracted some sort of federal pledge to restore public services, such as electricity and telecommunications, to Tigray. 

That lapsed because there wasn't enough follow-up. Instead, the federal government used delaying tactics by calling for talks on implementation, and then saying that service restoration could only come with a formal ceasefire. 

That suggests Addis never planned to reconnect Tigray to the grid, which would have allowed the region's economy to recover.
Now, with the increased international attention, it's still unclear whether foreign officials can convince the Ethiopian belligerents – let alone Eritrea's Issayas – to make any of the necessary concessions to open formal negotiations. 
Tigray's leaders are insisting that Addis Ababa must fully lift the siege before signing a new truce; they also want to see Abiy's government call for the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray. 

There's no sign at the moment that either side will move given the ferocity of the continuing battles.
Instead, developments on the battlefield and some of the fiery political gestures point towards another spate of sustained conflict. 

Following the Tigray statement, the federal government started campaigning for the disarming of the TPLF, as well as launching the air raids. 

Security forces in Addis blocked local civil society organisations calling for another truce from holding a press conference in the city. For now, the drums of war are drowning out alternative voices.

read more




Why African currencies are struggling @AfricanBizMag
Africa

 


Why African currencies are struggling @AfricanBizMag 


As the global economy sinks into another period of crisis, one indicator is shooting upwards: the value of the US dollar. 

With around half of all international trade invoiced in dollars, a stronger greenback hurts consumers across the world – including in Africa – that use dollars to pay for imports.
The dollar’s rise is partly down to the hawkish stance taken by the US Federal Reserve, which has raised interest rates more aggressively than central banks in other major economies. 

The fact that the greenback is traditionally seen as a “safe haven” asset by investors in times of economic volatility has further strengthened the dollar.
It is not just Africa feeling the pain. The British pound has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 and the Japanese yen is at its weakest since 1998. 

The euro, meanwhile, dropped below parity with the dollar for the first time since 2002 in late August. 

The euro’s depreciation directly affects the 14 African countries that use the CFA franc, which is pegged to the European single currency at a fixed rate.
The worst hit currency on the continent is the Ghanaian cedi, which has lost 40% of its value against the dollar so far in 2022, according to data on indicative rates supplied by Refinitiv. 

Ghana’s predicament reflects how investor confidence has been hit by the country’s fiscal crisis, which has left Accra seeking an IMF bailout. 

Fitch downgraded Ghana’s credit rating to CCC in August, signalling that “default is a real possibility”.
The South African rand is another major currency under pressure amid faltering investor confidence. 

The rand has been on a declining trend against the US dollar for several years and has depreciated by 9% so far in 2022. 

Irmgard Erasmus, senior financial economist at Oxford Economics Africa, says a “very, very weak growth backdrop” is at the root of the currency’s struggles. 

Load shedding is among several factors that have contributed to consistently anaemic growth rates.
Erasmus says that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), which has already raised interest rates four times this year, is under pressure from financial markets to maintain a hawkish position. 

She warns that lower-than-expected rate increases will lead to “punishment” for the rand.
This puts the SARB in a difficult position, however, given that inflation already appears to have peaked. 

In the absence of a strong domestic justification for a hawkish policy, SARB “can’t tighten policy too aggressively, purely to manage pressure on the rand,” Erasmus says.
Import dependence
African countries that lack a strong commodity export base are in an exposed position. 

The Kenyan shilling, for example, has seen its indicative value decline by 6% so far this year. 

Amid a weak post-Covid economic recovery and an ongoing drought, Kenya’s horticulture sector – which the country relies on for generating foreign exchange – remains in the doldrums.
Exchange rate volatility has “hit our country big, because we are a net importer”, says Job Wanjohi, head of policy, research and advocacy at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers. 

Wanjohi reports that the last year has seen prices “shoot up”, hitting margins for manufacturing businesses – which he says typically import around 80% of the raw materials and intermediate goods used in their products.
Kenya is among many African countries that are particularly vulnerable because of its dependence on imported fuel. 

Exchange rate volatility means that Kenya has suffered a double whammy – the cost of fuel has increased both because of rising wholesale prices and because the Kenyan shilling has depreciated. 

Wanjohi notes that manufacturing businesses are now contending with increased transport costs and are often paying more to run diesel generators.
Nigeria’s dollar crisis
One country that should be bucking the trend is Nigeria. 

As a major producer and exporter of oil, economic theory would suggest that 2022 should be a boom year for Africa’s most populous country. 

In reality, however, the opposite is true. Declining oil production – following years of under-investment and increasingly rampant theft and vandalism – and the massive cost of subsidising imports of refined petroleum products have contributed to a growing economic crisis.
Nigeria’s complicated system of multiple exchange rates makes it difficult for businesses and individuals to access dollars, particularly in times of economic stress. 

Running parallel exchange rates is a “dangerous game”, says Zuhumnan Dapel, senior fellow at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group

He notes that the system allows powerful figures to access currency from the Central Bank of Nigeria and sell it on the black market at “exorbitant rates”.
Amid the rising cost of imports and the scarcity of dollars, Nigeria’s official inflation rate rose above 20% in August for the first time in 17 years. 

“It’s definitely a factor that would deter investors,” says Janet Ogabi, senior research analyst at consulting firm Tellimer.
She cites the example of Emirates, which announced last month that it was suspending flights to Nigeria due to its inability to repatriate currency. 

Whether Nigeria’s next president, who will be elected next year, will reform the dysfunctional exchange rate system is the “million-dollar question” for the country, Ogabi says.
Of all Africa’s major currencies, only the Zambian kwacha has had a good year against the dollar, gaining 6% so far in 2022. 

The main lesson from Zambia is that the government of Hakainde Hichilema has been “very successful in establishing policy credibility” during its first year in power, says Erasmus. 

She praises the government’s efforts to rebuild transparency – a vital factor in convincing the IMF to disburse a $1.3bn loan.
But Erasmus cautions that others will struggle to follow Zambia’s example. “The Zambian case is quite unique,” she says. 

Indeed, to some extent, the kwacha had already bottomed out following an extended period of economic mismanagement that culminated in a sovereign default in 2020. 

Erasmus also warns that difficult debt restructuring negotiations with creditors and disappointing copper production figures are likely to weigh on the currency over the coming months.
Indeed, all African countries face a difficult external environment. 

Weak growth in China and even weaker growth in developed markets means that demand for African exports is likely to remain subdued for the foreseeable future. 

For African policymakers seeking to manage currency risks, there is no easy way out of the cycle of crisis.

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 





 

read more
















I mentioned that Kenyan banks should pay attention to Ghana's domestic restructuring plans. It's not that far-fetched. @GeorgeBodo
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment


 I mentioned that Kenyan banks should pay attention to Ghana's domestic restructuring plans. It's not that far-fetched. @GeorgeBodo



Here's an excerpt from PBO almost calling for a domestic debt restructure.

read more






Russia's Medvedev raises spectre of nuclear strike on Ukraine @Reuters
Law & Politics


Russia's Medvedev raises spectre of nuclear strike on Ukraine @Reuters 

One of President Vladimir Putin's allies on Tuesday explicitly raised the spectre of a nuclear strike on Ukraine, saying that the U.S.-led military alliance would still stay out of the conflict for fear of a nuclear apocalypse.
Dmitry Medvedev, a former president who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, said Russia had the right to defend itself with nuclear weapons if it is pushed beyond its limits and that this is "certainly not a bluff".
Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine, warning the West he was not bluffing when he said he'd be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia. 
"Let's imagine that Russia is forced to use the most fearsome weapon against the Ukrainian regime which had committed a large-scale act of aggression that is dangerous for the very existence of our state," Medvedev said in a post on Telegram.

According to Russia's nuclear doctrine, the president may use nuclear weapons if the state faces an existential threat, including from conventional weapons.
"I believe that NATO would not directly interfere in the conflict even in this scenario," Medvedev said. 

"The demagogues across the ocean and in Europe are not going to die in a nuclear apocalypse."
Around 90% of the world's nuclear warheads are held by Russia and the United States, who remain by far the world's biggest nuclear powers.

"I have to remind you again - for those deaf ears who hear only themselves. Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary," Medvedev said, adding that it would do so "in predetermined cases" and in strict compliance with state policy.
Medvedev's comments come as Russia prepares to annex large swathes of Ukrainian territory after referendums in Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine. Ukraine and the West have denounced the votes as an illegal sham.

read more






Unpacking the Ukraine ‘Game Change’; Is a Major Conflict Inevitable? Alastair CROOKE
Law & Politics


Unpacking the Ukraine ‘Game Change’; Is a Major Conflict Inevitable? Alastair CROOKE


Any political solution – however theoretical, at this point – would involve Moscow sitting with the collective West. Kiev had become a bystander.
Russia is preparing for an escalation in this war. She is augmenting her forces to the minimum level that could deal with a major NATO offensive. 

This decision was not precipitated by a significant attrition in the existing force. 

The facts are clear: The militias of Donetsk and Luhansk represent the majority of the Russian allied forces fighting in the Donbas. 

The militias have been reinforced by contract soldiers from the Wagner Group and Chechen fighters however, rather than by regular Russian forces.
But this is about to change. The number of Russian regulars fighting in Ukraine will rise dramatically. 

However, the referenda in the Ukrainian oblasts come first; and those will be followed by the Government of Russia and the Duma accepting the results and approving the annexation of these territories. 

After that is concluded and the territories assimilated into Russia, any attack on the new Russian territories would be treated as an act of war against Russia. 

As former Indian diplomat, MK Bhadrakumar, notes, “The accession of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye creates a new political reality and Russia’s partial mobilisation on parallel track is intended to provide the military underpinning for it”.
Clearly, we – the world – are at a pivotal moment. ‘Collective Russia’ has concluded that the former low-intensity war is no longer viable:
Unimaginable flows of western $ billions; too many NATO fingers in the Ukraine pie; too wide a ‘Ho Chi Minh Trail’ of ever more long-range and advanced weaponry; and too many ‘delusions’ that Kiev can still somehow win – 

effectively have undercut any ‘off-ramp solution’ and portend inexorable escalation.
Well, ‘Collective Russia’ has decided to ‘get ahead of the curve’, and to bring the affairs of Ukraine to the crunch. 

It is a risk; that is why we have reached an inflection point. The $64 thousand dollar question is, what will be the studied reaction of western political leaders to Putin’s speech? The next weeks will be crucial.
The point here is that western leaders ‘claim’ that Putin is just bluffing – as he is losing. 

Western hype is ‘shooting the moon’: “Putin is panicked; Russian markets are falling; young men are fleeing conscription”. 

Yes, well the Moex Russia index closed higher on Thursday; the rouble has remained steady; and the big queues are at the recruitment offices, rather than airline offices.
Just to be clear: The limited mobilization Putin announced only applies to those who serve in Russia’s reserves and who have seen prior military service. It is unlikely to hobble the economy.
The Russian pre-planned, tactical withdrawal from Kharkov – though militarily sound in logic, given the troop numbers required to defend a 1,000 km border – 

has generated throughout the West a fantasy of panic in Moscow and of Russian forces fleeing Kharkov before an advancing Ukrainian offensive.
The danger to such fantasies is that leaders begin to believe their own propaganda. 

How could western Intelligence reporting become so divorced from reality? 

One reason undoubtedly is the explicit decision to craft ‘cherry-picked’ intelligence to serve as deliberately ‘leaked’ anti-Russian propaganda. 

And where would be the best quarry for such propaganda material? Kiev. 

It seems that largely, intelligence services come to accept and circulate what Kiev says, without cross-checking for accuracy.
Yes, it is hard to believe (but not without precedent). Politicians naturally love what seems to bolster their narratives. Contrarian assessments are met with scowls.
Therefore, western leaders are doubling down on promises to continue sending money and advanced weaponry to Ukraine that will be used to attack – among others – Russian civilians. 

A new co-ordinated narrative from the West is that whereas on the Russian side, one man can end the war; on the other, for Ukraine to stop the war would mean ‘no Ukraine’.
Neocons, such as Robert Kagan, naturally have put their own spin on the official psyops, by pushing the line that Putin is bluffing. Kagan wrote in Foreign Affairs:
“Russia may possess a fearful nuclear arsenal, but the risk of Moscow using it is not higher now than it would have been in 2008 or 2014, if the West had intervened then. 

And it [the nuclear risk] has always been extraordinarily small: Putin was never going to obtain his objectives by destroying himself and his country, along with much of the rest of the world.”
In short, don’t worry about going to war with Russia, Putin won’t use ‘the bomb’. Really?
Again, to be plain, Putin said in his speech on 21 September:

 “They [Western leaders] have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail … 

[I refer] to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia”.
“I would like to remind … in the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country, and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff”.
These Neocons advocating ‘hard deterrence’ rotate in and out of power, parked in places like the Council on Foreign Relations or Brookings or the AEI, before being called back into government. 

They have been as welcome in the Obama or Biden White House, as the Bush White House. 

The Cold War, for them, never ended, and the world remains binary – ‘us and them, good and evil’.
Of course, the Pentagon does not buy the Kagan meme. They well know what nuclear war implies. 

Yet, the EU and U.S. political élites have chosen to place all their chips on the roulette wheel landing on ‘Ukraine’:

Ukraine’s symbolic expression now serves multiple ends: Principally, as distraction from domestic failures – ‘Saving Ukraine’ offers an (albeit false) narrative to explain the energy crisis, the spiking inflation and businesses shutting down. 

It is icon too, to the framework of the ‘enemy within’ (the Putin whisperers). 

And it serves to justify the control regime currently being cooked-up in Brussels.

 It is, in short, politically highly useful. Even perhaps, existentially essential.
Russia thus has taken the first step towards a real war footing. 

The west will be well advised to acknowledge and understand how this situation came about, rather than to pretend to its public that Russia is on the verge of collapse – which it is not.
How did ‘collective Russia’ arrive at this point? How do the pieces fit together?
The first piece to this jigsaw is Syria: Moscow intervened there with a tiny commitment – some 25 Sukhoi fighters and no more than 5,000 men. 

There, as with Ukraine, the operation was one of giving support to frontline forces. 

In Ukraine, through aiding the Donbas militia to defend themselves – and in Syria, through offering the Syrian army air-support, intelligence and mediation outreach to those with whom Damascus was not talking.
The other key piece to understanding Russia’s Syria ‘posture’ was that Moscow could rely for the cutting-edge ground-fighting on two highly skilled, and motivated fighting auxiliaries, 

in addition to the mainstream Syrian army: i.e. Hizbullah and the IRGC.
Taken together, this Russian intervention – limited to a supporting role only – nevertheless yielded political results. 

Turkey mediated; and the Astana Accord resulted. Notwithstanding that Astana has not been a great success – but its framework lives on.
The point here is that Moscow’s deployment in Syria ultimately was politically oriented towards a political solution.
Fast-forward to Ukraine: The militias of Donetsk and Luhansk represent the majority of the Russian-allied forces doing the fighting in the Donbas. 

The militias are reinforced by contract soldiers from the Wagner Group and Chechens fighters. 

This explains why Russian losses of 5,800 KIA, during the SMO are ‘small’. 

Russian forces were rarely on the frontlines of this war. (In Syria they were not on the frontlines at all.)
So, the Syria blueprint effectively was lifted aloft, and fitted down over Ukraine. 

What does this tell us? It suggests that originally Team Putin was angulated towards a negotiated settlement in Ukraine, just as in Syria. And it almost happened. 

Turkey again mediated, with peace talks occurring in Istanbul in late March, with promising results showing.
In one respect however, events here did not follow the Syria pattern. 

Boris Johnson immediately scuttled the settlement initiative, warning Zelensky that he must not ‘normalise’ with Putin; and if he did reach some accord, it would not be recognised by the West.
After this episode, the SMO nonetheless continued in its highly restricted format (with no signs of any political solution on the horizon). 

It persisted, too, despite growing evidence that taking down the defences that NATO had spent eight years erecting in Donbas likely were beyond the militia capabilities. I

n short, the SMO was demonstrating its limitations: what worked in Syria, was not working in Ukraine.
More forces plainly were required. Could this be done by tweaking the SMO (which imposed legal constraints on Russian regular forces serving in Ukraine), or was a complete re-set required? 

What resulted was the limited mobilisation and referenda outcome.
Plainly, however the decision to assimilate Ukrainian territory would foreclose on a likely political settlement, but this latter possibility was falling away anyway as the West fell for its fantasies of a Ukrainian complete victory, and as NATO escalated. 

The ‘war’ was becoming less and less about Ukraine, and more and more NATO’s war on Russia.
Any political solution – however theoretical, at this point – would involve Moscow sitting with the collective West. Kiev had become a bystander.
Well, this was the point at which other geo-politics thrust itself into the equation: Russia, under sanctions, must pursue a strategy of building-out a protected ‘strategic depth’ that trades in own currencies (outside the dollar hegemony). 

MacKinder called this sphere the ‘World Island’ – a land-based mass, well distanced from the naval Great Powers.
Russia needs the support of BRICS and the SCO as partners both in creating this ‘trading strategic depth’, and for the multi-polar world order project. 

Some of its leaders though – particularly China and India – mindful of the SCO’s 2001 founding charter – naturally could have difficulty in lending public support to Russia’s Ukraine plans.
Yes, China and India are sensitive to interventions in other states, and Team Putin has worked hard, continually briefing its allies on Ukraine, so that they could understand the full background to the conflict. 

The summit at Samarkand was the final ‘piece’ – the personal briefing of what was to come in respect to Ukraine that needed to fall into place.
How will the West react? With a public display of ‘fury’ for sure; yet despite the hype, some fundamental realities will have to be addressed: 

Does Ukraine, with its severely abraded forces, have the wherewithal to continue this war after the loss of so many men? 

Is Europe even able to mobilise towards a larger NATO war against Russia? 

Do the U.S. and Europe retain a sufficient inventory of munitions, after so much has already been passed into the hands of Kiev?
The next crucial weeks will provide answers.

read more



May 29 Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity
Law & Politics



May 29 Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity



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

The Hubris is at a Shakespeare level
Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/; from Ancient Greek ὕβρις (húbris) 'pride, insolence, outrage') describes a personality quality of extreme or excessive pride or dangerous overconfidence, often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance
Meanwhile Our Leaders make speeches at  Davos, dress up in military fatigues and call for Regime change. It is a complete farce.


Conclusions

These Regime Change Fantasists are not credible. 


read more


Jul 3 Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble
Law & Politics


Jul 3 Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble


The inability to read the battlefield, the extraordinary propaganda threads on Twitter, the deplatforming of any voice that countered the Propaganda effort have produced a ''Fairy Tale'' reality and a geoeconomic boomerang effect which is shredding the standard of living in the West and whose consequence will be Regime Change in Western Capitals long before Moscow.

Therefore, it is clear Western Policy Makers are going to double down on the failing sanction warfare strategy.

Today the Russian Ruble is the best performing currency in the World. 

There are plenty of Armchair Generals and Commentators on Twitter who will dismiss the Ruble rally but they are like the Armchair Generals who told us Zelensky was going to take his Army to Moscow and the Russians were going to strew rose petals at his Feet.

read more



Pres. Biden: "If Russia invades...then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." @ABC
Law & Politics


Pres. Biden: "If Russia invades...then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it." @ABC



Reporter: "But how will you do that, exactly, since...the project is in Germany's control?"
Biden: "I promise you, we will be able to do that." 

read more


Russia can switch off the gas at any moment without sabotaging their own pipelines. Based on Biden's previous threats, this was likely an US operation. @ramzpaul
Law & Politics


Russia can switch off the gas at any moment without sabotaging their own pipelines. Based on Biden's previous threats, this was likely an US operation. @ramzpaul

Russia can switch off the gas at any moment without sabotaging their own pipelines. Russia would love to use these pipelines in the future when the sanctions are removed. Based on Biden's previous threats, this was likely an US operation.

read more




Footage from the site of a gas leak on the underwater section of the Nord Stream.The video was published by the Danish military. Earlier, the Kremlin said that it was most likely about sabotage. @AZmilitary1
Law & Politics


Footage from the site of a gas leak on the underwater section of the Nord Stream.The video was published by the Danish military. Earlier, the Kremlin said that it was most likely about sabotage. @AZmilitary1



The same opinion was expressed in the German government.

read more



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

 
 
Forgot your password? Register Now
 
 
September 2022
 
 
 
 
 
COMMENTS

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