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Virilio is renowned for his declaration that the logic of acceleration lies at the heart of the organization and transformation of the modern world
Virilio's theoretical work stems from his central claim that, in a
culture dominated by war, the military-industrial complex is of
crucial significance in debates over the creation of the city and the
spatial organization of cultural life. In Speed & Politics, for
example, Virilio offers a credible 'war model' of the growth of the
modern city and the development of human society. Thus, according to
Virilio, the fortified city of the feudal period was a stationary and
generally unassailable 'war machine' coupled to an attempt to modulate
the circulation and the momentum of the movements of the urban masses.
Therefore, the fortified city was a political space of habitable
inertia, the political configuration, and the physical underpinning of
the feudal era. Nevertheless, for Virilio, the essential question is
why did the fortified city disappear? His rather unconventional answer
is that it did so due to the advent of ever increasingly transportable
and accelerated weapons systems. For such innovations 'exposed' the
fortified city and transformed siege warfare into a war of movement.
Additionally, they undermined the efforts of the authorities to govern
the flow of the urban citizenry and therefore heralded the arrival of
what Virilio (Virilio and Parent, 1996: xv) calls the 'habitable
circulation' of the masses. Unlike Marx, then, Virilio postulates that
the transition from feudalism to capitalism was not an economic
transformation but a military, spatial, political, and technological
metamorphosis. Broadly speaking, where Marx wrote of the materialist
conception of history, Virilio writes of the military conception of
Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
Dollar Index 87.91
Japan Yen 117.84 The yen gained 0.1 percent to 117.85 per dollar,
after touching 118.98 on Nov. 20, the weakest since August 2007.
Swiss Franc 0.9643
Aussie 0.8534 Australia’s dollar traded at 85.38 U.S. cents as of
12:02 p.m. in Tokyo from 85.30 cents yesterday, when it touched 85.14
cents, the least since July 2010.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens warned last week
there was a “pretty material risk” that the nation’s currency will go
lower. Iron-ore futures for May delivery slid 2.7 percent on the
Dalian Commodity Exchange yesterday. Iron ore is Australia’s largest
India Rupee 61.84
South Korea Won 1106.91
Brazil Real 2.5304 The real strengthened 0.6 percent to 2.5301 per
dollar at the close of trade in Sao Paulo, the most among 16 world
Egypt Pound 7.1505
South Africa Rand 10.9679
The yen has dropped 7 percent in the past month, the worst performer
among 10 developed-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg
Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The Aussie fell 1 percent, while the
dollar, the biggest gainer, rose 2.3 percent. The euro added 0.5
percent over the period. Japan’s currency leads losses versus the
dollar this month, falling 4.8 percent, followed by South Korea’s won,
which is down 3.6 percent. South Africa’s rand has gained 0.7 percent,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Dollar Index 3 Month Chart INO 87.91
U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.9 percent annualized rate in
the third quarter, capping the strongest six months in a decade and
topping the 3.3 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists,
a government report showed today.
The point I am making is that the dollar has just started getting
going. There will be blood in the water. There is a small window if we
want to be the sharks. 29-SEP-2014
The dollar has embarked on a meaningful and broad based rally as
investors anticipate a rate hike in the US ahead of all other
developed economies. 01-SEP-2014
the dollar has been punching higher. If things tip big, the dollar
might soar. 25-AUG-2014
Euro versus the Dollar 3 Month Chart 1.2472 [Target 1.000 in 2015]
The euro gained 0.3 percent to $1.2474 per dollar at 5 p.m. in New
York, after falling as much as 0.3 percent. The shared currency
reached $1.2358 on Nov. 7, the lowest level August 2012.
Dollar versus Russia Ruble @YahooFinance
Euro-Area Yields Drop to Records as Dutch Borrow at All-Time Low
Spain’s 10-year yield dropped five basis points, or 0.05 percentage
point, to 1.923 percent as of 4:17 p.m. London time and touched 1.922
percent, the lowest since Bloomberg started collecting the data in
1993. The 2.75 percent bond due in October 2024 rose 0.475, or 4.75
euros per 1,000-euro ($1,248) face amount, to 107.405.
Germany’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to 0.75 percent,
approaching the record 0.715 percent set on Oct. 16.
Dutch 10-year yields dropped as much as four basis points to a record
0.877 percent. The Dutch State Treasury Agency sold 1.8 billion euros
of the 10-year bonds at an average yield of 0.895 percent today, the
lowest auction rate on record. That compares with 1.137 percent at a
previous sale of the securities on Sept. 9.
Portugal (GSPT10YR)’s 10-year yield declined to an all-time low of
2.906 percent as the nation’s government debt agency said it will
carry out a bond exchange offer tomorrow. Germany is scheduled to sell
4 billion euros of benchmark 10-year bunds tomorrow. The nation last
sold the securities on Oct. 29 at a record-low auction yield of 0.87
Spanish securities earned 14 percent this year through yesterday,
Bloomberg World Bond Indexes show. Germany’s returned 8.4 percent and
Italy’s 13 percent.
I expect negative Euro-Area Inflation in the not too distant future.
13-OCT-2014 Who Kneecapped Oil?
The conditions [and I will explain them momentarily] are optimal for a
complete wash-out [a ‘blow-off bottom’ was more earthy description in
my time] down as far as $50 a barrel. Markets overshoot, crude oil
does it big time and any and every model needs to consider such a
The US administration has turned price slasher and like in Alfred
Hitchcock’s totemic movie “Pyscho”, oil has been sliced up real good.
The US has flooded the oil market and the commodity is now a
geopolitical spear [Michael Klare and Tom Engelhardt].
It is the US that is the new price setter for the oil markets and this
is a deep and important geopolitical development. The new price levels
will have immediate and enormous geopolitical and financial knock-on
effects. It will place intolerable pressure on oil producers and
particularly those operating from a higher base price.
Gold 6 month INO 1199.60
Gold climbed 70 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed
bought debt and held borrowing costs near zero percent in a bid to
shore up economic growth.
Through last week, gold declined 0.3 percent this year. The metal in
2013 tumbled 28 percent, ending a 12-year bull run. A second straight
annual drop would mark the longest slump since 1998.
Iron Ore Drops Below $70 for First Time Since ‘09 as Glut Widens
Mellon Estate Sale Fetches $218 Million, Led by Rothkos
The auction of Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon’s estate, which offered
collectibles from a $39.9 million Mark Rothko painting to a
rabbit-shaped doorstop for more than $5,000, fetched $218.1 million at
Sotheby’s (BID) in New York.
The 1,521 objects including fine art, furnishings and jewelry owned by
Mellon, who died in March at the age of 103, were offered in three
sales over five days that ended yesterday. Ninety-eight percent of the
Collectors sought a piece of the history of the American socialite,
who was married to the late banking heir Paul Mellon. Sotheby’s said
more than 5,000 visitors came to see the collection in one week at its
New York headquarters.
At the Nov. 20 and 21 auctions devoted to Mellon’s jewelry, a
highlight was a pear-shaped, fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 9.75
carats that sold for $32.6 million, an auction record for a blue
diamond. The previous auction record was $24.3 million, set at
Christie’s in London in December 2008.
A blue diamond weighing 9.75 carats sold for $32.6 million at
Sotheby's in New York. Photo: Sotheby's via Bloomberg
This undated file photo provided by Sotheby's shows a 1955
painting by Mark Rothko, "Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light
10-NOV-2014 Ouagadougou's Signal to Sub-Sahara Africa
Therefore, the preeminent point to note is that protests in Burkina
Faso achieved escape velocity.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, aerial view of the city
VISA AFRICA INTEGRATION INDEX
currently, whilst Africa may be the world’s fastest growing continent,
it also is the world’s least globalised – or internationally
integrated – region. it is far less connected to the global economy
and its value chains than the likes of Emerging Asia, Latin America,
central America or Eastern Europe. to boot, of the world’s different
regions, Africa also is the least integrated internally
The four drivers of Africa’s great rush forward are:
i. Robust commodity prices and new sources of demand;
ii. Improved economic management and policy platforms;
iii. Debt relief and sustained debt improvement; and
iv. Africa’s “demographic dividend”.
By 2060, Africa’s population could reach 2.7 billion people with a
middle class of more than one billion people. its economically active
population could by then have tripled – providing the basis for
consistently high levels of economic growth (Gernetzky, 2012). As
such, Africa’s demographic configuration, embodying a young, growing
population, represents a fourth important structural factor that has
impacted the region’s economic prospects positively in the last decade
and that if well managed, promises to shape the economy for the
Export volumes have grown at an average of 8.8 percent per year since
2000, versus the world average of 3.7 percent. this reflects rising
global demand for African products and services. Moreover, given that
Africa’s export growth exceeded economic growth – albeit modestly –
over the period, it follows that exports have become a relatively more
important component of the region’s economy since 2000 – indicative of
the importance of economic openness as a component of sustained
New trade partners like Brazil, russia, india and china – the so
called Bric economies – have increased their trade and investment
flows with Africa substantially over the past decade, which has
contributed strongly toward African economic growth. in 2001, African
economies exported $24 billion in goods and services to these four
economies; by 2011, this figure had grown nearly ten-fold to $194
the benefits of global integration are identified by Ghemawat (2011)
as flowing through four main channels, namely:
i. the flow of goods and services or trade (T);
ii. financial integration and the movement of capital (C);
iii. the flow of information and knowledge (I);
iv. the movement of people ℗.
Africa stands to gain from a sustained structural benefit brought
about by the opening up of African economies to each other and to the
world at large.
ropping from its peak in 1948 when Africa’s contribution (exports and
imports) was around 7.7 percent of total world trade, Africa’s trade
has increased from a low of 2.3 percent in 2003 to 3.2 percent of
world trade in 2011. While this is not much lower than Latin America,
which contributed 4.1 percent toward world trade in 2011, Africa’s
share is significantly less than Asia, which grew from 24.9 percent of
world trade in 2003 to 31 percent in 2011.8
World Bank data show Africa’s intra-regional trade amounted to just
13.1 percent of its total in 2011 – well below the global average, not
to mention the levels of South-East Asia and Europe where
intra-regional trade accounts for 50.2 percent and 72.1 percent,
Visa Integration Index Infographic
Ethiopia Plans Debut Foreign-Currency Bond Joining Ghana, Kenya
South Africa All Share Bloomberg +9.190% 2014
50,507.59 -219.63 -0.43%
Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 10.97 [Trading Sell below 11.00]
Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 7.1503
Egypt EGX30 Bloomberg +34.355% 2014
9,112.69 -43.99 -0.48%
Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -17.455% 2014
34,115.84 +240.58 +0.71%
24-NOV-2014 Nigeria In The Eye Of The Storm
The big game changer for Nigeria has been the free fall in the price
of crude oil. Brent crude is around $80 a barrel and at multi-year
lows. Lower prices have eroded Nigeria’s income. Nigeria is collateral
damage in a red hot crude oil and geopolitical war, where the US (and
Saudi Arabia) have tipped the oil markets into surplus in order to
exert enormous pressure on Russia [in particular] amongst others.
Nigeria will be hoping that OPEC (The Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries) will cut supply on Thursday in Vienna.
The OPEC outcome I foresee was described by Hakan Kocayusufpasaoglu,
chief investment officer at Archbridge Capital AG, a Zug,
Switzerland-based hedge fund to Bloomberg on November 14;
“If OPEC does nothing, I think we’re seeing this market get really
trashed, another $10 from where it is.”
And in the mix, swirls a raging insurgency in the north and President
Goodluck Jonathan is standing again in February elections. The
International Crisis Group said: ‘’An Islamist insurgency and a
polarizing campaign for the presidency pitting candidates from the
mainly Muslim north against an incumbent from the largely Christian
south point to a very perilous contest whose results may also be
The fracas in parliament is a signal of a potentially very dys-
President Goodluck Jonathan
Two explosions by suspected female suicide bombers hit Maiduguri in
Nigeria's northeast on Monday, witnesses said, killing at least five
"There were two blasts, all suicide bombers," witness Sani Adamau told
Reuters. "While the people were trying to help the injured the second
bomb blasted, I saw lots of bodies."
Insurgency Tail Risk 08-SEP-2014
Are we ahead of the curve or behind the curve in matters insurgency?
Are we headed into a new ‘Waziristan-type’ normal?
Last year, Ben Bernanke was asked why people hold gold and he said:
“As protection against what we call tail risks: really, really bad
The insurgency tail risk remains and how it plays out will have
important consequence for ourselves and the entire Africarising
The naira’s official peg was moved to 168 per dollar, from 155, with a midpoint increased to 5 percent from 3 percent.
Nigeria’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the
first time in three years and devalued the naira as tumbling oil
prices sent the currency to an all-time low before a presidential vote
The rate was raised 100 basis points to a record high 13 percent,
Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters today in Abuja, the capital.
Only one out nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated the exact
increase. Six predicted the bank would hold the rate at 12 percent.
The naira’s official peg was moved to 168 per dollar, from 155, with a
midpoint increased to 5 percent from 3 percent.
Emefiele, 53, became central bank governor in June with a pledge to
keep the currency stable and avoid raising interest rates before next
year’s vote. His promise has proved difficult to keep as slumping
crude prices erode government revenue in Africa’s top oil producer.
The central bank also increased the cash reserve requirement on
private sector deposits by 500 basis points to 20 percent.
“Given market turmoil, the depletion of official reserves by $1.5
billion month-to-date and the surge of the dollar globally, the
committee does not have the option of leaving its stance unchanged,”
Gregory Kronsten and Olubunmi Asaolu, analysts with FBN Capital Ltd.
in Lagos, said in an e-mailed note yesterday.
The naira is being overwhelmed by a drop in prices for oil, the
biggest foreign-exchange earner, with the currency weakened to a
record low of 178 per dollar on Nov. 24. While the central bank has
stepped in to defend the currency, selling dollars outside its twice
weekly auctions, the interventions have reduced foreign reserves to a
five-month low of $37.2 billion.
Nigeria’s government is planning to cut spending by 6 percent next
year and lower its benchmark oil price to $73 a barrel, down from from
$77.50 in this year’s budget as it seeks to stabilize the market hit
by a fall in oil prices, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said
Nov. 16. Okonjo-Iweala’s announcement followed Emefiele’s pledge to
continue defending the naira. Oil accounts for 70 percent of
The rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee last adjusted the benchmark
rate in October 2011, when then-Governor Lamido Sanusi increased it by
275 basis points.
naira down another 2 percent to 177.55 per dollar in the interbank market.
Nigeria’s foreign reserves dropped to a five-month low of $37.2
billion on Nov. 21, down 15 percent this year, after the central bank
tried to bolster the naira by selling them down.
Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg +5.9207% 2014
2,272.41 +5.60 +0.25%
Ethiopia out with dollar bond, Kenya announces tap
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia hit screens on Tuesday
with a debut dollar bond roadshow announcement minutes before Kenya
announced a tap of its outstanding US$500m 5.875% 2019s and US$1.5bn
“It’s not ideal,” said a source. “If someone asked you whether you’d
want two East African names in the market at a similar time, you’d
probably say ‘no’.”
But it helps that neither economy is particularly dependent on oil
prices, which have hit multi-year lows in recent weeks, the source
A bond banker away from either deal argued that the Kenya tap should
not have a detrimental affect on Ethiopia’s deal.
“Kenya will be done and dusted long before Ethiopia comes,” added the
Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, which is also on the Kenya tap, have been
hired by Ethiopia to organise a series of fixed income investor
meetings across Europe and the US starting Wednesday.
BNP Paribas was also rumoured to be on the mandate, IFR reported on
October 16. The French bank declined to comment.
Ethiopia (B1/B/B) is thought to be looking to raise around US$1bn
through a 10-year note, according to a source away from the trade. The
deal will be 144A/Reg S.
Ivory Coast (B1/NR/B) is one close comparable, according two bond
officials away from the Ethiopia deal. Ivory Coast’s US$750m 2024s
were trading at a Z-spread of 341bp on Tuesday morning, according to
Rwanda’s (NR/B/B) 2023s, which were trading at Z+384bp on Tuesday, and
Nigeria’s (Ba3/BBB-/BBB-) 2023s, trading at Z+329bp, are also
comparables, added another source.
Meanwhile, higher-rated Kenya (NR/B+/B+) will also likely be used as a
Kenya’s 2024s were trading at a Z-spread of 350bp at Tuesday open.
This spiked to Z+362bp immediately after the tap announcement, while
the 2019s started the day at a spread of Z+333bp before rising to
Z+339bp, according to Tradeweb.
One banker away from both the Ethiopia and Kenya deals said the former
could be positioned to come inside the latter, despite its lower
rating. However, another banker said, if Ethiopia does price inside
Kenya that would be because of technicals – with Ethiopia’s bond
likely to be much smaller than Kenya’s outstanding 2024s – rather than
a reflection of credit fundamentals.
Africa fast off blocks in adopting Internet of Things: industry group
The bulk of mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are now in
developing countries, including in Africa, according to a mobile
operators' trade body, helping leapfrog technological development on
the world's poorest continent.
By the end of 2014, the number of cellular M2M connections - also
known as the "Internet of Things" (IoT) - in the developing world will
total 128 million, or 52 percent of the global numbers, global
industry lobby GSMA estimates.
This should rise to nearly 60 percent or 575 million in another six years.
In Africa, there were 7 million mobile connections of the new
technology wave by June 2014, and this number could quadruple by 2020.
Most people on the continent access the Internet from mobile devices.
"In Africa sometimes you can leapfrog and go to the latest in
innovation and technology at the same time. It is absolutely
excellent," said Anne Bouverot, GSMA's Director General.
"M2M started earlier in developed markets but now it is another area
that the developing world has overtaken the developed world," she
There has been a global surge in demand for M2M communications, or
using the Internet to get products from cars and fridges to pet
collars and toilets to carry out more tasks, more efficiently.
Nairobi tops index of most strategic city for multinationals eyeing Africa
According to the Africa Integration Index released by Visa Tuesday,
Nairobi is the most attractive due to its expansive dual air
connectivity with the world, as well other to African countries.
While South Africa is ranked as the most globally integrated country
on the continent, the second biggest economy in Africa lacks similar
connections to the Africa continent, which Kenya has, thanks to the
This makes Kenya a transport hub and a preferred investment
destination for multinationals with an eye on the East African region
and the continent at large.
“Kenya is the better positioned gateway to Africa due to its good
regional and international connection,” said Prof Adrian Saville of
the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg, South
Africa, who steered the study.