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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
17-JUN-2019 :: I recommended Bitcoin this year at $5,350.00. I am recommending Bitcoin again on a supreme conviction basis.
So lets start with the enigmatic and mercurial Fugitive and Bitcoin
evangelist John McAfee, who always seems to pop up in my Feed like an
acid Trip whenever Bitcoin is doing its Parabola imitation.
But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the
parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -gues- sed and refused
to believe -that everything, always, collectively, had been moving
toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no
surprise, no second chance, no return.’’
Bitcoin is trading at Fresh Highs of $9,270.00 and aside from Beyond
Meat and Zoom has posted the best returns in 2019 and is in triple
digit % gain territory.
Paul Virilio captured the es- sence of our c21st Zeitgeist with this quote
“Wealth is the hidden side of speed and speed the hidden side of wealth”
Bitcoin, Beyond Meat and Zoom is Virilio’s quote expressed in market terms.
Bitcoin is something like 50% below the All Time Highs. I recommended
Bitcoin this year at $5,350.00. I am recommending Bitcoin again on a
supreme conviction basis.
A great deal of the Price surge is correlated to Chinese Flight
Capital, in my opinion.
"But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. Yet they do move forever under it, reserved for its own black-and-white bad news certainly as if it were the rainbow, and they its children." - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Ra
“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the
parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice—guessed and refused to
believe—that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward
that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no
second chance, no return. Yet they do move forever under it, reserved
for its own black-and-white bad news certainly as if it were the
rainbow, and they its children. . . .”
― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
The dictator's learning curve is being overtaken by something promising: the people's learning curve. @guardian
Law & Politics
The massive demonstrations of recent weeks in Hong Kong and Sudan may
seem to be totally disparate events. But they have more in common than
meets the eye. The attempts by the authorities to disperse them with
threats of violence or with peaceful promises is part of a wider
global crackdown on people taking to the streets. But the creativity
of protesters in finding ever new ways of making their voices heard,
both online and in the streets, is the real trend to note. When
governments are seen as flawed or repressive, people search for
avenues other than just the ballot box. These are the politics of
voice and not just of vote, as the Indian political scientist Neera
Chandhoke has called it Governments have become particularly adept in
learning to manage, control and repress the voices of people when they
are deemed too critical of the powers that be. Even in the early
2000s, the colour revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine and the Arab
spring directly triggered neighbouring autocrats to test and apply new
muzzles on civil society. Or, as Alexander Lukashenko, the president
of Belarus infamously said of his country, there will be no “rose,
orange or banana” revolutions. Laws in which NGOs were dubbed foreign
agents were copied, sometimes almost literally, from one country to
another. William Dobson has dubbed this “the dictator’s learning
curve”. Such government tactics have stymied many burgeoning democracy
movements. And the shrinking of civic space has not been limited to
autocratic regimes. As the Guardian’s Nesrine Malik noted, the very
fact that much of the internet in Sudan has been shut down repeatedly
since shows that mobilising online matters. This constant shifting
between online and offline spaces is one of the trademarks of current
social protest movements and reflects how they learn from one another.
And even more than before, using all online channels at their
disposal, protesters have become particularly aware of the power of
language and of framing. The current war of words over whether Hong
Kong’s protesters are peaceful youngsters or violent rioters is a good
example. These tactics may not always yield immediate results and
violent setbacks may still occur, as Sudan shows, but they do prevent
the total stifling of protest movements. The enduring creativity and
resilience of the protests in the streets of Hong Kong and Khartoum
pits something very strong against the copycat learning of one
government from another. The dictator’s learning curve is being
overtaken by something promising: the people’s learning curve.
What Negative Yields? Defaulted Bond Has World's Top Returns @markets
In a world replete with negative-yielding assets, some investors have
made 15% in less than three weeks betting that an African country in
default is about to come into a lot of gas money.
This month’s rally in Mozambique’s sole dollar bond comes after the
government proposed a restructuring deal at the end of May that should
see coupons, which Mozambique stopped paying in early 2017, restarted
later this year.
For investors who swallowed the diluted terms and bought the bond,
vindication has just come in the form of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s
plan to spend at least $20 billion to develop some of the country’s
The yield on the Southern African nation’s bond, due 2023, has fallen
almost 5 percentage points since May 30 to 11%, compared with the
coupon rate of 10.5%.
Total returns on the security beat gains from Cypriot and Spanish
counterparts, which were a close second, according to data from
Bloomberg Barclays gauges for global debt.
It’s a sweet spot for a country that’s been in the news for all the
wrong reasons in recent years over the missed debt payments, $1.4
billion of hidden liabilities, U.S. indictments of its officials and
slowing economic growth. It also underscores that investors are
prepared to overlook short-term turmoil and wait for an expected surge
in government revenues from gas output.
“Investors are hoping that Mozambique will come into a lot of money as
gas becomes a huge source of foreign currency,” said John Ashbourne,
an emerging-market economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London. “If
they can ride out the next couple of years, things should look up.”
Anadarko on Tuesday signed off on what it called the biggest foreign
direct investment in Africa, seeing potential for Mozambique to become
one of the largest exporters of liquefied natural gas in the world.
Gas from the Anadarko-operated offshore field will be sent to a
processing plant on land, where it will be liquefied and then shipped
abroad from around 2024. That means more tax revenue.
Still, Mozambique would have to rake in other economic benefits from
its gas by developing supplier industries and creating jobs to sustain
“Investors will be watching the government’s ability to harness this
project for sustainable growth,” said Ashbourne. “If that doesn’t
happen, they will be disappointed.”
The government agreed with bond investors on May 31 to restructure the
$726.5 million Eurobond, stripping a previous idea from November to
give bondholders direct access to future natural-gas revenue.
The new plan -- which will swap the debt into a new $900 million
Eurobond maturing in 2031 and with a coupon stepping up to 9% from
2023 -- still proved popular with investors as it gives them a higher
interest rate than what was initially proposed.
Zambian President @EdgarCLungu Says Fears of a Debt Crisis Are Unfounded @bpolitics
“Zambia is not in a position of a crisis,” the 62-year-old leader said
in an interview in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, on Wednesday.
“When you find that you are being strangled by debt, you hold back and
see how you can realign your position so that in the end you continue
being alive, you don’t suffocate. That’s where we are now.”
Lungu’s government is trying to revive an economy that the
International Monetary Fund says is growing at the slowest pace in
more than two decades, after a slump in the price of copper, Zambia’s
main export, over the past year.
A drought has also lowered water levels at hydro plants and caused
Spreads on Zambia’s dollar bonds hit 2,000 basis points above U.S.
Treasuries last month as investors fretted about its ability to pay
It’s the only country in the Bloomberg Barclays Emerging Markets USD
Sovereign Bond Index, which includes 75 nations, whose securities have
lost money in 2019.
Lungu, who faces re-election in two years, said that while his
administration had not frozen new loans, it would prioritize
concessional borrowing that comes with lower interest rates.
“We have realized where we are and I think we have taken measures,” he
said. “Those measures will see us get some breathing space so that the
economy begins growing again. In a few years, we will see Zambia
boomerang and rise again to that growth rate which is acceptable.”
Zimbabwe's currency hits new low, firms demanding payment in U.S. dollars @ReutersAfrica
The RTGS dollar has plunged 60% against the U.S. dollar since its
introduction in February, and public sector workers’ demands for a
second pay rise this year could undermine a government drive to
convince lenders of its fiscal discipline.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa won a disputed election last year on a
promise to revive a Zimbabwe economy shattered by decades of
mismanagement by his ousted predecessor Robert Mugabe.
But a year later daily life is harder. Ordinary Zimbabweans are
enduring a severe shortage of U.S. dollars, fuel, medicines, bread and
daily power cuts that last 10 hours.
The RTGS dollar, introduced by the government on Feb. 22 as the first
step towards a new currency by year-end, traded at 10.5 to the U.S.
dollar on Thursday, 14.3% lower than a week ago.
On the official interbank rate, the RTGS currency was pegged at 6.2
compared to 5.9 a week ago.
Zimbabwe formally adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency in
January 2009, when most Zimbabweans had already ditched the
hyperinflation-wrecked Zimbabwe Dollar. A decade later, analysts see
the same situation repeating itself.
More than 80% of Zimbabweans earn RTGS dollars but from bricks to
rentals, car parts and many grocers, prices are now pegged in U.S.
That has seen inflation race to 97.86% in May, its highest level in a
decade, eroding salaries and savings and causing Zimbabweans to fear a
return to the hyperinflation of 2008 when the rate reached 500 billion
percent, leaving many destitute.
“I earn 400 RTGS$, where do I get the U.S. dollar? The government
should fix this before we all die,” said Robson Ndiringepi, a security
guard manning a supermarket in Harare.
Public sector workers are negotiating a salary hike, the second this
year, which the justice minister told parliament on Wednesday would be
That would put more pressure on the state budget just as the
government has started a monitoring programme with the International
Monetary Fund in a bid to create a track record of fiscal discipline
that could secure it future funding.
Patrick Imam, IMF resident representative in Zimbabwe said the central
bank should quickly allow the RTGS dollar to float freely, allow
exporters to sell dollars at the interbank rate rather than surrender
them to the central bank, and raise interest rates to curb inflation
and avoid “spontaneous re-dollarisation.”
“Everyone now anticipates the RTGS dollar will weaken further, so
businesses increase prices and workers demand more and the cycle
continues. We are chasing our tails,” John Robertson, a Harare-based
21-JAN-2019 :: The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between high Inflation and revolutionary conditions
Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any system
of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most efficient system
of mutual trust ever devised.”
“Cowry shells and dollars have value only in our common imagination.
Their worth is not inherent in the chemical structure of the shells
and paper, or their colour, or their shape. In other words, money
isn’t a material reality – it is a psychological construct. It works
by converting matter into mind.”
The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between
high Inflation and revolutionary conditions
Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, is set to take a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa,
Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades under the Shell brand name, is
set to take a 50 percent stake in KFC in East Africa, in a deal with
the owners of the fast food franchise Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings.
Vivo has formed a non-fuel joint venture with Kuku Foods East Africa
Holdings to manage and expand KFC restaurants in the region.
The joint venture is expected to help the growth of KFC through the
opening of new outlets at Vivo’s properties in Kenya, Uganda and
The pan-African seller of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants
announced Thursday that the 50:50 joint venture will manage and
operate the restaurants in three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods who
will remain the local KFC franchisee.
Kenya has cut its target for expanding its electricity output by 2030 by nearly 30% as demand is growing more slowly than expected, its energy minister was quoted as saying. @ReutersAfrica
The country now plans to add 7,200 MW of installed electricity
capacity to its grid by 2030, down from an original target of 10,000
MW, Energy Minister Charles Keter was quoted as saying by local media
The government estimated in 2018 that demand for electricity will grow
by 9% a year until 2021 and then ease back to 7% annually. Kenya had
installed generation capacity of 2,712 MW as at end 2018.
“It is not necessary to have in our records these targets that we
cannot achieve so we have revised it down to 7,200 megawatts and this
will be achieved through various innovative approaches to power
generation,” Keter told reporters, according to the Business Daily
The Energy Ministry said in December that 75 percent of Kenya’s
population had access to electricity, up from 32 percent in 2014.
“We need to focus on demand growth, developing industrial parks to
spur the economy. Currently, of the about 6.7 million power consumers
that we have, more than 6 million are domestic whose use of power is
low at about 10 units per month,” Keter
The Energy Ministry said in December that it aims to achieve universal
access by 2022, connecting another 5 million customers to the grid and
that this would cost about $2.75 billion from both public and private
Geothermal power is Kenya’s second largest source of electricity,
after hydroelectric power.
Kenya @CBKKenya Governor @njorogep Calls All to Be 'Relaxed' on Weaker Currency @economics' @herbling
Kenya’s central bank governor said the market shouldn’t worry about
the local currency’s weakening in the past few weeks, and that record
foreign reserves give him ample room to intervene. The shilling has
weakened 0.6% against the dollar month to date, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg. That’s almost wiped out the unit’s gains this
year. The currency was little-changed at 101.9 per dollar by 2:05 p.m
in Nairobi. Kenya’s currency is closely watched after the
International Monetary Fund last year said the unit is overvalued by
17.5%, an assessment that Governor Patrick Njoroge said was arrived at
with errors. The East African nation operates a flexible exchange rate
regime and the central bank only intervenes to minimize volatility, he
“We need to be more relaxed,” Njoroge told reporters Thursday. “We are
focusing on little movements,” yet they don’t mean much in the “big
scheme of things,” Njoroge said.
Njoroge attributed the recent weakening of the shilling to increased
demand for foreign currency to import petroleum products, and said
that central bank isn’t worried partly because foreign reserves are at
a record $10.6 billion.
“We have the firepower to deal with any eventualities,” he said.