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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Thursday 01st of August 2019
 
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Africa

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Macro Thoughts

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15-JUL-2019 :: US Rate Cut in three weeks a Racing Certainty. @TheStarKenya
Africa


The Markets were characterised as ‘’Bond Vigilantes’’ and in an
extraordinary Volte-Face the Bond Vigilantes have morphed into Pussy
Cats.
This is indeed a quite incredible moment in monetary policy making
where the markets have led Policy Makers by the nose into a situation
of ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ plain and simple.

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03-JUN-2019 :: Bond Yields in "Tilt" Mode -
Africa


Markets and prices exhibit patterns of correlation and essentially my
perspective is that it is the correlation that has exerted a ‘’Pull’’
Effect on US Yields and that therefore the ‘’recessionary’’ Signalling
of the Yield Curve should be discounted.

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24-JUN-2019 :: Wizard of Oz World. @TheStarKenya
Africa


The Wizard of Oz is a film made in 1939 and widely considered to be
one of the greatest films in cinema history.
Eventually, it is revealed that Oz is actually none of these things,
but rather an ordinary conman from Omaha, Nebraska, who has been using
elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and
powerful”.

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Adam Cast Forth Jorge Luis Borges
Africa


Was there a Garden or was the Garden a dream?
Amid the fleeting light, I have slowed myself and queried,
Almost for consolation, if the bygone period
Over which this Adam, wretched now, once reigned supreme,

Might not have been just a magical illusion
Of that God I dreamed.  Already it's imprecise
In my memory, the clear Paradise,
But I know it exists, in flower and profusion,

Although not for me.  My punishment for life
Is the stubborn earth with the incestuous strife
Of Cains and Abels and their brood; I await no pardon.

Yet, it's much to have loved, to have known true joy,
To have had — if only for just one day —
The experience of touching the living Garden.

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Shinto
Africa


When sorrow lays us low
for a second we are saved
by humble windfalls
of the mindfulness or memory:
the taste of a fruit, the taste of water,
that face given back to us by a dream,
the first jasmine of November,
the endless yearning of the compass,
a book we thought was lost,
the throb of a hexameter,
the slight key that opens a house to us,
the smell of a library, or of sandalwood,
the former name of a street,
the colors of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date we were looking for,
the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count,
a sudden physical pain.

Eight million Shinto deities
travel secretly throughout the earth.
Those modest gods touch us—
touch us and move on.

Political Reflections

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America's foreign policy establishment is at war with itself over the shape of the country's approach toward a steadily rising China. For now, it is only an epistolary war @WPReview @hofrench
Law & Politics


America’s foreign policy establishment is at war with itself over the
shape of the country’s approach toward a steadily rising China. For
now, it is only an epistolary war. But as the debate deepens, its
outcome will go far toward deciding how the United States responds to
its most serious global rival for economic and geopolitical power for
decades ahead.
Among a slew of recent op-eds and policy papers about how Washington
should manage the perceived challenge that China represents, two
statements stand out as poles in the debate and, as such, deserve
extended consideration.
The first, which appeared in early July in The Washington Post, takes
on the Trump administration for driving a “downward spiral” in
relations with China. While the authors mostly trace this to President
Donald Trump’s confrontational approach on trade, they also criticize
the administration more generally for treating Beijing increasingly
like an enemy, beginning with an early strategy document identifying
China as a strategic competitor.
To be sure, this letter—signed by a large number of leading China
scholars and former American officials—identifies a certain amount of
worrisome Chinese behavior, including growing domestic repression, an
increasing state role in the economy, a failure to respect past
agreements and a more aggressive foreign policy. These all demand what
the letter calls a “firm and effective response.” But the authors
insist that China is not an economic enemy or existential threat to
the United States, nor is it a monolith. To the contrary, they go on
to say, many Chinese elites believe that a “moderate and cooperative
relationship” with the United States is in China’s interest, but the
increasingly confrontational stance from Washington only strengthens
the hand of Chinese nationalists.
The problem with this reasoning is that there is little sign in
today’s Beijing that these proverbial moderates exercise much
influence. What’s more, the letter’s uber-traditional stance continues
to put the onus of forbearance heavily on Washington, where it has
been since Beijing launched the reform-and-opening policies that began
to reinsert China into the world economy in 1979.
These traditionalists are on much more solid ground when they say that
treating China as an enemy and working to decouple it from the
Western-led spheres of the global economy will damage the
“international role and reputation” of the United States. Other
countries don’t want to be forced to choose between China and an
American-led West, and if pushed, some—perhaps even many—may choose
not to side with Washington.
The authors also dismiss fears that China wants to replace the U.S. as
a global leader as overblown. This may be so, but such suspicions are
not entirely paranoid or bereft of evidence. If anything, the U.S. has
suspended its disbelief about China’s ambitions and capacities for too
long, flattering itself with notions of its own indispensable
leadership, while underappreciating the fact that for a country of
China’s size and history, a desire to be preeminent in the world comes
pretty naturally. The United States, the authors say, should maintain
its military deterrence of China, adopt a defensive-minded posture and
work with its allies. This all sounds like good common sense. The
problem is that such a stance has done little to stop or even slow
China from flexing its muscles. Nor has it halted China’s creeping
expansionism that I wrote about in my book, “Everything Under the
Heavens,” particularly in the South China Sea.
Finally, the authors say that America should work harder at
strengthening its own competitive capacities. Here one wishes to
declare in agreement, “Yes, and how!” At the same time, they assert
that America should strive harder to serve as a model for others. Once
again, but with a twist, “Yes, but under Trump, how?”

The second letter worth examining more closely was written in direct
response to the first and signed by a number of former defense and
diplomatic officials as well as scholars. In it, the authors eschew
all nuance and describe China as a “virulent and increasing threat to
human freedoms,” which they blame on what they call “misrule” by the
Chinese Communist Party. The problem with claims as sweeping as these,
of course, is that they bear little serious scrutiny.
It is true that the prevailing evidence suggests that what is arguably
one of the world’s worst human rights abuses is taking place in China
today: the arbitrary detention and forcible reeducation of large
numbers of Uighurs, a Muslim minority in the far west of the country.
Ostensibly an anti-terrorism measure, the real purpose of the massive
detention program seems both far grander in scope and more sinister:
to suppress Islam in the country and force the Uighur population into
cultural conformity. As bad as this sounds, however, there is little
reason to believe that large sections of the Chinese population harbor
resentment about being misruled. And as long as standards of living
are rising, as they have been sharply for decades, a radical change in
this sentiment seems unlikely, even given the tight limits on
expression and association in China that people in many other
societies, both rich and poor, might find intolerable.
Things only get more problematic from there. This second letter
credits the United States with having “pursued an open policy of
‘engagement’” with China for the past 40 years, only to complain that
this has resulted in an “incremental erosion of U.S. national
security.” Here, one would like to hear the counterfactual. Would it
have been preferable to continue treating Beijing as an irredeemable
adversary after Mao’s death? Can the authors really believe that
keeping China locked out of the global economy—thereby condemning its
massive population to continued poverty—would have been better for
American security, let alone morally defensible? Moreover, the United
States was bound to become relatively less powerful as the global
economy grew more diversified and democratized, a process that will
continue in the decades ahead as many more people continue to emerge
from poverty, whether in India or Africa or elsewhere.  From here, the
wheels really fall off the second letter’s argument. The authors
maintain that for the U.S., “politics is the norm and war is the
exception. It’s the opposite of the [Chinese] worldview.” But China
has fought precisely one war since Mao’s death in 1976, a border
conflict with Vietnam that it initiated with America’s blessing in
1979. By contrast, the United States has engaged in so many conflicts
over this time that when Trump called former President Jimmy Carter a
few months ago to ask for advice on how to deal with China, Carter had
one suggestion: stop fighting wars. The authors of the second letter
go on to cite a grab bag of grievances, from China’s pushiness in the
East and South China Seas to its ambitious infrastructure-building
Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, and what they call its “debt-trap
diplomacy and ambitions for worldwide hegemony.” They use these to
claim that China’s grand strategy and pursuit of power are a threat to
the existing international order.  In fact, China takes a quite
eclectic approach to the international order. It supports—and draws
support from—institutions built in another era mostly through Western
leadership, while creating new institutions and mechanisms, like the
BRI and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, when it senses a need
and, especially, a vacuum. As for the idea that China has a chiseled
and predetermined grand plan for world dominance, the working title
for another book of mine—this one on China’s engagement with
Africa—was “Haphazard Empire,” so improvised did the whole enterprise
seem upon closer examination.

The writers of the second letter, whom I’ll call hardliners, haven’t
gotten everything wrong. The United States has coasted along in its
policy toward China for far too long, believing its own press about
the elixir of American-style capitalism and liberal values, and its
power to turn other societies into acceptable facsimiles of itself.
Quite often, Washington has not been as firm as it should have been on
reciprocal matters of trade or intellectual property, or even regional
and international security and human rights. That said, all but
declaring China an evil menace will achieve little good, and probably
much bad.

The inadequacy of both of these letters points to a conclusion that is
hard to shake. The United States has never before seen anything like
the challenge that China represents, as no previous rival has combined
its size, its sustained speed of growth and its civilizational
determination to strengthen itself. The point here is not that China
is destined to conquer all in its path. It has immense problems of its
own that few in America can even imagine. Some of these will be the
subject of future columns.

Nonetheless, beyond vague calls for the U.S. to get its own house in
order and reinvigorate its partnerships, which few sensible people can
argue with, it is far from obvious what else Americans should do about
the across-the-board challenge that China presents.

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"The true war is a celebration of markets," Thomas Pynchon said.
Law & Politics


“Don’t forget the real business of war is buying and selling. The
murdering and violence are self-policing, and can be entrus- ted to
non-professionals. The mass nature of wartime death is useful in many
ways. It serves as spectacle, as diversion from the real movements of
the War. It provides raw material to be recorded into History, so that
children may be taught History as sequences of vio- lence, battle
after battle, and be more prepared for the adult world. Best of all,
mass death’s a stimulous to just ordinary folks, little fellows, to
try grab a piece of that Pie while they’re still here to gobble it up.
The true war is a celebration of markets,” Thomas Pynchon said.

International Markets

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1050
Dollar Index 98.823
Japan Yen 109.18
Swiss Franc 0.9959
Pound 1.2127
Aussie 0.6850
India Rupee 69.088
South Korea Won 1187.73
Brazil Real 3.8128
Egypt Pound 16.5525
South Africa Rand 14.34

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Why Ebola cannot be tamed in Congo @FinancialTimes @thomas_m_wilson
Africa


Seven grave diggers dressed in medical smocks, surgical gloves and
plastic boots lifted the coffin from the back of a truck and began to
pick their way through more than 200 fresh burial mounds, whose simple
wooden crosses cast long shadows.
Masika Kahongya was 19 and newly married when she died last month
after contracting the Ebola virus. She now lies in a crowded forest
clearing outside the town of Beni, in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, a few meters from the grave of her three-month-old son,
Innocent.
The mother and child are among 1,803 people killed in the Ebola
outbreak since the first cases were confirmed near Beni exactly a year
ago. Surpassed only by the epidemic that claimed more than 11,000
lives in west Africa from 2014-16, it is the longest and deadliest in
Congo’s history.
Each of the country’s previous nine outbreaks since 1976, when the
virus was first identified, occurred in remote regions and were
controlled within three months. This time, thousands of health
professionals have been deployed and more than 170,000 people have
received an effective trial vaccine.
Yet May, the tenth month, was the deadliest so far, and a further 349
cases were confirmed in July.
There is also a perception some people have profited from the
response. Hundreds of expensive off-road vehicles ply the region’s
bumpy roads and “Ebola-business” has become a refrain among locals
puzzled by the big inflow of money into their region.
Three days later, Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi set up a
committee headed by Jean-Jacques Muyembe, a respected virologist, to
lead the response.
Mr Muyembe, 77, was one of two people who were dispatched to the Ebola
river in 1976 to investigate the first known cases of the disease. He
has previously been critical of the response and is expected to
consider new approaches.
That could include the roll-out of a second trial Ebola vaccine being
developed by US pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson. Its use was
blocked last month by the then health minister who said it would
undermine community trust in the Merck vaccine currently being
delivered. The minister quit days after the Muyembe committee was
established, decrying “interference”.
For experts such as Peter Piot, director of the London School of
Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, this new approach could help turn the
tide by allowing a vaccination programme in areas where the virus has
not yet been detected.
This would create a “curtain” of immunised people around the epidemic,
providing a window to bring it under control, he explained. “It is
clear that the current strategy has not worked,” he said. “There is an
immediate need for a reset.”

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When Clement Mouamba went to Beijing last year, he had two main tasks. The PM of the Republic of Congo needed to find out exactly how much his country owed to China, a number the struggling, oil-rich central African nation had until then not been able to
Africa


When Clement Mouamba went to Beijing last year, he had two main tasks.
The prime minister of the Republic of Congo needed to find out exactly
how much his country owed to China, a number the struggling, oil-rich
central African nation had until then not been able to provide the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) to qualify for a bailout.
He also needed to convince Beijing to restructure its debt to ensure
sustainability.
The IMF had put talks for further loans on hold until Mouamba’s
administration could say exactly how much it had to repay to the
country’s external creditors, including China – the republic’s single
largest bilateral lender – and oil multinationals such as Glencore and
Trafigura.
The Republic of Congo has since restructured its borrowings from
China, which holds about a third, or US$2.5 billion, of the Congolese
debt, by extending the repayment period by an additional 15 years.
A number of other African countries struggling to service their loans
from Beijing have also pursued concessions. Ethiopia has had part of
its Chinese debt written off and terms relaxed for the US$3.3 billion
loan it took to build its railway, while Zambia is seeking similar
adjustments for its borrowings used to build airports and highways.
At the time, many African leaders were under fire to liberalise their
economies. China’s approach was to promise not to meddle in individual
country’s internal affairs and assure African countries that they
could get billions in exchange for future delivery of minerals through
resource-backed deals.
Beijing sold its policies that it had no conditions attached to its
development finance. In the drive to drum up business, China promised
affordable loans for African countries to build roads, bridges,
highways, airports and power dams.
Is Kenya’s Chinese-built railway a massive white elephant?
But Beijing also pursued tied finance, ensuring that countries
borrowing from China used Chinese contractors to implement the
projects rather than open them up to outside bids.
In addition, many of the deals were built on weak financial, technical
and environmental conditions, with Chinese state firms conducting the
technical feasibility, environmental impact assessment and financial
viability studies for free for projects that they also build.
For example, in Kenya, the China Road and Bridge Corporation conducted
a free feasibility study that was used in the construction of the
railway.
The same company was handed the contract to implement the project and
is operating both the passenger and cargo train service for a fee.

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I liken it to borrowing money to buy a @Tesla when you don't have adequate access to electricity Obert Hodzi of @helsinkiuni Helsinki in Finland @SCMPNews
Africa


Obert Hodzi, an international relations expert at the University of
Helsinki in Finland, said the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and the
Mombasa-Nairobi railway were good examples of huge projects that were
financed by easy borrowing terms from China but were not sustainable
and that had in turn forced the African partners to seek further
Chinese help.
“The biggest concern is that several African countries will be left
with huge debts and grandiose infrastructure that they cannot maintain
and run profitably,” Hodzi said. “I liken it to borrowing money to buy
a Tesla when you don’t have adequate access to electricity.”

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29-JUL-2019 :: Main Creditor is not being persuaded to pony up more cash. The actual Signal was emitted at FOCAC 2018 but Policy Makers' Antennae were scrambled then and the message did not get through
Africa


Main Creditor is not being persuaded to pony up more cash. The actual
Signal was emitted at FOCAC 2018 but Policy Makers’ Antennae were
scrambled then and the message did not get through. The Message got
through at the third time of asking, in fact.

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"We are sitting in a vehicle whose wheels have fallen off," Derek Matyszak, a senior researcher at a South African think tank, the Institute of Security Studies, told AFP
Africa


Tony Hawkins, a professor at the University of Zimbabwe’s School of
Economics, agreed.
“It’s very difficult to be anything other than pessimistic and
negative at the moment,” he told AFP.
“Jobs are being lost and exports are being lost. The fact is you are
not going to get the economy back on the rails without some kind of
accommodation with the main opposition.
“Without that accommodation, chances of getting international
recognition and support are slim. They (the government) are caught
between a rock and a hard place. It’s a very difficult situation and
there is no short-term way out.”

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29-JUL-2019 :: There is a straw and camels back moment but predicting that moment is always a Fools Errand.
Africa


At a more granular level, Zim- babwe is a Laboratory Experiment with
Inflation last clocking 176%.
There is a straw and camels back moment but predicting that moment is
always a Fools Errand.

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"I'm particularly keen to work closely with the team to take M-Pesa beyond Kenya," @michaelj2 said in a statement @ReutersAfrica
Africa


Joseph also said he would work on the data business to attain a better
balance between consumption and revenue growth.

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Safaricom Ltd. share price data
Africa


Par Value:                  0.05/-
Closing Price:           27.55
Total Shares Issued:          40065428000.00
Market Capitalization:        1,103,802,541,400
EPS:             1.58
PE:                 17.437

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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August 2019
 
 
 
 
 
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