|Monday 16th of September 2019
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T. S. Eliot - 1888-1965
S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question…
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep… tired… or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all."
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old… I grow old…
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
Roald Dahl's 10 most wonderful quotes @indy100
Lexicographer Dr Susan Rennie stated that Dahl built his new words on
familiar sounds, saying:
He didn't always explain what his words meant, but children can work
them out because they often sound like a word they know, and he loved
For example, you know that something lickswishy and delumptious is
good to eat, whereas something uckyslush or rotsome is not definitely
not! He also used sounds that children love to say, like squishous and
squizzle, or fizzlecrump and fizzwiggler.
If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when
that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the
face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear
to look at it.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a
wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth,
but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like
sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
These Hallucinatory Landscape Photographs Will Blow Your Mind @wired Cody Cobb
Photographer Cody Cobb created the images during long solo camping
trips across America.
As a Seattle-based 3D animation artist, Cody Cobb spends most of his
working life behind a computer.
Around a decade ago, feeling the need for an escape valve, he started
going on solo camping trips around the Pacific Northwest on the
As he ventured farther and farther afield, those weekend trips turned
into week-long excursions, which turned into month-long odysseys.
"I discovered that there's this whole other world out there, and it's
so accessible," Cobb says.
India's democratic dictatorship @asiatimesonline @ShashiTharoor @narendramodi is seen as 'tough and decisive', yet the economy is in free fall
Law & Politics
The Modi government’s supporters tout a slew of new repressive
legislation – including the criminalization of talaq-e-biddat, the
Muslim practice of “instant divorce” – as a display of resoluteness.
Likewise, Modi’s recent abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special
status, guaranteed under Article 370 of India’s constitution, was
undertaken amid a statewide lockdown. Political leaders were arrested,
and telephone and Internet services were suspended. There is no
telling what will happen when the lid is taken off the pressure
cooker. Yet most Indians are offering unstinting support.
Modi’s supporters have less to say about the economy, which is in free
fall, and relations among religious communities, which have never been
tenser. (The unmanned Moon landing of which they had hoped to boast
failed when the robotic rover crashed on the lunar surface on the eve
of the hundred-day anniversary.)
Modi’s enduring popularity may mystify his critics. Most of the
out-of-the-box solutions he has attempted have done more harm than
good. For example, his government’s disastrous demonetization of 86%
of India’s currency in 2016 was probably the single biggest blow to
the Indian economy since independence, costing millions of jobs and
undermining growth. But that does not seem to bother most voters, for
whom he comes across as a decisive, no-nonsense leader, willing to
break with tradition and attempt bold solutions to India’s intractable
This response has left many in India scratching their heads. Here is a
prime minister who has upended practically every civilized convention
in Indian politics. He has sent law-enforcement authorities to pursue
flimsy charges against opposition leaders, promoted ministers whose
divisive rhetoric has left Muslims and other minorities living in
fear, and intimidated the media to the point that press coverage of
his administration is an embarrassment to India’s democratic culture.
India is now in the throes of a fervent nationalism that extols every
Indian achievement, real or imagined, and labels even the mildest
political disagreement or protest “anti-national” or even “seditious.”
Almost every independent institution has been hollowed out and turned
into an instrument of the government’s overweening dominance.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta recently noted, “it is difficult to remember a
time” when the “premium on public and professional discourse marching
to the state’s tune was as high.”
16-SEP-2019 :: Drones Strikes Deep Inside the Kingdom. @Saudi_Aramco IPO is Dead in the Water. @TheStarKenya
Law & Politics
Last week was the Anniversary of 9/11 and it is increasingly apparent
that More Americans are questioning the Official 9/11 Story As New
Evidence contradicts the Official Narrative [MintPress News]
The overwhelming evidence presented now demonstrates beyond any doubt
that pre-planted explosives and/or incendiaries — not just airplanes
and the ensuing fires — caused the destruction of the three World
Trade Center buildings, killing the vast majority of the victims who
perished that day. The Official Narrative around the assassination of
JFK has been similarly debunked. Two great American Writers have
touched on this
Don DeLillo in his book Libra
"There is a world inside the world."
"There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is
the sum total of the things they aren't telling us."
Thomas Pynchon in Bleeding Edge
“No matter how the official narrative of this turns out," it seemed to
Heidi, "these are the places we should be looking, not in newspapers
or television but at the margins, graffiti, uncontrolled utterances,
bad dreamers who sleep in public and scream in their sleep.”
Events in Saudi Arabia this weekend have been interpreted every which
way and allow me to try and interpret the events outside the Echo
Chamber that is the Saudi paid PR machine and the reflexive Pompeo
''Iranians under the bed'' standard response.
It has been reported that a swarm of ten armed and explosive Drones
struck at the heart of the Kingdom's Oil industry. The strikes were on
Saudi Arabia's 7 million barrel per day Abqaiq processing complex and
its second-biggest oil field, Khurais, Saudi Aramco describes its
Abqaiq oil processing facility there as “the largest crude oil
stabilization plant in the world.” Abqaiq is perhaps the world’s most
important oil installation. According to the @EIAgov the plant has a
capacity of more than 7 million b/d or about 8% of the world's total
oil production [Energy Intelligence]. Most of the oil produced in the
country [Saudi Arabia] is processed at Abqaiq before export or
delivery to refineries. Saudi Aramco is assuring the World it can
restore output quickly but has admitted that the production shutdown
amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day, the people
said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil. The
kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels a day. I cannot recall an attack
of this severity in the Kingdom ever.
The Houthis took responsibility for this attack. U.N. investigators
have previously pronounced that the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, likely
has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). Secretary Pompeo
immediately dismissed the possibility that these drones originated
from Yemen and blamed Iran. More worryingly for the Kingdom are
reports of cooperation by people in Saudi Arabia. It may well be that
drones were launched from inside Saudi Arabia and that their launch
point was far nearer to the targets than publicly assumed. Neither
option is a good one. If The Houthis did launch the attack from the
Yemen, it speaks to the fact that nowhere in the Kingdom is safe and
the Houthis have achieved an asymmetric balance, which is quite
extraordinary. In November 2017, I wrote of how the then 30-year-old
Crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohamed bin Salman MBS had arrived on the
scene and immediately launched an unwinnable war in the Yemen. It will
be a cake walk MBS said over in a week he said and they will be
throwing rose petals at our feet. Abu Dhabi's MBZ saw the writing on
the Wall and stop lossed his Yemeni Adventure. It is clear now that
the ''Yemen War has become Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam (or Soviet Union’s
Afghanistan or indeed U.S. version of Afghanistan)'' @JKempEnergy and
that the ''The kingdom has thrown everything into conflict but failed
to achieve a decisive military advantage and favourable political
endgame'' More worrying for the Kingdom is the second scenario were
these Drones might have been launched within the Kingdom which would
be signalling that the Houthis might well have teamed up with the
Saudi Shia who represent up to 25% of the Population and have been
ground down viciously by the House of Saud, characterised as Apostates
and whose Leaders have been beheaded and crucified.
Zerohedge is speculating that this is a false Flag attack designed to
ramp up the Price of Oil in order to grease the way for the Saudi
Aramco IPO. If this is true and I put the probability at zero then the
Crown Prince is I am afraid insane for who would buy a share of a
company when its major installations are not secure but under severe
attacks? The Saudi Aramco IPO is now dead in the Water. The Surge in
the Oil Price [which I will get to momentarily] will have zero effect
on the IPO because now the overwhelming geopolitical question is
around the longevity of the House of Saud and its Crown Prince who is
of course the Proud Owner of Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvatori Mundi which
means Saviour of the World and according to Robert Baer has so. many
enemies that he sleeps on his $500m yacht the Serene off Jeddah. The
much commented on Orb is of no help now. If the Houthis have tapped
into the Saudi Shia, the House of Saud in my opinion is on its last
legs. This is a Big Call and needs to be understood for that. No
amount of paid PR or kind words from Trump can finesse this. Over the
Weekend, so many of the Oil Watchers I follow were saying we must wait
for the Official Saudi comment. Let me tell you this for free. Saudi
comment is worthless, irrelevant and paid for.
The Oil Markets open on Sunday evening.
On June 17th this year I wrote [quite presciently I must admit]
''All global markets have become liquidity Traps. The Oil Markets
trade 24 hours but in the early hours is when Gremlin Wizards and
Djinns [The Quran says that the Djinn are made of a smokeless and
"scorching fire", They are usually invisible to humans, but humans do
appear clearly to Djinn, as they can possess them. DJinn have the
power to travel large distances at extreme speeds and are thought to
live in remote areas - so now You Know] stalk the Exchanges like the
FX Markets. Therefore, we could very well see a Price Spike. One Touch
is the Way to go''
I reckon we could jump as high as $80.00 which would be a +45.00% leap
versus Fridays closing price before we trade back to about +10% with
would be about $60.00+ as Trump unloads Crude from the Reserve. So Big
Price Spike then retracement but then if we do get within 10% of
Fridays closing Price of $54.83, then you need to get long. The
production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a
day and is a big deal.
In May I wrote about Iran and I quoted Hunter S. Thompson who
described The Edge [and I was describing Iran as being at the Edge]
“There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who
really know where it is are the ones who have gone over''
My Mistake was to think Iran was at the Thompsonian Edge whereas it is
clear now that it is the Kingdom.
Oil To Hit $100? Half Of Saudi Oil Output Shut After Drone Strikes Cripple World's Largest Oil Processing Facility @zerohedge
Law & Politics
Update: The WSJ is out with an update hinting at just how much the
price of oil is set to soar when trading reopens late on Sunday after
the Saudi Houthi false-flag drone attack on the largest Saudi oil
Saudi Arabia is shutting down about half of its oil output after
apparently coordinated drone strikes hit Saudi production facilities,
people familiar with the matter said, in what Yemen’s Houthi rebels
described as one of their largest-ever attacks inside the kingdom.
The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million
barrels a day, the people said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily
production of crude oil. The kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels a
And while Aramco is assuring it can restore output quickly, in case it
can't the world is looking at a production shortfall of as much as
150MM barrels monthly, which - all else equal - could send oil soaring
into the triple digits. Just what the Aramco IPO ordered.
Drone attacks strike major Saudi Aramco facility, oilfield @CNBC H/T @hervegogo
Law & Politics
The fires began after the sites were “targeted by drones,” the
Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi
Online videos apparently shot in Buqyaq included the sound of gunfire
in the background. Smoke rose over the skyline and glowing flames
could be seen a distance away.
Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility there as
“the largest crude oil stabilization plant in the world.”
The rebels have flown drones into the radar arrays of Saudi Arabia’s
Patriot missile batteries, according to Conflict Armament Research,
disabling them and allowing the Houthis to fire ballistic missiles
into the kingdom unchallenged.
The Houthis launched drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia’s crucial
East-West Pipeline in May as tensions heightened between Iran and the
U.N. investigators said the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent
months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a
range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles).
That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates in range.
Israeli Attacks On Syria Halted After Russia Threatened To Shoot Down Jets @Zerohedge
Law & Politics
According to reports in both Israeli and Arabic regional media, Israel
this past week was preparing to expand major airstrikes against
"Iran-backed" targets in Syria, but Moscow imposed its red line.
The Independent has published a story describing that Russia's
military in Syria threatened to shoot down any invading Israeli
warplanes using fighter jets or their S-400 system.
The Jerusalem Post, citing sources in the UK Independent (Arabia),
writes just after the latest meeting in Sochi between Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin:
According to the report, Moscow has prevented three Israeli airstrikes
on three Syrian outposts recently, and even threatened that any jets
attempting such a thing would be shot down, either by Russian jets or
by the S400 Anti-aircraft missiles.
The source cited in the report claims a similar situation has happened
twice, and that during August, Moscow stopped an airstrike on a Syrian
outpost in Qasioun, where a S300 missile battery is placed.
Netanyahu's hasty trip to meet with Putin on Thursday - even in the
final days before Tuesday's key election - was reportedly with a goal
to press the Russian president on essentially ignoring Israel's
attacks in Syria.
Citing further sources in the British-Arabic Independent Arabia, The
Jerusalem Post continues:
According to the Russian source, Putin let Netanyahu know that his
country will not allow any damage to be done to the Syrian regime's
army, or any of the weapons being given to it...
Israel sources cited by the Arabic newspaper described Netanyahu's
attempts to persuade Putin as "a failure". This in spite of Netanyahu
telling reporters after the meeting that his relations with Moscow
were stronger than ever.
Sources in the report claimed further that Putin in a somewhat
unprecedented moment raised the issue of Lebanon:
The Russian source said: "Putin has expressed his dissatisfaction from
Israel's latest actions in Lebanon" and even emphasized to Netanyahu
that he "Rejects the aggression towards Lebanon's sovereignty"
something which has never been heard from him.
Putin further stated that someone is cheating him in regards to Syria
and Lebanon and that he will not let it go without a response.
According to him, Netanyahu was warned not to strike such targets in
@BorisJohnson Set to Defy Ban on No-Deal Brexit and Fight on in Court @business
U.K. government prepares for legal showdown over Oct. 31 exit
Johnson will tell Juncker he’ll reject any deadline extension
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to defy a new law designed to stop
him forcing the U.K. out of the European Union with no deal next
month, and is braced for a fight to settle Brexit in the British
According to a senior official in the U.K. government, Johnson has
resolved on a hard-line plan as he prepares for his first face-to-face
negotiations with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on
The premier is vowing to do everything he can to secure a divorce deal
with the EU and ratify it in Parliament before the deadline for
leaving expires on Oct. 31.
But he will tell Juncker that there is just one month left to finalize
that agreement and he won’t ask for a delay if the negotiations are
Johnson will say he’ll reject any extension to the deadline if one is
offered by the EU’s other 27 leaders at a summit next month.
Instead, Johnson will ignore a new British law requiring him to ask
the EU for Brexit to be postponed, and prepare to fight his opponents,
including opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, in court.
“Don’t be fooled by Corbyn and the ringleaders -- on the one hand they
say I don’t want a deal, on the other they want to force me to
extend,” Johnson said in a statement.
“Both are wrong. I am straining to get a deal, but I will also end the
uncertainty and take us out on the 31 October.”
The prime minister’s hardened stance dramatically raises the stakes in
the U.K.’s political and constitutional crisis over its tortured exit
from the EU.
Three-and-a-half years after Britain voted to leave the trading bloc,
the country is no closer to completing the divorce in a way that
avoids the chaos of a sudden rupture without an agreement to soften
Members of Parliament on all sides of the political spectrum have
watched Johnson’s approach with growing alarm. He says he is
determined to take the U.K. out of the EU with no deal if that is the
only way to deliver Brexit on time on Oct. 31.
Earlier this month, MPs took matters into their own hands, inflicting
a series of defeats on Johnson in an attempt to force him to moderate
Late Saturday, Johnson suffered another defection as former
universities minister Sam Gyimahswitched to join the Liberal
Democrats, accusing the prime minister of “playing fast and loose”
with the constitution.
He’s the sixth lawmaker to move to the Lib-Dems in recent weeks.
As part of the government’s strategy, Business Secretary Andrea
Leadsom announced plans for a national roadshow to help businesses
prepare for life after Oct. 31. The first event will be in
Northampton, England, on Sept. 16.
“Businesses have told us that they also want more face-to-face support
and we are listening,” Leadsom said.
Under a new law passed by Parliament this month, against Johnson’s
wishes, the prime minister must write to the EU to seek an extension
if an agreement has not been agreed by Oct. 19 and Parliament hasn’t
given consent to leaving without a deal.
Johnson will refuse to write this letter, the senior government
official said. If no agreement is reached with EU leaders at a summit
in Brussels on Oct. 17-18, the government will pursue a no-deal
Brexit, the official said.
He will prepare to fight the legal challenge his opponents are likely
to mount to this policy in court, immediately after that Oct. 19
deadline for seeking a delay passes, the official said.
Opponents of a no-deal split are also likely to bring forward draft
laws in Parliament aimed at canceling Brexit altogether, revoking the
so-called Article 50 notification that triggered the U.K.’s legal
divorce proceedings, the official said.
Johnson says he wants an agreement. Talks are still stalled on the
contentious issue of the Irish border backstop, a policy intended to
ensure there are no checks on goods crossing the U.K.’s land border
The prime minister will fly to Luxembourg on Monday for his first
significant meeting with Juncker, accompanied by officials including
his senior aide David Frost and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay.
They will discuss how to reach an agreement over a working lunch of
snails, salmon and cheese.
Lagos' response to population growth now informs how much of humanity will live in 2050 FT
Fat, speckled catfish writhe in shallow buckets at Tinu Huntontor’s
stand in Ajah market in Lagos. Occasionally one flops out on to the
ground where it wriggles in a muddy puddle until she scoops it up.
Customers come and go, they haggle, they smile and chat, 18 hours a
day, almost every day, as they have for decades now.
This work used to support Ms Huntontor’s small family in an informal
fishing community on Lagos Lagoon. But for the past two years, Ms
Huntontor, 42, has faced additional pressure to provide for her
family, which has swelled from five to roughly two dozen.
Urbanisation is often considered from a western perspective, with
young professionals crammed into megacities, living in pods in
ever-taller skyscrapers made from sustainable materials.
But it is Africa that will drive global population growth over the
next 30 years — and how urbanisation affects people there now informs
how the greatest chunk of humanity will live in 2050.
The story of Ms Huntontor’s family of Egun fishermen, like that of
many of the urban poor in Lagos and megacities across the continent,
is one of displacement.
The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is set to double to more than 2bn
by 2050. The continent is already 43 per cent urban, a figure that is
set to soar as young jobseekers migrate to the cities that are the
continent’s economic engines.
In Nigeria, the average age is about 18 and more than 40 per cent of
people are under 14.
The UN predicts the country will add 189m urban dwellers by 2050.
Estimates suggest that 10m more people will flood into Lagos between
2020 and 2035 — roughly 10 times the number of people who will become
Londoners in the same period.
Urbanisation is accompanied by real estate speculation, as booming
populations crowd into limited land and developers force out often
non-paying informal tenants to chase bigger potential profits.
For Ms Huntontor’s family, the effects of population growth and rapid
urbanisation have been devastating: their children’s education has
been disrupted, community ties severed, a home they spent years saving
for destroyed, and small businesses crushed.
Her mother, five of her 11 siblings and their children arrived at Ms
Huntontor’s in 2017 after they were forcibly evicted from their
ancestral home in Otodo Gbame, another informal waterfront community
About 30,000 Lagosians were removed from the area, often violently, as
police and paid thugs razed their homes.
Like many others, they were forced into a sort of multigenerational
living — a trend that is also gaining traction in the west as
households pool resources.
In Nigeria where the population is much younger — and more than half
of people aged 15 to 35 are unemployed or underemployed — families
that join together also share resources, but there are much fewer to
“Before, things were OK, but since they [the family] all joined up,
it’s very difficult to feed everyone with the little that comes from
the market,” says Ms Huntontor.
Her brothers head out into the lagoon each day on rickety tosihuns
(dugout canoes) to fish, or hustle for manual labour; their wives help
Ms Huntontor smoke and clean the catch, which she sells along with
other fish she buys at the wholesale market.
The family shares everything, from childcare to food and drink. The
courtyard is a gathering place, kitchen, fish processing plant and
playground; the lean-to porch is a dining room and tailoring studio
for the grandson who wants to train in the trade.
“The biggest priority for all of us is the children,” Ms Huntontor
says through an interpreter in the dusty yard between her home and the
corrugated metal shack in which her family lives. The children range
in age from her late brother’s newborn to teenaged graduates who are
unable to find work.
Two months ago, Ms Huntontor became the family’s primary — and often
sole — breadwinner after her eldest brother was shot and killed in
front of her home.
Peter died in July during a weeks-long turf war between local gangs,
known as “area boys”, who were fighting on behalf of the big men
dredging sand from the lagoon for construction projects in the city.
Experts suggest that the way things are going at the moment does not
bode well for family life in 2050.
“Urbanisation, if poorly planned, almost certainly will result in
additional forced evictions and disruptions,” says Judd Devermont,
Africa director for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and
International Studies, a non-profit research organisation.
“Most African cities are not configured for such explosive growth,” he
adds. “With more forethought about urban population and spatial
growth, the region’s governments could reduce — or at least minimise —
the negative consequences of forced evictions.”
But in Lagos, there has thus far been little focus on urban planning,
or easing the effects of the city’s incredible growth.
“[Forced eviction] continues with impunity and the forces that are
driving urbanisation and growing land values in the city and luxury
real estate development continue to make this happen and suggest that
it’s not likely to end,” says Megan Chapman, co-founder of Justice and
Empowerment Initiatives, an organisation that fights forced evictions.
Often that displacement results in little more than ruined lives, she says.
Two years on from when Ms Huntontor’s family was evicted, cows
sometimes graze on the razed remains of their old community, which is
overgrown and floods in the rainy season. There’s a banner nearby
advertising detached houses with a 20 per cent discount and a flexible
Now there are rumours that the community next door to Ms Huntontor’s
home, a cluster of ramshackle huts on stilts over the water, is going
to be destroyed to make way for another dredging operation.
“You see what’s happening,” says Ms Huntontor, waving her hand
dismissively toward the dump trucks trudging in and out. “We’ll
probably be kicked out of here one day, too — and if the whole family
weren’t here, I would leave right now.”
Her mother, Mary Kunnu, 78, has tribal markings tattooed on her skin,
faded and stretched with age. She wonders where the family would go.
Ms Kunnu’s sister — who raised Tinu — moved in with family in another
community when she was evicted from Otodo Gbame, but that household
now numbers about 30.
“I have faith [that] whenever god intervenes, things change — and I
hope he does,” says Ms Kunnu. “But we’re never safe.”
@KeEquityBank transaction of BCDC, assets of USD 706.0 mn, deposits of USD 485 mn, and shareholders' equity of USD 73 mn, Equity acquiring the second-largest bank by assets in Congo, with a branch network of 29 branches @CytonnInvest
The bank recorded a Return on Equity (ROE) of 11.0%, Return on Assets
(ROA) of 1.2%, and a Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) of 70.0% as at
FY’2017. Comparing with Equity Group Congo, which recorded an ROE of
17.9%, ROA of 1.9% and CIR of 70.9%, we view that the subsidiary would
still require improvements in operational efficiency to improve on its
bottom line. Equity Group holdings recorded an ROE of 22.1%, ROA of
3.5% and CIR of 54.8% as at H1’2018, with the relatively high ROE
compared to the banking sector average of 19.5%, attributable to
Equity Group’s utilization of its assets, as well as relatively high
operational efficiency better than the average banking sector CIR, of
55.1%. Assuming the transaction were to be conducted at a 2.0x P/B,
similar to the initial acquisition of Pro Credit Bank, it would mean
that Equity Group would pay USD 146.0 mn, based on FY’2017 equity
position of USD 73 mn. We are of the view that the bank would
essentially increase its foothold in the Congo market if the
transaction is successful. The bank would likely be looking to employ
the same strategy as the Kenyan market, by pushing its retail banking
unit through the digital and alternative transaction channels. We view
that this presents Equity Group with headroom for growth, with Congo
having an adult population of 40.0 mn, with only 14.8 mn (37.0%)
having access to any form of financial service thus availing a
significant unaddressed segment of the market.
Insurance Industry Report for the Period April - June 2019
During the week, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) released the
Q2’2019 Insurance Industry Report, highlighting the improvement in the
sector’s profit after tax, which rose by 138.8% to Kshs 5.7 bn, from
Kshs 2.4 bn in Q2’2018. Key highlights of the performance during the
The performance was largely supported by the 4.4% rise in gross
premium income to Kshs 117.3 bn, from Kshs 112.4 bn in Q2’2018, which
outpaced the marginal 1.6% rise in claims expense to Kshs 54.7 bn,
from Kshs 53.8 bn in Q2’2018,
Commission expense declined by 2.3% to Kshs 5.4 bn, from Kshs 5.5 bn in Q2’2018,
The industry’s combined ratio was 102.8%, with a loss ratio at 64.2%
and an expense ratio at 38.6%, indicating the underwriting business
still remains unprofitable.
This is comparable to a combined ratio of 106.0% in Q2’2018, where the
industry had a loss ratio of 65.3% and an expense ratio of 40.7%,
The industry recorded an expansion of the balance sheet, as shown by
7.6% rise in total assets to Kshs 672.1 bn, from Kshs 624.6 bn in
Q2’2018, largely supported by the 9.1% increase in investment
securities to Kshs 556.3 bn, from Kshs 509.7 bn in Q2’2018, with 60.0%
of the investment portfolio held in government securities, 15.0% in
investment property and 9.3% in bank deposits, and 7.0% in quoted
ordinary shares, and the remaining 8.7% in loan and mortgages,
unquoted ordinary shares and investments in subsidiaries,
Total liabilities rose by 8.8% to Kshs 514.3 bn, from Kshs 474 bn in
Q2’2018, largely driven by the 13.6% rise in insurance contract
liabilities to Kshs 348.7 bn, from Kshs 307.1 bn in Q2’2018, and,
Shareholders equity rose by 4.0% to Kshs 157.8 bn, from Kshs 151.8 bn,
driven by the 12.0% rise in retained earnings to Kshs 62.0 bn, from
Kshs 55.4 bn, in Q2’2018, with the increase weighed down by the 29.8%
decline in the revaluation reserve to Kshs 4.0 bn, from Kshs 5.8 bn in
We note that the sector’s performance was largely supported by
investment income, as has been the case with the sector, as the
investment yield rose to 5.1%, from Kshs 4.4% in Q2’2018.
The sector’s underwriting losses of Kshs 1.3 bn in Q2’2019, albeit a
52.8% decline, from the Kshs 2.7 bn loss recorded in Q2’2018,
highlight the profitability challenges that still remain in
underwriting, with the industry largely weighed down by price
undercutting from intense rivalry amongst firms.