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Tuesday 17th of September 2019
 
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Africa

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Macro Thoughts

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OIL MARKET: Brent ends +14.6% to $69.02 WTI closes +14.8% to $62.90 @JavierBlas
Africa


Still no official word from Aramco nor the Saudi oil ministry, two
days after the first update on Saturday night

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Question is around the longevity of the house of Saud and its crown prince who according to Robert Baer has so.Many enemies that he sleeps on his $500m yacht the Serene off Jeddah.
Africa


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.

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What does an underground nuclear blast look like? This 1962 footage gives you an idea: cratering explosion, a yield of 104 kilotons, releasing seismic energy equivalent to 4.75 on the Richter scale
Law & Politics


What does an underground nuclear blast look like? This 1962 footage
gives you an idea: this cratering explosion, with a yield of 104
kilotons, displaced 12 million tons of earth releasing seismic energy
equivalent to 4.75 on the Richter scale

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William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) THE SECOND COMING
Law & Politics


    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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01-APR-2019 :: There is certainly a Fin de siecle even apocalyptic mood afoot.
Law & Politics



There is certainly a Fin de siècle even apocalyptic mood afoot. The
conundrum for those who wish to bet on the End of the World is this,
however. What would be the point? The World would have ended.

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24-JUN-2019 :: the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be "an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem "great and power- ful" should not
International Trade


This is ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ and just because we have not reached the
point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard
revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using
elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and
power- ful”’’ should not lull us into a false sense of security.

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01-JUL-2019 :: in the US where the market has now priced in a halving of the FED Fund rate from 2.50% to 1.25% over the next 12 months And if I were back at that Desk I would be limit Short the Eurodollar [US interest rates] market as from Monday.
International Trade


in the US where the market has now priced in a halving of the FED Fund
rate from 2.50% to 1.25% over the next 12 months. You might not know
this but I was a Short End Trader in my previous Career in the City of
London and I made my first reputation-making Trade at Credit Suisse
First Boston all those years ago in the Eurodollar market. And if I
were back at that Desk I would be limit Short the Eurodollar [US
interest rates] market as from Monday.

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Very interesting setup here in the dollar $DXY as we head into FOMC this week. @AdamMancini4 98.647
International Trade


Once again, the recent sell-off in the dollar was bought and we appear
to be forming a solid bull flag since the month started. If this
breaks up, its likely we set yet another high, to 100 this time

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05-AUG-2019 :: I find it curious that "such a stable genius" has yet to calculate that a strong Dollar is infinitely better and if he is serious about his warfare strategy he needs to add currency warfare to his Tariff, sanction and linguistic w
International Trade


President Trump keeps talking about weakening the Dollar. I find it
curious that ‘’such a stable genius’’ has yet to calculate that a
strong Dollar is infinitely better and if he is serious about his
warfare strategy he needs to add currency warfare to his Tariff,
sanction and linguistic warfare Arsenal.
My Perspective about the Dollar is this [and note well its just a
fraction under its 2019 high even after a rate cut]; There is very
little President Trump can do. In fact the risk is this that when the
market sees he is powerless, the Dollar might lift off like the
proverbial Parabola.

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"But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola."
International Trade


“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.’’

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1003
Dollar Index 1.1003
Japan Yen 108.19
Swiss Franc 0.9919
Pound 1.2411
Aussie 0.6833
India Rupee 71.82
South Korea Won 1189.39
Brazil Real 4.0809
Egypt Pound 16.3317
South Africa Rand 14.6815

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16-SEP-2019 :: Drones Strikes Deep Inside the Kingdom. @Saudi_Aramco IPO is Dead in the Water. @TheStarKenya
Commodities


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]
thus
“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.

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@CyrilRamaphosa's moment of truth @dailymaverick @Poplak
Africa


Cyril Ramaphosa has been president for eighteen long, action-packed
months. In May, following the general election, he was ‘given a
mandate’ to institute a sweeping programme of reform. He inherited a
state so broken he didn’t really stand a chance. Can he pull South
Africa out of this Category 5 shitstorm?
His own failings as a thinker and leader have contributed to bringing
the country to the brink of civil war. Those failings echo the
flameout of the global liberal project, which has resulted in
societies so vastly, absurdly unequal that they can no longer be
sustained.
On a rising tide of righteous and not-so-righteous rage and agony,
Ramaphosa now stands at the moment of truth for his presidency.
In February 2018, any wag even suggesting that Cyril Ramaphosa would
make a terrible president was dispatched directly into commentator
prison.
Nobody wanted to hear anything critical of the erudite, moneyed,
silver-tongued negotiator par excellence.
He would eliminate corruption in the ANC, throw his enemies in a
flamming pit and toss in the torch himself, he would unleash big
business and its hoards of latent capital, woo investment from abroad,
restore the sheen of the Mandela and Mbeki eras, send a man to Mars
(hopefully Ace Magashule with the one way ticket), and provide an
African antidote to the illiberal ethno-nationalist fuckbags
proliferating around the world.
In short, he was a cross between Marcus Aurelius, Barack Obama and
Jesus, except with premium livestock.
He had the backing of the richest white and black men in the country;
he had the support of the foreign diplomatic corps; he had the
delirious approval of the mainstream media, who drooled on their
sensible shoes every time he spoke.
(That last point is a bit confounding, given that Ramaphosa has never
been one for unscripted press conferences or direct engagement with
the press.)
What was the basis for this euphoria? How did Ramaphosa earn so much
respect and admiration? Well, for one thing, he was indeed a committed
and brilliant labour leader during the apartheid years. (But never a
commie, bless him.)
Over the course of the transition period, he helped negotiate the
Constitution into being. He led the ANC as democracy was about to
dawn, and was (apocryphally, as it turns out), Madiba’s desired
successor.
Then he became a billionaire after being ‘deployed’ to business,
maintaining a reputation for fair-ish dealing until his return to
politics, when he was anointed deputy president, deployed to be an
adult in the room during Jacob Zuma’s disastrous second term.
And yet, when one peruses this resumé carefully, there are warning
signs. His skill as a negotiator — so important in the 1980s and 90s —
has proved of little use in the postmodern ANC, which is locked in an
internecine zero-sum factional war that offers no space for sensical
discourse.
Ramaphosa and his advisors genuinely thought that they could negotiate
their way into unifying the Congress. This was a whimsically fatal
notion, like a four-year-old in an Aquaman Speedo leaping into the
Camps Bay undertow, hoping to commune with magical seahorses.
Now, Ramaphosa faces crises on every front. This week alone: a series
of violent acts against women and children tipped into an obscene
critical mass, culminating in marches and protests across the country.
And at the same time: the curiously well-timed and -coordinated
murderous rage directed against black African nationals.
This is societal meltdown in real-time, but it really shouldn’t have
come as a surprise: violence against women and (black and brown)
expatriates are hallmarks of South African life.
As it happens, the man responsible for managing this mess leads the
ANC, an organisation with a peerless record of protecting sexual
miscreants, organised criminals and anti-African rhetoricians.
In this, the president cannot be considered blameless. He has spent
his time back in the ruling party providing cover for, and covering
up, crimes against the state committed by the state.
He was as tame as any of Zuma’s so-called opponents during the former
president’s tenure, and instead let braver men, like Derek Hanekom and
Pravin Gordhan, do the fighting in the trenches.
He was quiet during the Life Esidimeni crisis. He said nothing after
the Nkandla scandal. And he was, however you read things, at least
partly complicit in the Marikana massacre, about which he has spoken
very little.
Zuma has been gone for a year and a half, and still not a single ANC
apparatchik has been held accountable for any of these tragedies, in
which hundreds of people were cumulatively murdered and trillions of
rands stolen.
How can this be? Well, the ANC self-regulates on the understanding
that every comrade is tainted, and that in every closet there lurk
skeletons, smallanyana and not so smallanyana. (Zuma negotiated this
reality perfectly. Ramaphosa not so much.)
Subsequently, no one has mistaken him for a political street brawler,
and within the ruling party he appears to inspire neither fear nor
respect.
According to the polls, he is (or, until this week, was) nominally
rather popular on the streets. But he has no constituency. And unlike
Zuma — who knows how to engender loyalty — no one owes Ramaphosa a
damn thing.
And while we can perhaps forgive Ramaphosa for not knowing how to run
a mafia, he cannot be forgiven for his paucity of ideas. Why does he
even want his job?
Put another way, what do Ramaphosa and his team have to offer?
Shackled to the rule of law, hemmed in by the Constitution they helped
draft, all they can provide is measured technocratic solutions to
catastrophic problems — problems that have exploded violently and
spectacularly over the course of the past brutal week.
Now, Ramaphosa is staring down at a population demanding immediate
solutions to the breakdown in rule of law.
And he has nothing for them.
The address he made before the nation on Thursday night was a classic
example of how not to lead. Let’s deal with the procedural stuff
first. He can’t call a State of Emergency, because State of
Emergencies are an apartheid thing — and besides, the police are a
biiiiig part of the problem.
(Boxing champ Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, whose murder helped spark
the recent protests, WAS LITERALLY KILLED BY A COP.)
He can beef up the sexual assault courts as he has promised, which is
both long overdue and a long-term proposal. He can encourage the
government to modernise the sexual assault registry, about which
ditto.
But what becomes clear is that successive ANC-led governments have
never taken women’s safety seriously. And this crisis cannot be solved
overnight.
The same can very obviously be said about Afrophobia and violence
against economic migrants.
Which brings us to the deep failures of modern liberalism as it has
been practiced in weak social democracies like South Africa.
The country is a one-party state in which a political elite is at war
with itself trying to control the economy. In the past decade,
it’s toggled from a faux-populist leader who destroyed the country for
at least a generation, to a plutocrat who purchased the party under
the proviso that he could ‘reform’ it from within.
But Ramaphosa doesn’t appear to know much about the violence and shame
that defines everyday South African life.
He’s been secure in his bubble for almost three decades, removed from
the vicissitudes of everyday life.
His inner-circle — the Motsepes, the Radebes, Gwede Mantashe, a banker
or two — are not helpful in this regard.
Like most of his peers, he belongs not to the people of his country,
but to a tiny sect of global plutocrats who have an inviolable
baseline belief system: liberal free-market economies, gently
regulated (and occasionally guided) by government, can grow infinitely
while providing boundless opportunities for their people.
This is manifestly untrue — as a theory, it’s bombing out across the
planet. South Africa’s problems of course whittle down to inequality,
but also to how that inequality is conceived by the economic elite: as
a result of ‘low growth’, not of systematic exclusion that dates back
centuries, and is premised on officially sanctioned racism and sexism.
Cyril Ramaphosa has better start taking his job seriously. He needs to
crack heads at Luthuli House, get vicious with his enemies blocking
the reform process, and go to war with the corruption clogging up the
police.
His reform programme needs to get nasty, because the patriarchal scum
within his party view women as chattel and foreign nationals as
sacrificial offerings to the mob.
He needs to reinvent the liberal project for a new era, or watch the
Constitution he crafted turn to dust in his hands.
He needs to light a very large fire under his own ass, or his advisors
need to do it for him.
Ask anyone in his circle, and they’ll swear that Cyril Ramaphosa is
the smartest man in the room. But that’s not the same as being the
cleverest. Ramaphosa’s first eighteen months have been a pathetic
wash. But comes next?
As the political thinker Hugo von Hofmannsthal put it, ‘He who can
summon forces from the deep, him they will follow.’ DM

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Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa closed a speech quoting Ben Okri
Africa


We dream of a new politics
That will renew the world
Under their weary suspicious gaze. There’s always a new way,
A better way that’s not been tried before.

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02-SEP-2019 :: "Thus whoever is stiff and in- flexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail."
Africa


Lao Tzu put it “Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and
hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and
dry. Thus whoever is stiff and in- flexible is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff
will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.”

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