|Monday 02nd of December 2019
Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?
02-DEC-2019 :: A Global Economic Downturn
Law & Politics
In July of 64 A.D., a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying
70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless.
According to a well-known expression, Rome’s Emperor at the time, the
decadent Nero, “fiddled while Rome burned.”
In Shakespeare's Henry VI, Henry proclaims:
"Plataginet, I will; and like thee, Nero,Play on the lute, beholding
the towns burn."
The contemporary Indian Writer Jeet Thayil wrote in his buzzy Bombay
based book Narcopolis
“The world is on fire; time is a bomb. Ten thousand years are not
enough When so much remains to be done”
A Polish Chef called “Luckasz” had the presence of mind to grab a
narwhal tusk and run after the 28-year-old British national Usman Khan
who had killed two people in a terror attack in central London.
President Macron's France experienced one of its worst losses of in
France’s military in more than three decades -- 13 dead soldiers
during an anti-terrorism mission in Mali -- Two Helicopters collided
in the dead of the Mali-an night. Salif Keita, one of Mali’s
best-loved musicians, released a video on his Facebook page in which
he tells President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to stop “subjecting yourself
to little Emmanuel Macron– he’s just a kid.” President Macron then
holds a Press Conference in which he pronounces that he is not
interested in Trump or in Europe’s strategic autonomy. He just thinks
that Nato has misidentified its enemy. He wants a Nato that works with
Russia and China and fights against political, militant Islam.
President Erdogan says
"I am talking to France's President Emmanuel Macron, and I will also
say this at NATO. First of all, have your own brain death checked.
These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a
state of brain death"
If President Macron is diagnosing Europe's preeminent Threat as
Militant Islam then Fortress Europe is already lost to the
Geopolitical Grandmaster Vladimir and his bestie Xi Jinping the
Decimator of the Uighurs. The Fact of the Matter is Militant Islam
has been a Western Asset and a Spear for Regime Change. It is a mind
bending Macronian mis diagnosis.
Furthermore, The Global Economy is on its ''last leg'' to borrow
@Maryam_Rajavi's words about Iran who tweeted ‘’The whole issue is
that the Velayat-e Faqih regime is on its last leg''
Emerging markets exports growth is now falling almost as much as they
did in the Great Recession and Tech Bust. Currencies from Latin
America to Lebanon are crashing. India's Narendra Modi whose calling
card was economic growth in Gujarat notwithstanding his fondness for a
good old fashioned pogrom is clearly embarked on a ''West Bank'''
level settlement project of Kashmir
At a private event on Saturday in New York City, Sandeep Chakravorty,
India’s consul-general to the city, told Kashmiri Hindus and Indian
nationals that India will build settlements modelled after Israel for
the return of the Hindu population to Kashmir.
Three years ago, India was enjoying economic growth of about 9%. Now
the rate of expansion has slumped to just half that. The country's
gross domestic product grew by just 4.5% in the July to September
quarter, the lowest level since early 2013. GDP growth was at 7% in
the same period last year, and 5% in the previous quarter. Economic
growth has now fallen for six consecutive quarters, a slide that can
be partially attributed to the recent weakness of India's factories.
The manufacturing sector shrank 1% last quarter, The growth rate for
agriculture was more than cut in half. The GDP figure is the weakest
recorded under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who first swept to power
five years ago promising to take India's economy to new heights and
create millions of jobs every year.
The Politics of ethnocratic Nationalism are a Bust.
There is no ''abracadabra'' and the Global Economy feels like that
moment when everyone was dancing in the ballroom just before the
The man who killed two people in a terror attack in central London has been named as 28-year-old British national Usman Khan @ABCaustralia
Law & Politics
Khan was released from prison on licence last year after serving eight
years in jail for his part in another terror plot.
Khan was one of a group nine people jailed in 2012 for plotting to
bomb the London Stock Exchange and start a terrorist training camp in
Khan was sentenced to an indeterminate period in prison, with a
minimum of eight years to be served.
His sentence was backdated to the time of his arrest in 2010, and he
was released on parole in December 2018.
According to British media reports, Khan was required to wear a
tracking device after his release.
On Friday, he was reportedly invited to attend a prison education
conference being run by Cambridge University criminology experts at
London's Fishmongers' Hall.
He reportedly began stabbing people inside the historic building.
The Learning Together conference was to have brought together
academics, criminal justice campaigners and others.
29-APR-2013 :: The Brothers Tsarnaev and the Long Tail
Law & Politics
There are more than seven billion of us now in this c21st world of
ours. The long tail in a population of seven billion is not an
insignificant absolute number.
‘’In statistics, a long tail of some distributions of numbers is the
portion of the distribution having a large number of occurrences far
from the “head” or central part of the distribution.’’
Put in a different way, there are surely many Brothers Tsarnaev in
this new c21st of ours.
And whilst I appreciate Osama Bin Laden is being nibbled by the fishes
somewhere in the ocean, he basically inspired the likes of the
Brothers Tsarnaev, i.e those disaffected with the c21st.
In truth, that disaffection might have any number of reasons and I am
reminded of my French O level where I studied Albert Camus’ L’Etranger
and Camus said;
“The byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible
love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, his condition
exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible
exaltation of a brief and destructive action*.”
Some Rivers Are So Drug-Polluted, Their Eels Get High on Cocaine @NatGeo
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED EELS hyped up on cocaine could have trouble
making a 3,700-mile trip to mate and reproduce—new research warns.
“Data show a great presence of illicit drugs and their metabolites in
surface waters worldwide,” says Anna Capaldo, a research biologist at
the University of Naples Federico II and the lead author of the study.
She adds that water near densely populated cities is even worse, with
some research showing particularly high concentrations in the Thames
River near London’s Houses of Parliament and in the Italian Amo River
near Pisa of leaning tower fame.
'Tourists' help fuel risky emerging market bond sales @FT
Over the past five years, frontier market hard-currency debt has
tripled to more than $200bn © Reuters
Angola is limping out of a four-year recession. Its debt burden has
soared to about 100 per cent of its annual economic output as its
currency, the kwanza, tumbles in value. The government is propped up
by a $3.7bn IMF credit facility, the largest ever for an African
None of that prevented investors queueing round the block to buy new
Angolan bonds earlier last month, with a $3bn sale attracting more
than $8bn of orders.
Fund managers are buying into President João Lourenço’s drive to
reform the economy and tackle corruption, and were undoubtedly
impressed by the professionalism of Angola’s finance ministry during a
recent international roadshow to market the debt.
But there is a deeper reason for the enthusiasm: in a world awash with
$12tn of negative-yielding debt, an annual coupon of 8 per cent can be
As one emerging market fund manager put it recently: “The dirty secret
of EM investing is you just buy the bonds with the highest yields.”
So much for the highly sophisticated economic modelling and
penetrating insight into policymaking.
Of course, buying emerging market debt has always been a matter of
being prepared to stomach greater risks to earn higher returns. But
the flippant remark is more relevant than ever.
With interest rates in the developed world close to record lows, there
are signs that investors are travelling further afield in search of
yield — creating an opportunity for countries such as Angola.
The IMF last month sounded the alarm over a “borrowing binge” this
year by so-called frontier markets — countries at the lower-rated,
riskier end of the EM spectrum. These economies are on course to
borrow $38bn in foreign currency (mostly dollar) debt from bond
markets this year, equalling a record set in 2017.
The pool of countries able to access capital markets has widened, with
Uzbekistan and Benin making debut bond sales this year. Others, such
as Angola, are becoming semi-regular issuers.
This is good news for governments that can borrow relatively cheaply
to finance their development. But the resulting build-up of debt is
starting to raise eyebrows.
As the IMF said: “There can be too much of a good thing: countries
that don’t put the money to good use may have trouble servicing their
loans and find themselves at risk of default.”
Over the past five years, frontier market hard-currency debt has
tripled to more than $200bn. The tally of bonds for the average
borrower is up to 7 per cent of gross domestic product and nearly half
of their foreign currency reserves, up from 3 per cent in 2014.
Those levels sound low by developed market standards, but investors
who have been eager to pile into the debt while global yields are low
are likely to prove fickle about rolling it over should yields start
to rise in major economies.
“Frontier borrowing is not a new thing,” said Stuart Culverhouse, head
of fixed income research at developing markets data platform Tellimer.
“What’s different this time is public debt burdens are much higher
than they were a few years ago.”
As long as the cash raised goes into productive investment that lifts
growth, investors will keep on buying. If they feel borrowing has been
opportunistic, bondholders may prove less sympathetic when the tide of
global rates turns.
Some investors also feel forced to take extra risks. A striking
feature of recent frontier bond sales is the predominance of
mainstream emerging market asset managers over smaller niche
specialists or hedge funds. These investors bought three-quarters of
the bonds in the Angola deal.
Many feel crowded out of their traditional playgrounds by the logic of
negative yields. For example, Polish sovereign bonds, a sizeable chunk
of EM bond benchmarks, traded at sub-zero yields this summer as the
sniffily nicknamed “EM tourists” looking for an alternative to even
more deeply negative eurozone debt piled in.
Once highly conservative buyers such as Japanese pension funds start
moving in, such a market is “not really EM any more”, according to one
With the EM crowd looking further afield, it is hardly surprising that
frontier bonds are up 17 per cent in 2019, and on course for their
best year since 2012.
But there have been warning signs amid the exuberance. The prospect of
default in Zambia, as well as heavy strains in Lebanon and Argentina,
have reminded investors of the perils of borrowing in a foreign
Last month’s sell-off in Ecuador — a country that raised $1bn from
bond markets in January but defaulted as recently as 2008 — shows how
quickly investors can take fright at political instability.
“When you have this search for yield you need to be careful,” said
Uday Patnaik, head of emerging markets debt at Legal & General
Investment Management. “But mistakes will be made.”
14-OCT-2019 :: Ozymandias
this turns Ozymandias
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands
stretch far away.”
Sub Saharan Africa
A Nation on the Brink @business
Zambia’s ruling party is in a bind. It needs an International Monetary
Fund bailout, but the austerity that would bring ahead of elections in
2021 may cost it power.
While President Edgar Lungu's party is putting its political
considerations first, the economy is imploding. Inflation near 11% has
been accelerating for eight months and is well above target.
The kwacha is the world’s fourth-worst performing currency this year.
Daily power cuts last 18 hours after a drought drained hydroelectric
dams, and there's not enough money to import more energy.
The IMF issued a curt statement last week. Economic performance is
likely to be the lowest in more than two decades and urgent budget
adjustments are needed, it said.
“There isn’t a likelihood of an IMF program anytime soon. To me that
implies the government is not willing to put forward the policy
reforms needed to correct the fiscal path,” said Yvonne Mhango, a
sub-Saharan Africa economist at Renaissance Capital.
“It doesn't look like they will be able to pull themselves back from the brink.”
Lungu, who plans to contest the next election, says the government
will manage its debt and "curb any further accumulation."
For some Zambians it's just like 2015 — a year of rampant inflation
and drought. But it isn't.
Back then reserves were at a record $3.9 billion and the nation could
spend more than $1 billion on fuel and electricity imports and
supporting the currency. Now the coffers are empty.
It's a gamble that may not pay off. If the government runs out of
money and defaults on its external debt, the resultant chaos may lose
it the election anyway.
Russian mercenaries regroup after setback in Mozambique @globeandmail @geoffreyyork
When the Russians landed in northern Mozambique in late September to
fight the local insurgents, they brought a sophisticated array of
high-tech military tools, including drones and data analytics. But
neither their modern weaponry nor their experience in war zones such
as Syria were enough to conquer their opponents. After suffering a
series of ambushes and nearly a dozen reported deaths, the Russian
private military contractors have gone into a “strategic retreat” as
they seek a new operational plan, analysts say. The retreat shows the
complexity of combatting the shadowy Islamist insurgency in Cabo
Delgado, the gas-rich northeastern province of Mozambique and the site
of up to US$60-billion in announced gas projects by multinational
energy companies, the biggest planned investment in Africa today. It
also shows the obstacles faced by Moscow as it attempts to expand its
influence across Africa by using a combination of military, political
and economic levers. This year alone, Russian military contractors
have been active in Libya, Mozambique, Sudan and Central African
Republic. An estimated 200- to 300-military contractors from the
Wagner Group, a private company owned by a Russian businessman with
close Kremlin connections, arrived in Cabo Delgado in late September.
Just a few weeks earlier, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi had
visited Moscow and reached an agreement with Russian President
Vladimir Putin on several military and economic co-operation deals,
including possible energy projects for Russian investors. About 500
people have died in hundreds of insurgent attacks in Cabo Delgado over
the past two years. The insurgency is believed to be linked to
Islamist forces, including some fighters who may have crossed borders
from East Africa. But there is no single organization behind all of
the attacks, and other factors could include the high unemployment and
economic desperation in the province, the presence of an international
drug trade in the region and widespread fears of being excluded from
the natural gas boom. Alex Vines, a Mozambique expert who heads the
Africa program at the London-based Royal Institute of International
Affairs, believes Mr. Putin offered the deployment of the Wagner Group
during the meeting in Moscow in August, and Mr. Nyusi accepted the
“The Russians naively thought that technology, drones, analytics, and
experience in Syria and elsewhere would mean that this is a pretty
easy operation for them,” Mr. Vines said at a briefing this week in
“They’ve been rather shocked,” he said. “They are finding it
difficult. They have done a strategic retreat to rethink their
Reports by media outlets in Mozambique, South Africa and Moscow have
suggested that at least 10 or 11 of the Russian military contractors
were ambushed and killed in several battles in densely forested
districts of Cabo Delgado, and several of the Russians were beheaded.
Some bodies have reportedly been brought home to Russia for burial.
28-OCT-2019 :: From Russia with Love
“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally
with someone against someone else, and we strongly oppose any
geopolitical games involving Africa.”
To simplify, Russia’s “political technologists” have reportedly
devised bespoke solutions for confronting incipient and ongoing color
revolutions, just like its private military contrac- tors (PMCs) have
supposedly done the same when it comes to ending insurgencies.
Where Xi is fed up and speaks about the ‘’The End of Vanity’’ becau-
se the ROI [outside commodities and telecoms for China] is negative,
Putin has created a hybrid model with an exponential ROI. I would
imagine he is on speed dial.
Angolans feel let down two years into new presidency @TC_Africa
Two years into his presidency, Angolan leader João Lourenço is
treading a difficult course between continuity and radical reform.
Faced with a persistent economic crisis, the new president needs to
take bold action to open up the economy to competition and renewed
foreign investment, and reduce the country’s dependency on oil. To do
so, he has to loosen the stranglehold of the country’s elites on key
sectors of the economy. These are competing networks of interests
within the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola
(MPLA) and the security forces that the previous president, José
Eduardo dos Santos, had carefully cultivated in his 38 years in power,
by using the country’s vast oil revenues. This political dispensation
resulted in, among other things, wasteful spending, inefficiency, the
establishment of politically connected monopolies and large-scale
embezzlement. But to loosen that stranglehold, Lourenço relies on
continued support from the MPLA, and so he cannot openly antagonise
all these different interests at once but rather has to advance very
cautiously. The initial euphoria that accompanied Lourenço’s new
presidency has ebbed away. Angolans are faced with the stark realities
of a profoundly dysfunctional political economy that has proved more
resistant to change than they had hoped for. Yet things started out so
well. Lourenço entered the 2017 electoral contest as the MPLA’s lead
candidate to succeed dos Santos. He campaigned under the motto
improve what is good, change what is bad.
Seen as a dos Santos loyalist and a man of continuity, he at first
failed to ignite much enthusiasm. The MPLA won the elections with 61%
of the vote – a result that was contested by the opposition. Still,
the outcome reflected a reduced dominance for the party, which has
governed the country since it gained independence from Portugal in
1975. But Lourenço stands accused of dithering and being indecisive.
And the promises of change he made when he took over have yet to
translate into improvements in the living conditions of a majority of
Shortly after his swearing in, Lourenço surprised everyone, including
his critics, when he started using the almost absolute constitutional
powers of the president to unleash a dizzying flurry of dismissals
that swept away many old dos Santos allies. Most prominently, he
removed dos Santos’ children from most of their positions of economic
influence. He even allowed criminal investigations into their dealings
to be launched. Lourenço also opened up state media to more diverse
and critical voices, and invited dissidents, jailed and persecuted
under dos Santos, to the presidential palace. He even recently
decorated two prominent human rights activists with a medal of
national merit. These actions were truly noteworthy in the context of
a country in which open expression of political dissent had been
curtailed by a pervasive “culture of fear” and active repression. But
it’s the failure to improve peoples’ lives that has led to
When the price of crude oil on world markets dropped, in late 2014,
from about $110 to under $50, the country was plunged into a deep
economic crisis from which it has yet to recover. The crisis revealed
how fragile and unsustainable Angola’s miracle growth of the preceding
decade had been. While oil prices have gradually recuperated this
year, the situation continues to be dire. The cost of living has
soared. And the national currency, the kwanza, continues to
consistently lose value. Despite the spectacle of high-profile
dismissals that followed immediately after Lourenço took power, it
appears that entrenched economic interests are prevailing. Some even
claim that rather than truly clearing out the stables, he is simply
replacing one network of elites with a new one, albeit with some
significant overlaps with the previous one. Doubts about his
commitment to rooting out corruption have been voiced in light of his
handling of former vice-president Manuel Vicente, who faced corruption
charges in Portugal. Lourenço negotiated with the Portuguese judicial
authorities that he be tried in Angola, under his country’s laws. But,
once the case was transferred to Angola, the country’s attorney
general declared that as a former vice-president, Vicente enjoyed
immunity from prosecution. Vicente went on to become Lourenço’s
advisor for the oil sector, a low-profile but highly influential
position. Similarly, in a major corruption case involving the
Sovereign Wealth Funds, the former president’s son, José Filomeno
“Zénú” dos Santos, and his partner Jean-Claude Bastos were set free.
This was after the alleged recovery of the embezzled assets, raising
questions about impunity for the political elites.
Finally, while international attention is largely focused on the
economy, the militarised crackdown on any demands for greater
political and economic autonomy in the oil-rich province of Cabinda
Austerity the wrong remedy
The approval of an extended fund facility from the International
Monetary Fund has been hailed as one of Lourenço’s great successes.
But Angolan economists are sceptical about its impact. They say that
orthodox economic recipes such as austerity measures and the
introduction of value added tax would hit the population hard. More
importantly, the facility failed to address the structural problems of
the economy, which are a consequence of years of corruption and
inefficient, wasteful spending. The real issue to Angolans remains why
their former leaders have been allowed get away with stashing the
country’s wealth offshore for so long.
The IMF Facility, the devaluation of the Kwanza are the correct
policies but he has to disgorge some of the Dos Santos wealth.
Exclusive: Corruption in Namibia's fishing industry unveiled @AJENews
Several figures close to Namibian President Hage Geingob have been
filmed discussing the laundering of political contributions, an Al
Jazeera investigation has revealed.
In Anatomy of a Bribe, Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit exposes
corruption in Namibia's fishing industry, implicating the country's
now former minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernhard Esau,
as well as Geingob's personal lawyer, Sisa Namandje.
Posing as Chinese investors, Al Jazeera journalists attempted to enter
the Namibian fishing industry to acquire highly lucrative fishing
quotas for a proposed joint-venture with Namibian fishing company
During the investigation, Esau requested a donation of $200,000 from
the Chinese "investors" for the ruling SWAPO party, ahead of the
country's general election that took place on Wednesday.
Filmed with hidden cameras, Esau can also be seen accepting an iPhone
from Al Jazeera's reporters.
Under the instructions of Omualu's managing director Sacky
Kadhila-Amoomo, the donation was to be laundered to the SWAPO party,
under the guise of a foreign investment in a real-estate.
The donation was to be channelled through the trust account of Sisa
Namandje, who has been the personal lawyer of all Namibian presidents
since the country's independence in 1990.
He is also the returning officer of the ruling SWAPO party for
"You guys must be careful speaking to people about paying the
minister," Namandje told the undercover reporters when asked to
confirm if he was happy with his trust account being used to launder
funds to the SWAPO party's election campaign.
"If you speak to a number of people about that, you will end up …
[makes handcuff gesture]," he continued.
Namandje refused to discuss the origin or the destination of the money
passing through his trust account.
As Al Jazeera's undercover reporters negotiated a partnership with
Omualu, they were asked to make a $500,000 payment and give a 20
percent share of the joint-venture to Mike Nghipunya, CEO of the
state-run fishing company Fishcor.
Fishcor would in return provide preferential access to its fishing
quotas, which are allocated by the minister of fisheries.
As a public official, it would be illegal for Nghipunya to use his
official position for personal gain.
In response to the investigation, Kadhila told The Namibian newspaper
he knew from the start the undercover reporters were "fake
"I played along … in order to confirm my suspicions," the Omualu
managing director said.
Kadhila added he reported the matter to the president's lawyer, Sisa
Namandje, who in turn claimed he had alerted police.
The Al Jazeera Investigation is based on documents leaked by Johannes
Stefansson, a former employee of the Icelandic fishing conglomerate
Samherji, to the whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks.
Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit conducted a joint investigation with
Icelandic state television RUV, and the Icelandic magazine Stundin.
The so-called Fishrot Files, published two weeks ago by WikiLeaks,
comprised emails, memos, PowerPoint presentations, company financial
records, photos and videos, showing how Samherji, one of Iceland's
largest fishing companies, colluded with senior political and business
figures in Namibia to gain preferential access to the country's
lucrative fishing grounds.
These senior politicians include Esau and the former minister of
justice Sacky Shanghala, who have both resigned since the documents
Documents obtained by Al Jazeera show that, from 2012 to the present
day, Samherji made payments totalling more than $10m to Esau, as well
as to companies owned by Shanghala, Esau's son-in-law Tamson
Hatuikulipi, and to his cousin James Hatuikulipi, chairman of Fishcor.
The majority of these payments were invoiced to Samherji as
"consultancy fees", according to the documents.
Whistle-blower Stefansson alleges these payments were "bribes" in
order to ensure Samherji's advantageous position in the Namibian
Shortly after Al Jazeera contacted the Namibian government for comment
both Esau and Shanghala resigned from their positions.
James Hatuikulipi resigned from his job as chairman of Fishcor, while
Thorsteinn Mar Baldvinsson "stepped aside" as CEO of Samherji pending
an internal investigation by the company.
Baldvinsson also resigned from the boards of several international
fishing companies owned by Samherji.
On the day of Namibia's general election on Wednesday, Esau,
Shanghala, as well as James and Tamson Hatuikulipi and two others were
arrested on corruption and fraud charges. They deny all wrongdoing.
Despite the corruption scandal involving people high up in the
government, incumbent President Hage Geingob and the ruling SWAPO
party managed to win the elections, Namibia's electoral commission
announced on Saturday.
The Fishrot affair has sparked outrage in both Namibia and Iceland,
where voters are increasingly concerned about the levels of corruption
among their country's respective business and political elites.
Last week, hundreds of protesters marched to the Namibian
Anti-Corruption Commission calling for the resignation of director
Paulus Noa after he was accused of not taking sufficient action
against known cases of corruption in the country. In response, the
Anti-Corruption Commission moved forward with issuing the arrest
In Iceland, thousands of people assembled in the main square in front
of parliament at the weekend to protest corruption.
Demonstrators called for the resignation of the country's Minister of
Fisheries Kristjan Thor Juliusson, who used to be on the board of
He has been a close friend with the disgraced former CEO Baldvinsson.
Speaking in parliament, the member of parliament for the Icelandic
Pirate Party, Halldora Mogensen said: "The myth of Iceland's innocence
All of the parties implicated in the fraud in Al Jazeera's film deny
any wrongdoing. In a press statement, Samherji claims it has "nothing
to hide" from any investigation.
@IMFNews's new terms for Kenya $1.5b standby loan @The_EastAfrican
An IMF team that visited Nairobi between November 18 and 22 wants the
Treasury to cut the rising budget deficit which stood at 7.7 per cent
of GDP in the 2018/2019 financial year.
The fund also wants the government to implement “tax and expenditure
reforms that do not hurt private sector investments and stifle
economic growth,” before the resumption of talks planned for early
“Progress in this direction (reduction of fiscal deficit), including
the design of tax and expenditure reforms that support a
growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, would be important to anchor a
new Fund-supported programme,” said the IMF in a statement after the
visit which was led by Benedict Clements.
“We made the point that it is in our interest to get that insurance
because shocks can be large,” said Dr Njoroge in the monthly Monetary
Policy Committee briefing.