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Wednesday 27th of October 2021
 
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Africa

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“Derivatives,” Alvin said. “I don’t speculate about the future, I trade it.” @NewYorker
World Of Finance



And they were cross‑linked and interwoven and resold in large bundles, “future on future,” Alvin said, handing me a paper towel. 
“Forget about the forces of the free market, my friend. Commodity prices no longer refer to any value, past or present—they’re just ghosts from the future.”

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The Lotos-eaters
World Of Finance


"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land, "This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon."

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Bond Market Sends a Warning on Growth to Hawkish Central Banks @markets
World Of Finance


The bond market’s age-old measure of growth is flashing an ominous warning as the world’s central banks move closer to boosting interest rates from near record lows.
Traders are wagering on rate hikes of as much as 161 basis points over the next year in countries including the U.K., New Zealand and South Korea amid soaring costs of living and commodity prices. 

Yet a flattening in yield curves -- historically seen as the market’s assessment of economic health -- indicates rising concern that such a rapid withdrawal of support will hurt the nascent recovery. 

Such a view is not without its detractors; yield-curve signals have been distorted by more than a decade of central bank bond-buying. 

But with these gauges aligning with other growth indicators and talk of stagflation gripping Wall Street, investors are pondering whether such a rapid pace of tightening -- if delivered -- could prove a costly mistake.

“The downside surprise to growth is probably going to outlive the upside in inflation,” said Ebrahim Rahbari, global head of Group-of-10 foreign-exchange strategy at Citigroup Inc. 

“We might well run into a situation where central banks will turn hawkish for a little while only to have to ease maybe in a year or so again.”
Weakening Currencies
This concern is particularly acute in the U.K. Traders are pricing in more than 100 basis points of Bank of England tightening by the end of 2022 -- the most aggressive cycle this century

That’s even as the nation grapples with the dour economic after-effects of Brexit, and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases heading into winter.
Growth concerns have taken a toll on the pound, which fell to its lowest this year at the end of September. 

While it has since recovered, traders are struggling to figure out what rate hikes would mean for growth -- and the sterling. 
Higher rates have also failed to boost the South Korean won, among Asia’s worst performers over the past six months. 

And it’s a similar story for the New Zealand dollar, which fell after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand hiked rates last month; while it’s since regained some ground, forecasts for the kiwi have steadily fallen as markets price the central bank’s path to neutral.
“Most other developed market central banks have not begun the process of normalizing -- let alone pricing in a projected cash rate path to neutral,” said Prashant Newnaha, a strategist at TD Securities in Singapore. 

“With the prospect that other central banks play catch-up in hiking rates, upside for the New Zealand dollar should be capped.”
This trend is also present in emerging markets, where currencies have sunk to the weakest level since March 2020 relative to average local-bond yields. 

That suggests investors are discounting the appeal of rising interest rates, fretting instead over the toxic combination of slower global growth and faster inflation.
Emerging-Market Currencies Hurt by Growth Woes After Rate Hikes
Still, the world is not exactly on the brink of a new recession. The OECD’s leading indicators point to moderating growth in the U.S., euro zone and U.K., dragged down in part by “the persistent rise in consumer prices in recent months, driven by surging energy prices,” according to an Oct. 12 release.  

And the reliability of yield curves as an economic health indicator has been called into question amid hefty central bank bond-buying programs and the pandemic’s mega-spending programs, which have upended conventional models. 

“I would be cautious in over-interpreting what the curves are trying to tell us because there are so many things going on,” UBS Group AG chief economist Arend Kapteyn said.
But the question of whether economies are strong enough to withstand higher borrowing costs has markets transfixed nonetheless. 

Feeding into that is the debate about whether price pressures are indeed transitory, or whether inflation will head back below central-bank targets if energy costs ease and supply chain issues fade. 

Such a reversal could prompt an early end to rate hiking just as easily as a hit to growth.
“I’m having the impression that the central banks are getting ahead of themselves,” said Kei Yamazaki, a senior fund manager at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. 

“The market is sending signals that rate hikes are still too early.”

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09-MAY-2021 The Lotos-eaters The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM! I beg to differ
World Of Finance



Given the volume of money Printing and the extraordinary stimulus I have to say that the US Recovery is actually really weak and I believe it will be very short lived and the Penny will drop soon with the Bond Market and the Shorts will be forced to cover.

The Consensus View appears to be that the Global economy is going to accelerate big time and that its going to BOOM!  I beg to differ

Furthermore The Central Banks are in a corner. 


The @federalreserve is arriving at the Wizard of Oz moment 

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[REGIME CHANGE] There is no training – that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. @ptj_official
World Of Finance




There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. 

There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign.




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Black swan, golden sunrise @Astrid_Tontson
World Of Finance


For the denouement to happen we need to return to March 2020

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― Hemingway Ernest, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories
Africa


“Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai 'Ngaje Ngai', the House of God. Close to the western summit there is a dried and frozen carcas of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.”

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''You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul
Africa



“Going home at night! It wasn't often that I was on the river at night. I never liked it. I never felt in control. In the darkness of river and forest you could be sure only of what you could see — and even on a moonlight night you couldn't see much. When you made a noise — dipped a paddle in the water — you heard yourself as though you were another person. The river and the forest were like presences, and much more powerful than you. You felt unprotected, an intruder ... You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there.You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

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Two Words From Taiwan’s Leader Threaten to Upend U.S.-China Ties @bpolitics
Law & Politics


Saying that China and Taiwan are “not subordinate” to each other might seem obvious, since they’ve been locked in an unresolved civil war for decades. 

But Taiwan’s use of those words earlier this month continues to reverberate, risking a fresh rupture in U.S.-China ties.
President Tsai Ing-wen said the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China, as Taiwan and the mainland are officially called, are “not subordinate to each other” in a televised speech marking the island’s National Day on Oct. 10. 

Tsai’s camp argues she was reiterating the status quo, reflecting the fact that the Communist Party has never ruled Taipei.
To Beijing, however, that phrasing came close to reviving an idea that fueled tensions between China and the U.S. two decades ago. 

A spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing accused Tsai of “peddling the two-state theory,” a reference to former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s policy that Taiwan and China should have state-to-state relations -- something state media called “a daydream.”
The episode illustrates the fragile truce across the Taiwan Strait, as China ramps up a military and diplomatic pressure campaign and President Joe Biden affirms the U.S. commitment to defend the democratically ruled island from attack. 

Although Tsai hails from a party founded on the promise of formal independence, she has largely steered clear of defining Taiwan’s status in a way that could push President Xi Jinping toward military action.
Deng Yuwen, a former editor at the party-run journal Study Times, argued in a commentary last week that Xi had been unusually quiet in not challenging Tsai’s perceived revival of the two-state theory. 

While Deng speculated that Xi’s diplomats were likely pushing the U.S. to take a side, he said the Chinese president could face internal pressure if he was publicly seen as ignoring the issue.
During the decades that Taipei was ruled by the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, it shared agreement with Beijing on one key point: that both sides were part of “China.” 

But after Taiwan transitioned from martial law under the KMT to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, leaders like Lee -- Taiwan’s first elected president -- began to break from the “one China” framework.
In 1999, Lee proposed that the two sides had a “special state-to-state relationship.” 

That same year, Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party, which was then in the opposition, made a subtle tweak to its long-held goal for independence. 

The party resolved that Taiwan was already a sovereign nation: it was “not a part of the People’s Republic of China” and the one-China principle idea was “fundamentally inappropriate for Taiwan.”
Tsai explained the idea in an interview with the BBC after winning her second four-year term in 2020. 

“The idea is that we don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state,” she said, because “we are an independent country already.”
Taiwan’s decision not to force the issue has allowed the U.S., Japan and others to maintain “strategic ambiguity,” keeping the island -- and its key industries such as chipmaking -- out of Communist Party control. 

Although the U.S. recognized the People’s Republic as the “sole legal government of China” more than four decades ago, it never clarified its position on Taiwan’s sovereignty or whether it would use force to defend Taiwan.
“Tsai’s careful rhetoric sidesteps questions of sovereignty or a ‘two-state theory’ by focusing on the tangible and the undeniable, which is neither the ROC or PRC are subordinate to each other,” said Vincent Chao, former political director at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., Taiwan’s de facto embassy. 

“The main point is that both sides should at least acknowledge each other’s existence as a step towards finding a way to get along.” 

But as Taiwan has gained global recognition for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Tsai positions her island as a test of democracy’s strength in the face of authoritarianism, Washington has faced increased pressure to commit. 

Biden said Friday the U.S. would defend the island from a Chinese attack -- although the White House quickly said he wasn’t announcing a change in policy.  
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urged the U.S. to “speak prudently” and stick to the “one-China” agreement, at a regular news briefing Friday in Beijing, reiterating that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”
Deng, the former Study Times editor, pointed out in his commentary that Xi’s predecessor, Jiang Zemin, successfully pushed back on Lee’s theory in 1999, including by persuading then-U.S. President Bill Clinton to voice opposition. 

He said that Chinese diplomats were now likely back-channeling Washington to similarly condemn Tsai’s Oct. 10 speech.
If China and the U.S. can’t reach a consensus, Deng wrote, that “would mean the Biden administration had acquiesced the two-state theory.

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The World in the c21st exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight.
Law & Politics


Late last year, Mark Zuckerberg faced a choice: Comply with demands from Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party to censor anti-government dissidents or risk getting knocked offline in one of Facebook’s most lucrative Asian markets.
In America, the tech CEO is a champion of free speech, reluctant to remove even malicious and misleading content from the platform. 

But in Vietnam, upholding the free-speech rights of people who question government leaders could have come with a significant cost in a country where the social network earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue, according to a 2018 estimate by Amnesty International.

So Zuckerberg personally decided that Facebook would comply with Hanoi’s demands, according to three people familiar with the decision, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal company discussions. 

Ahead of Vietnam’s party congress in January, Facebook significantly increased censorship of “anti-state” posts, giving the government near-total control over the platform, according to local activists and free-speech advocates.

For example, Zuckerberg testified last year before Congress that the company removes 94 percent of the hate speech it finds before a human reports it — but internal documents show that its researchers estimated that the company was removing less than 5 percent of hate speech on Facebook

Zuckerberg “has to be the driver of these decisions,” said Sean McKessy, the first chief of the SEC’s whistleblower office, now representing whistleblowers in private practice at Phillips & Cohen. 

“This is not a typical public company with checks and balances. This is not a democracy, it’s an authoritarian state. … And although the SEC doesn’t have the strongest track record of holding individuals accountable, I certainly could see this case as being a poster child for doing so.”

Zuckerberg has long been obsessed with metrics, growth and neutralizing competitive threats, according to numerous people who have worked with him. 

The company’s use of “growth-hacking” tactics, such as tagging people in photos and buying lists of email addresses, was key to achieving its remarkable size — 3.51 billion monthly users, nearly half the planet.

Zuckerberg, said a former executive, “is extremely inquisitive about anything that impacts how content gets ranked in the feed — because that’s the secret sauce, that’s the way this whole thing keeps spinning and working and making profits.”

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26 MAR 18 :: @Facebook
Law & Politics



“We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable, untraceable.”
“It’s no use fighting elections on the facts; it’s all about emotions.”
“So the candidate is the puppet?” the undercover reporter asked. “Always,” replied Nix.

Traditional media has been disrupted and the insurgents can broadcast live and over the top from feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line (‘’a constant state of destabilised perception’’), timely and judicious doses of Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary’s bona fides and her turn-out and motivated Trump’s, what we have witnessed is something remarkable and noteworthy.

In an extraordinary boomerang, The US’ adversaries have turned social media on its head and used it as a ‘’Trojan Horse’’ via psychographic profiling and micro-targeting at a mass scale.
The fundamental challenge for Facebook is this: It has represented itself as an ‘’Infomediary’’ 

An infomediary works as a personal agent on behalf of consumers to help them take control over information gathered about them. 

The concept of the infomediary was first suggested by John Hagel III in the book Net Worth.
However, Facebook has been hawking this information as if it were an intermediary. 

This is its ‘’trust gap’’. That gap is set to widen further. Facebook is facing an existentialist crisis.

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Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World
Law & Politics


The underlying aim, Surkov says, is not to win the war, but to use the conflict to create a constant state of destabilised perception, in order to manage and control

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COVID-19 infections are still rising in 59 countries. @ReutersGraphics
Misc.


20 countries are still near the peak of their infection curve

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The growth of deaths in Europe (including Russia*) & the lack of decrease of deaths in the US have stopped the global decrease of deaths @Marco_Piani
Misc.


One may probably expect one more (Northern hemisphere Winter) pandemic wave of infections&deaths, hopefully of a smaller scale than last year

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What happens next depends not only on vaccination, but also on how the virus might mutate. @derspiegel
Misc.



"This virus keeps surprising us," agrees Mary Bushman, a mathematician and population biologist at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

"No one expected such large jumps in contagiousness.”

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04-JAN-2021 :: Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19.
Misc.



Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. 
It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. 
Those who have chosen to propagate this narrative are above the radar and in plain sight and need to be called to account. 
The Utter Failure to call these 5th columnists to Account is the clearest Signal that there is no external threat because it is already on the inside.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1603
Dollar Index 93.966
Japan Yen 114.045
Swiss Franc 0.9194
Pound 1.3771
Aussie 0.7522
India Rupee 74.945
South Korea Won 1169.935
Brazil Real 5.6050
Egypt Pound 15.7115
South Africa Rand 14.8475

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China Says Allegations It Causes Debt Trap for Africa Are False @bpolitics
Africa



China said it was false to claim that its lending practices have pushed African nations into debt traps, blaming a host of economic factors instead and criticizing media reports on the topic.
African nations’ debt problems are a historical issue, and also the result of rising protectionism and currency factors, Zhou Liujun, vice chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday. 

The agency is a body under the State Council that provide plans and policies on foreign aid.
“Facts and data fully show that this accusation is purely politically driven,” he said. 

“Its real intention is to drive a wedge between China and Africa’s friendly and cooperative relations.”
China fully considered the debt condition of African nations and their repayment capabilities when offering loans, Zhou said, adding that it will “strengthen cooperation and communication with different parties to help African countries to face their debt problems.”
China has come under fire for its lending practices to developing nations, particularly around the confidentiality of contracts between its state banks and debtor nations. 

Several African countries, including Kenya and Zambia, have struggled to repay their loans as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on their economies.
On the Paris Club of mainly Western creditor nations, Zhou said China has been involved in some of the club’s activities and has smooth communication with its members.
The Paris Club last year combined forces with the Group of 20 nations to provide debt relief to poorer nations. 

The World Bank and others have pressured China to provide more relief.
Deng Boqing, vice chairman of the development agency, said at the same briefing that Beijing has no tolerance for corruption in projects linked to its Belt & Road Initiative, a massive multi-country infrastructure program. China has been transparent in its BRI projects, he said. 

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China Africa Win Win
Africa



And the entire China Africa relationship has been an extraordinary exercise in Narrative Framing and linguistic control, accompanied by a chorus of Party Hacks chirruping Hosannas at every turn amplifying largely meaningless feel good Phrases artfully placed in the mouths of our Politicians and our Newspapers. It is remarkable.

To quote a Chinese saying, "The ocean is vast because it rejects no rivers."

"The red rising sun will light up the road ahead."

''How this plays out is now the key to Sino-African relations going forward. A Hambantota scenario would be problematic,”

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Sudan capital locked down after coup triggers deadly unrest @Reuters
Africa


Roads were blocked, shops were shut, phones were down and people queued for bread in Sudan on Tuesday, a day after the army seized power in a coup that triggered unrest in which at least seven people were killed.
Life came to a halt in the capital Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman across the Nile, with roads blocked either by soldiers or by barricades erected by protesters. 

Calls for a general strike could be heard blaring from mosque loudspeakers.
The night appeared to have passed comparatively quietly after Monday's unrest, when protesters took to the streets after soldiers arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other civilians in the cabinet. 

A health ministry official said seven people had been killed in clashes between protesters and the security forces.
The leader of the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the military-civilian Sovereign Council set up to guide Sudan to democracy following the overthrow of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir in a popular uprising two years ago.
Burhan announced a state of emergency, saying the armed forces needed to protect safety and security. 

He promised to hold elections in July 2023 and hand over to an elected civilian government then. 

On Tuesday he dissolved committees that govern trade unions, Arabic news channels reported.
The Sudan information ministry, still loyal to Hamdok, said on its Facebook page the transitional constitution gave only the prime minister the right to declare an emergency and the military's actions were a crime. 

Hamdok was still the legitimate transitional authority, it said.
The main roads and bridge between Khartoum and Omdurman were closed to vehicles by the military.

Banks and cash machines were shut, and mobile phone apps widely used for money transfers could not be accessed. 

Some bakeries were open in Omdurman but people were queuing for several hours, longer than usual.
"We are paying the price for this crisis," a man in his 50s looking for medicine at one of the pharmacies where stocks have been running low said angrily. "We can't work, we can't find bread, there are no services, no money."
The Sudanese Professionals Association, an activist coalition that played a major role in the uprising that toppled Bashir, has called for a strike.
Hamdok, an economist and former senior U.N. official, was detained and taken to an undisclosed location on Monday after refusing to issue a statement in support of the takeover, the information ministry said. 

Troops also arrested other civilian government figures and members of the Sovereign Council.
Western governments have condemned the coup, called for the release of the detained civilian leaders and threatened to cut off aid, which Sudan needs to recover from an economic crisis.
The United States has said it was immediately pausing delivery of $700 million in emergency support.
Sudan has been ruled for most of its post-colonial history by military leaders who seized power in coups. 

It had become a pariah to the West and was on a U.S. terrorism blacklist under Bashir, who hosted Osama bin Laden in the 1990s and is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for war crimes.
Since Bashir was toppled, the military shared power uneasily with civilians under a transition meant to lead to elections in 2023. 

The country had been on edge since last month when a failed coup plot, blamed on Bashir supporters, unleashed recriminations between the military and civilians.

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20 JAN 20 :: The Intrusion of Middle Powers
Africa


In fact, from the Maghreb to the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, we are witnessing a surge in asymmetric warfare and the intrusion of Middle Powers.

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10-JUN-2019 :: The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating
Africa



As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.

And now we have two visions of the Future. One vision played out on our screens, the protestors could have been our wives, children. 

The other vision is that of MBS, MBZ and Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw. 

Hugh Masekela said ‘’I want to be there when the people start to turn it around.’’ Sudan is a Masekela pivot moment.

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What kind of madness is it for the Sudanese army to takeover in a country on the edge of an economic abyss? @drmwarsame
Africa


What kind of madness is it for the Sudanese army to takeover in a country on the edge of an economic abyss? It just received Debt forgiveness under HIPC, is under tremendous social stress & dependent on foreign resources to stabilize & reintegrate into the global economy. 

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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October 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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