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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 18th of May 2018

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Looking forward to hosting @EliudKipchoge at #Mindspeak tomorrow from
0930 @ICNairobi

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The Inspiration for #Mindspeak came via these words which were written at the Entrance to the Mevlana's Mausoleum in Konya which I visited

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you
have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come ,

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It's called the Temple of Speed for a reason 💨@F1 6 May 2017

Eliud Kipchoge runs a 2:00.24 at Monza, the fastest recorded marathon
#F1 #Breaking2

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Life Lessons Learned From @EliudKipchoge's Speech At @OxfordUnion #mindspeak Saturday 19th 0930 @ICNairobi

“Personally, I believe in what I am doing. To run a big marathon and
win, it takes five months. When I am on the starting line, my mind
starts to think of what I have been doing for the last five months. I
believe in my training. I treat myself as the best one on that line
because my mind is telling me that I am the best and I believe in what
I am doing in the last five months. I can run free. I can run free and
that’s what actually has helped me to be successful.”

Macro Thoughts

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The Great Mosque of Cordoba, a timeless masterpiece

An extraordinary achievement of medieval architecture, the Great
Mosque of Cordoba, Spain was expanded three times after the original
structure was completed in 787 CE. Each of the four main building
campaigns through 987 CE respected the spatial concept of the
original: a walled-in courtyard and a hypostyle hall built on a grid
of modular bays.

What makes the mosque truly memorable is the architecture of its
massive prayer hall which, like a forest, feels infinite and
unknowable, yet human-scaled in the rhythm of repeating bays. A
two-tiered system of arches, built of alternating red and white
stones, supports the roof. The arches in turn rest upon slender
columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite, some of which were
reclaimed from ancient buildings.

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On top of the world. At 8848m on the summit of Mount Everest. Supporting @AIP_World @BritishRedCross @Benfogle

On top of the world. At 8848m on the summit of Mount Everest. It has
been a humbling, beautiful, soul searching experience. You’ll be able
to see the documentary on @CNN shortly. Supporting @AIP_World

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Iran braces for economic war with America @TheEconomist
Law & Politics

TEHRAN’S grand bazaar, a weathervane of politics, is on strike again.
Shutdowns there foreshadowed Iran’s 1979 revolution. In 2012 they
pushed the government into talks that eventually resulted in a deal,
signed in 2015, that restricted Iran’s nuclear efforts in exchange for
sanctions relief. And Donald Trump’s pull-out from that deal on May
8th drew an instant reaction from traders, who sense something
ominous. “Tehran feels like it did before...1979,” says Pejman
Abdolmohammadi, an Iranian lecturer at the London School of Economics.

Iran’s business world was already glum. America’s continued curbs on
dollar transactions had muted the effect of the lifting of global
sanctions in January 2016. But now, merchants say, America is moving
from containing the regime to trying to change it. Mr Trump has told
firms worldwide that they have three to six months to cut ties with
Iran or face sanctions, too. Oil exports, which rose as a result of
the deal, are already falling. Maersk, the world’s largest shipping
line, no longer takes orders for Iranian oil. South Korea has cut oil
imports from Iran by 40%.

President Hassan Rouhani, who struck the nuclear deal, is struggling.
His officials have shut currency exchanges, chased money-changers off
the streets and fixed the exchange rate. But most of the foreign
reserves needed to calm the market are abroad, and America is making
it hard to repatriate them. On May 15th America’s Treasury called the
governor of Iran’s central bank a financer of terrorism. The
Paris-based Financial Action Task Force reports soon on whether Iran’s
banks heed anti-terror and money-laundering rules. This “could knock
Iran off the financial system”, says a diplomat.

The regime is resilient, some say. Its economy is the world’s 27th
largest. It pumps 3.8m barrels a day of oil, and it is good at
smuggling. Muhammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, has taken to
Beijing and Brussels his ideas for dodging American curbs. They
include creating a bank trading only in euros, and depositing Iran’s
oil takings in Europe’s central banks. But getting Europeans to
forfeit American markets will be hard.

Meanwhile, hardliners have Mr Rouhani in their sights. They say his
deal gave up a lot for little reward. With their grip on the
judiciary, the security forces and some state concerns, they are
squeezing him. They have chased an adviser of his back to London and
arrested many dual nationals. Some see in sanctions a chance to resume
smuggling. If regime change comes, it could consist of a coup mounted
by these dark and well-connected characters.

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Maersk Tankers ends Iran shipping after renewed US sanctions @France24_en
Law & Politics

Danish shipping group Maersk Tankers on Thursday said it would cease
its activities in Iran due to the US decision to leave a landmark
nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions against Tehran.

Maersk Tankers would honour customer agreements entered into before
May 8, but then wind them down by November 4, "as required by the
reimposed US sanctions," the company told AFP.

The group said it "has been transporting cargoes for customers in and
out of Iran on a limited basis," without providing precise figures for
its activities.

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14-MAY-2018 :: In fact, President Trump has flipped Obama's Oil warfare strategy on its head.
Law & Politics

In fact, President Trump has flipped Obama's Oil warfare strategy [You
will recall Oil prices touched $32.00 a barrel in President Obama's
term in part to bring a recalcitrant Russia to heel and neuter Saudi
resistance to his JCPOA deal] on its head.

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28-OCT-2013 @BarackObama and @HassanRouhani The Two Husseins
Law & Politics

THE recent rapprochement between President Barack Obama and Iran’s
Hassan Rouhani has certainly snapped a losing sequence in US-Iran
relations that goes all the way back to the Iranian revolution in 1979
when Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of
Iran. The Shah was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi
and otherwise known as the peacock throne. Hussein [Barack Hussein
Obama] and Hassan [Rouhani] share the same name as did Prophet
Muhammed’s revered grandsons. Those who pursue the study of
anthroponymy [personal names] especially in the Islamic World probably
view this as very fortuitous.

I was wandering around the Hirshhorn Gallery in Washington last year
and I came across this from the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei:

What’s in a name?

A name is the first and final marker of individual rights, one fixed
part of the ever-changing human world. A name is the most basic
characteristic of our human rights: No matter how poor or how rich,
all living people have a name, and it is endowed with good wishes, the
expectant blessings of kindness and virtue.

Hussein and Hassan are going to cut through a great deal of
interference. In this situation, there are powerful vested interests
fully invested in the status quo. If the pax Americana in the Middle
East were a three legged stool with the US the most important leg,
then Israel and Saudi Arabia are the other two legs of that stool.
Neither Riyadh nor Tel Aviv are aligned with President Obama’s Iranian
rapprochement and Saudi Arabia in particular has become increasingly
forthright and is even threatening its own pivot and away from the US.

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Mr Sadr, who cannot become prime minister because he did not run himself, is in a strong position to be kingmaker. @TheEconomist
Law & Politics

MUQTADA AL-SADR is a master at tapping Iraqi discontent. The firebrand
Shia cleric (pictured) directed his supporters to attack the American
troops who invaded Iraq in 2003. More recently he has led campaigns
against corruption and foreign influence. His supporters ransacked
government offices in 2016. And in the election on May 12th they gave
his nationalist bloc, Sairoun (“Marching to Reform”), the most seats
in parliament. Unofficial results put it unexpectedly ahead, with 55

The bloc led by Iraq’s mild-mannered prime minister, Haider al-Abadi,
came second, with 51. A coalition led by Hadi al-Amari, the gruff
commander of the Iranian-backed Badr Brigades, came third, with 50.
The surprising result signals growing discontent with Iraq’s sectarian
old guard. But it is unlikely to sweep it away.

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Here's the situation with Trump's deals: @OMGno2trump
Law & Politics

- N. Korea quitting talks
- NAFTA talks dead
- Iran deal dead
- lost TPP deal
- deficit up ($2 T)
- inflation up
- interest rates up
- war mongering up
- gas prices up
- healthcare up
- corruption up
- shootings up
- pollution up
- hate up

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.@realDonaldTrump warns Kim Jong-un he could end up like Libya's Gaddafi unless he makes nuclear deal @Independent
Law & Politics

Donald Trump has warned Kim Jong-un that North Korea will be
“decimated” if it does not agree a nuclear deal, and that Mr Kim
himself will be treated in the same manner as slain Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi.

“The Libyan model was a much different model. We decimated that
country. We never said to Gaddafi, ‘Oh, we're going to give you
protection’,” he said. “We went in and decimated him, and we did the
same thing with Iraq.”

He added: “That model would take place if we don’t make a deal.”

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28-AUG-2017 China Rising
Law & Politics

Apart from a few half-hearted and timid FONOPs [freedom of navigation
operations], China has established control over the South China Sea.
It has created artificial Islands and then militarised those
artificial islands across the South China Sea. It is a mind-boggling
geopolitical advance any which way you care to cut it

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05-DEC-2016:: "We have a deviate, Tomahawk."
Law & Politics

However, my starting point is the election of President Donald Trump
because hindsight will surely show that Russia ran a seriously
sophisticated programme of interference, mostly digital. Don DeLillo,
who is a prophetic 21st writer, writes as follows in one of his short

The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice
breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable
He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm
officers at Colorado Command:
“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”
“We copy. There’s a voice.”
“We have gross oscillation here.”
“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m not sure
it’s helping.”
“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”
“Thank you, Colorado.”
“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on the
step-function quad.”
“It was a voice,” I told them.
“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We will
correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”
The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of
repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest
“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60
years ago.”

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23-NOV 2015 I cannot help feeling we are like frogs in boiling water.
Law & Politics

We have created massive interference in the "cosmic tuning" phenomenon

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Dollar Index 93.39
Japan Yen 110.86
Swiss Franc 0.9999
Pound 1.3519
Aussie 0.7523
India Rupee 67.965
South Korea Won 1077.86
Brazil Real 3.6963
Egypt Pound 17.8060
South Africa Rand 12.5351

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Steep New York cocoa premium drives demand for African shipments -traders @Reutersafrica

Cocoa dealers are snapping up West African beans for import to the
United States, according to trade sources, as they seek to profit from
the steepest premium for the chocolate ingredient in over 40 years in
the New York market.

A jump in U.S. cocoa imports from West Africa would narrow that rare
premium, which has been widening since late 2017 when a large volume
of old or low-quality cocoa supply from Cameroon hit the European

The differential between the two international trading hubs grew
further when New York saw tightening supplies of higher quality beans
as cargoes from Ecuador were rejected by U.S. customs because they
were contaminated with a noxious weed.

U.S. futures prices rose to a premium of roughly $240 to London
futures by May 1, the highest since 1977.

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14-MAY-2018 :: This has all the ingredients for baking a good old fashioned crisis.
Emerging Markets

The Signal in the noise is the yield on 10 Year US Treasuries, which
Yield is around 3%. If we move to 3.5%, we could see a further round
of blood letting.

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Emerging-Market Malaise Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon @business
Emerging Markets

By my count, emerging-market currencies are in the midst of their
fifth major weakening trend since 2011. The origins of the current
downturn are broadly similar to the earlier four episodes, which is to
say that a combination of rising U.S. Treasury yields, sluggish equity
markets and risk aversion are to blame. What’s different now is that
these factors may not dissipate as quickly.

The sensitivity of emerging-market currencies to higher rates is
striking. Every major upward move in yields since 2011 has triggered
currency weakness among countries with large current-account deficits.
So unless there’s a recession or a serious slump that would reverse
the rise in U.S. yields, the pressure is likely to continue. In the
chart below, the shaded areas represent recent episodes of
emerging-market currency weakness. The red line is an index of overall
emerging-market currency valuations and the dark blue line is
emerging-market currencies with current-account deficits. The light
blue line denotes currencies of current-account surplus countries
excluding China.

The 2011 and 2015 episodes were largely confidence events, as they
came first with the U.S. government shutdown and then with China’s
surprise decision to devalue the renminbi. Both were accompanied by
weakness in equities (green line). The drop in bond yields (purple
line) reflected pessimism. The 2013 and 2016 episodes were driven
purely by higher bond yields. It didn’t matter what equities were
doing. The current episode is one of sharply rising yields and, at
best, a sideways equity market.

Absent good luck, and especially in an environment of rising bond
yields, pressures could end up being chronic.

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14-MAY-2018 :: Argentina [which incredibly sold a Century Bond just last year] after dialling up interest rates to an eye popping 40%, has capitulated and dialled up the IMF's Madam Lagarde

Argentina [which incredibly sold a Century Bond just last year] after
dialling up interest rates to an eye popping 40%, has capitulated and
dialled up the IMF’s Madam Lagarde. At this point in the cycle, the
IMF’s importance for many Countries cannot be gainsaid.

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.@WHO calls emergency meeting on Congo's Ebola outbreak @ReutersAfrica

The expert committee will decide whether to declare a “public health
emergency of international concern”, which would trigger more
international involvement, mobilising research and resources,
Lindmeier said.

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An increasingly isolated Salva is under threat and making desperate moves as his former army chief defects @Africa_Conf

In April, the unity of President Salva Kiir Mayardit's Dinka-dominated
alliance fractured further when his former army chief Paul Malong Awan
announced the formation of yet another opposition movement, the South
Sudan United Front. Salva's position is weakening as he loses the
confidence of key Dinka leaders and support abroad.

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"I don't expect a big bang liberalization at any point soon," says Nebil Kellow, an Ethiopian financial analyst and managing partner of FirstConsult. @euromoney

The government's approach is instead a financially repressive model
that employs capital controls and prioritizes state banks funneling
cheap credit for public enterprises to build much-needed
infrastructure. Furthermore, it claims it lacks the capacity to
regulate foreign banks, partly because the sector was only reopened
for domestic private lenders less than three decades ago. Obviously,
this has advantages for the 17 private Ethiopian banks, which do not
have to compete with the likes of KCB of Kenya or South Africa's
Standard Bank. Instead, they are up against the state-owned Commercial
Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), which controls more than 60% of deposits,
although private banks are steadily increasing their share.

Foreign exchange availability is the current economic headache, which
was by no means solved by the devaluation: the birr has returned to a
20% gap between the informal and official exchange rate. The credit
analyst offers the standard hope for resolving the hard currency
shortage, which is that government efforts to increase manufacturing
exports will soon pay off and begin to rebalance a yawning trade
deficit, which the IMF forecasts will grow to $13.6 billion, or 16% of
GDP, this year.  Stuck Although there is reason for optimism, with
more electricity being generated and industrial parks occupied by
foreign textiles factories, exports have been stuck at around a meagre
$3 billion for the last five years.

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Zambia's President Edgar Lungu is building a $4m mansion in #Swaziland

President Edgar Lungu is building a $4m mansion in #Swaziland as
pressure mounts on his govt to disclose the true scale of the
country's swelling debt pile, which some officials privately say could
amount to as much as $25bn or 100% of GDP.

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ZAMBIA A swirling fog of debt @Africa_Conf

The government is suspected of dishonestly reporting its debts, as it
chases every last ounce of credit

Creditors, investors and the opposition believe President Edgar
Lungu's management of national finances is plunging the country into a
debt crisis. The Ministry of Finance issues desperate-sounding
statements denying it has lost control of debt figures, while the
government continues to issue publicly guaranteed debt to bankrupt
state-owned companies regardless – and without adding the sums to the
debt statistics. President Lungu has even – unlawfully, constitutional
experts say – signed a personal guarantee for a huge loan, so frantic
is his government for cash.

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Zimbabwe's new president may not be able to fix the economy @TheEconomist

UNTIL recently Priscilla Magaya was an administrator in a printing
firm in Harare, Zimbabwe’s sunny capital. Today she spends her days on
the side of a street, clutching a thick bundle of different banknotes.
A few weeks ago, after two years of not paying her wages, her employer
went bust. Ms Magaya turned to money trading, swapping real American
dollars for Zimbabwe’s confusing profusion of local paper. For $100 in
actual greenbacks, buyers get $120 in bright green “bond notes”—a
Zimbabwean currency introduced in 2016 that is meant to be pegged to
the dollar—or $140 in mobile money, which is also meant to be on a par
with real dollars. Her earnings are “not something that I can survive
on”, she says, but she has no other option.

Two years ago money in Zimbabwe was simple: everyone used the American
dollar, introduced in 2009 after hyperinflation destroyed the
Zimbabwean version. Since then, however, banks have run out of real
dollars because the cash-strapped and unscrupulous government grabs
them in exchange for all-but-worthless IOUs. Zimbabwe is becoming the
world’s first cashless economy, but not in a good way. ATMs are empty.
Banks allow customers to withdraw just $20 a day, not in real dollars
but in local bond notes. Long queues form each morning. Most people
rely on electronic bank transfers or mobile money to pay their bills,
usually at a hefty premium.

All this loopiness was originally the fault of Zimbabwe’s former
president, Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup last year after 37
years in power. Can his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, restore sanity?
It will not be easy. The fiscal deficit was a daunting 11% of GDP in
2017. Unpaid doctors and teachers are striking. Businesses are folding
like useless banknotes. Elections are due by August. The ruling party
is itching to splurge cash on pre-ballot handouts and, perhaps, voter

Mr Mnangagwa’s best hope is that after he wins the elections he can
persuade international lenders, such as the IMF, to renew Zimbabwe’s
lines of credit, which were cut under Mr Mugabe. Foreign investors
could also bring in more hard currency: Zimbabwe has plenty of gold
and platinum, much of which isn’t being exploited.

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South Africa All Share Bloomberg -2.51% 2018

Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 12.5351


Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 17.8060


Nigeria All Share Bloomberg +6.36% 2018


Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg +31.61% 2018


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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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May 2018

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