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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 06th of December 2018

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The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site


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The Emperor's Birthday is always an imperial occasion at the Japanese Embassy in Riverside Paddocks Nairobi and the Ambassador speaks fluent Kiswahili and is able to crack jokes in the language

I found the Saki and I said I'm Aly-Khan and You are? Then whenever I
turned up I was greeted with a smile and a drink.
And of course the Sushi was the best Sushi South of The Sahara

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The Complicated History of the Human and Elephant Relationship @SmithsonianMag

Jean de Brunhoff released the first Babar book, Histoire de Babar a
year later, and went on to publish four more before his death two
years later. He left two other Babar stories unfinished. Laurent, then
13, completed his father’s proofs and has since illustrated and
published more than 50 Babar books. At age 92, in 2017, Laurent
published Babar’s last adventure, Babar’s Guide to Paris. “I had my
life with Babar,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “He made me happy.”
Nevertheless, several prominent creators followed Brunhoff’s lead and
granted human characteristics to other fictional and cordial
elephants. In 1940, Dr. Seuss’s Horton hatched the egg, and the next
year Dumbo showed the world “the very things that hold you down are
going to lift you up.”
The search for balance in the human understanding of elephants dates
back millenniums. While initially hunted for food and ivory, elephants
later became a “living tank” for ancient militaries. The elephants
were tamed then trained as war machines. However, following the
proliferation of artillery combat, elephants in the 18th and 19th
centuries were relegated as beasts of burden, hauling supplies and
assisting with building projects.
At that time, elephants were hunted for ivory or for sport by big game
European and American hunters. Still big game hunters aided future
conservation efforts in an unlikely way. They were among the first to
recognize, and draw concern to, the decline in the elephant
“It wasn’t seen as a conflict,” Madison says of Roosevelt’s hunting.
Many conservationists of the time were also avid hunters. By 1913, the
African elephant population, which once held at 26 million had dropped
below ten million.

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Elephant via @HandsOffEles

“The world that was not mine yesterday now lies spread out at my feet,
a splendor. I seem, in the middle of the night, to have returned to
the world of apples, the orchards of Heaven. Perhaps I should take my
problems to a shrink, or perhaps I should enjoy the apples that I
have, streaked with color like the evening sky.” ― John Cheever


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Washington National Cathedral for the Bush funeral @CNN
Law & Politics
Pres. Trump and first lady Melania Trump, former Pres. Obama and first
lady Michelle Obama, former Pres. Clinton and former Sec. of State
Hillary Clinton, and former Pres. Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn
Carter seated at the Washington National Cathedral for the Bush
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.@realDonaldTrump's fawning over Saudi ties backfires @BhadraPunchline
Law & Politics

The G20 is an economic club and it has traditionally stuck to that
groove. And Saudi Arabia has traditionally been represented at G20
events by government ministers, usually the oil minister. But this
time around, the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, who is just a
heartbeat away from becoming the king of Saudi Arabia, showed up.
By doing so, Riyadh was pushing the envelope. It was insisting that
the international community had better come to terms with the reality
that MBS is the prince who counts in the House of Saud and should
learn to deal with him as their principal interlocutor. No doubt, this
also was a calculated signal that in Riyadh’s estimation, MBS has
weathered the Jamal Khashoggi storm.
The western countries face the dilemma that they have to normalize
their relationship with MBS if it is to be business as usual with
Saudi Arabia. Now, that is a bitter pill to swallow. It is one thing
not to criticize MBS or Saudi Arabia publicly but it is another thing
that under duress, they conduct business with the Crown Prince.
So far, the international reprisal against Saudi Arabia over the
Khashoggi affair has been rather muted. The US, Germany, France and
Canada have imposed targeted sanctions against 17 Saudi nationals over
Khashoggi’s killing. But they have neatly sidestepped MBS himself.
Evidently, there is an honesty deficit here, considering that Turkey
had shared the recordings of Khashoggi’s killing with all these 4
countries at their specific request. Diplomatic considerations and
geopolitical interests dampen their spirit to go after Saudi Arabia’s
jugular veins.
Of course, the G20 picture that became viral was the ‘high-five’
between MBS and Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Trump
in the backdrop watching with a worried look. The Kremlin spokesman
Dmitry Peskov later explained that “good personal relations are the
basis for effective bilateral cooperation.” In fact, Putin and MBS
also had a productive ‘bilateral’ meeting on the sidelines of the G20
on December 1.
Putin later disclosed that the two countries have agreed to extend
into 2019 their deal to manage the oil market, known as OPEC+. Putin
told reporters, “There is no final decision on volumes, but together
with Saudi Arabia we will do it. And whatever number there will be
based on this joint decision, we agreed that we will monitor the
market situation and react to it quickly.”
Following up on Putin-MBS talks, technical teams are working on the
level of the cuts necessary and the reference baseline for the
reduction. There is growing confidence that OPEC+ will reach an
agreement over a cut in production for 2019 when they meet in Vienna
next week.
Just look at the great irony of it: The western powers dial back their
criticism of Saudi Arabia taking care not to annoy the Saudi Crown
Prince, lest vital economic and geo-strategic interests are affected,
and yet MBS finalizes with Putin the state of play in the oil market
through 2019, which would critically impact the western economies.
Implicit in this is also a gentle warning to Trump – that Saudi Arabia
is not beholden to him and what is at work is a marriage of
There is no question that Trump’s statement on Saudi Arabia two weeks
ago was an example of strategic clarity although it drew forth a lot
of derision and criticism within the US foreign policy elite. In his
dogged pursuit of America-centred Saudi policy, Trump is betting on
his key American audience, which supports his America First project.
Simply put, he hopes to sell his Saudi policy directly to the American
people and he is unapologetic about the actual drivers of the US
policies toward Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. And he explained in
his statement in unsentimental terms the values and purpose of the
Saudi alliance.
Trump had rounded off his statement by putting American interests
first and last: “As President of the United States I intend to ensure
that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national
interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us
But this may turn out to be a big gambit. Trouble is brewing in the
Congress where US-Saudi relations are in focus not only on account of
the Khashoggi killing, but also over the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Last
week, the US Senate voted to take up a resolution to terminate
American support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. It was no doubt a
warning shot to Trump.
Meanwhile, the unusual closed-door briefing by the CIA Director Gina
Haspel to the US senators on Tuesday on the Khashoggi killing may have
queered the pitch for strident demands on the Hill that time has come
for a comprehensive review of the American policy towards Saudi
Arabia. Quite obviously, the CIA is seething with anger about Trump’s
fawning over Saudi Arabia despite the compelling evidence of MBS’
complicity in Khashoggi’s murder

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Trump and Xi made progress at the G20, but are the US and China still destined for war? @SCMPNews
Law & Politics

Between 431 and 404BC, the two major Greek powers – incumbent power
Sparta and the rising Athens – waged war. This is recounted by the
Athenian historian Thucydides in The History of the Peloponnesian War:
“It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this installed in Sparta
that made war inevitable.”

Luckily, the battleground is not yet in military fields, but conflicts
are clearly rising in trade, investment and technology, whose impacts
will continue to manifest in economic and market terms in the coming
For now, the G20 outcome has not fundamentally changed our view on the
US-China economic tussle and its impact. The shifting effect of the
trade war – from a market shock to a growth shock – is the key driver
of the economic slowdown expected for China in 2019. The base case
remains that the tariff rate will eventually rise to 25 per cent,
covering US$250 billion in Chinese goods, although the odds of
non-escalation, with levies staying at their current levels, have
risen after last week’s meeting.

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@Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou facing extradition to the US after arrest in Canada @SkyNews
Law & Politics

Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has
been detained in Vancouver in relation to suspected violations by
Huawei of US sanctions placed on Iran.
Australia barred @Huawei from providing 5G technology for its wireless
networks over the summer and New Zealand followed suit in November. BT
announced it would be removing Huawei-manufactured equipment from its
3G and 4G mobile networks.

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The world's largest bilateral flows of merchandise trade run between #China and the #USA.
Law & Politics

In 2017:
- Goods worth US$526 billion were imported by the United States from China
- Goods worth US$154 billion also travelled in the opposite direction

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Iraqi marchers don yellow vests after Paris riots @TheNationalUAE
Law & Politics

Protesters chant slogans in front of Basra's provincial council building @AP

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"Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not, With the slightest push-in just the right place-it can be tipped._-Malcolm Gladwell
Law & Politics

“To create one contagious movement, you often have to create many
small movements first.” “Look at the world around you. It may seem
like an immovable, implacable place. It is not, With the slightest
push—in just the right place—it can be tipped.”—Malcolm Gladwell .

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The Saudis and UAE bribed Sudan's president to send Janjaweed fighters to be cannon fodder in Yemen. It's not working out.
Law & Politics

Put simply, recent U.S. intelligence assessments confirm what al-Amin
has reported: that the UAE/Saudi war in Yemen is beginning to unravel.
Not only are the Emiratis and Saudis mired in a seemingly endless
conflict, their 8,000-plus Sudanese mercenaries are beginning to turn
on their Emirati and Saudi officers. This is the result of Saudi
penny-pinching (large numbers of Sudanese soldiers are owed months of
backpay) and the fact that UAE/Saudi commanders regularly and
knowingly order the Sudanese units into virtual suicide missions
against the Houthi rebels. According to the Middle East Eye, as of
November of 2017, upwards of 500 Sudanese soldiers have died in the

“These guys are cannon fodder for the Saudis, and they know it,”
Michael Horton, a Yemen expert and fellow at the Jamestown Foundation,
says. The result has been a number of incidents in which Sudanese
soldiers have murdered their UAE or Saudi commanders, what Horton
described as “a nasty piece of business.”

Which is to say that, by early 2017, the big winner in the Yemen war
seemed to be Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir. But in fact that was not the
case. While offloading the Janjaweed militia to Yemen short-circuited
complaints about Bashir’s designs on his neighbors, the mounting
Sudanese body count in Yemen and persistent complaints from Sudan’s
military that the UAE and Saudis were scrimping on their pay led to
widespread dissatisfaction among Khartoum’s elite. They worried that
Bashir had sold himself, and their country, to a bunch of spoiled Gulf

The curtain in this final act was raised that June, when Bashir’s
intelligence services reported that Taha Osman al-Hussein, the
director of the president’s office (and Bashir’s closest confidante),
had been secretly taking payments from the Saudis for exercising
influence on Bashir. This included the recommendation, made by Taha,
that Bashir cut Sudan’s ties with Qatar—advice that Bashir rejected.
Buying Taha did not come cheaply. “The reports on this put the figure,
reliably, at between $20 and $25 million dollars,” Abdulrahman al-Amin
told me, “which doesn’t count the mansion that Taha was given by the
Emiratis on Dubai’s Palms Island.” Worse yet, as Bashir was informed,
Taha had secretly taken on Saudi citizenship—which put him under the
protection of Mohammed bin Salman.

The result was that on June 14, 2017, when Bashir turned on Taha and
Taha fled to Khartoum’s airport, the Sudanese president couldn’t touch
him. The standoff was resolved by senior Saudi officials, who urged
Bashir to allow Taha (whose plane was surrounded by soldiers of
Bashir’s personal guard) to fly to Riyadh.

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Facebook: "We've never sold user's data." @carolecadwalla
Law & Politics

Never sold it, no. But traded it, exchanged it & gave it to certain
favoured apps for certain favoured reasons. Docs released by
parliament reveal murky world of data-broking, data "leaking" & data

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26 MAR 18 :: Sell Facebook.
Law & Politics

The fundamental challenge for Facebook is this: It has represented
itself as an ‘’Infomediary’’ Facebook has been hawking this
information as if it were an intermediary. This is its ‘’trust gap’’.

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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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1327
Dollar Index 97.197
Japan Yen 112.824
Swiss Franc 0.9970
Pound 1.2706
Aussie 0.7231
India Rupee 71.095
South Korea Won 1120.37
Brazil Real 3.8681
Egypt Pound 17.92
South Africa Rand 13.96

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"We are entering in the phase when there's a flushing out of the market" ⁦@zerohedge⁩
International Trade

“There will be relatively few operations that come out the other side.”
With millions of mining rigs being deleveraged from the network, we
must ask one question: where do old rigs end up? @zerohedge In short,
it seems like many have ended up on ⁦@eBay⁩
According to the data from Blockchain.com, the difficulty to mine
bitcoin and the hash rate has both declined by over 15%, the second
biggest drop in Bitcoin's 10-year history.  The first plunge occurred
in 2011, as the rate plunged 18%.
While that is great news for big miners, the consolidation increases
huge risks for traders and HODL community vested in the network’s
success. With fewer mining operations, there is a chance that several
miners could partner together  to execute a so-called 51% attack,
according to Ryan Selkis, co-founder of crypto researcher Messari.  In
such a maneuver, controlling miners can reverse transactions and stop
new ones from confirming -- potentially making off with billions in
other people’s money.
According to Bloomberg, most mining operations are profitable above
Bitcoin $4,500. Price has not closed above that level since Nov. 21

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26-NOV-2018 :: Armageddon Cryptogeddon and BITCOIN. @TheStarKenya
International Trade

BITCOIN’s parabolic price rally had spawned thousands of other crypto
currencies which were sold on the same grounds as the greatest South
Sea Bubble prospectus: “For carrying on an undertaking of great
advantage, but nobody to know what it is.” It had become a ‘’Voodoo’’
At this point in time, I met folks on these streets who would pull out
their computer and show me how they were making money every second
[look at that they would say and indeed there was a number and it was
ticking higher] mining BITCOIN. The recent cryptocurrency market
decline has resulted in a si- milar drop in mining profitability and
forced Chinese operators to sell their mining devices at a loss.
Some mining machines are being sold on the second-hand market for
merely five per cent of their original value. Others would tell me,
I’ve bought Nvidia. Crypto at this point was at peak phenomenon.
As I write this BITCOIN is trading at $3,650.00. I think its going
right back to levels below $1,000.00.
We have yet to hit peak melt- down. The reason being so many folks
espouse the HODL -buy-and- hold strategies in the context of bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies philosophy.
Game Kyuubi posted “I AM HODLING,” a drunk, semi-coherent, typo-laden
rant about his poor trading skills and determination to simply hold
his bitcoin from that point on. “I type d that tyitle twice because I
knew it was wrong the first time. Still wrong. w/e,” he wrote in
reference to the now-famous misspelling of “holding.” “WHY AM I
HOLDING? I’LL TELL YOU WHY,” he continued. “It’s because I’m a bad
trader and I KNOW I’M A BAD TRADER. Yeah you good traders can spot the
highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and
make a million bucks sure no problem bro.”
He concluded that the best cour- se was to hold, since “You only sell
in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob.
The people inbetween hold.In a zero-sum game such as this, traders can
only take your money if you sell.” He then confessed he’d had some
whiskey and briefly mused about the spelling of whisk(e)y.
Selling at todays levels frankly is still a great trade.

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Brent Crude via @Javierblas 61.60

Emerging Markets

Frontier Markets

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Burundi: Inside the secret killing house

Burundi's security services are running secret torture and detention
sites to silence dissent, former government intelligence agents have
told BBC Africa Eye.
Using cutting-edge reconstruction techniques, BBC Africa Eye examines
one house in particular, which was filmed in a video posted on social
media in 2016.
A red liquid, which looked like blood, was seen pouring from its
gutter. We ask if Burundi's repression of opponents has now gone
The government has always denied any human rights violations, and
declined to comment for this report.
A BBC Africa Eye investigation - produced and directed by Charlotte
Attwood and Maud Jullien

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"It Has Been A Dream': Ethiopians Are Adjusting To Rapid Democratic Changes @NPR

As the sun comes up, the white stone on the Holy Trinity Cathedral turns golden.

The church, in Ethiopia's capital, is intimately tied to the country's
history. Many national heroes are buried in its gardens. The throne of
last emperor, Haile Selassie, is still right next to the altar, and
his and the empress's remains are said to be buried here.
Ethiopians come before dawn to pray. Adanech Woldermariam, who is in
her 70s, stands outside and sets her forehead against one of the
cathedral's stone walls. She looks up, her face framed by a white,
cotton headscarf, and she begins to weep.
She is reminded of a brutal border conflict between Ethiopia and
Eritrea in the late 1990s that killed tens of thousands and eventually
led to a two-decade cold war.
"When the war against Eritrea began," she says, "I saw friends
deported, their homes, their belongings, taken away forceful
"One of the things we were struggling for was freedom from fear, so
now we don't know what to do with it," Hailu says.

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Our conflict tracker #CrisisWatch highlights deteriorations in #Africa for:

➣ Burkina Faso
➣ Burundi
➣ Chad
➣ Guinea
➣ Niger
➣ Nigeria
➣ Mozambique
➣ Somalia
➣ Somaliland

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Dollar versus Rand 6 Month Chart INO 13.947

Egypt Pound versus The Dollar 3 Month Chart INO 17.913


Nigeria All Share Bloomberg -18.54% 2018


Ghana stocks are tipped to gain next year after a disappointing
2018 @business


Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index Bloomberg -0.80% 2018


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Global Slowdown Infects Africa - Is Kenya's Housing Bubble About To Burst? @zerohedge
Kenyan Economy

There is evidence that real estate markets are stalling in Asia,
Australia, Europe, and the US, with new evidence suggesting the
slowdown has infected Africa.
The housing market in Kenya has been experiencing a year-long market
topping process with a rise in non-performing loans (NPLs) and
oversupply fears.
NPLs in the sector jumped by Sh6.1 billion ($59,406,251), or 15.8% in
April-June to Sh44.4 billion ($428,502,229) compared to the previous
quarter as real estate developers outpaced manufacturers (11.7%) and
traders (7.3%) in the growth of default on loans, according to a new
Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK’s) quarterly report.
CBK’s report shows "11.3% of the Sh392.7 billion ($3,824,819,888)
gross loans extended to investors in land and houses by commercial
banks over the years were not being serviced as at the end of June,"
said Bussiness Daily Africa.
“The real estate sector registered the highest increase in NPLs by
Sh6.1 billion ($59,406,251) due to slow uptake of housing units,” the
CBK said in the report.
Real estate has been one of Kenya’s fastest growing sectors in the
last decade, with returns outpacing the Nairobi Securities Exchange
index and government bonds.
The Kenyan property market has, like other property markets around the
world, suddenly hit a brick wall. The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA)
notes in a separate report, growth returns for property developers
nosedived in the last quarter of 2017 when housing prices declined by
4% compared to 10% in the same period for 2016 - due to soaring
“A combination falling growth rates in rental income and selling
prices signals low demand for properties, perhaps explained by reduced
purchasing power for properties,”  according to a financial sector
stability report published by the CBK early September.
Average rental prices suffered a steep decline from December 2016 and
had remained in negative territory since May 2017, the report
The weakening property market has triggered financial trouble for
mortgage financier HF Group, which saw a Sh332 million ($3,136,215)
net loss in nine months ended September, weighed down by NPL spikes in
“The situation reflects subdued demand on the back of continued
investments in the housing market, which remained skewed in favor of
the middle- and high-income bracket,” Jared Osoro, the director of
research and policy at KBA, said.
This is just more evidence that the global housing market is
unraveling in one synchronized fashion on almost every continent. The
global housing downturn is likely to get much in 2019.

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Consolidated Bank of Kenya Ltd (CBKL) shareholders have approved the creation of new 175 million preference shares valued at Sh3.5 billion to be allocated to a yet-to-be identified investor as it moves to shore up its thin capital base.
Kenyan Economy

Chairman Charles Iyaya says the process of identifying a suitable
investor will commence immediately by putting up an Expressions of
Interest (EOI) as the first stage towards privatisation.
“CBKL is implementing a balance sheet reorganisation strategy as a
precursor to the implementation of a future privatisation strategy”,
said Mr Iyaya. Redeemable preference shares can be bought back at the
option of a company either at a fixed rate on a specified date or over
a certain period of time.

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

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