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Bitcoin Tops $12,000 Level for First Time Since January 2018 @technology 12,550.00
The largest cryptocurrency surged about 8%, trading at $12,273.08 as
of 1:41 p.m. in Tokyo. It has more than tripled this year, with the
advance accelerating this month.
The last time Bitcoin climbed above $12,000 was in December 2017. It
rose much higher, eventually reaching as high as $19,511 later in the
month, but the surge was followed by a precipitous fall that saw it
drop below $6,000 by February. All in all, in December 2017 and
January 2018, Bitcoin spent about six weeks above $12,000.
17-JUN-2019 :: So lets start with the enigmatic and mercurial Fugitive and Bitcoin evangelist John McAfee, who always seems to pop up in my Feed like an acid Trip whenever Bitcoin is doing its Parabola imitation
So lets start with the enigmatic and mercurial Fugitive and Bitcoin
evangelist John McAfee, who always seems to pop up in my Feed like an
acid Trip whenever Bitcoin is doing its Parabola imitation.
''But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the
parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused
to believe -that everything, always, collectively, had been moving
toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no
surprise, no second chance, no return.’’
Bitcoin is trading at Fresh Highs of $9,270.00 and aside from Beyond
Meat and Zoom has posted the best returns in 2019 and is in triple
digit % gain territory. Paul Virilio captured the essence of our c21st
Zeitgeist with this quote
"Revolution must be distinguished from revolt, coup d'etat, palace takeover. A coup or a palace takeover may be planned, but a revolution-never." - Ryszard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs
“Revolution must be distinguished from revolt, coup d’état, palace
takeover. A coup or a palace takeover may be planned, but a
revolution—never. Its outbreak, the hour of that outbreak, takes
everyone, even those who have been striving for it, unawares. They
stand amazed at the spontaneity that appears suddenly and destroys
everything in its path. It demolishes so ruthlessly that in the end it
may annihilate the ideals that called it into being.”
― Ryszard Kapuściński, Shah of Shahs
Mirazur in Menton, France, is the No. 1 restaurant in the world
Mirazur sits at the foot of a mountain and is housed in a 1930s
building looking out over the sea, just inside France’s border with
Italy. The Argentine-born chef draws inspiration from the region,
serving vegetables from his own gardens and other local produce to
create colorful Mediterranean dishes. Colagreco’s signature creation
is oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear. The lunch menu costs
160 euros ($180), while the full menu is 260 euros.
“What a great year. Three Michelin stars and No. 1 all in the same
year,” said Colagreco while accepting the award. “It’s a year I shall
remember forever. I don’t have words to explain. I own the sky!”
He says the next step after basking in the awards is to expand his
“little” 5-acre gardens into something greater. “We are fantastic
producers, winemakers—we are a little paradise. Our vision is to share
and to try to give love and to live happily with our work. It is a
simple vision, but it is a vision of life.”
The dollar holds the key to world markets, says @JohnAuthers via @bopinion
the most important market to watch is the one for currencies, for it
is the dollar that holds the key
Essentially the dollar has weakened following last week’s Fed policy
meeting. This is a bet on lower rates, rather than a serious
positioning for the kind of awful economic conditions that would be
required to justify the three or more rate cuts that money markets
Tuesday brought the first serious sign of a rethink of Fed policy. A
sharp drop in the euro was a reaction to comments by Federal Reserve
Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard at around noon New York
time. Bullard publicly dissented last week from the Fed’s decision to
hold rates steady in favor of cutting them immediately. Bullard is a
known dove, but it was shocking when he said that an “insurance” cut
of 25 basis points was needed, but he doubted that the 50 basis points
that many in markets are banking on are needed.
The ongoing drop in U.S. bond yields has reduced upward pressure on
the dollar by bringing the spread, or extra yield available on
Treasuries relative to European bonds, back from what appeared to be
extreme levels. But the spread remains wide:
03-JUN-2019 :: Bond Yields in "Tilt" Mode
Markets and prices exhibit patterns of correlation and essentially my
perspective is that it is the correlation that has exerted a ‘’Pull’’
Effect on US Yields and that therefore the ‘’recessionary’’ Signalling
of the Yield Curve should be discounted.
Therefore, I would be tentatively selling 85bp of cumulative US easing
through 2020 as per JPM.
@BankofAmerica Sees Risk of $30 Oil If China Devalues Yuan @markets
A further deterioration in relations between the U.S. and China could
set off a chain of events that would push oil down more than 50% to as
low $30 a barrel, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
President Donald Trump may decide to raise tariffs on the remaining
$300 billion of Chinese imports if he doesn’t like what he hears from
Chinese President Xi Jinping at this weekend’s G-20 summit in Osaka,
Francisco Blanch, the bank’s global head of commodities, said in an
interview in Singapore. That may cause Chinese authorities to let the
yuan weaken, making oil that’s priced in dollars more expensive in the
world’s largest importer and stunting demand growth, he said. Beijing
might also decide to ignore Washington’s sanctions against Iran and
resume crude imports from the Persian Gulf country, Blanch said.
“The trade issue and the Iran issue become the same issue, and that
ends up creating a $30-a-barrel scenario for oil prices,” he said.
“You get an extra 2 million barrels from Iran and demand collapses,
where do you think prices are going to go?”
Blanch said the scenario wasn’t particularly likely, but wasn’t crazy
either. BofAML’s base-case scenario is for Brent and West Texas
Intermediate to average $63 and $56 a barrel, respectively, in the
second half of the year.
Brent crude fell 20% from a high in late April to a low on June 12,
largely as a result of the worsening trade war. It has rebounded about
10% since then as tensions in the Persian Gulf rose to boiling point,
and is currently trading just below $66 a barrel. To offset the impact
of the U.S. putting tariffs on the remainder of Chinese imports,
Beijing would have to let the yuan weaken to 7.3 per U.S. dollar,
Citigroup Inc. analysts including Sun Lu wrote in a note last month.
That’s around 6% weaker than current levels.
Ethiopia's ethnic infighting threatens @PMEthiopia Abiy liberal reforms @FinancialTimes' @davidpilling
Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige was released last year from a life
sentence for plotting to overthrow Ethiopia’s government — one of tens
of thousands of political prisoners to be freed by prime minister Abiy
Last weekend, the brigadier was named as the alleged ringleader of
another coup, this one aimed at toppling the regional government in
Amhara. By Monday, security forces had shot him dead.
Asaminew’s story encapsulates the high-wire act of Mr Abiy, who is
attempting to turn one of Africa’s most authoritarian but effective
states into a liberal democracy.
The 42-year-old former army intelligence officer, the most exciting
leader in Africa, may yet succeed. But this weekend’s events show the
perils of his enterprise.
Clionadh Raleigh, an Ethiopia expert at the University of Sussex,
wonders whether Mr Abiy has taken his liberal principles too far too
“He is,” she says, “trying to move from a functioning autocracy to a
Mr Abiy is trying to revamp the system created by the Ethiopian
People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has ruled since
a 1991 revolution.
The four-party coalition has overseen one of the most remarkable
transformations on the continent, conjuring years of near-double-digit
growth from an economy once known principally for famine — but it did
so at an authoritarian price.
Mr Abiy wants to preserve economic growth, but to ditch the EPRDF’s
jackboots and spies. He also intends to liberalise the economy by
loosening the state’s grip on its commanding heights.
Before he came along the EPRDF was dominated by Tigrayans, the ethnic
group that led the 1991 revolution and makes up just 6 per cent of the
That rule became unsustainable when the Oromo, the largest ethnic
group, which has always felt marginalised, made common cause with the
people of Amhara, Ethiopia’s traditional ruling class and the
second-largest ethnic group.
The appointment of Mr Abiy, the first Oromo leader in Ethiopia’s
history, acted as a safety valve. He took things further. He embraced
the values of liberal democracy, freeing up the press, unbanning
political parties (even ones with guns), releasing political prisoners
and promising competitive elections in 2020. He made peace with
Eritrea, ending two decades of smouldering hostilities.
The result has been liberating. It has also been chaotic. Mr Abiy has
unleashed a torrent of pent-up ultranationalism in which the rights of
the country’s nine ethnically based regions threaten to supersede
those of the unified Ethiopian state. Fighting has broken out. About
3m people have been displaced.
Brig Gen Asaminew waded into the mire. An Amhara nationalist, he
whipped up anti-Tigrayan sentiment and even cast aspersions on Mr Abiy
and his Oromo heritage.
On Saturday, perhaps under threat of dismissal, he took things
further. Amhara’s regional president was killed, allegedly under his
In a separate incident, which the government has also linked to the
brigadier, the head of the national security apparatus was murdered in
Addis Ababa, the federal capital.
Will Davidson of the Crisis Group concludes that elections in 2020 may
no longer be feasible.
“Unless the crisis is addressed, it is going to be hard to get the
kind of political and security conditions necessary to proceed with
the peaceful, constructive and competitive elections that Abiy has
promised,” he says.
The Ethiopian prime minister may have concluded it is time to re-exert
control. When he appeared on television on Sunday, he stuck to his
liberal talking points. Perhaps tellingly, he was dressed not in his
usual suit and tie but in military fatigues.
His words said the liberal experiment would continue. His choice of
outfit said not to push him too far: he was still a military man.
The near term events will surely alert Investors to risks which had
been previously overwhelmed by Prime Minister Abiy's sheer force of
personality and his velocity. Having announced his economic Pivot 90
days into his term, recent developments particularly around the
Telecom Sector indicated he was ready to go much further much faster
than even the boldest Commentator had imagined. The cross cutting
political undercurrents are multi-sided and the seriousness is
reflected in the number of IDPs. To Date Investors have given the
Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt. This might be a popping over
the Radar moment for political risk. The Final worry is around
bandwidth in the PM's Office and whether the Office can risk manage
the Politics and simultaneously fast track the much needed economic
The original Zimbabwean dollar was abandoned just over a decade ago, when annual inflation had reached 89 700 000 000 000 000 000 000% (that's 89.7-sextillion percent). @mailandguardian @simonallison
This hyperinflation — the second-worst in recorded human history — was
caused when Robert Mugabe’s government began to print money to get
itself out of political trouble. Once they started printing money,
they could not stop, until eventually the currency was completely
In late 2016, the government introduced ‘bond notes’, a kind of bearer
cheque designed to address a chronic shortage of physical US dollars
in the country (because Zimbabwe imports far more than it exports,
foreign currency has an unfortunate habit of leaving the country and
never coming back). This was not a new currency, the central bank
insisted; and it was supposedly backed by a $200 million loan from the
African Export Import Bank. But the public was not buying it: although
bond notes officially traded at 1:1 with the US dollar, unofficially
they began to lose value almost as soon as they were introduced.
In 2019, the central bank tried again: this time, the pseudo-currency
was called the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollar — effectively
a digital currency — and the bank abandoned the pretence that it would
be equivalent to the US dollar, instead suggesting that 2.5 RTGS
dollars to US$1 would be an acceptable exchange rate. Again, the RTGS
dollar began to lose value immediately: this week, it was trading at
between 11 and 12 against the dollar.
There is a pattern here. Each attempt to introduce a new currency by
the backdoor has failed, with consumers overwhelmingly rejecting it.
They are nervous that any form of currency introduced by the current
administration will lose its value, and quickly. And they have every
reason to be: although the president may be new, with Emmerson
Mnangagwa replacing Robert Mugabe in late 2017, the current
administration is not that far removed from that which presided over
the collapse of the original Zimbabwe dollar, wiping out the savings
of most citizens in the process.
That’s why the new Zimbabwe dollar — which combines both bond notes
and RTGS dollars, and makes it illegal to use foreign currency,
including US dollars and rands — is unlikely to work. The new currency
was introduced on Monday without prior consultation, and without
implementing any of the hard reforms necessary to overhaul Zimbabwe’s
“This is chaotic,” said a spokesperson for the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change. “It’s nuts,” said a prominent human rights lawyer.
Seychelles Stock Market Plans World-First Listed Security Token @markets
Seychelles’ securities exchange plans to list the world’s first
regulated security token on a national stock market. Tokenized shares
will be traded in the Indian Ocean archipelago, better known for its
white-sand beaches than its capital markets, alongside existing stock
for the company, MERJ Exchange Ltd., which operates the bourse, said
in a statement on Tuesday. The planned date of the listing wasn’t
given. Tokenized stocks are shares in a business in the form of
digital assets such as cryptocoins. The use of blockchain technology,
a decentralized ledger that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin,
allows the easy transfer of these assets between buyers and sellers.
“We truly believe this technology will be one of the key steps toward
democratizing access to global access to the capital markets,” Edmond
Tuohy, the chief executive officer of MERJ, said in the statement.
MERJ Exchange, formerly known as Trop-X Seychelles Ltd., began trading
securities in 2013. The exchange has about 31 securities listed and a
market capitalization of $325.9 million, it said in an email.
02-NOV-2015 The Seychelles @TheStarKenya
I am writing this article from Mahe, which is the one of 115 islands
that make up the Seychelles archipelago, which lies 1,500 Kilometres
off East Africa.
Seychelles has a population of 90,024 and that is the smallest
population of any independent African state.
The minister for Finance, Trade and The Blue Economy Jean-Paul Adam
informed me that the Seychelles receives tourists three times its
population every year.
If Kenya was to receive the same ratio of tourists, we would be
welcoming 120 million tourists a year. The minister described to me
how the Seychelles navigated the 2008 financial crisis [debt to GDP
soared close to 125 per cent] and the Republic defaulted, but now runs
an annual surplus of over five per cent.
WINDHOEK – Namibian Ambassador to China Elia Kaiyamo yesterday
welcomed the first batch of Namibian beef to China, which is the
largest consumer market in the world.
Kaiyamo welcomed the consignment of pure Namibian beef during a
ceremony in Shijiazhaung, in the Hebei Province in China.
At the end of May this year, Namibia became the first African country
to export beef to China when it commenced with the first consignment
of 21 tonnes of beef to the world’s most populous country.
“Here, on behalf of my government and my people, I would like to
extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have been working hard
to make this happen, including but not limited to friends from Beijing
Central Key Trading, Global Protein Solutions, Hebei Sogreen Food Co
Ltd and Meatco of Namibia,” said Kaiyamo during the ceremony.
Kaiyamo noted that the significance of the arrival of the first batch
of Namibian beef to China is more than just adding another
high-quality ingredient to Chinese plates.
“It marks the success of the two countries in the realisation of
‘win-win cooperation’ and ‘happiness for all’ featured in the vision
of ‘Sino-African community with a shared future’.
The Namibian Ambassador continued that; “In order to create a win-win
cooperation environment and realize happiness for all, we need to
combine our complimentary strengths while striving to meet our
respective needs. And the success of the beef story shows how it can
Kaiyamo added that Namibia has slot to offer China, and not only
world-class beef steaks but also many other great products, including
a vast variety of seafood, quality fruits, minerals as well as breath
taking natural and cultural landscapes.
China has been identified as an important market for Namibia as it
imports 6.5 million tonnes of beef, 250 000 tonnes of mutton, 2.3
million tonnes of pork and 1.7 million tonnes of chicken per annum.
In 2016, Namibia and China signed a milestone agreement for A-grade
beef to enter the massive Asian market.
Namibia since as far as 2005 has been in the process of obtaining
access to the Chinese market for its beef products. A final memorandum
of understanding (MoU) was signed in March last year.
The first agreement on animal health and quarantine was signed in
China, Beijing in 2011.
In January 2016, the Certification and Accreditation Administration
(CNCA) from China visited Meatco to conduct an audit on the
In recent years, China-Namibia bilateral trade has gained greater momentum.
According to Namibia Statistics Agency, China became the biggest
importer (18 percent) of Namibia products in 2018.
Based on China Customs statistics, the total bilateral trade volume in
the entirety of 2018 exceeded US$800 million, a year-on-year increase
of 45 percent, which was more than double the growth rate of overall
trade with Africa.
Botswana Stock Market to List, Government to Cede Control @markets
The Botswana Stock Exchange plans to list its stock within two years
and expects the government to cede control of the institution to
private investors, Chief Executive Officer Thapelo Tsheole said.
The Gaborone-based exchange, which has 34 traded companies and 49
bonds, is currently about 80% owned by the state, with four brokers
holding the rest, Tsheole said in an interview at the Bloomberg
Emerging & Frontier Forum in London on Tuesday.
“We want a diverse shareholding, reducing government to far much less
than 50%,” he said.
The listing would be a next step by the exchange, which demutualized
last year, to improve its governance and transparency, Tsheole said.
The move would also further the Botswana government’s aim of building
a financial-services industry to lessen dependence on diamond mining
and wildlife tourism.
The exchange, which was set up in 1989 and ran over-the-counter
trading initially, is seeking to attract more international companies
active in Botswana to trade their stock.
It also wants to tap more of the about $8 billion of pension and
private-sector funds available in Botswana, Tsheole said. Currently
70% of Botswana’s savings are invested externally, he said.
The exchange has a target of having 45 companies listed by 2021 and 50
bonds, he said. While it will likely achieve the bond target, getting
to the company goal will be “tough,” he said.
Already tighter listings requirements, including boosting the free
float to 30% from 20%, has led some companies to end trading in their
stock and daily turnover fell to $700,000 a day this year from $1.3
million last year.
Furniture Mart Ltd. has left the exchange and Choppies Enterprises
Ltd., a retailer, is due to delist on July 6.
Flo-Tek, a supplier of pipes and irrigation products active in
southern Africa, is exploring listing, Tsheole said.
The exchange is contemplating new products including global depository
receipts, he said.
Funding for Kisumu SGR ready, CS says
“Kenya is the entry gate of the SGR, which runs from
Lamu-Mombasa-Naivasha-Kisumu-Lake Victoria all the way to the Atlantic
Ocean in West Africa. However, Kenya cannot develop it on its own
because it will not be viable due to the fact that 30 percent of cargo
from Mombasa is on transit, of which 85 percent goes to Uganda. There
is need to harmonise the SGR with what countries in the region are
doing,” said Mr Macharia.
“On the future of the SGR and its status, Kenyans need to know that
Phase 2A is 98 percent complete and will be operationalised in
September. Eventually, the SGR will reach Kisumu and finally Malaba,
only timing has changed,” he said.
Crown Paints drops Sh908m units debt
“During the year ended December 31, 2018, an amount of Sh908.1
million, made up of Sh379.8 million, Sh355.7 million and Sh172.6
million owing from Regal Paints Uganda Limited, Crown Paints Tanzania
Limited and Crown Paints Rwanda Limited, respectively, was
capitalised,” the company says in the report.