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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 13th of September 2019

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

Macro Thoughts

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U.S. CORE CONSUMER PRICES ex food and energy were up by +2.24% in the three months Jun-Aug compared with a year earlier @JKempEnergy

Core consumer prices were up +2.39% in Aug compared with the prior
year, the fastest year-on-year increase since Sep 2008

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24-JUN-2019 :: We are in "nose-bleed" territory. This is "Voodoo Economics" and just because we have not reached the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz

We are in ‘’nose-bleed’’ territory. This is ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ and
just because we have not reached the point when the curtain was lifted
in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman
from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make
himself seem “great and powerful”’’ should not lull us into a false
sense of security.

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03-JUN-2019 :: Whilst I accept that its a 20/80 [US Consumer absorbs 20%, China will have to absorb 80%] of the Tariff Price increase, nevertheless even 20% of a 100 is inflationary.

Whilst I accept that its a 20/80 [US Consumer absorbs 20%, China will
have to absorb 80%] of the Tariff Price increase, nevertheless even
20% of a 100 is inflationary. The US Rates and Bond Market looks
seriously overcooked to me.However, what we also know is that Mar-
kets can stay irrational longer than anyone can stay solvent.
Therefore, I would be tentatively selling 85bp of cumulative US easing
through 2020 as per JPM.

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All this within the last hour...First this @mnicoletos

First this
then this
BREAKING: Senior administration official tells CNBC that the White
House is "absolutely not" considering an interim - BBG
this is ridiculous.

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31-DEC-2018 :: If the US Economy slows, I can guarantee you the Rest of the World will slow further.

Home Thoughts

Few hotel lobbies in the modern world had a legacy as rich as that
of the Okura in Tokyo. It was torn down and now it's back.  #ホテルオークラ東京


The First Business Trip I ever went on was to New York for Credit
Suisse First Boston and I stayed in the St Regis

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January 7th 2013 On The Road Nairobi Mombasa

The Nairobi-Mombasa road arrows 'into immensities and is
'impossible-to- believe.' It retains a near mystical hold on my
imagination and connects me to my childhood and beyond.
Dad used to once own an Alfa Romeo [of which there were only three
then in the country] and my pilgrimage along that road started then,
when we used to come from Mombasa. Now, of course, we set off from
Nairobi but the road still has its hold. The landmarks still reach out
to me.
This time we were swarmed by doves near Emali which was breathtaking.
There is still the eerie and deserted very Oscar Niemeyer building
which might have been a petrol station with a restaurant. We stopped
at Makindu which is like being teleported to Amritsar and on New Years
day was packed to the rafters.
We always stop at Mackinnon road where there is a shrine which houses
the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, a Punjabi foreman at the time of the
building of the railway who was renowned for his strength.
And this time we took ourselves to Vipingo and Watamu. In Vipingo,I
was introduced to a pristine beach which is accessed via a ladder as
if you were descending from the real world into another.
Jim Rogers who is a trader of some repute and co-founded the Quantum
Fund with George Soros at one point took a sabbatical and took off on
a motor bike round the world and wrote a book called Investment Biker.

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In fact, Alaska even shares its oil money with its residents through a
permanent fund. A family of four living in the state receives roughly
$20,000 per year.

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More Americans Questioning Official 9/11 Story As New Evidence Contradicts Official Narrative @MintPressNews' @_whitneywebb
Law & Politics

Today the event that defined the United States’ foreign policy in the
21st century, and heralded the destruction of whole countries, turns
18. The events of September 11, 2001 remains etched into the memories
of Americans and many others, as a collective tragedy that brought
Americans together and brought as well a general resolve among them
that those responsible be brought to justice.
While the events of that day did unite Americans in these ways for a
time, the different trajectories of the official relative to the
independent investigations into the September 11 attacks have often
led to division in the years since 2001, with vicious attacks or
outright dismissal being levied against the latter.
Yet, with 18 years having come and gone — and with the tireless
efforts from victims’ families, first responders, scientists and
engineers — the tide appears to be turning, as new evidence continues
to emerge and calls for new investigations are made.
However, American corporate media has remained largely silent,
preferring to ignore new developments that could derail the “official
story” of one of the most iconic and devastating attacks to ever occur
on American soil.
For instance, in late July, commissioners for a New York-area Fire
Department, which responded to the attacks and lost one of their own
that day, called for a new investigation into the events of September
On July 24, the board of commissioners for the Franklin Square and
Munson Fire District, which serves a population of around 30,000 near
Queens, voted unanimously in their call for a new investigation into
the attacks.
While the call for a new investigation from a NY Fire Department
involved in the rescue effort would normally seem newsworthy to the
media outlets who often rally Americans to “never forget,” the
commissioners’ call for a new investigation was met with total silence
from the mainstream media.
The likely reason for the dearth of coverage on an otherwise
newsworthy vote was likely due to the fact that the resolution that
called for the new investigation contained the following clause:
Whereas, the overwhelming evidence presented in said petition
demonstrates beyond any doubt that pre-planted explosives and/or
incendiaries — not just airplanes and the ensuing fires — caused the
destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings, killing the
vast majority of the victims who perished that day;”
In the post-9/11 world, those who have made such claims, no matter how
well-grounded their claims may be, have often been derided and
attacked as “conspiracy theorists” for questioning the official claims
that the three World Trade Center buildings that collapsed on
September 11 did so for any reason other than being struck by planes
and from the resulting fires.
Yet, it is much more difficult to launch these same attacks against
members of a fire department that lost a fireman on September 11 and
many of whose members were involved with the rescue efforts of that
day, some of whom still suffer from chronic illnesses as a result.
Another likely reason that the media monolithically avoided coverage
of the vote was out of concern that it would lead more fire
departments to pass similar resolutions, which would make it more
difficult for such news to avoid gaining national coverage.
Yet, Commissioner Christopher Gioia, who drafted and introduced the
resolution, told those present at the meeting’s conclusion that
getting all of the New York fire districts onboard was their plan
“We’re a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers
and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of
New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force,” Gioia
said. “We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We
won’t be the last,” he added.
While questioning the official conclusions of the first federal
investigation into 9/11 has been treated as taboo in the American
media landscape for years, it is worth noting that even those who led
the commission have said that the investigation was “set up to fail”
from the start and that they were repeatedly misled and lied to by
federal officials in relation to the events of that day.
For instance, the chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas
Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote in their book Without Precedent that not
only was the commission starved of funds and its powers of
investigation oddly limited, but that they were obstructed and
outright lied to by top Pentagon officials and officials with the
Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
They and other commissioners have outright said that the “official”
report on the attacks is incomplete, flawed and unable to answer key
questions about the terror attacks.
Despite the failure of American corporate media to report these facts,
local legislative bodies in New York, beginning with the fire
districts that lost loved ones and friends that day, are leading the
way in the search for real answers that even those that wrote the
“official story” say were deliberately kept from them.
Not long after the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District called for
a new 9/11 investigation, a groundbreaking university study added even
more weight to the commissioners’ call for a new look at the evidence
regarding the collapse of three buildings at the World Trade Center
While most Americans know full well that the twin towers collapsed on
September 11, fewer are aware that a third building — World Trade
Center Building 7 — also collapsed. That collapse occurred seven hours
after the twin towers came down, even though WTC 7, or “Building 7,”
was never struck by a plane.
It was not until nearly two months after its collapse that reports
revealed that the CIA had a “secret office” in WTC 7 and that, after
the building’s destruction, “a special CIA team scoured the rubble in
search of secret documents and intelligence reports stored in the
station, either on paper or in computers.”
WTC 7 also housed offices for the Department of Defense, the Secret
Service, the New York Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and the
bank Salomon Brothers.
Though the official story regarding the collapse of WTC 7 cites
“uncontrolled building fires” as leading to the building’s
destruction, a majority of Americans who have seen the footage of the
47-story tower come down from four different angles overwhelmingly
reject the official story, based on a new poll conducted by YouGov on
behalf of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth and released on
That poll found that 52 percent of those who saw the footage were
either sure or suspected that the building’s fall was due to
explosives and was a controlled demolition, with 27 percent saying
they didn’t know what to make of the footage.
Only 21 percent of those polled agreed with the official story that
the building collapsed due to fires alone. Prior to seeing the
footage, 36 percent of respondents said that they were unaware that a
third building collapsed on September 11 and more than 67 percent were
unable to name the building that had collapsed.
Ted Walter, Director of Strategy and Development for Architects and
Engineers for 9/11 Truth, told MintPress that the lack of awareness
about WTC 7 among the general public “goes to show that the mainstream
media has completely failed to inform the American people about even
the most basic facts related to 9/11. On any other day in history, if
a 47-story skyscraper fell into its footprint due to ‘office fires,’
everyone in the country would have heard about it.”
The fact that the media chose not to cover this, Walter asserted,
shows that “the mainstream media and the political establishment live
in an alternative universe and the rest of the American public is
living in a different universe and responding to what they see in
front of them,” as reflected by the results of the recent YouGov poll.
Another significant finding of the YouGov poll was that 48 percent of
respondents supported,  while only 15 percent opposed, a new
investigation into the events of September 11. This shows that not
only was the Franklin Square Fire District’s recent call for a new
investigation in line with American public opinion, but that viewing
the footage of WTC 7’s collapse raises more questions than answers for
many Americans, questions that were not adequately addressed by the
official investigation of the 9/11 Commission.
The Americans who felt that the video footage of WTC 7’s collapse did
not fit with the official narrative and appeared to show a controlled
demolition now have more scientific evidence to fall back on after the
release of a new university study found that the building came down
not due to fire but from “the near-simultaneous failure of every
column in the building.”
The extensive four-year study was conducted by the Department of Civil
and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alaska and used
complex computer models to determine if the building really was the
first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely due to
office fires.
The study, currently available as a draft, concluded that
“uncontrolled building fires” did not lead the building to fall into
its footprint — tumbling more than 100 feet at the rate of gravity
free-fall for 2.5 seconds of its seven-second collapse — as has
officially been claimed.
Instead, the study — authored by Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey, Dr. Feng Xiao
and Dr. Zhili Quan — found that “fire did not cause the collapse of
WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST [National Institute
of Standards and Technology] and private engineering firms that
studied the collapse,” while also concluding “that the collapse of WTC
7 was a global [i.e., comprehensive] failure involving the
near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.”
This “near-simultaneous failure of every column” in WTC 7 strongly
suggests that explosives were involved in its collapse, which is
further supported by the statements made by Barry Jennings, the
then-Deputy Director of Emergency Services Department for the New York
City Housing Authority.
Jennings told a reporter the day of the attack that he and Michael
Hess, then-Corporation Counsel for New York City, had heard and seen
explosions in WTC 7 several hours prior to its collapse and later
repeated those claims to filmmaker Dylan Avery.
The first responders who helped rescue Jennings and Hess also claimed
to have heard explosions in WTC 7. Jennings died in 2008, two days
prior the release of the official NIST report blaming WTC 7’s collapse
on fires. To date, no official cause of death for Jennings has been
Eighteen years after the September 11 attacks, questioning the
official government narrative of the events of those days still
remains taboo for many, as merely asking questions or calling for a
new investigation into one of the most important events in recent
American history frequently results in derision and dismissal.
Yet, this 9/11 anniversary — with a new study demolishing the official
narrative on WTC 7, with a new poll showing that more than half of
Americans doubt the government narrative on WTC 7, and with
firefighters who responded to 9/11 calling for a new investigation —
is it still “crazy” to be skeptical of the official story?
Even in years past, when asking difficult questions about September 11
was even more “off limits,” it was often first responders, survivors
and victims’ families who had asked the most questions about what had
really transpired that day and who have led the search for truth for
nearly two decades — not wild-eyed “conspiracy theorists,” as many
have claimed.
The only reason it remains taboo to ask questions about the official
narrative, whose own authors admit that it is both flawed and
incomplete, is that the dominant forces in the American media and the
U.S. government have successfully convinced many Americans that doing
so is not only dangerous but irrational and un-American.
However, as evidence continues to mount that the official narrative
itself is the irrational narrative, it becomes ever more clear that
the reason for this media campaign is to prevent legitimate questions
about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve, even smearing
victims’ families and ailing first responders to do so.
For too long, “Never Forget” has been nearly synonymous with “Never Question.”
Yet, failing to ask those questions — even when more Americans than
ever now favor a new investigation and discount the official
explanation for WTC 7’s collapse — is the ultimate injustice, not only
to those who died in New York City on September 11, but those who have
been killed in their names in the years that have followed.

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"Twin Buddhas, twin towers, interesting coincidence, so what." - Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge
Law & Politics

“You remember those twin statues of the Buddha that I told you about?
Carved out of a mountain in Afghanistan, that got dynamited by the
Taliban back in the spring? Notice anything familiar?"

"Twin Buddhas, twin towers, interesting coincidence, so what."

"The Trade Center towers were religious too. They stood for what this
country worships above everything else, the market, always the holy
fucking market."

"A religious beef, you're saying?"

"It's not a religion? These are people who believe the Invisible Hand
of the Market runs everything. They fight holy wars against competing
religions like Marxism. Against all evidence that the world is finite,
this blind faith that resources will never run out, profits will go on
increasing forever, just like the world's populations--more cheap
labor, more addicted consumers.”
― Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge

Buddhas of Bamyan (Dari: بت‌های باميان‎; Pashto: د باميانو بتان‎)
were two 6th-century[1] monumental statues of Gautama Buddha carved
into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region
of central Afghanistan


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"Temporal bandwidth," is the width of your present, your now. It is the familiar "∆ t" considered as a dependent variable
Law & Politics

"Temporal bandwidth," is the width of your present, your now. It is
the familiar "∆ t" considered as a dependent variable. The more you
dwell in the past and in the future, the thicker your bandwidth, the
more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more
tenuous you are.

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Fear and oppression in Xinjiang: China's war on Uighur culture Beijing's crackdown on minorities reflects a broader push towards a single 'state-race' @FinancialTimes.
Law & Politics

In Yarmuhemmed’s family apartment, the police found an MP3 player with
recordings of Koran recitations, and Rmb30,000 in cash (about £3,400).
Yarmuhemmed, 28, was arrested, tried and jailed for 10 years. Asqar
never found out what he’d been charged with. His 29-year-old brother
Behram was taken to an extrajudicial internment camp a month later.
The Uighurs, who are mostly Muslim, make up nearly half of Xinjiang’s
24 million population. Scholars estimate that about 1.5 million
Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Hui and other mostly Muslim minorities have
been interned in camps that the government describes as aiming to
“transform through education”, while hundreds of thousands more have
been arrested and jailed.
During the crackdown, it has become almost impossible for Uighurs to
leave Xinjiang to study or live abroad, due to a rigorous process of
checks by the police before they can be granted a passport.
Uighurs who have fled Xinjiang fear being deported back to China, as
governments have come under pressure from it to return overseas
Uighurs to Xinjiang. Most western governments have said they will not
send anyone who would face abuse in the Xinjiang camp system back to
China, giving Uighurs like Asqar some safety to speak out about their
relatives’ fate.
Former detainees have described how the facilities run ideological
indoctrination courses, where they must learn Mandarin Chinese, recite
laws banning unapproved religious practice and sing songs praising the
Chinese Communist party.
The Chinese government has said these measures are necessary to put an
end to sporadic violent attacks in the region and describes the
facilities as providing “vocational training” for undereducated
Uighurs who are at risk of succumbing to “extremism”.
But this explanation of why her nephews would have been targeted makes
little sense to Asqar. “Both of these boys are very well educated and
have no need for vocation training or forced brainwashing,” she says.
The two brothers had run a private publishing business that sold books
by their father, Yarmuhemmed Tahir Tughluq, an author of popular
Uighur-language books on parenting, education and self-empowerment,
with titles such as Life and Morality, Our Tradition and Culture and
Grandpa Told Me So.
The texts celebrated Uighur culture and emphasised its unique
philosophies, history and traditions — a message at odds with the
Communist party’s attempts to assimilate Uighurs into Han Chinese
cultural traditions. Asqar suspects that the family’s business and
religiosity ultimately led to Ekram and Behram being taken away.
“I think the Chinese government arrested him because he was
contributing to keeping [the] Uighur language alive,” she says. “Why
would he be viewed as someone against the Chinese government when he
was devoted to bridging between [the] Chinese language and Uighur?”
Scholars of the region argue that China’s Communist party is
attempting to “re-engineer” minority society to make Uighurs and other
Muslims in Xinjiang ever more like the Han Chinese majority. Some
experts have even begun to call for the campaign to be labelled
“cultural genocide”, a term usually defined as the forced assimilation
of an indigenous group with the aim of eliminating its cultural
“For [the campaign] to fit the definition of [cultural] genocide, it
would need to be a premeditated systematic effort orchestrated by the
state,” James Leibold, an expert on China’s ethnic policy at La Trobe
University in Melbourne, told the FT.
“I think it’s important that we start to call it what it is.
Re-engineering, rewiring, remoulding all work, but the evidence
suggests that cultural genocide fits.”
China’s Qing dynasty claimed the region as its “new frontier” — the
literal translation of Xinjiang — in the 18th century, following a
series of bloody military campaigns that wiped out the local Tibetan
Mongal Dzungar rulers.
Historians believe that a group of Turkic Muslims using an Arabic
script have been the dominant ethnic people along a string of oasis
communities in the Taklamakan desert for at least 500 years.
The group developed a distinct linguistic, literary and cultural
tradition, centred around Kashgar, the largest oasis town of the
region, and mostly practised forms of Sunni and Sufi Islam.
In the 20th century, the rise of China as a nation-state compelled the
group to adopt the Uighur ethno-national identity and when the
Communist party took control of the region in 1949, it recognised the
Uighurs as the dominant ethnic group there, labelling it the Xinjiang
Uighur Autonomous Region.
In practice, Xinjiang has only ever been autonomous in name, and the
Communist party has never granted significant political power to
Uighurs or other minority groups in the strategically important
region, which is China’s main gateway to Central Asia and a key source
of coal, oil and cotton.
Xinjiang is central to President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road plan to
build a network of roads, railways and ports to bolster trade between
China and Eurasia.
Today, Xinjiang is the front line of China’s experiments to build an
all-encompassing surveillance state, powered by both technology and a
rapid increase of police boots on the ground.
On a recent trip to the region, I was trailed continuously by
state-security agents, who stopped and questioned each person I spoke
to, even shopkeepers and waiters.
Every time I took a taxi, the driver would receive a call from local
police, usually within 10 minutes. Once, a talkative Han Chinese
driver answered the call on loudspeaker. After being told that the
caller was from the ministry of public security, the driver
immediately replied: “Where would you like me to take him?”
On that occasion, the police said it was OK for me to be dropped off
at my destination, the train station. At other times, the police asked
that I be immediately ejected from the car.
In Turpan, a city three hours’ drive south-east of Urümqi, I ended up
walking more than 10km in scorching midday heat, only to be stopped
from approaching a known internment camp by heavy-set men, who told me
there was a driving test ongoing in the cordoned-off area.
According to an audio recording reviewed by the FT, the documentary
warns viewers to be on guard against “two-faced people” who “secretly
acted to split the motherland”.
With dramatic music and sotto voce narration, it tells the story of 88
individuals who “with malicious intent” had compiled and edited school
textbooks in Uighur.
As punishment, the narrator explains, the main compilers were
investigated, stripped of their official positions and jailed.
The ringleaders were sentenced to life in prison or given suspended
death sentences. Such a “shocking” crime must never be repeated,
viewers are warned. “The whole region, from top to bottom, must absorb
the profound lessons of this case.”
The case served as a cautionary tale for the future, the documentary’s
narrator said. “Schools are the principal front in an ideological
struggle against separatism that is long, recurring, intense and at
times extremely fierce; it is a conflict without smoke.”
“For a Uighur intellectual, a Uighur writer living in Xinjiang,
writing about politics is suicide,” he says.
“After 2009, there is a growing chorus of scholars and officials who
say China is in danger of losing its grip over Tibet and Xinjiang and
needs a radical reset of its ethnic policies,” says Leibold of La
Trobe University. Among the loudest voices calling for a “new
generation” of ethnic policies was Hu Lianhe.
Alongside a professor from Tsinghua University called Hu Angang — the
two are not related — Hu Lianhe suggested that attempts to promote
multi-ethnic states elsewhere in the world had failed and China should
push different ethnicities to “blend together” into a single
“After 2009, there is a growing chorus of scholars and officials who
say China is in danger of losing its grip over Tibet and Xinjiang and
needs a radical reset of its ethnic policies,” says Leibold of La
Trobe University. Among the loudest voices calling for a “new
generation” of ethnic policies was Hu Lianhe.
Alongside a professor from Tsinghua University called Hu Angang — the
two are not related — Hu Lianhe suggested that attempts to promote
multi-ethnic states elsewhere in the world had failed and China should
push different ethnicities to “blend together” into a single
“Any nation’s long-term peace and stability is founded upon building a
system with a unified race (a state-race) that strengthens the
state-race identity and dilutes ethnic group identity,” the two wrote
in a 2012 paper.
At the time, this argument was met with fierce opposition from many
Chinese scholars of ethnic policy. But in the years that followed,
violent incidents, which Chinese authorities said were carried out by
Uighurs, helped draw support for hardline policies.
That year, Xi formally launched the “people’s war on terror” and vowed
to strike hard against the “three evil forces of separatism, terrorism
and religious extremism” in Xinjiang.
The battle has mostly been waged by Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo,
who took office in 2016 following a five-year stint in neighbouring
Tibet, where he rolled out similarly hardline security measures.
Unlike his predecessor in Xinjiang, who had professed the need to
balance economic development with safety measures, Chen declared that
“social stability and long-term peace is the overall goal” for
He introduced a system of “grid” policing developed during his tenure
in Tibet, hired thousands of additional officers and rapidly expanded
the size and number of “transformation-through-education” camps in the
The camps were not his invention, however. China’s Communist party has
for decades operated a system of various “re-education” camps across
the country, used to reshape the thinking and behaviour of groups seen
as dangerously different from the leadership’s preferred social norms.
Leibold sees the most recent camp system in Xinjiang as a direct
descendant of the former. “The system evolves and changes through time
. . . But I do think it’s part of the party’s DNA, this desire to
 “Language is the main difference between Han and Uighurs. It’s the
core element of Uighur identity,” he says.
After his arrest, a professor at the official Xinjiang Communist party
school wrote an article that described the Uighur mother tongue
movement as “the fourth evil force”, alongside those of “separatism,
religious extremism and terrorism”.
He says that Uighur children really need about 30 hours of exposure to
learn the language, but often only get a tenth of that.
“For me, the words in their mouths are not very stable, just like a
raindrop on a rose – when there is a gust of wind it will disappear,”
he says.
“The Chinese Communist party is aware of the valorisation that Uighurs
place on their mother language,” Grose says. “They see it as a threat
to the crystallisation of a Han culture.”
Evidence is mounting that the Xinjiang government is no longer content
simply to encourage assimilation, but is forcing it by separating
children from their families.
The mass internment programme has left many minority children without
their parents; the authorities have built a network of de facto
orphanages and boarding schools that can hothouse the children in Han
Chinese environments.
In an analysis of government documents released in July, the
independent German researcher Adrian Zenz concluded that, since 2017,
the Chinese state had created “a vast and multi-layered care system
that enables it to provide full-time or near full-time care” for
children from as young as one or two years of age.
The facilities were likely to be part of “a deliberate strategy and
crucial element in the state’s systematic campaign of social
re-engineering and cultural genocide in Xinjiang”, Zenz wrote.
In Xinjiang’s state-run Xinhua Bookstores — which fall under the
management of the government’s propaganda department — the shelves are
half empty. In each store I visited, the only Uighur-language book was
a copy of Xi Jinping’s The Governance of China.
In Turpan, a local official first denied that there were no Uighur
books, then, after 15 minutes of a fruitless search, said “market
demands” meant that customers only wanted to buy Han Chinese books.
In Kashgar, the traditional capital of Uighur culture, only five
remained out of 16 independent Uighur-language bookstores listed in a
2014 article on cultural preservation by a Kashgar University
When asked what books on Uighur literature or history they sold, one
store owner said: “We only sell novels, cookery or self-help books.”
All the bookstore owners I spoke to said they had no Uighur-language
textbooks or copies of Yalqun Rozi’s essay collections.
In one store, the owner asked: “How do you know about Yalqun Rozi?” I
said that his son was trying to find out exactly what had happened to
After a pause, she asked: “Did you find him?” I said we had good
reason to think he had been arrested, but that the government had not
confirmed the details of his case.
“Have you heard anything?” I inquired. She shook her head and asked me
to leave, her eyes filling with tears.

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05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang
Law & Politics

Dissent is measured and snuffed out very quickly in China. China has
unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang where a combination of data
from video surveillance, face and license plate recognition, mobile
device locations, and official records to identify targets for
detention [CDT]. Xinjiang is surely a Precursor for how the CCCP will
manage dissent.  The actions in Xinjiang are part of the regional
authorities’ ongoing “Strike-Hard” campaign, and of President Xi’s
“stability maintenance” and “enduring peace” drive in the region.

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24-JUN-2019 :: the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be "an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem "great and powerful"
International Trade

This is ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ and just because we have not reached the
point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard
revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using
elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and
powerful”’’ should not lull us into a false sense of security.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1082
Dollar Index 98.136
Japan Yen 107.96
Swiss Franc 0.9875
Pound 1.2400
Aussie 0.6872
India Rupee 70.87
South Korea Won 1176.76
Brazil Real 4.0604
Egypt Pound 16.4205
South Africa Rand 14.57

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The China price @Africa_Conf

Facing corruption probes and resource nationalism, Western mining
companies are quitting the Copperbelt
Producing 70% of the world's cobalt, an essential component of
electric car batteries and mobile phones, Africa's Copperbelt is in
the midst of a sweeping transformation. Seeking to expand their access
to the metal, China's mining companies are eyeing the potential sale
of assets such as Vedanta's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in Zambia and
Glencore's mothballed Mutanda mine in Congo-Kinshasa.
Buying up those assets and consolidating political ties with Lusaka
and Kinshasa would enable China's companies to extend their control of
supply chains in the high-tech sector and reshape the region's mining
sector at the same time (AC Vol 60 No 11, Little cash, no credit).
It is also fits with a shift in China's strategy in Africa to focus
more on private companies' operations, rather than state-backed mega
projects, as set out by Yang Jiechi, President Xi Jinping's Africa
envoy, on recent trips to Kenya and Nigeria.
Western mining companies' dominance in the Copperbelt is fading, owing
partly to changing political conditions and business strategies while
economic war between the United States and China escalates.
Another complication is the growing scrutiny of international oil and
mining companies. Glencore, one of the biggest commodity trading and
production companies, faces a raft of corruption investigations.
The US and China have not competed much for African oil or minerals.
But President Donald Trump's trade war, coupled with the search for
scarce minerals for high-tech products, has changed the stakes.
Rising demand for cobalt, lithium, nickel and rare earths is changing
mining companies on both sides of the border between Congo-Kinshasa
and Zambia.
With significant assets in both countries, Glencore's fate is key. The
Swiss-based company's move to suspend production at its Mutanda copper
and cobalt mine in Congo-K is seen as a challenge to the country's new
mining code and an attempt to stabilise the price of cobalt, which
halved in the previous 18 months because of over-supply (AC Vol 59 No
4, Kabila squeezes the miners).
It comes amid speculation in the markets that Glencore, facing a US
Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into corruption in four
countries including Congo-K, is looking for an exit.
Mutanda holds the world's largest-known cobalt deposits and produced a
fifth of global supplies of the metal for the batteries of electric
China's expansion comes as several Western producers look vulnerable
to takeover. China Molybdenum acquired Congo-K's largest copper
producer, Tenke Fungurume, from the US producer Freeport-McMoran in
2016 and upped its stake to 80% earlier this year when it bought
private equity company BHR's 24% share for $1.1 billion (AC Vol 57 No
11, Mine sale prompts tax grab).
CITIC Metal Africa and Zijin Mining have acquired substantial stakes
in Ivanhoe's Kamoa-Kakula and Kipushi projects.
Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) has signalled its intention to sell its
Frontier copper mine and other assets in Congo-K following a drop in
value due to the mining code and a dip in commodity prices. Several
Chinese suitors are queuing up.

Lungu's debts
Neighbouring Zambia has long had Chinese mining companies, small and
medium scale operators, in its Copperbelt. President Edgar Lungu's
government has racked up much bigger debts to Chinese companies than
it has previously admitted.
Sources in the Finance Ministry in Lusaka say that the Chinese
creditors are losing patience over debt arrears. Chinese companies are
not keen on debt rescheduling and would prefer to get some collateral,
perhaps in the form of other mining assets.
Under growing political pressure as economic problems mount, President
Lungu is running out of options.
Chinese companies would seek to benefit from the liquidation of
Vedanta's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and are also watching First
Quantum Minerals (FQM), the country's largest producer, which operates
Kanshansi and Sentinel mines.
The government-owned ZCCM Investment Holdings, which has a 20% stake
in the country's biggest mines, wants to liquidate KCM, claiming that
Vedanta is lying about expansion plans and is paying too little tax.
However, Chinese companies are reluctant to buy disputed assets.
ZCCM-IH's claims have to go through arbitration. This is an important
test and could open the way for a sale.
The companies also face some anti-Chinese sentiment on the ground
among trade unionists and local communities.
This explains the secrecy as Jiangxi Mining has purchased about 9.9%
of FQM, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The purchases have come
through derivatives and direct stock purchases and have so far cost
about $800 million.
It would take about $2bn to give Jiangxi a shot at majority control.
Meanwhile, there is a standstill agreement between FQM and Jiangxi in
which the Chinese have agreed not to take over without the approval of
FQM's managers and shareholders.
Glencore's Zambian mine Mopani may also be ready for the auction
block. Some industry insiders say Glencore's two majority-owned
Congo-K companies, Mutanda and Toronto-listed Katanga Mining, which
operates the Kamoto Copper Project, are also being prepared for sale.
On 7 August, Glencore announced that Mutanda was no longer
economically viable, citing the new mining code and the increase in
corporate taxes as reasons (AC Vol 59 No 12, Making the miners sweat).
The company said it would mothball the mine at the end of the year.
The closure of Mutanda will constrain supply and has already
stabilised the price.
Glencore's threatened mine closure may strengthen its hand with the
government in its bid for an exemption to the 10% strategic substance
levy on cobalt and the super-profits tax in the mining code.
Congo-K's tax revenues will plummet if Mutanda closes – Glencore paid
the government $626m in taxes from Mutanda in 2018.

But it is not clear whose attention they are trying to get in
Kinshasa. President Félix Tshisekedi would be most damaged by the job
losses and the loss of tax revenues from a two-year stoppage although
many of his supporters wanted him to take a harder line with the
mining companies and their political allies.
Ex-President Joseph Kabila and his allies still call the shots in the
mining industry. Albert Yuma Mulimbi, Kabila's man and the architect
of the Mining Code, has just had his contract renewed as Chairman of
Gécamines, the state-owned mining firm (AC Vol 60 No 12, Tshisekedi
tries his luck).
Mutanda, once the jewel in Glencore's strategy to convert itself into
a hybrid miner-trader and take a bet on the future of electric
vehicles, has dimmed along with the price crash. Chronic energy
shortages and political battles with Kinshasa have further complicated
In February, a truck carrying sulphuric acid to Mutanda crashed into a
minibus and spilled acid on the road, leaving at least 22 people dead.
A month later, 43 artisanal miners were killed at Kamoto and the army
was sent in to restore order.

Core Gertler
At the heart of Glencore's problems in Congo-K is the fact that its
assets were acquired with the assistance of the Israeli businessman
Dan Gertler, who was placed on a US sanctions list in December 2017.
At the time, the US Treasury said the billionaire had amassed his
fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of 'opaque and
corrupt mining and oil deals' in Congo-K.
Gertler had used his close friendship with Kabila 'to act as a
middleman for mining asset sales in the DRC, requiring some
multinational companies to go through Gertler to do business with the
Congolese state' (AC Vol 58 No 5, An awkward tango for Gertler and
As a result of Gertler's actions, the Treasury said, between 2010 and
2012 alone, the Congo-K, one of the world's poorest countries, may
have lost more than $1.3bn in revenues from the under-pricing of
mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler.
Glencore's acquisition of the Congo-K assets is being investigated
alongside charges against it of bribery and corruption in Nigeria,
Venezuela and Brazil.
The sanctioning of Gertler created problems for Glencore as it owed
him around $200m in royalties. Paying him those royalties would put
them in violation of US sanctions, so the account was frozen.
After a political battle in Congo-K and a legal battle in Europe,
Glencore resumed its royalty payments to Gertler in euros, rather than
US dollars, to circumvent the sanctions. It said this was the only way
to retain control of its assets in Congo-K.
But the issue soured Glencore's relationship with the government in
Kinshasa. In the view of the US authorities, paying Gertler in euros
is still a violation of the sanctions and perpetuates the financial
ties between Gertler and Kabila.
As it tries to reach a settlement with the DOJ, Glencore is trying to
restructure. Two of the company's key Africa hands – Aristotelis
Mistakidis, head of copper, and Alex Beard, head of oil trading – have
been pushed out.
The use of middlemen to negotiate under-the-table deals is said to
have been suspended.
Many expect this to be followed by the retirement of managing director
Ivan Glasenberg, an apprentice of commodity trading king, Marc Rich,
who died in 2013.
However, Glencore's argument that, whatever its regulatory problems,
its exit from the Copperbelt would hand control of many strategic
minerals to Chinese companies, has failed to convince US officials.

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San Marino seizes $19m from Congo dictator Denis Sassou Nguesso who spent $100,000 on crocodile shoes @Telegraph

The tiny republic of San Marino has confiscated €19 million (£17
million) stashed in its banks by one of Africa’s longest-serving
The money was allegedly deposited by Denis Sassou Nguesso, the
president of the Republic of Congo, the former French colony also
known as Congo-Brazzaville.
The seizure of the money by authorities in San Marino, which covers
just 23 square miles and is entirely surrounded by Italy, followed an
investigation into money laundering.
The €19 million – one of the largest sums ever seized by the republic
- was just part of €69 million that was deposited in the republic’s
banks by President Sassou Nguesso and his entourage between 2006 and
It was kept in 36 separate accounts, some of them belonging to the
president’s relatives, investigators said.
The money funded a lavish lifestyle for the president and his circle,
with €114,000 spent on crocodile skin shoes, €2.3 million splurged on
watches, and hotel stays in Paris that cost up to €11,000 a night.
“This was an important result which crowns the investigations by the
courts of the Republic of San Marino,” said Nicola Renzi, the
country’s foreign minister.
“It demonstrates our capacity to fight against international money laundering.”
The seized money will go into San Marino’s coffers, he said.
Mr Sassou Nguesso is one of the longest-serving leaders in Africa,
having first come to power in 1979.
He lost the job in the country's first multi-party elections in 1992
but returned to power in 1997 after a brief civil war in which he was
backed by Angolan troops.
The French-trained former paratrooper has been dogged by corruption
allegations, with accusations that he plundered state finances in
order to buy cars and expensive homes in France.
Congo is one of the biggest oil producers in sub-Saharan Africa but
nearly half its people live in poverty, according to the World Bank.
Life expectancy for men is 63 and for women 66.

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13-AUG-2019 :: The Feedback Loop Phenomenon

We can call it the China, Asia, EM and Frontier markets feedback loop.
This feedback loop has been largely a positive one for the last two
decades. With the Yuan now in retreat [and in a precise response to
Trump], this will surely exert serious downside pressure on those
countries in the Feed- back Loop.

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29-JUL-2019 :: African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) is a Silver Bullet particularly if we allow the free circulation of our People

Of course, the Devil is in the Details of the execution and such
things can simply fall apart in a deluge of Non-Tariff Barriers but it
is a Silver Bullet particularly if we allow the free circulation of
our People

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The front-page headline read, "Killed for being African." @WPReview's @hofrench

For outsiders looking on at a country that had provided both the world
and its continent with so much hope after the end of apartheid and the
election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, this is not only sad but somewhat
confusing. Many had dreamed that with the bane of legally enforced
white supremacy behind it, South Africa would establish itself as the
vanguard of a kind of African renaissance, showing the way with its
peaceful reconciliation, democratic example and economic leadership.
Such high expectations were neither fully fair nor realistic. That
almost none of this has happened is nonetheless deeply dismaying. But
the turn in South Africa’s mood against other Africans is more than
that. It is a catastrophic failure.

Take the education system, surely a central pillar of economic
advancement. A recent survey showed that 27 percent of South African
students who complete six years of school still cannot read, compared
to 4 percent in far poorer Tanzania. Only 37 percent of South African
students who start school pass the matriculation exam.

But even as China has ultimately built the new railroad and highway
networks in Africa, along with many other things, it is easy to forget
how much less wealthy and powerful the country was when this all
started. In 1994, when Mandela became president, China’s per capita
GDP was a mere $473. South’s Africa’s was more than seven times
higher, at $3,445. China’s wager on Africa has paid off stunningly
well, for the government and for Chinese companies and workers who by
the hundreds of thousands have sought their livelihoods and built new
fortunes on African soil.

Some of this, and perhaps even a great deal of it, could have been
achieved instead through South Africa’s initiative and agency—by
energetically expanding the pie instead of dividing it. New wealth
could have been built through intra-African supply chains and
networks, and millions of new jobs created, both for South Africans
and Africans from other parts of the continent. While most countries
have little choice about their place in the world economy, for a
select few, history presents more options, including whether to be a
globalizer or be globalized by others. South Africa in the 1990s had a
rare chance, and made the wrong choice.

Today, a diminished South Africa still tries to sell itself to the
world as a gateway to Africa, but it’s unconvincing. Its people, all
too often including black South Africans, talk about the rest of
Africa as if it sat on an entirely different continent, and its
leaders are impassive in the face of spreading anti-African sentiments
and violence at home.

As if to illustrate how far South Africa has fallen, another story
circulated in newspapers in Johannesburg during my recent visit, about
a spate of deadly attacks on foreign truck drivers across the country.
An estimated 213 people, most of them foreign drivers, have been
killed over the past year, and some 1,200 vehicles and their cargo
destroyed in ongoing violence. Rather than call for calm, though,
South African truck drivers are calling for companies not to employ
foreign drivers, “in order to protect South African jobs.” What seems
clear is that China has understood the power of economic integration,
while sadly South Africa still has not.

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"The cuts will be brutal and will be sustained," @BaloziYatani Ukur Yatani told a meeting to plan the government's budget for the next fiscal year @ReutersAfrica

Kenya will cut unnecessary expenditure, such as trips abroad by
officials and advertising by government departments, to rein in a
gaping fiscal deficit, the acting finance minister said on Thursday.
“The cuts will be brutal and will be sustained,” Ukur Yatani told a
meeting to plan the government’s budget for the next fiscal year,
adding that he expected the deficit to drop to 3.5% of GDP by the
2022/23 fiscal year.

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Projects worth 396.9 billion shillings in Kenya have stalled as of June 2018. Projects were halted because govt stopped disbursing funds. BBG @moneyacademyKE

Govt will shrink delegations, spending on printing, advertizing and
office supplies creating immediate KES 21B saving —BBG


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The value of mobile money payments rose by 11.1 percent to hit Sh2.5 trillion in the first seven months of this year, new data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.

The increase happened even though the actual figures from month- to-
month fluctuated between Sh328.2 billion and Sh368.4 billion.
The total value for the seven months was Sh2.5 trillion compared to
Sh2.25 trillion in July last year.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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September 2019

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