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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 13th of November 2019

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Macro Thoughts

Home Thoughts
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#NamJunePaik made eerily accurate predictions about the future of tech. 16 years before the World Wide Web, Paik coined 'Electronic Super Highway' which he said would connect cities via satellites, cables & fibre optics. @Tate

Nam June Paik’s experimental, innovative, yet playful work has had a
profound influence on today’s art and culture. He pioneered the use of
TV and video in art and coined the phrase ‘electronic superhighway’ to
predict the future of communication in the internet age.

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How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism @NewYorker

The dreams Germans had while the Nazis were in power reveal the
effects the regime had on the collective unconscious.

Not long after Hitler came to power, in 1933, a thirty-year-old woman
in Berlin had a series of uncanny dreams. In one, her neighborhood had
been stripped of its usual signs, which were replaced with posters
that listed twenty verboten words; the first was “Lord” and the last
was “I.” In another, the woman found herself surrounded by workers,
including a milkman, a gasman, a newsagent, and a plumber. She felt
calm, until she spied among them a chimney sweep. (In her family, the
German word for “chimney sweep” was code for the S.S., a nod to the
trade’s blackened clothing.) The men brandished their bills and
performed a Nazi salute. Then they chanted, “Your guilt cannot be
These are two of about seventy-five dreams collected in “The Third
Reich of Dreams,” a strange, enthralling book by the writer Charlotte
Beradt. Neither scientific study nor psychoanalytic text, “The Third
Reich of Dreams” is a collective diary, a witness account hauled out
of a nation’s shadows and into forensic light. The book was released,
in Germany, in 1966; an English translation, by Adriane Gottwald, was
published two years later but has since fallen out of print. (Despite
ongoing interest from publishers, no one has been able to find
Beradt’s heir, who holds the rights.) But the book deserves
revisiting, not just because we see echoes today of the populism,
racism, and taste for surveillance that were part of Beradt’s time but
because there’s nothing else like it in the literature of the
Holocaust. “These dreams—these diaries of the night—were conceived
independently of their authors’ conscious will,” Beradt writes. “They
were, so to speak, dictated to them by dictatorship.”
Beradt—who was born Charlotte Aron, in Forst, a town near the
German-Polish border—was a Jewish journalist. She was based in Berlin
when Hitler became Chancellor, in 1933. That year, she was barred from
publishing her work, and she and her husband, Heinz Pol, were arrested
during the mass roundups of Communists that followed the passage of
the Reichstag Fire Decree. After her release, she began secretly
recording the dreams of her fellow-Germans. For six years, as German
Jews lost their homes, their jobs, and their rights, Beradt continued
making notes. By 1939, she’d gathered three hundred dreams. The
project was risky, not least because she was known to the regime. Pol,
who once worked for Vossische Zeitung, Germany’s leading liberal
newspaper, soon fled to Prague, and Beradt eventually moved in with
her future husband, the writer and lawyer Martin Beradt.
The Beradts lived in Charlottenburg—a largely Jewish suburb of Berlin,
which was home to figures such as Walter Benjamin and Charlotte
Salomon—and the dreams Beradt gathered reflect the area’s secular,
middle-class milieu. “Enthusiastic ‘yes men’ or people who drew some
advantage from the regime were not readily accessible to me,” Beradt
writes. “I asked a dressmaker, neighbor, aunt, milkman,
friend—generally without revealing my purpose, for I wanted the most
candid and unaffected responses possible.” Her friends included a
doctor who “unobtrusively” canvassed patients in his large practice.
To protect herself and those she interviewed, Beradt hid her
transcripts inside bookbindings and then shelved them in her private
library. She disguised political figures, turning dreams of Hitler,
Göring, and Goebbels into “family anecdotes” about Uncles Hans,
Gustav, and Gerhard. Once book burnings and home searches became
fixtures of state control, Beradt mailed her notes to friends
overseas. In 1939, she and Martin left Germany and eventually arrived
in New York, as refugees. They settled on West End Avenue, and their
apartment became a gathering place for fellow-émigrés, such as Hannah
Arendt (for whom Beradt translated five political essays), Heinrich
Blücher, and the painter Carl Heidenreich. In 1966, after retrieving
her transcripts, Beradt finally published the dreams, in Germany, as
“Das Dritte Reich des Traums.”
“The Third Reich of Dreams” unfolds over eleven chapters, arranged by
recurring symbols and preoccupations. Epigraphs from Arendt, Himmler,
Brecht, and Kafka give ballast to the surreal material that follows,
and chapters are titled with emblematic figures—“The Non-Hero,” ”Those
Who Act”—and gnomic quotes such as “Nothing Gives Me Pleasure
Anymore.” These headings reinforce the book’s premise: that the links
between waking life and dreams are indisputable, even evidentiary. In
an afterword, the Austrian-born psychologist Bruno Bettelheim notes
the collection’s many prophetic dreams, in which, as early as 1933,
“the dreamer can recognise deep down, what the system is really like.”
Like Svetlana Alexievich’s oral histories of postwar Soviet citizens,
Beradt’s work uncovers the effects of authoritarian regimes on the
collective unconscious. In 1933, a woman dreams of a mind-reading
machine, “a maze of wires” that detects her associating Hitler with
the word “devil.” Beradt encountered several dreams about thought
control, some of which anticipated the bureaucratic absurdities used
by the Nazis to terrorize citizens. In one dream, a
twenty-two-year-old woman who believes her curved nose will mark her
as Jewish attends the “Bureau of Verification of Aryan Descent”—not a
real agency, but close enough to those of the time. In a series of
“bureaucratic fairy tales” that evoke the regime’s real-life
propaganda, a man dreams of banners, posters, and barracks-yard voices
pronouncing a “Regulation Prohibiting Residual Bourgeois Tendencies.”
In 1936, a woman dreams of a snowy road strewn with watches and
jewelery. Tempted to take a piece, she senses a setup by the “Office
for Testing the Honesty of Aliens.”
These dreams reveal how German Jews and non-Jews grappled with
collaboration and compliance, paranoia and self-disgust, even as, in
waking life, they hid these struggles from others and themselves. The
accounts are interwoven with Beradt’s sharp, unembellished commentary,
which is deepened by her own experience of Nazism and emigration. By
foregrounding dreams, instead of relegating them to colorful secondary
material in a more conventional history, Beradt allows the fantastical
details to speak louder than any interpretation. Her book recalls the
photomontages of Hannah Höch, in which objects, text, and images from
the German media are scissored up and juxtaposed, producing unexpected
scenarios that feel all the more truthful for their strangeness.
At times, “The Third Reich of Dreams” also echoes Hannah Arendt, who
saw totalitarian rule as “truly total the moment it closes the iron
vice of terror on its subjects’ private social lives.” Beradt seems to
agree with this premise—she understood dreams as continuous with the
culture in which they occur—but she also presents dreams as the one
realm of free expression that endures when private life falls under
state control. Under such conditions, the dreamer can clarify what
might be too risky to describe in waking life. Beradt recounts the
dream of a factory owner, Herr S., who is unable to muster a Nazi
salute during a visit from Goebbels. After struggling for half an hour
to lift his arm, his backbone breaks. The dream needs little
elaboration, Beradt writes; it’s “devastatingly clear and almost
vulgar.” In a period during which the individual was reduced either to
a parasite or to a member of a faceless mob (“I dreamt I was no longer
able to speak except in chorus with my group”), dreams offered a rare
opportunity to restore a sense of agency.
Beradt’s book does not include any dreams with religious content, and
there are no dreams from the Eastern European Jews who lived across
town, on Grenadierstrasse and Wiesenstrasse—that is, the Jews who had
already survived pogroms. But these absences do not detract from
Beradt’s vivid, indelible details, which deepen our understanding of
life during Nazism’s early years—a period still overshadowed in the
literature by accounts of mass murder and war. Especially novel is
Beradt’s study of the many urban women—Jewish and non-Jewish—who
narrate their own (dream) lives. Here is Göring trying to grope a
salesgirl at the movies; here is Hitler, in evening clothes, on the
Kurfürstendamm, caressing a woman with one hand and distributing
propaganda with the other. “There can be no neater description of
Hitler’s influence on a large sector of Germany’s female population,”
Beradt writes, noting the numbers of women who voted for him and his
party’s calculated manipulation of his supposed “erotic” power. But
the dreams also depict women—reduced to obedient wives and
child-bearers in Nazi propaganda—seeking greater social authority. In
one instance, a woman has just been classified by the race laws as
one-quarter Jewish. And yet, in a dream, she is led by Hitler down a
grand staircase. “There was a throng of people below, and a band was
playing, and I was proud and happy,” she told Beradt. “It didn’t
bother our Führer at all to be seen in public with me.”
The final chapter of “The Third Reich of Dreams” is reserved for those
who—in their dreams, at least—resisted the regime (“I dreamed that it
was forbidden to dream, but I did anyway”) and those who were Jewish.
Beradt writes that such dreams “constitute a separate category, just
as the Jews themselves were a separate category under the Nazi regime”
and were the focus of “direct, not indirect terrorization.” A Jewish
doctor dreams he’s the only physician in the Reich who can cure
Hitler. When he offers to donate his services, a blond youth in
Hitler’s entourage cries, “What! You crooked Jew—no money?” Later, a
Jewish lawyer dreams of travelling through icy Lapland to reach “the
last country on earth where Jews are still tolerated”—but a customs
official, “rosy as a little marzipan pig,” throws the man’s passport
onto the ice. Ahead, unreachable, the promised land shimmers “green in
the sun.” It is 1935. Six years later, the mass deportations would
In Germany, “The Third Reich of Dreams” was reviewed as “surprising
and gripping evidence” and an “important historical document.” As the
psychoanalyst Frances Lang has noted, it’s strange, then, that
Beradt’s book has gone “virtually unrecognised” in America. Perhaps it
was difficult for such an idiosyncratic history to compete with the
more urgent, straightforward accounts that appeared in the
nineteen-sixties. (The book is contemporaneous with both Arendt’s
“Eichmann in Jerusalem” and Raul Hilberg’s “The Destruction of the
European Jews.”) And yet there is still time for the collection to
enter the canon of Third Reich literature, and perhaps for it to gain
wider circulation. Lang, who practices in Boston, learned of Beradt’s
work via a footnote in Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” and
wrote about it in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic
Association. In her own practice, she has noticed a widespread
uneasiness following Trump’s election. She has asked her friends and
colleagues to begin collecting dreams.

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"You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand" - Jorge Luis Borges

“You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that
dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number
of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you
will die before you have truly awakened.” ― Jorge Luis Borges

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Israel assassinated a senior commander Baha Abu Al-Ata of the Islamic Jihad group in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday @bpolitics
Law & Politics

Israel assassinated a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad group in
the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, touching off a barrage of Palestinian
rocket fire at Israeli communities and Israeli airstrikes that
shattered a truce that’s largely held for months.
Islamic Jihad accused Israel of also targeting another of its top
commanders, Akram al-Ajouri, in the Syrian capital, Damascus. In a
statement, it said two other people, including al-Ajouri’s son, were
killed and warned that “Israel has crossed all the red lines.” Israel
had no comment on this attack.
The predawn missile strike on a building in Gaza City killed Bahaa Abu
al-Ata, a mastermind of hundreds of attacks on Israel, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised briefing. Military chief
Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi called the militant commander the main
obstacle to maintaining the unofficial cease-fire with Gaza’s Hamas
Al-Ata was planning another assault, and the raid was ordered under
Israel’s policy of stopping what it calls “ticking bombs,” Netanyahu
said. After dozens of rockets bombarded communities close to the
border with Gaza, and as far north as Israel’s Tel Aviv heartland, the
military began a series of strikes on Islamic Jihad targets, including
an attack on two militants on motorcycles planning a rocket launch, it
“We will attack whoever attacks us,” said Netanyahu. “Israel is not
interested in escalation,” he added, “but we will do whatever it takes
to protect ourselves. But that can take time. We have to let the army
do its job.”
Islamic Jihad spokesman Mos’ab al-Briem called the assassination “a
declaration of war on our Palestinian people” and vowed retaliation. A
Hamas spokesman, Hazem Qasem, told Al Jazeera TV that the group is
“coordinating a response to Israel’s crimes with the rest of the
Palestinian resistance.
” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement from
his office, “condemned the continuous Israeli escalation against our
people in the Gaza Strip.”
Three Gazans were killed in the attacks -- al-Ata and his wife, and
one of the motorcyclists. There were no serious casualties in Israel,
where a missile-defense system intercepted at least 20 rockets headed
for built-up areas, the military said.
In areas targeted by rocket squads, residents were instructed to stay
close to bomb shelters, banks went on an emergency footing, and
schools and universities were closed for the day. Israel’s security
cabinet convened to discuss the developments, and Israel Radio said
Egypt was trying to mediate a cease-fire.
Assassinations, once a more frequent tool in Israel’s arsenal, have
become relatively rare, and military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel
Jonathan Conricus said Israel is not “going back to targeted military
killings.” It has delivered messages to Palestinian militias that this
operation was a one-time event, he said.
If violence continues to get worse “Israel should hit Islamic Jihad
hard, Hamas, too, if involved, and then go back to crisis management,”
said Chuck Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser.
Any attempts to solve the longstanding conflict through solely
military means “will prove far more costly than the threat itself,” he

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Power to the People? @ProSyn Aryeh Neier
Law & Politics

From Beirut to Hong Kong to Santiago, governments are eager to bring
an end to mass demonstrations. But, in the absence of greater
institutional responsiveness to popular grievances and demands, people
are unlikely to stay home.
 People all over the world are resorting to mass demonstrations to
express grievances and press unmet demands. While, in some ways,
popular protests are a triumph of democratic principles and civic
activism, they also carry serious risks, including violence by and
against protesters.
Their pervasiveness today points to a failure of governments,
democratic and authoritarian alike, to hear, let alone meet, the needs
of their people.
The issues at stake are wide-ranging. In Catalonia, demonstrators are
demanding the release of nine separatist leaders facing lengthy prison
sentences for their roles in the regional government’s failed attempt
in 2017 to secede from Spain. In Chile, economic inequality is fueling
increasingly violent demonstrations, triggered by a fare hike on the
Santiago metro.
In Lebanon, what began as protests against corruption and poor
economic stewardship are now targeting the removal of the country’s
decades-old sectarian kleptocracy. And in Hong Kong, protesters are
resisting mainland China’s increasing encroachment on civil liberties
and the rule of law in the city, and have already forced their
government to withdraw the extradition bill that started it all.
People may resort to the “body rhetoric” of street protests when they
feel that they can’t effect change through democratic channels, such
as the ballot box.
In Moscow, protests erupted this summer after opposition candidates
were barred from running in the September elections for the city
Lebanon’s protest movement is driven by a similar lack of genuine
democratic options. Hong Kong residents cannot exactly vote out
China’s leaders.
But mass demonstrations often require significant sacrifice. Acts of
“civil disobedience” – say, blocking traffic (as has occurred in
Beirut and London) or paralyzing the airport (as in Hong Kong) – can
be a powerful way to draw attention to a cause, but they also put
their participants at risk, whether from tear gas or arrest.
Whether a protest movement succeeds or fails depends largely on the
media. “Police Suppress Violent Protests” is obviously a very
different headline from “Police Violently Suppress Protests,” and
neither sends the same message as “Protesters and Police Clash.”
Moreover, images of dramatic moments – like a high-profile arrest or a
human chain – can leave a deeper impression on the wider public’s
imagination than debates or slogans ever could. Some of the more
powerful protests against the Vietnam War included members of
Vermont’s Bread and Puppet Theater wearing costumes that evoked the
suffering the conflict was causing.
With inequality, populism, and authoritarianism still on the rise, it
seems likely that mass demonstrations will remain a fixture of global
politics for the foreseeable future. Governments will, no doubt, seek
to quash them. But, in the absence of greater institutional
responsiveness to popular grievances and demands, people are unlikely
to stay home.

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21-OCT-2019 :: The New Economy of Anger
Law & Politics

Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, “The
revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of
production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog
in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of
attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’
This Phenomenon about which I am speaking is not limited to Latin America.
We have recently witnessed the ‘’WhatsApp’’ Revolution in Lebanon,
where a proposed Tax on WhatsApp calls sent up to 17 per cent of the
Lebanese Population into the street. Iraq is on a Knife Edge. Millions
of Algerians sent the wheelchair-bound Bouteflika home not too long
Hong Kong remains in open rebellion and trying to shake off the
‘’Crusher of Bones’’ Xi Jinping and his Algorithmic Control.
The Phenomenon is spreading like wildfire in large part because of the
tinder dry conditions underfoot. Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate
economies, reducing opportunities and accelerate the negative feed-
back loop.
Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that
the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a
great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.”
Ryszard Kapuściński wrote:-“Revolution must be distingui- shed from
revolt, coup d’état, palace takeover. A coup or a palace takeo- ver
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.”
This is a Revolution and it is a Global Phenomenon.
Ryszard Kapucinski also said: “If the crowd disperses, goes home, does
not reassemble, we say the revolution is over.”
It is not over. More and more people are gathering in the Streets.
Unless we are now going to Xinjiang the Whole World [A Million People
Are Jailed at China’s Gulags. I managed to escape. Here’s what really
goes on inside @haaretzcom “children are being taken from their
parents, who are confined in concentration camps, and being put in
Chinese orphana- ges,” he says. “Women in the camps are receiving
inoculations that make them infertile’’], the current modus operandi
is running on empty.

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one key factor makes Bolivia playbook a difficult one to carry out against Venezuelan President Maduro Venezuela's armed forces have consistently refused to take side of protesters as Bolivia's military did @Reuters
Law & Politics

Venezuela’s barracks have stood by the ruling Socialist Party despite
a crippling economic meltdown, two waves of major protests in 2014 and
2017 and broad condemnation of Maduro’s 2018 re-election that was
widely described as fraudulent.
Even though opposition leader Juan Guaido has been recognized by more
than 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate president, his efforts to
court the armed forces have not been enough to sway their allegiance
to Maduro.
Dozens of active military officers on April 30 joined Guaido in the
streets of Caracas to call on military commanders to disavow Maduro,
but the uprising fizzled out as military top brass declared loyalty to
the president.
A Reuters Special Report found that Venezuela’s armed forces have been
heavily influenced by the presence of Cuban intelligence agents who
closely monitor the communications of officers suspected of dissent.
In addition, late socialist leader Hugo Chavez’s overhaul of the armed
forces starting in the early 2000s fractured the chain of command and
boosted the political allegiance of top officers.
Bolivia’s military has never had the same ideological links to the
ruling party or its leftist politics, said Franklin Pareja, a
professor at Universidad Mayor in San Andres de Bolivia.
“In Bolivia there has never been a civil-military government,” he
said. “The armed forces have always been lavishly remunerated, but
there has never been political conviction about the process or active
participation in the government.”
Bolivian armed forces commander Williams Kaliman on Sunday publicly
called on Morales to step aside, giving momentum to street protesters
alleging fraud at an October presidential election that Morales was
judged to have narrowly won.
That move by the military was in stark contrast to Venezuelan Defense
Minister Vladimir Padrino’s repeated oaths of allegiance to Maduro
despite violent street protests, complaints of voter fraud and broad
international condemnation.
Bolivia on Monday remained convulsed by looting and roadblocks and the
country remained mired in a power vacuum that Morales’ opponents were
scrambling to fill.
The 60-year-old former llama herder’s departure split Latin America
between right-leaning nations that celebrated his exit and leftist
governments saying he was victim of a coup.
“Why have the events in Bolivia not taken place in Venezuela?” wrote
exiled opposition leader Julio Borges on Sunday night. “The
explanation is in Cuba, the regime in Havana has infiltrated and
kidnapped our armed forces.”

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"Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown," a police spokesman told a briefing, referring to the last two days of violence. @Reuters.
Law & Politics

He said masked “rioters” had committed “insane” acts, such as throwing
trash, bicycles and other debris onto metro tracks and overhead power
lines, paralysing the transport system.
The United States on Monday condemned “unjustified use of deadly
force” in Hong Kong and urged police and civilians alike to
de-escalate the situation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged Britain and the
United States not to intrude, saying: “Hong Kong affairs are purely
China’s internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. We urge
the United States, United Kingdom and other countries to earnestly
respect China’s sovereignty.”
China has a garrison of up to 12,000 troops in Hong Kong who have kept
to barracks since 1997 but it has vowed to crush any attempts at
independence, a demand for a very small minority of protesters.

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Stone previewed @wikileaks bounty to @realDonaldTrump campaign in April 2016 @politico
Law & Politics

Roger Stone first told one of Donald Trump’s top aides in April 2016
that WikiLeaks had plans to dump information in the heat of the
presidential race, kickstarting a scramble inside the campaign to take
advantage of the expected releases.
And that plotting included at least one summertime call involving
Trump himself, according to Rick Gates, the former Trump deputy
campaign chairman, who was testifying Tuesday morning at Stone’s trial
over lying to Congress about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks.
The revelation means the Trump campaign was aware of WikiLeaks'
election-year plans much earlier than previously understood. And it
also shows that the president was involved in conversations about the
issue, something he has previously denied.
Gates said he first heard from Stone, a longtime Trump confidant,
about two months before Trump secured the GOP presidential nomination
in mid-July.
That's when Stone passed along initial, bare bones details about the
potential Julian Assange-orchestrated releases that would benefit
Trump's White House bid.
“Mr. Stone indicated that WikiLeaks would be submitting or dropping
information, but no information on dates or anything of that nature,”
Gates said in federal district court, where the trial against Stone
entered its second week.
Stone is also facing charges charges that he tampered with a witness
as Congress investigated Russia’s 2016 election interference.
“It was in a way a gift,” Gates said. He later added, “We were kind of
in disbelief. We believed that if information were to come out … there
were a number of us that felt that it would give our campaign a leg
Additionally, Gates’ testimony puts the onus back on Trump, who in
written responses to the special counsel said he didn’t recall “being
told during the campaign that Roger Stone or anyone associated with my
campaign had discussions” about WikiLeaks or Russian hackers
“regarding the content or timing of release of hacked emails.”
While Trump acknowledged in his answers to Mueller that he spoke with
Stone “from time to time during the campaign” he also said he had “no
recollection of the specifics of any conversations I had with Mr.
Stone between June 1, 2016, and November 8, 2016.”

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05-DEC-2016:: From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line ("a constant state of destabilised perception"), timely and judicious doses of @Wikileaks leaks
Law & Politics

From feeding the hot-house conspiracy frenzy on line (‘’a constant
state of destabilised perception’’), timely and judicious doses of
Wikileaks leaks which drained Hillary’s bona fides and her turn-out
and motivated Trump’s, what we have witnessed is something remarkable
and noteworthy.

International Markets

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11-NOV-2019 :: And my final point is that whilst the 'Twitterer in Chief' is easy to read, I am not sure he is the Decider.
International Trade

Here we go round the prickly pear.
Here we go round the prickly pear
at five o’clock in the morning.

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Highlight: "They are dying to make a deal," @realdonaldtrump says about China. @YahooFinance
International Trade

“We are the ones deciding whether or not we want to make a deal... But
we will only accept a deal if it is good for the United States and our
workers and our great companies.”

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11-NOV-2019 :: Practically every trading day now and for over a year, President Trump recycles the same headline.
International Trade

Recycle the same headline over and over and over again. And each time
markets jump. And each time it means nothing tweeted @NorthmanTrader
You know why algos buy unsubstantiated headlines? Because they’re
stupid. @NorthmanTrader:

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27-MAY-2019 :: China vs. US War Ballistic
International Trade

The point being in the trade war Trump is no longer the decider. In
the US, there is clearly a consensus baseline for a full-on toe to toe
slugfest as it were. In China, however, there is only one decider who
was pronounced as much by Xinhua in a historical announcement in March
Xi reckons he can direct a successful, society-wide struggle in the
trade dispute’’ Notwithstanding all the hyperbole and very partisan
commentary, the following are the plain Truths.
The Markets are still pricing in a benign [but much less benign than a
month ago] Outcome. We need to consider what a non-benign or even
maximum non-benign outcome looks like.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1011
Dollar Index 98.338
Japan Yen 109.08
Swiss Franc 0.9909
Pound 1.2853
Aussie 0.6846
India Rupee 71.71
South Korea Won 1167.60
Brazil Real 4.1693
Egypt Pound 16.1492
South Africa Rand 14.9513

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The year is 2050. The US is $100 trillion in debt The Fed's balance sheet is $50 trillion. A China trade deal is just around the corner. $SPY is trading 5 shares a day. Rates are at -10% @NorthmanTrader
World Currencies

The year is 2050. The US is $100 trillion in debt The Fed's balance
sheet is $50 trillion. A China trade deal is just around the corner.
$SPY is trading 5 shares a day. Rates are at -10%. And everybody is a
billionaire collecting income on their $50M mortgages.

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11-NOV-2019 :: The Markets are Run by Machines, Computers, Algorithms and Bots
World Currencies

Once upon a time many many years ago, the markets were traded on the
Phone and a human had to speak to another human in order to trade. You
read the Paper on the way to work, the TV was always on, You relied on
a trusted network of humans in different parts of the World. That time
feels as long ago as a Fairy Tale. I recall in the 1990s when the
Internet arrived on the Trading Floor. Today, as The Economist
headlined October 5th, it  is [The] ''March of the machines The
stockmarket is now run by computers, algorithms and passive managers''
 Morningstar, a research firm, reported that for the first time, the
pot of passive equity assets it measures, at $4.3trn, exceeded that
run by humans. The Financial Markets are a ''Bot'' World with Bots
trading with each other. And There is clearly a convergence with
Computational propaganda The University of Oxford's Oxford Institute
Computational Propaganda Research project   produced a research piece
which spoke of ''the use of algorithms, automation, and big data to
shape public life – is becoming a pervasive and ubiquitous part of
everyday life.
Cambridge Analytica's now infamous Andrew Nix said
“We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then
watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to
watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online
community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable,
“So the candidate is the puppet?,” the undercover reporter asked.
“Always,” replied Mr Nix.
Practically every Trading day now and for over a year, President Trump
recycles the same headline.
The latest iteration ''Donald Trump says China trade talks moving
‘very nicely’, claiming Beijing wants deal more than US'' [SCMP].
Recycle the same headline over and over and over again. And each time
markets jump. And each time it means nothing tweeted @NorthmanTrader
You know why algos buy unsubstantiated headlines? Because they're
stupid. @NorthmanTrader
This Feedback Loop has lifted stock markets particularly in the United
States to all time highs and there has been a spillover into other
developed markets. The Human Institutional Memory has been eroded and
if you traded on the basis of fundamentals, You would have been
stopped out a decade ago. This is a House of Cards of simply monstrous
proportions and has been bulked up with the steroids of Free money,
negative interest rates and QE.
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
The Hollow Men  T.S. ELIOT
Interestingly, last week, we saw a reversal of the overwhelming Safe
Haven Demand we had witnessed all year. Gold had its worse week in 2
years. G7 Government Bonds sold off. The US 10 year printed its
highest yield since mid Sep, trading above 1.90%. The German 10 year
yield was at its highest since mid July, last at -0.274%. French 10
Year Yields crossed into positive Territory.
The Global markets pirouette on the outcome of the Trade War. SCMP
news carried an article
Trade negotiator who got China into WTO is rooting for Trump’s
re-election because ‘Twitterer in Chief’ is easy to read.
Donald Trump, whose trade war with China has upended global supply
chains and imperilled the world’s economic growth, would be most
welcomed with another four years in the White House because he is
easier to read than other American politicians, said the negotiator
who led China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The US
president's daily Twitter posts broadcast his every impulse, delight
and peeve to 67 million followers around the world, making him “easy
to read” and “the best choice in an opponent for negotiations,” said
Long Yongtu, the former vice-minister of foreign trade and point man
during China’s 15-year talks to join the WTO nearly two decades ago
Now its clear that Trump is playing a Game and he has played it rather
well. And it is also within Xi's power to absolutely crash the US
market by simply pronouncing that ''No Trade Deal is possible'' and
the US stock indices will sink as far as the US Farm Economy has sunk
and with it Trump's relection chances. And my Final point is that
whilst the ‘Twitterer in Chief’ is easy to read, I am not sure he is
the Decider.
The risk of Bot and algorithmic mayhem is sky high and I am not sure
pumping the Patient with more QE and Free Money will do the trick next
time around.
The Bots will be waiting for Santa Claus and a Christmas rally so as
President Trump is wont to tweet
Stock Market up big today. A New Record. Enjoy!

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21-OCT-2019 :: The New Economy of Anger
World Currencies

People have been pushed to the edge and are taking to the streets.Paul
Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, “The revolutionary
contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but
in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the
technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in
other words, a producer of speed.’’The Phenomenon is spreading like
wildfire in large part because of the tinder dry conditions underfoot.
Prolonged stand-offs eviscerate economies, reducing opportunities and
accelerate the negative feed- back loop.


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21-OCT-2019 :: The New Economy of Anger
Emerging Markets

People have been pushed to the edge and are taking to the streets.
Paul Virilio pronounced in his book Speed and Politics, “The
revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of
production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog
in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of
attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’

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30-SEP-2019 :: President Bolsonaro pronounced "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free"
Emerging Markets

’Trails of death and destruction. Ideologically infected human souls
and biologically perverted children’’ which I will just leave out
there because his inter- vention in fact left me speechless.

Frontier Markets

Sub Saharan Africa

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Each year from now until 2030, 29 million Africans will reach working age. @TheAfricaReport

The Africa-to-Asia labour productivity ratio has decreased from 67% in
2000 to 50% today, the report finds. African exports of consumption
goods to African markets decreased between 2009 and 2016, both in
dollar terms and relative to the continent’s GDP.
“Without a strong and co-ordinated policy push,” the report says,
“African firms risk losing out to new global competitors.”
About 42% of Africa’s working youth live on less than $1.90 a day and
only 12% of Africa’s working-age women were in waged employment in
2016, according to the report.
The number of people on that income level increased by 31 million
between 1999 and 2015 to 407 million.
In some countries, almost 91% of the non-agricultural labour force
remain in informal employment.
The annual total of 29 million new entrants to Africa’s labour markets
risks becoming a cumulative addition to the jobless total. If jobs for
them are not found in one year, they will need to be created the next

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How Jho Low, Wanted for History’s Biggest Heist, Parked His Money at
an Obscure, Kuwaiti-Owned Bank
JHO LOW was becoming the public face of an embattled Malaysian
sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB, the financier made friends in
high places. He dined with Leonardo di Caprio, bought diamonds for
supermodel Miranda Kerr, and even financed the film production company
that made the “Wolf of Wall Street.” He went into business with Gulf
royals and real estate moguls from Abu Dhabi. Low’s high-flying ways
even brought him into alleged criminal conspiracies with an American
rapper and landed him on the receiving end of a Justice Department
indictment for laundering billions. Some of the business deals,
prosecutors said, were part of an expansive effort to launder
misappropriated public funds.
Along the way, Low found an ally in Sheikh Sabah Jaber al-Mubarak
al-Hamad al-Sabah, a well-connected member of Kuwait’s royal family.
Sabah, who is 56 years old, has a business degree from California
State University. He manages more than 30 companies worth around $200
million, according to Bloomberg. In Kuwait, he keeps a relatively low
profile. But on the Comoro Islands, an archipelago nation in the
Indian Ocean, Sabah is a big deal. When he visits the capital, Moroni,
newspapers put him on the cover. When he promises closer diplomatic
ties and greater foreign investment, Comorian officials rejoice.
Though he’s not involved in politics back home, he’s received — and
acts — like a diplomatic envoy because of his family’s position in
Kuwait. On a trip to the islands in December 2017, he met the
country’s president and pledged to renew his commitments to supporting
the Comorian economy.
Sabah had other reasons to travel to Comoros that winter: The Banque
Fédérale de Commerce, a small commercial bank that he chaired and
owned in full, had been giving him a headache for almost two years.
According to the bank’s former general manager, a Lebanese man named
Amine Halawi, Sabah helped Low and Tan Kim Loong — a frequent
associate of Low’s, also known as Eric Tan or “Fat Eric” — open
offshore accounts at the Banque Fédérale de Commerce in the summer of
To bypass rules prohibiting business from nonresidents, the sheikh
wrote a letter to the Banque Fédérale de Commerce authorizing the
transaction as the chair of the bank’s board. Halawi passed on the
request to the Comorian Central Bank, but the bank did not issue its
denial until August 15 of that year, well after the accounts were
Sabah gave these orders after Singapore, Switzerland, and the U.S.
began investigating Low’s role in an alleged global corruption scandal
that resulted in former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak being
charged with three counts of “criminal breach of trust” and one count
of “corruption.”
Concerned that something was amiss and worried that he’d be caught up
in a mess far above his pay grade, Halawi insisted time and time again
that the sheikh take full responsibility for compliance matters
related to those accounts.
But when news of Low’s activities finally got out, Sabah was not the
one answering questions. Instead, it was Halawi who caught the blame:
In September 2017, he was arrested, charged with aiding and abetting
money laundering, and in October, he was sentenced to three years in
prison in the Comoros and fined a million euros, or $1.2 million.
Halawi lodged an appeal to his sentence in 2018; the fine was lifted,
and his sentence was reduced to time served. Halawi was released from
prison, only to be thrown out of the country immediately.
Now a free man back in his native Lebanon, Halawi is telling his side
of the story. His account is a window into a small but significant
piece of the 1MDB scandal that illustrates the lengths to which the
global ultrarich will go to help each other out, and the desperate
routes that hot money will take when it has nowhere left to hide.
During the apartheid era, for instance, Comoros was a hub for
gunrunners working for sanctioned South Africans.
Doing business on the islands isn’t for the squeamish: For almost two
decades, French mercenaries all but ran the Comoros, which makes many
Comorians understandably suspicious of foreigners to this day.
After their ouster, a series of coups d’état won the islands a
reputation for danger and instability. The result has been a country
that is not a haven for cash, like the nearby Seychelles, but a
destination for ambitious gamblers and financial adventurism.
Sabah’s dealings in the Comoros began in the mid-2000s. By that time,
the islands had called free elections and its residents were living in
relative stability. The sheikh arrived under the wing of Bashar Kiwan,
a French-Syrian businessman with whom he runs Al Waseet International,
a publishing and media company.
With his business savvy, perfect French, and easy charisma — along
with the sheikh’s good name — Kiwan was able to pitch the Comorian
government on an ambitious plan to transform the islands into the new
He and his associates proposed sprucing up an old hotel; building
resorts, roads and infrastructure; and marketing the islands to
tourists abroad.
With Sabah by his side for credibility — it never hurts to have
royalty on board — Kiwan pledged to raise capital on his own, but he
also talked lawmakers into selling more than 40,000 Comorian passports
to the government of the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE used the passports to document stateless residents to whom it
has repeatedly denied the right to Emirati citizenship. (Kuwait, which
has a large stateless population, entertained such a scheme, but
despite public support from high-ranking officials, the plans went
Known as the “economic citizenship” program, the deal was due to net
the Comoros $200 million, much of it earmarked to give Kiwan and
Sabah’s local firm, Comoro Gulf Holdings, contracts to build
infrastructure that the islands still desperately needs.
Kiwan also opened a bank. He incorporated the Banque Fédérale de
Commerce in 2006 and, by 2009, he’d obtained a banking license and
capitalized the institution with just shy of 10 million euros
transferred directly from various Kiwan and Al Waseet
International-linked accounts, records show.
Over the years, a combination of changes in political leadership and
personal relationships gone sour all but exiled Kiwan from the
Comoros, but he remained on the bank’s board through 2016 and was
copied on high-level internal email exchanges well into 2017.
An Al Waseet secretary answered queries from the bank on behalf of
Kiwan, who in turn acted as an intermediary for Sabah.
Along the way, Kiwan’s role with the bank diminished and he was
eventually no longer involved: According to ownership records, by
2010, he was fully divested. Sabah had taken over: The sheikh, who in
2008 owned just 25 percent of the Banque Fédérale de Commerce, became
the bank’s sole shareholder.
His efforts paid off. By 2014, Sabah promoted Halawi to the top role
of general manager, overseeing a small staff of locals and Arab
expatriates. He also sat on the bank’s board of advisers.
Under Halawi’s watch, the bank also started lending to ordinary
Comorians. Halawi rented a house and adopted two German shepherd
puppies, Arna and Pouji.
He brought his brother over from Lebanon to work at the bank. “It was
my home and career. I built that bank,” he said. “I had plans for
expansion, opening more branches.”
In Halawi’s recollection, things started to get weird in January 2016,
when the bank’s board of advisers convened for its annual meeting at a
swanky Kuwait City hotel, then held meetings in private without him.
On March 9, the secretary at Al Waseet, who handled some bank-related
matters, emailed Halawi and other members of the board informing them
about an important visit to the islands: A delegation including Jho
Low would be arriving the next day in Moroni. Low would be accompanied
by a Singaporean man named Seet Li Lin, a former Wharton Business
School classmate of Low’s and a vice president at Low’s private equity
firm in Hong Kong, along with a Malaysian woman named Jesselynn Chuan
Teik Ying whom Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Tom
Wright identify as Low’s girlfriend in their recent book “Billion
Dollar Whale.” Also present would be Majd Suleiman, an erstwhile Kiwan
associate whose father is a former Syrian intelligence chief, and
Hamad Al Wazzan, a Kuwaiti investment banker who, according to Low, is
another friend from Wharton. According to Hope and Wright, Low took a
semester off to travel to Kuwait with Al Wazzan, who “arranged
meetings with businesspeople and minor royals.”
The group was scheduled to fly out of Kuwait at 3 a.m. on Sabah’s
private jet and arrive on the Comoros Islands around 9 a.m., according
to scheduling emails. They would visit the Comorian Central Bank
before taking off again a few hours later.
Kiwan’s secretary noted that they should receive “VIP treatment” on
account of the sheikh’s connections. She attached scanned copies of
their passports and specified that they would be arriving on flight
That flight never took off. But it didn’t matter. By summertime, Sabah
instructed Halawi to open accounts for himself, his son, Low, and Tan
Kim Loong.
On June 2, the bank registered one account for transactions in euros
and another for business in Comorian francs for Low. On June 17, after
making the same request by phone, Halawi emailed Kiwan demanding
written evidence that the sheikh “will hold full responsibility for
any problems or compliance issues” regarding the nonresident accounts.
Halawi referenced a letter the sheikh had sent to the central banker
in May; a scanned copy of that letter arrived attached to an email
from an Al Waseet secretary on June 20.
So far, though, the bank has managed to at least survive. This past
summer, a Mauritian named Azad Dhomun was appointed the Banque
Fédérale de Commerce’s general manger. Dhomun said he would help
transform the Comoros Islands into “the Switzerland of the Indian
But, before long, another mishap would befall the bank: In August, the
bank suffered a massive fire. The fire brigade’s slow response aroused
a controversy — the Comorian head of civil security was eventually
sacked — but the cause of the fire remains unknown.

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Kenya Needs at Least $15 Billion for Universal Power Access @business @eombok

East Africa’s largest economy needs between $15 billion and $18
billion to achieve all-round electricity access by 2022, according to
Power For All, a global coalition of 200 private and public
organizations campaigning for universal reach.
“With almost $15 billion in investment into a particular suite of
projects -- geothermal, generation, off-grid, energy efficiency,
transmission and distribution -- Kenya could achieve universal access
by 2022 with the current growth of demand at about 5.3% per year to
2020 for East Africa,” Chief Research Officer Rebekah Shirley and Data
Manager Monkgogi Otlhogile said in response to emailed questions.
Realization of this target is dependent on various factors including
the financing available, population growth, technology, generation,
demand, policy and regulation, the officials said. The coalition’s
campaign is based on achieving its goal through decentralized,
renewable electricity.
About 12.6% of existing connections are off-grid and 87.4% are on the
national network, according to the coalition. Based on 2016 data,
Kenya’s per capital power consumption is about 173 kilowatt-hours.
This compares with 117 kilowatt-hours in Tanzania, 99 kilowatt-hours
in Ethiopia, 85 kilowatt-hours in Uganda and 46 kilowatt-hours in
Rwanda, according to Renaissance Capital Ltd.
For nations to be industrialized, adult literacy needs to be at least
70% and electricity consumption at a minimum of 300 kilowatt-hours per
person to have a big manufacturing sector, which means contributing
20% of economic output, according to Renaissance Capital’s Global
Chief Economist Charles Robertson.

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On 30 June 2019, a man fell from the sky and landed in the back garden of a house in south London. @SkyNews @sparkomat

He was busy reading on a lounger in the garden when the ground shook
with a terrifying thud.
A man had created a hole in the garden just 3ft from the end of his sun bed.
It had only taken 20 seconds or so for him to plummet from a Kenya
Airways passenger plane.
He had hidden in the Boeing 787's landing compartment and fallen when
the wheels were lowered for landing.
Still, the stowaway was probably dead before he hit the ground.
The plane had spent eight hours at 37,000ft (11,277m), where oxygen
levels are thin and the cold is colder than any deep-freeze.
Passengers are protected in a pressurised cabin but the stowaway was
subjected to the elements.
The police said the incident was "not being treated as suspicious",
but they have not been able to finish their report.
No one seems to know the stowaway - and nobody has come forward to
identify him. A coroner-led inquest has been postponed.
But this individual came from somewhere and he decided to leave the
people and the places he knew and loved.
Sky News wanted to find out more.
His fate was sealed when he hid himself away.
We began our hunt at the biggest airport in Kenya on the assumption
the stowaway had probably worked there.
It took us a couple of days, but we finally got a break from an Uber
driver called Kamau.
"I've been following the stowaway story," he said, as he bossed his
Toyota Corolla around the airport.
"Anybody gone missing?" I asked.
"Yeah. A cleaner from Colnet. He went missing around the same time.
Some [airport] workers were talking about it."
It was a scrap of information that felt like something solid after
hours of fruitless questioning - and it gave us somewhere to start.
Colnet is one of dozens of firms providing services at Jomo Kenyatta
International. It deploys hundreds of people as cleaners and
sanitation workers and the company does pest control as well.
A women called Irene said she could help us. We have changed her name
to protect her identity.
She told us her colleague at Colnet had gone missing at the end of
June. His name was Paul Manyasi.
"The last time I saw him, we were at work, he suddenly disappeared,
nobody knows where he went," she said.
"I called his phone and it was off. When we came in the morning the
following day the supervisor called us and told us there is somebody
missing. [The supervisor had told them] We are not sure of the person
so we keep it a secret until we know the person."
"You were told by the company to keep it a secret?" I asked.
"Yes," she said.
Irene had some photos of Paul, who was 29, and she told us they had
been in a relationship for two years.
Irene told us that Paul was living in a slum called Makuru Kwa Njenga.
It is an overcrowded neighbourhood of some half a million people
tucked behind a four-lane highway near the airport.
You would not choose to live there – the slum is dirty and unsafe -
but it is the only affordable option for cleaners, cargo workers and
baggage handlers.
Paul shared a room with a man called Patrick and we spent several
weeks trying to locate their shack.
"Paul was a friend of mine," he told us. "We came from the same
county, the same school and I was working at Colnet so I took him to
the company and we started together."
But Patrick says the 29-year-old was dreaming of something more.
"Member of County Assembly," she answered. "He liked to be called that
name. Like a nickname."
Paul's decision to sneak inside the aircraft was a foolhardy thing to do.
The Boeing 787 is one of the world's most efficient passenger
aircraft, engineered to fly at higher altitudes over longer distances
while using significantly less fuel.
However, aviation expert Guy Leitch says there are pockets of space
underneath the main cabin where a stowaway can wedge himself in.
"I just don't understand how anyone can survive," Mr Leitch added. "It
is beyond comprehension to think you could survive at -60C (-76F) for
eight or nine hours, or even 10, at 33,000ft.
"There's so little oxygen that your body starts pumping it back out
into the air. You couldn't hold your breath even for a minute."
We went to the people who run Nairobi's international airport – the
Kenya Airports Authority and asked them for them a response to our
We asked them whether they agree with our conclusions about Paul
Manyasi. Furthermore, we asked whether his presence as a stowaway on a
passenger jet would constitute a security breach at Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport.
They did not reply.
We also went to cleaning company Colnet. We asked if they could
confirm that their 29-year-old worker went missing at the end of June.
They did not reply either.
We provided our findings to the Met Police.
"Has anyone been in touch with you?" I asked. "No one," he said
I asked Janet whether she had contacted anyone about Paul.
"I didn't know where to start or where to end, I don't know who to
ask. Paul's phone isn't working."
I asked the pair how they wanted to proceed but Mr Manyasi said there
was nothing he could do. With a large family to feed, he could not
afford to bring Paul home.
"Let him stay [in the UK]. Those are too many expenses. Soil is just soil."

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Kenya's Silverstone Air suspends all flights @ReutersAfrica

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s Silverstone Air is suspending all flights
effective Nov. 12, it said on Tuesday, after an accident last month
badly injured a woman and an incident in which a plane was forced to
make an emergency landing after a wheel fell off.
The airline said it made the decision after the civil aviation
authority suspended its fleet of Dash 8 aircraft. The authority
launched an audit inspection of Silverstone following last month’s two
Silverstone operates multiple flights per day to the East African
nation’s coastal destinations which are popular with foreign tourists.

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@KeEquityBank share price data

Par Value:                  0.50/-
Closing Price:           48.70
Total Shares Issued:          3702777020.00
Market Capitalization:        180,325,240,874
EPS:             5.25
PE:                 9.276

Equity Group Holdings Q3 results 2019 through 30th September 2019 vs.
30th September 2018
Q3 Investment securities 165.791008b vs. 158.574780b +4.580%
Q3 Loans and advances to customers (net) 348.926199b vs. 288.381425b +20.995%
Q3 Total assets 677.105467b vs. 560.385886b +20.828%
Q3 Customer deposits 478.100509b vs. 402.245441b +18.858%
Q3 Total shareholders’ funds 108.700982b vs.  90.671064b +19.885%
Q3 Net interest income 32.283514b vs. 29.474661b +9.530%
Q3 Total operating income 54.832418b vs. 49.304302b +11.212%
Q3 Loan loss provision 1.877403b vs. 1.323729b +41.827%
Q3 Total operating expenses [30.040882b] vs. [26.895801b] +11.694%
Q3 Profit/ [Loss] before tax and exceptional items 24.791536b vs.
22.408501b +10.635%
Q3 Profit/ [Loss] after tax and exceptional items 17.339782b vs.
15.828467b +9.548%
Q3 Basic and diluted EPS 4.59 vs. 4.17 +10.072%
Q3 Net NPL 16.546978b vs. 16.181105b +2.261%

Equity Bank Geographical & Business Diversification PAT y/y Growth
Rwanda +35%D R Congo +33% Uganda +14% South Sudan -50% Tanzania -81%

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

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