|Thursday 14th of November 2019
When the Storms Come #Tsavo @SheldrickTrust
There is an indescribable feeling of joy when the first rains break.
It’s almost an instant transformation; what had been an arid palette,
all peaches and greys, suddenly bursts into a verdant paradise,
pulsating with life.
The parched earth becomes saturated and the air becomes perfumed with
that earthy smell of rain. Dormant seeds burst into life, colourful
creepers blanket the trees, and bullfrogs bob in the overfilling
This year, the rains arrived early in Tsavo — which bodes well for the
months ahead. We always marvel at how quickly these storms
Blue skies are replaced by dramatic cloud formations, the air becomes
pregnant, as the heavy clouds roll across the horizon. And just as
quickly as they arrived, they’re gone.
The skies turn crystal clear, the sun shines bright, and the glossy
ground is the only hint of the storm that just passed.
No one celebrates the rain more than elephants. If the dry months are
focused solely on survival, the wet seasons are all about play.
Now, there’s a potential mud bath around each corner and every budding
shoot is a tasty morsel. Elephants frequent rivers and other known
water sources during the dry seasons, so during these rainy times,
they’re eager to change up the scenery and explore new terrain.
Every day is an adventure, filled with discovery and frivolous fun.
The seasons also serve up a bounty of lessons for the orphaned
elephants in our care. Dry spells bring their wild counterparts to our
stockades and the surrounding area, because they know we provide
topped up water sources where they can quench their thirst.
These visiting friends are very generous with their knowledge,
teaching the orphans how to navigate Tsavo’s seasons.
Across our three Reintegration Units, we have several elephants who
are flirting with a wild life.
They will make the full transition to independence during rainy months
like these, as so many have before them. Until our next contingent is
ready to take that step, we can all marvel at these early rains and
celebrate them as the elephants do.
WHY THE NILE RIVER HASN'T CHANGED COURSE IN 30 MILLION YEARS @FuturityNews
Scientists have finally solved the geologic mystery of the Nile
River’s unchanging path. And they made another discovery: the river is
about 30 million years old—six times as old as previously believed.
Ancient Egyptians considered the Nile River to be the source of all
life. The steady northward path of the river has nourished the fertile
valleys of northeast Africa for millions of years and in doing so,
shaped the course of human civilization.
Long-lived rivers usually move over time. Researchers have cracked the
case of why the Nile is different by linking the river’s flow to the
movement of rock in the Earth’s deep mantle.
They discovered that if not for the mantle movement keeping the river
on course, the Nile would have turned west long ago, probably changing
the course of history along with it.
“One of the big questions about the Nile is when it originated and why
it has persisted for so long,” says lead author Claudio Faccenna, a
professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of
Texas at Austin. “Our solution is actually quite exciting.”
The results should settle a long-running debate about the age of the
river and provide evidence that the slow movement of the deep mantle
is one of the key forces shaping our Earth’s landscape and geological
The Earth’s mantle is composed of solid rock that flows like a fluid
over long periods. Like currents in an ocean, different areas of the
mantle have different circulation patterns.
The researchers connected the tilted nature of the Nile’s topography
to a conveyor belt of mantle rock pushing up against the Ethiopian
Highlands in the south and pulling the surface down in the north.
From beginning to end, the gentle gradient keeps the Nile on a
consistent northward course.
The research involved tracing the geological history of the Nile by
studying ancient volcanic rock in the Ethiopian Highlands and
correlating it with enormous deposits of river sediment buried under
the Nile Delta.
This told the researchers that after rising dramatically, the
Ethiopian Highlands have remained at a similar height for millions of
years, which the researchers attribute to the support of the mantle
rock from below.
“We know that the high topography of the Ethiopian plateau was formed
about 30 million years ago,” says research scientist Thorsten Becker,
a professor at the Jackson School.
Until now, however, it was unclear what has maintained the topography
for so long.
The team used computer simulations that re-created 40 million years of
Earth’s plate tectonic activity to verify their findings.
The model showed the arrival of a hot mantle plume that probably led
to the outpouring of lava that formed the Ethiopian Highlands while
activating a conveyor belt in the mantle that persists to this day.
The simulation reproduced changes in the landscape almost exactly as
the scientists had expected—including small details in the landscape
such as whitewater rapids found along the length of the Nile.
The ability of the model to refine such small details was a big
surprise and a significant research finding, says Petar Glisovic, a
research collaborator at the University of Quebec. “I think this
technique gives us something we didn’t have in the past,” he says.
Combining diverse geological data with state-of-the-art, geophysical
modeling was key for the research, says Eric Kirby, a professor at
Oregon State University. “Without either piece, you wouldn’t get such
a compelling result,” says Kirby, who was not involved in the study.
The team now hopes to apply the technique to other rivers such as the
Yangtze and Congo.
Additional researchers from the University of Florida, the University
of Milano-Bicocca, the Geological Survey of Israel, and the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem contributed to the work, which received
support from NASA and the Italian government’s Ministry of Education,
University and Research.
21-OCT-2019 :: We have recently witnessed the "WhatsApp" Revolution in Lebanon
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.’’
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-
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.
After Evo The Lithium Question Looms Large In Bolivia @zerohedge
Law & Politics
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on
November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had
been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy
to his long-exploited country. It is important to recall that Bolivia
has suffered a series of coups, often conducted by the military and
the oligarchy on behalf of transnational mining companies. Initially,
these were tin firms, but tin is no longer the main target in Bolivia.
The main target is its massive deposits of lithium, crucial for the
Bolivia’s key reserves are in lithium, which is essential for the
electric car. Bolivia claims to have 70 percent of the world’s lithium
reserves, mostly in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. The complexity of
the mining and processing has meant that Bolivia has not been able to
develop the lithium industry on its own. It requires capital, and it
Tiananmen in Hong Kong The Alarming Echoes of 1989 @ForeignAffairs
Law & Politics
At first, when demonstrators began spilling into city streets,
citizens were surprised by their audacity and struck by their
idealism, openness, and élan as they confronted the might of the
Chinese Communist Party. The demonstrators’ demands were limited and
answerable, their behavior civil, and their marches orderly. Yet as
their numbers grew, they allowed themselves to entertain a heady sense
of possibility—a hope that this time they might actually be heard.
When they ran into police lines, instead of yielding they defiantly
but peacefully kept going. Government officials and party organs
denounced them as unpatriotic fomenters of social turmoil, but they
turned the insults into fuel for an expanding movement. Before long,
they had occupied the heart of the city.
Weeks passed, and the demonstrators, worried about losing steam,
changed tactics, reinventing themselves and winning over additional
elements of society and thereby giving their movement new life. Party
officials took great umbrage at the affront of hundreds of thousands
of insubordinate youths defying them and paralyzing the city center,
but because of certain important upcoming national occasions, they did
not wish to crack down. Yet neither would they negotiate with the
young troublemakers. And so the demonstrations continued to grow and
become more chaotic.
Such are the outlines of the Tiananmen Square protests that unfolded
over seven weeks in 1989—and also of the protests unfolding now in
Hong Kong. Thirty years ago, the party’s indignant supreme leader,
Deng Xiaoping, ultimately could no longer restrain himself: on June 4,
he ordered in troops who massacred protesters. The alarming parallels
between then and now make it hard not to worry that Hong Kong could
come to a similarly savage conclusion.
23-SEP-2019 :: Streaming Dreams @Netflix
‘’Annals of Technology Streaming Dreams’’ by John Seabrook January 16, 2012.
“People went from broad to narrow,” he said, “and we think they will
continue to go that way—spend more and more time in the niches—
because now the distribution landscape allows for more narrowness’’.
And this brought me to Netflix. Netflix spearheaded a streaming
revolution that changed the way we watch TV and films. As cable TV
lost subscribers, Netflix gained them, putting it in a category with
Facebook, Amazon, and Google as one of the adored US tech stocks that
led a historic bull market [FT].
Netflix faces an onslaught of competition in the market it invented.
After years of false starts, Apple is planning to launch a streaming
service in November, as is Disney — with AT&T’s WarnerMedia and
Comcast’s NBCUniversal to follow early next year.
Netflix has corrected brutally and lots of folks are bailing big time
especially after Netflix lost US subscribers in the last quarter. Even
after the loss of subscribers in the second quarter, Ben Swinburne,
head of media research at Morgan Stanley, says Netflix is still on
course for a record year of subscriber additions.
Optimists point to the group’s global reach. It is betting its future
on expansion outside the US, where it has already attracted 60m
subscribers. And this is an inflection point just like the one I am
signaling in the Oil markets.
Netflix is not a US business, it is a global business. The Majority of
Analysts are in the US and in my opinion, these same Analysts have an
international ‘’blind spot’’
Once Investors appreciate that the Story is an international one and
not a US one anymore, we will see the price ramp to fresh all-time
I, therefore, am putting out a ‘’conviction’’ Buy on Netflix at
Friday’s closing price of $270.75.
Bitcoin Close to Sounding Sell Alarm as Recent Rally Cools @crypto
As Bitcoin’s recent rally cools, technical signals suggest the biggest
cryptocurrency could face further headwinds ahead.
The trading range between Bitcoin’s 50- and 200-day moving averages
has diminished to its narrowest since June, potentially indicating
that an inflection point may be on the horizon.
Though Bitcoin’s already fallen below its 50-day moving average, a
drop below the 200-day could trigger a sell signal.
“The best way to describe the market is it’s retracing last year’s
bear market,” Mike McGlone, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence,
said by phone.
“It’s in no hurry to take out the old highs -- there’s a hangover of
residual selling from the parabolic rally in 2017. There’s just a lot
of people who bought it, got way too overextended, who will be
The most widely-owned-digital asset has erased much of the gains it
posted after China’s President Xi Jinping said the country was
inclined toward increasing investments of blockchain technology as it
searches for industrial advantages.
While crypto enthusiasts took that as a positive for Bitcoin, the
token has subsequently traded lower, dropping near 5% this month. The
Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index has lost more than 2% in the same
On Wednesday, Bitcoin fell as much as 0.6% to around $8,708 in New York trading.
04-NOV-2019 :: At the Moment of Vision, the Eyes See Nothing
The Ministry of Sound ["My concept for Ministry was purely this: 100%
sound system first, lights second, design third (in that order); the
reverse of everyone else’s idea."] 4 am[ers] otherwise known as the
BITCOIN Evangelists will of course all be screaming
''Aly-Khan, Aly-Khan Just Buy Bitcoin its going to $50,000, $100,000,
Last week they all got carried away when Xi apparently gave Bitcoin
It took China about 3 days of being officially interested in
blockchain to make their intentions clear: transparent, panoptichain
immutable social credit dystopia. @nic__carter
All you people that are ready to forsake all of your values for the
sake of riding some authoritarian driven pump, I want nothing to do
with you @nic__carter
I don’t believe in the god damn “underlying technology”, I believe in
the FREEDOM that the technology gives us. From autocrats and
It matters because ppl are interpreting it as validation of
permissionless blockchains when it represents a perversion and
corruption of those ideals @@nic__carter
Not to mention the ability to shut-off access to anyone on the system
with a “flip of a switch”. A 21st century authoritative government’s
The terrifying reality of a cashless society @mc_madvillian
I am of the view that BITCOIN and crypto is a Jeffrey Edward Epstein
[and his cast of characters] level Con and I am having nothing to do
with it other than occasionally looking in and admiring the
sophistication and level of the Con. Its breathtaking.
The most referenced Poem today is WB Yeats The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Its easy to see why.
7-NOV-2017 :: Bitcoin "Wow! What a Ride!"
“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It Is the
parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused
to believe- that everything, always, collectively, had been moving
toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no
surprise, no second chance, no return.’’
If you spend your life deeply immersed in the markets, then it is
necessary to sniff out these parabolic moves. And it’s better to do
right than say right as Edwin Lefevre noted nearly a century ago.
Or as T.S Eliot said in The Hollow Men
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom.
‘’One of the few men to get out in time before the Wall Street crash
of 1929 did so – legend has it – because he was offered a stock tip by
the boy who shined his shoes. He immediately sold all his holdings. If
the mania for gambling on the stock market had reached down to the
children on the streets, the bubble must have been due to pop at any
moment. The corresponding moment for the cryptocurrency bubble will
only be discernible in retrospect, but we have some pretty strong
candidates already. The endorsement of one project by the reality TV
star Paris Hilton has already happened.’’
There are many cryptocurrency schemes which are sold on the same
grounds as the greatest South Sea Bubble prospectus: “For carrying on
an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.”
My investment thesis at the start of the year was that Bitcoin was
going to get main-streamed in 2017. It has main-streamed beyond my
wildest dreams, therefore, I am now sidelined.
Let me leave you with Hunter S.Thompson, “Life should not be a journey
to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and
well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of
smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
“Wow! What a Ride!”
14-OCT-2019 :: Xi Jinping "The End of Vanity" which I characterised at the time as a "a substantive linguistic recasting of China Africa by Xi Jinping"
I recall #FOCAC2018 and the famous photograph where all the Chinese
officials had a pen and paper and not one African official was taking
notes. Had they been taking notes they would have heard Xi Jinping
specifically speak of ‘’The End of Vanity’’ which I characterised at
the time as a ‘’a substantive linguistic recasting of China Africa by
I only recently discovered Ecclesiastes and clearly Xi was ahead of me
in this regard.
Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 2 Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher 2 Vani-
ty[a] of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is
vanity. 11 There is no remembrance of former things,[c] nor will there
be any re- membrance of later things[d] yet to be among those who come
@afreximbank still plans IPO in London, Oramah says @TheAfricaReport
The African Export-Import Bank still aims to go ahead with a initial
public offering in London after postponing the plan at the end of
The bank’s interest in IPO has “not gone away”, Afreximbank Chairman
Benedict Oramah said at the African Investment Forum in Johannesburg.
The plan was postponed because “major developments in the bank should
be reflected in information to shareholders,” he said, without
elaborating. “We plan to go ahead with an IPO in London.”
The bank had hoped to raise $250m and initially said that the shares
would start trading in London in November.
It postponed the plan at the end of October, citing “unfavourable
Oramah spoke on 13 November after the signing a memorandum of
understanding between Afreximbank and industrial group Thelo DB on
railway and rolling stock financing.
According to Harry Broadman, chair of the emerging markets practice at
Berkeley Research in Washington, a dollar-denominated listing would
have been more logical as Afreximbank’s investments are made in
Egypt Lures Yield Hunters With Longest Dollar Bond on Record @markets
Egypt is selling its longest dollar bond on record, seizing on
investor appetite for riskier assets as it spreads out the burden of
As well as a 40-year note, the Arab world’s most populous nation is
offering bonds maturing in four and 12 years, according to a person
familiar with the matter, who is not authorized to speak publicly and
asked not to be identified.
Yield guidance is about 8.6% for the bonds due in 2059, 4.9% to 5% for
the four-year debt, and about 7.5% for the 12-year notes, the person
Egypt has been the biggest bond issuer in Africa in the past three
years since it embarked on a sweeping economic reform program backed
by the International Monetary fund.
The government is taking advantage of fund flows into emerging-market
debt amid signs of a possible trade deal between the U.S. and China,
and as sub-zero yields in core markets push investors into
The yield on Egypt’s $1.7 billion of notes maturing in 2030 rose 1
basis point to 6.92% as of 1:46 p.m. in Cairo, paring its drop this
year to 87 basis points.
Egypt has already issued $6.2 billion of dollar and euro securities
this year, and sold $9 billion-worth in 2018.
The Finance Ministry has embarked on a four-year strategy to reduce
its debt load to 80% of gross domestic product by June 2022 from about
92% in June 2019.
It also plans to more than double the average maturity of its
sovereign securities to around four years by June 2020 from 1.9 years
To that end, the government will raise the share of longer-dated debt
to 40% of annual domestic issuance by the end of the current fiscal
year begun in July, from 5% in 2017-2018, Finance Minister Mohamed
Maait said in an interview last month.
The government is targeting as much as $7 billion from international
markets this fiscal year, and may sell its first Sukuk, Panda and
Samurai bonds, as well as green and euro-denominated notes.
Investor interest has helped African countries including Ghana, South
Africa, Nigeria and Angola issued debt maturing in 30 years or later
over the past two years.
BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Natixis SA and
Standard Chartered Plc are organizing the bond sale.
Ghana Plans 21% Spending Surge in 2020 as Election Looms @economics
Ghana will ramp up spending by a fifth next year and plans to raise as
much as $3 billion in international markets as it prepares for an
election in 13 months.
Total expenditure, including the clearance of arrears, is projected at
85.9 billion cedis ($15.5 billion), 21% more than the projected
outcome for 2019, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told lawmakers in
his budget presentation on Wednesday.
Wages and salaries will make up 27% of that. Capital spending is
projected at 9.3 billion cedis, 54% more than this year.
With the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party expected to
seek a second straight term in power when Ghana goes to the polls in
December 2020, investors have been looking out for signs of excessive
spending, something the incumbents have done in the past.
Ghana ended its 16th bailout program with the International Monetary
Fund in April, and the government has pledged to maintain fiscal
Ghana’s economy expanded more than 6% annually since 2017 on the back
of additional oil exports. The government will target growth of 6.8%
next year, Ofori-Atta said. That compares with the IMF’s forecast of
“It’s an expenditure for growth,” Lord Mensah, a senior finance
lecturer at the University of Ghana, said by phone. “It looks like
some of the revenue streams which the government failed to unlock this
year will happen next year. If they can put a lid on expenditure
leakages, the growth target is plausible.”
Ofori-Atta raised the budget deficit forecast for next year to 4.7% of
gross domestic product, compared with a prediction of 4.5% given in
Despite this increase, the shortfall will stay below the legislated 5%
until at least 2023, according to his presentation.
Ghana will finance the gap with 8.3 billion cedis from domestics
sources and 10.6 billion cedis from foreign investors, including as
much as $3 billion in a planned international capital-market program,
the minister said.
“Despite the year being an election year, President Akufo-Addo and his
government will ensure that the perennial excessive spending during
such periods will not happen in 2020,” Ofori-Atta said.
“We shall work within the 2020 appropriation resource envelope and
adhere to the fiscal responsibility act to maintain fiscal
The government has started talks with independent energy producers to
renegotiate supply contracts under which the state has to pay about
$450 million a year for excess power that it doesn’t use.
The negotiating teams are close to completing the first round of these
discussions, Ofori-Atta said.
@KCBGroup share price data here
Par Value: 1/-
Closing Price: 49.55
Total Shares Issued: 3209043204.00
Market Capitalization: 159,008,090,758
KCB Group PLC Q3 2019 results through 30th September 2019 vs. 30th
Q3 Kenya Government securities available for sale 59.782029b vs
Q3 Loans and advances to customers (net) 486.423319b vs. 435.281159b +11.749%
Q3 Total Assets 786.334651b vs. 684.165200b +14.933%
Q3 Customer Deposits 586.715181b vs. 526.844181b +11.364%
Q3 Total shareholders’ funds 121.232144b vs. 105.461697b +14.954%
Q3 Net interest income 38.679592b vs. 36.304865b +6.541%
Q3 Total operating income 59.654382b vs. 54.246608b +9.969%
Q3 Loan loss provision [5.842788b] vs. [1.799437b] +224.701%
Q3 Staff costs [13.574730b] vs. [12.783160b] +6.192%
Q3 Total other operating expenses [32.481217b] vs. [28.638744b] +13.417%
Q3 Profit/ [Loss] before tax and exceptional items 27.173165b vs.
Q3 Profit/ [Loss] after tax and exceptional items 19.163215b vs.
Basic and diluted EPS 8.33 vs. 7.86 +5.890%
Total NPL and Advances 37.767156b vs. 30.502466b +23.817%