|Tuesday 07th of April 2020
06-APR-2020 : The Way we live now
It certainly is a new c21st that we find ourselves in. There is a
luminous and Fairy Tale feel to life in quarantine and as you know
most fairy tales have an oftentimes dark and dangerous and unspoken
undercurrent. I sit in my study and its as if my hearing is sharpened.
I hear the Breeze, birdsong, Nature in its many forms and the urban
background noise which was once the constant accompaniment to daily
life has entirely retreated. The Nights are dark, the stars are bright
and the neighbiours long gone.
There is a Passage in V.S Naipaul's A Bend in the River
“Going home at night! It wasn't often that I was on the river at
night. I never liked it. I never felt in control. In the darkness of
river and forest you could be sure only of what you could see — and
even on a moonlight night you couldn't see much. When you made a noise
— dipped a paddle in the water — you heard yourself as though you were
another person. The river and the forest were like presences, and much
more powerful than you. You felt unprotected, an intruder ... You felt
the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you
had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was
always there.You felt the land taking you back to what was there a
hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul, A
Bend in the River
One feels one must tread more carefully now, with a lot of
circumspection, that not just my purchase but all of ours is a lot
more precarious now and that there is something Karmic in this
#COVID19. When I saw a Video of a Pool Party in South Africa, where
everyone was chanting ''Corona Corona'' like a mantra, I recoiled, I
couldn't watch because I thought to myself, You can be sure of one
thing COVID19 will come. The COVID19 is invisible but it has already
defeated the most expensive Aircraft carriers, it lurks everywhere and
in silence and has put down Mecca, St. Peters Square and the Vatican,
Qom and everywhere else that we congregate and ask for succour. It is
not to be trifled with. Boris dismissed it and now speaks to the
Nation like a disembodied voice from a Bunker. [I wrote this before
the news about Boris Johnson's hospitalisation I wish him a speedy
Trump too thinks its another Trade and his luck which took him all the
way to the Presidency will hold out and watching his always surreal
White House Briefing has an added frisson of the waiting for him to
turn yellow. And I suppose we all wish we had an Angela Merkel because
at least then we might have a fighting chance.
Don DeLillo wrote "Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We
have minutes to live."
And it certainly feels like we are pirouetting at the precipice and
our Leaders are saying Don't Panic and I want to say ''look Chum You
are not Merkel and just a few days ago You were telling me its all
cool its just the Flu. Others might take you seriously on what basis I
know not but I don't.''
Venturing to the Supermarket is like going on a Safari. You look
around. You keep your distance. You want to leave. You think every
surface is potentially a Killer. You walk around the familiar and it
all feels so unfamiliar.
And what is clear is that we are all in our different but similar
quarantined experiences at an inflexion Point because COVID19 has
brought us all to an inevitable question. What is it all about? Can it
ever return to what it was? As I try and peer through into the Future
the one thing I do know is that its not reverting to what it was. We
are turning the Page here and the uncertainty is because we all know
collectively that's what we are about to do. The book is in front of
us and the page might turn itself but turn it will. The Question is
what is on the next page and I cannot answer that.
What I do know is this. Regime implosion is coming to the Oil
Producers and Trump can game the price a little more sure but its a
pointless exercise. Demand has cratered and a return to a hyper
connected 100m barrels per day world is not going to happen for the
foreseeable future. Putin will survive because he prepared for this
moment. Others are as good as terminated. I also know that we are
about to enter The Great Depression. The FED, The ECB and the all the
other Central Banks can print but at some point it turns Weimar
Germany. Before it turns Weimar Germany, it falls off a cliff in
Emerging Markets. We are watching the Great Decoupling unfold in front
of our eyes, from Brazil to South Africa to India. Twenty years of
good times are now ended. Africa is simply too dreadful to
contemplate. We are weeks away now from collapsing health care systems
and ''blow ups'' in our urban centres. Ramaphosa and Kagame might have
a chance but everywhere else I look, leadership is as clueless as
Trump is in his White House Briefing.
When, and How, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic End? @business
With confirmed cases of Covid-19 globally exceeding 1 million and more
countries going into lockdown to slow the pandemic, the emerging
question is: “When will this all end?”
The answer depends in large part on uncertainties about the novel
coronavirus that causes the disease, including whether you can get it
more than once and how quickly the world’s scientists might produce a
The cost and benefits of a prolonged shutdown and what different
countries can afford, from both an economic and political standpoint,
are factors, too.
1. So how does this end?
There’s a consensus that the pandemic will only end with the
establishment of so-called herd immunity. That occurs when enough
people in a community are protected from a pathogen that it can’t take
hold and dies out.
There are two paths to that outcome. One is immunization. Researchers
would have to develop a vaccine that proves safe and effective against
the coronavirus, and health authorities would have to get it to a
sufficient number of people.
The second path to herd immunity is grimmer: It can also come about
after a large portion of a community has been infected with a pathogen
and develops resistance to it that way.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, said lockdown
measures there need to last two, three or, ideally, up to six months.
Annelies Wilder-Smith, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at
the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, recommends
restrictions stay in place until daily cases drop consistently over at
least two weeks.
5. Why is testing so important?
This virus is wreaking so much havoc, not because it’s especially
lethal, but because it’s insidious; many who are infected are well
enough to go about their daily business, unwittingly spreading it to
That makes it vital to test for infection widely in the population,
and to test everyone with symptoms. That way, those who are infectious
can be put in isolation and everyone they’ve had close contact with
while contagious can be tracked down, tested and if necessary isolated
as well, limiting the spread in the community.
Another kind of test looks for antibodies to see who has already
beaten the virus and is thus unlikely to be re-infected, at least for
Once widely available, such tests might enable people who test
positive for antibodies to move about more freely.
Some research assumes the actual number of infections is much higher
than the confirmed cases. If that’s true, countries are closer to herd
immunity than we know.
"Their incurable character defect, known as narcissistic psychopathy (also, closely enough, malignant narcissism), is the most dangerous form of psychopathology known to humankind" @gtconway3d
Law & Politics
“Their incurable character defect, known as narcissistic psychopathy
(also, closely enough, malignant narcissism), is the most dangerous
form of psychopathology known to humankind and the source of much, if
not all, of human-made evil in the world.”
2-SEP-2019 :: the China EM Frontier Feedback Loop Phenomenon. #COVID19
China EM Frontier Feedback Loop Phenomenon. This Phenomenon was
positive for the last two decades but has now undergone a Trend
The Fall-out is being experienced as far away as Germany Inc. The ZAR
is the purest proxy for this Phenomenon.
African Countries heavily dependent on China being the main Taker are
also at the bleeding edge of this Phenomenon.
This Pressure Point will not ease soon but will continue to intensify.
Sub Saharan Africa
2-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA
The First Issue is whether The #CoronaVirus will infect the Continent.
We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and
multiplicative.what exponential disease propagation looks like in the
Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ...
then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!
S. Africa's Economy May Shrink as Much as 4%, Central Bank Says @economics
South Africa’s economy could contract by 2% to 4% this year due to the
coronavirus pandemic and measures to curb its spread, according to the
A 21-day nationwide lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the
pandemic will reduce the rate of change in gross domestic product for
this year by 2.6 percentage points, the central bank said in its
six-monthly Monetary Policy Review on Monday.
The monetary policy committee projected in March that the economy will
contract by 0.2%, but that was before the lockdown was announced.
“Some growth now becomes irrecoverable,” according to the Reserve
South Africa’s economy is stuck in its longest downward cycle since
World War II, with rolling blackouts and poor business and consumer
sentiment weighing on growth.
Uncertainty and downward shocks to economic prospects posed by the
coronavirus mark “an inauspicious start to a new decade after the
serial disappointments of the 2010s,” the central bank said.
The past decade was the worst for South African growth, with total
output expanding by only 15.9% between the first quarter of 2010 and
the final quarter of 2019, compared 18.9% and 16.7% in the 1980s and
1990s, central bank data show.
The 1980s and 1990s were marred by uncertainty when the former
all-white government renewed a state of emergency and the country
prepared for its first democratic elections.
While the MPC cut its benchmark interest rate by the biggest margin in
more than a decade last month to cushion the impact of the virus on an
already fragile economy and to support the spending power of companies
and households, monetary stimulus alone can’t make up for South
Africa’s “significant pre-existing growth constraints,” the central
“Better long-term growth prospects will therefore require a range of
interventions, many of them outside the domain of the central bank.”
The coronavirus crisis could push the budget deficit to wartime levels
by sapping revenue and potentially increasing spending requirements if
the lockdown doesn’t effectively contain the rate of infections, the
central bank said.
The shortfall could exceed 10% of GDP this fiscal year, it said.
The largest shortfall on record was 11.6% of GDP in 1914, followed by
10.4% in 1940, according to the central bank. The Treasury projected a
gap of 6.8% for 2020-21.
While the outbreak will test whether inflation expectations are
resistant to shocks, inflation is expected to remain “well contained”
within the bank’s 3% to 6% target range until 2022 and weak demand
will exert downward pressure on prices, the central bank said.
09-DEC-2019 Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes
This week @MoodysInvSvc downgraded Nigeria to negative and we learnt
that Foreign Investors are propping up the Naira to the tune of NGN5.8
trillion ($16 billion) via short- term certificates.
Everyone knows how this story ends. When the music stops, everyone
will dash for the Exit and the currency will collapse just like its
collapsing in Lusaka as we speak.
.@FitchRatings has downgraded Nigeria to 'B' from 'B+, with a negative outlook.
Nigeria's vulnerability to short-term capital outflows is high given
the sizeable stock of portfolio investments in short-term naira debt
securities, equivalent to USD27.7billion (6.9% of GDP) at end-2019 and
representing around 72% of FC reserves at the time. Of these
liabilities, USD14.7 billion was in non-resident investments in the
CBN's open-market operation bills that were attracted by high interest
rates and hedging instruments offered to non-residents at non-economic
costs under the CBN's policy of stabilising the exchange rate.