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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 17th of June 2020

“The businessman bought at ten and was happy to get out at twelve; the mathematician saw his ten rise to eighteen, but didn’t sell because he wanted to double his ten to twenty.”

Just weeks after the stock market crashed in 1929, President Herbert Hoover assured the country that things were already “back to normal,” Liaquat Ahamed writes in Lords of Finance https://j.mp/39DEhpw

Five months later, in March 1930, Hoover said the worst would be over “during the next 60 days.”

When that period ended, he said, “We have passed the worst.”

Eventually, Ahamed writes, “when the facts refused to obey Hoover’s forecasts, he started to make them up.”

Government agencies were pressed to issue false data. Officials resigned rather than do so, including the chief of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And we all know how that turned out: The Great Depression.

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BREAKING: Army to hold press conf at 2 pm. Reports of 3 soldiers killed in Galwan clash with Chinese. First LAC combat casualties since 1975. @ajaishukla
Law & Politics

Time for the govt to come clean and stop lying about "disengagement" and "mutual withdrawal". A national crisis is no time for deception

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The Indian economy is in a mess, mass unemployment, Escalation from China, killing of our soldiers, a pandemic that is out of control. This is India at its weakest ever, thanks to @PMOIndia @RanaAyyub
Law & Politics

The Indian economy is in a mess, mass unemployment, Escalation from China, killing of our soldiers, a pandemic that is out of control. And a Prime Minister who can only flex his muscles on innocent student protestors. This is India at its weakest ever, thanks to  @PMOIndia

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12-FEB-2018 :: What we saw unfold in Pyeongchang marks a significant and iconic moment for the Mount Paektu Bloodline
Law & Politics

Kim Jong-un unleashed his secret weapon on the world, that secret weapon being his sister Kim Yo Jong, who evidently bamboozled South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

“I wish I can see you in Pyongyang at an early date,” Kim Yo Jong told Mr Moon.

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30-APR-2018 :: "A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history."
Law & Politics

The Events that took place on Friday at the truce village of Panmunjom and during the Inter-Korean Summit were breathtaking for the Hollywood Optics. The Opening Shot of Kim Jong Un surrounded by a Phalanx of North Korean Officials [later replayed as Chairman Kim sat in his Presidential Vehicle surrounded by his Ninja bodyguards] was almost as good as the opening Sequence in PT Anderson's Boogie Nights [Steadicam operator Andy Shuttleworth]. This was Cinema of the highest level which is no surprise when You consider that Kim Jong-Il the Father was obsessed with Cinema and amassed arguably the world’s largest personal film collection: over 20,000 bootlegged 35mm screening copies. Kim Jong-Il also had a penchant for Hennessy Paradis cognac and for two years in the mid-1990s, he was the world's largest buyer of Hennessy Paradis cognac, importing up to $800,000 of the stuff a year.  Kim Jong-Il began his career as the head of the state’s propaganda and agitation department and its clear that Kim Jong-Un's sister Kim Yo Jong who holds the same role and evidently handles all the optics, is a chip off the old Block. Friday was tip-top Geopolitical Optics. Mike Pompeo, the newly minted US Secretary of State [His predecessor was fired via Twitter] had visited Pyongyang the previous week and pronounced; that the young North Korean leader was "a smart guy who's doing his homework"

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29-11-2010 FAR away in distant lands lies the Hermit Kingdom They all have had tiny little hands like the Elves in the Elves and the Shoemaker.
Law & Politics

They all have had tiny little hands like the Elves in the Elves and the Shoemaker. And this country has nuclear weapons and on its border with its neighbour South Korea sit 25,000 American soldiers.

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Coronavirus could infect human brain and replicate, US study shows #COVID19 @FinancialTimes

US scientists have found the first direct evidence that coronavirus could infect the human brain and replicate inside its cells, heightening concern about the disease’s poorly understood neurological symptoms.

Thomas Hartung and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University made the discovery after adding low levels of Sars-Cov-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, to tiny neuronal balls known as mini-brains that are grown from human stem cells.

The researchers found the virus infected neurons in the mini-brains via the ACE2 human protein that is known to be an important entry point for Sars-Cov-2. 

The virus then multiplied within the neurons; within three days the number of copies had increased at least tenfold.

More than a third of coronavirus victims who were hospitalised in the Chinese city exhibited neurological symptoms, including dizziness, headache and seizures.

However, it has never been clear whether the virus affects the brain and nerve cells directly or whether such symptoms are a secondary result caused by damage to the patients’ immune and cardiovascular systems.

For instance, it is not known whether a loss of the sense of smell, a common symptom of the virus, is a result of direct infection of olfactory neurons or a side-effect of infection in other cells involved in olfaction. 

If Sars-Cov-2 can attack the human brain, it has to get past the blood-brain barrier that shields the organ against many viruses and chemicals and often prevents infections.

Although the Johns Hopkins mini-brains show some features of a human brain, including electrical activity and communications between neurons, they lack other features, including the blood-brain barrier.

“Whether or not the Sars-Cov-2 virus passes this barrier has yet to be shown,” Prof Hartung said, “but it is known that severe inflammations, such as observed in Covid-19 patients, make the barrier disintegrate.”

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The spike glycoprotein of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV contains a furin-like cleavage site absent in CoV of the same clade

We identified a peculiar furin-like cleavage site in the Spike protein of the 2019-nCoV, lacking in the other SARS-like CoVs. 

In this article, we discuss the possible functional consequences of this cleavage site in the viral cycle, pathogenicity and its potential implication in the development of antivirals.

Based on its genome sequence, 2019-nCoV belongs to lineage b of Betacoronavirus (Fig. 1A), which also includes the SARS-CoV and bat CoV ZXC21, the latter and CoV ZC45 being the closest to 2019-nCoV. 2019-nCoV shares ~76% amino acid sequence identity in the Spike (S)-protein sequence with SARS-CoV and 80% with CoV ZXC21 (Chan et al., 2020). 

In this article, we focus on a specific furin-like protease recognition pattern present in the vicinity of one of the maturation sites of the S protein (Fig. 1B) that may have significant functional implications for virus entry.

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Table 1. Comparative sequences of envelope protein cleavage site(s) in coronaviruses (above) and in other RNA viruses (below). Empty boxes: no consensus motif detected..

Fig. 2. Schematic representation of the human 2019-nCoV S-protein with a focus on the putative maturation sites. The domains were previously characterized in SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV: Signal peptide (SP), N-terminal domain (NTD), receptor-binding domain (RBD), fusion peptide (FP), internal fusion peptide (IFP), heptad repeat 1/2 (HR1/2), and the transmembrane domain (TM). The SP, S1↓S2 and S2′ cleavage sites are indicated by arrows. The sequence of different CoV S1/S2 and S2′ cleavage sites were aligned using Multalin webserver (http://multalin.toulouse.inra.fr/multalin/) with manual adjustments and the figure prepared using ESPript 3 (http://espript.ibcp.fr/ESPript/ESPript/) presenting the secondary structure of SARS-CoV S-protein at the bottom of the alignment (PDB 5X58) (Yuan et al., 2017). Insertion of furin like cleavage site is surrounded by a black frame. Red asterisks indicate the presence of a canonical furin-like cleavage motif at the S1/S2 site. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the Web version of this article.)

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UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2020 @UNCTAD #UNCTADWIR
International Trade

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are forecast to decrease by up to 40% in 2020, from their 2019 value of $1.54 trillion, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2020.

This would bring FDI below $1 trillion for the first time since 2005 (figure 1). In addition, FDI is projected to decrease by a further 5% to 10% in 2021 and to initiate a recovery in 2022, the report says.

“The outlook is highly uncertain. Prospects depend on the duration of the health crisis and on the effectiveness of policies mitigating the pandemic’s economic effects,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.

“Despite the drastic decline in global FDI flows during the crisis, the international production system will continue to play an important role in economic recovery and development. Global FDI flows will continue to add to the existing FDI stock, which stood at $37 trillion at the end of 2019,” Mr. Zhan added.

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UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2020 @UNCTAD #UNCTADWIR
World Of Finance

FDI flows to Africa are forecast to fall by 25 to 40 per cent in 2020. The negative trend will be exacerbated by low commodity prices. In 2019, FDI flows to Africa already declined by 10 per cent to $45 billion.

FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to halve in 2020. 

Investment prospects are bleak because the pandemic compounds political turbulence and structural weaknesses in several economies. 

 These challenges were already reaching an inflection point; the pandemic looks set to tip the scales. 

. At their lowest level ($1.2 trillion) then, in 2009, global FDI flows were some $300 billion higher than the bottom of the 2020 forecast.

The expected level of global FDI flows in 2021 would represent a 60 per cent decline since 2015, from $2 trillion to less than $900 billion.

The outlook beyond 2021 is highly uncertain. A U-shaped trajectory, with a recovery of FDI to its pre-crisis trend line before 2022, is possible but only at the upper bound of the expectations. 

Economic and geopolitical uncertainty look set to dominate the investment landscape in the medium term. 

At the lower bound of the forecast, further stagnation in 2022 will leave the value of global FDI well below the 2019 level.

Immediate impacts: FDI stuck in the lockdown. The physical closure of places of business, manufacturing plants and construction sites to contain the spread of the virus causes immediate delays in the implementation of investment projects. 

The exogeneous shock of the pandemic adds to the usual volatility of FDI. The range forecast for FDI through 2020 is between -30 and -40 per cent and for 2021 between -30 and -50 per cent. The main factor that will determine the severity of the drop is the development of the health emergency.

Longer term, developing economies may be further penalized by the trend towards re-shoring or regionalization of international production, which could accelerate in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Projections indicate that FDI in developing Asia, normally the growth engine of FDI worldwide, will decrease by 30 to 45 per cent.

GDP forecasts for 2020 from the International Monetary Fund (IMF, 2020a), used as an input in UNCTAD’s forecasting model, project a decrease of -5 per cent for Latin America and the Caribbean, against a slight change of +1 and -2 per cent for Asia and Sub- Saharan Africa, respectively.
Over the last 10 years, investments in renewable energy have grown constantly, to make up more than 50 per cent of all investment projects globally in 2019.

However, the share of tech and digital MNEs in the total foreign sales of the top 100 still increased over the same period, from less than 17 per cent to more than 18 per cent, and their share in foreign assets increased from 10 per cent to 11 per cent (attesting to the asset-light nature of their foreign operations)

UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revised its initial projection of the COVID-19 impact on international tourism arrivals for 2020 from a 20–30 per cent contraction to 60–80 per cent, having noted a 57 per cent drop in March alone and the imposition of travel restrictions in every country around the world.

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Unlike previous recessions, job losses now are concentrated in services, in things like leisure (restaurants) & hospitality (hotels) @RobinBrooksIIF
World Of Finance

We're all eating out less, travelling less, etc, so the "new normal" after COVID-19 may have fewer of these jobs & higher structural unemployment.

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Currency Markets At A Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1285

Dollar Index 96.875

Japan Yen 107.33

Swiss Franc 0.9488

Pound 1.2568

Aussie 0.6899

India Rupee 76.1875

South Korea Won 1214.22

Brazil Real 5.24444

Egypt Pound 16.18

South Africa Rand 17.179

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Zimbabwe’s Inflation Rate Jumps to 785.55% in May @economics

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation surged to 785.55% in May from 765.57% in April, according to the National Statistics Agency.

The month-on-month inflation rate in May was 15.13% from April’s 17.64%, the agency said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account.

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02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word

We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and multiplicative.

what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world. Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ... then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!

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10-MAY-2020 :: The worrying development is Transmission Hotspots #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment

Kano in Nigeria for example
Western Cape growing at an alarming rate @sugan250388
Someone with close knowledge of the medical profession said it was almost impossible to secure a hospital bed in several cities.
The Aga Khan hospital in Dar es Salaam had a well-equipped ward for 80 coronavirus patients, but several were dying each night, he said.
The Question for SSA is whether these Transmission Hot Spots expand and conflate?

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Judge in Congo President Aide’s Trial Murdered, State Says @BPolitics
Law & Politics

An autopsy of the body found he suffered a brain hemorrhage after trauma to the head, according to a statement on Twitter that Tunda ya Kasende verified in a message to Bloomberg. There was also a non-lethal dose of an unidentified toxic substance in Yanyi’s body, it said.

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@WorldBank approves $1 billion for health, education in Congo @ReutersAfrica
World Of Finance

The financing comprises $800 million to support free primary school education and $200 million to improve maternal and child health.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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June 2020

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