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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 07th of July 2020

06-APR-2020 :: The Way We Live Now
World Of Finance

There is a luminous and Fairy Tale feel to life 

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R_21_14 stabilizes around 1.20 @oli3be

Every 14 days, number of "confirmed active cases: *1.2

55 days:  *2

125 days: *5

175 days: *10

365 days: *100


R_d1_d2= (1+d1_Days_Delta[Cases - Recovered - Deaths])^(d2/d1)--- Worldwide --- #COVID19 #Coronavirus

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#COVID19 and the Spillover Moment

―They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

―In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.

But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.

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Presenting the politics of Covid-19 in America. Fantastic chart from @OwenMinde @DavidInglesTV
Law & Politics

Top tracks total new daily cases in red and blue states

Bottom tracks probability of either a Biden or Trump win.

I'll just leave this here.

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@realDonaldTrump Support Withering in Areas Where Virus Cases Are Rising @business
Law & Politics

Coronavirus is skyrocketing in Republican-leaning Sunbelt and interior states, where shifting attitudes about the virus and President Donald Trump’s handling of it could spell more trouble for his re-election effort.

New cases have exploded in particular in Arizona and Florida, battlegrounds Trump must retain to win re-election. 

Jacksonville, Florida, where the president relocated the Republican National Convention, had the fastest-growing rate of coronavirus of any metropolitan area in the U.S. for the week ended July 4, according to Evercore ISI.

The convention site was changed after Roy Cooper, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, balked at holding a gathering in Charlotte, as planned since 2018 when it was the only city to officially submit a bid, at full capacity.

The slide in support for Trump occurred as the president stopped talking about the virus and masks to focus instead almost entirely on reopening, a risky gamble that so far appears to be backfiring.

Pew Research Center polls show Trump’s approval is slipping fastest in the 500 counties where the number of cases have been more than 28 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people.

Pew surveyed voters in late March and the same people again in late June, and found 17% of those who approved of the president in March now disapprove.

The shift came almost equally among Democrats and Republicans, men and women, and college graduates and non-graduates. 

But those who live in counties with a high number of virus cases were 50% more likely to say they no longer approve of Trump.

And older voters, who have typically trended conservative and have backed Trump in the past, are abandoning him at the same time the virus hits those ages 65 and older the hardest.

In six key battleground states, Trump is now trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 6 percentage points among voters 65 and over, according to a New York Times-Siena College poll conducted June 8 through June 18 in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Biden is leading Trump by 6 percentage points in Arizona and by 6.4 percentage points in Florida, according to the RealClearPolitics polling averages for those states.

The shift of coronavirus cases from Democratic-leaning, densely populated cities like New York, Chicago and Boston into the Sunbelt and rural America has been swift and dramatic.

States Trump carried in 2016 accounted for 75% of new Covid-19 cases during the seven days ended July 4, though they only represent 57% of the U.S. population.

Biden narrowly led Trump in Texas, 45%-44%, a state the president won by 9 percentage points in 2016. In Georgia, which Trump won by 5 points in 2016, Biden was up 47%-45% in a Fox News Poll taken June 20-23.
But there are ominous signs. New cases hit a record among over-75-year-olds in Florida in late June, and by last week daily fatalities were the highest in month. 

Arizona set new records for its daily death rate last week; those over 65 have accounted for 73% of all the Covid fatalities in the states.

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To watch the Daily Briefing is to understand that the Control Machine has a Novice, a hubristic Ignoramus in charge of the Console
Law & Politics

The virus may be the most dangerous adversary America has ever faced. It's like the US was invaded. Tweeted @balajis

The normal defenses fail. It can't be bombed. Bank accounts can't be frozen. Unbreakable morale. No supply chain. Lives off the land. Infinite reinforcements. Fully decentralized.

I wrote a Non Linear and exponential Virus represents the greatest risk to a Control Machine in point of fact #COVID19.

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America and China Are Entering the Dark Forest @bopinion @nfergus
Law & Politics

“We are in the foothills of a Cold War.” Those were the words of Henry Kissinger when I interviewed him at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing last November. 

The observation in itself was not wholly startling. It had seemed obvious to me since early last year that a new Cold War — between the U.S. and China — had begun. 

This insight wasn’t just based on interviews with elder statesmen. Counterintuitive as it may seem, I had picked up the idea from binge-reading Chinese science fiction.

First, the history. What had started out in early 2018 as a trade war over tariffs and intellectual property theft had by the end of the year metamorphosed into a technology war over the global dominance of the Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co. in 5G network telecommunications; an ideological confrontation in response to Beijing’s treatment of the Uighur minority in China’s Xinjiang region and the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong; and an escalation of old frictions over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Nevertheless, for Kissinger, of all people, to acknowledge that we were in the opening phase of Cold War II was remarkable.

Since his first secret visit to Beijing in 1971, Kissinger has been the master-builder of that policy of U.S.-Chinese engagement which, for 45 years, was a leitmotif of U.S. foreign policy

It fundamentally altered the balance of power at the mid-point of the Cold War, to the disadvantage of the Soviet Union. 

It created the geopolitical conditions for China’s industrial revolution, the biggest and fastest in history. 

And it led, after China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, to that extraordinary financial symbiosis which Moritz Schularick and I christened “Chimerica” in 2007.

When Middle America voted for Trump four years ago, it was partly a backlash against the asymmetric payoffs of engagement and its economic corollary, globalization

Not only had the economic benefits of Chimerica gone disproportionately to China, not only had its costs been borne disproportionately by working-class Americans, but now those same Americans saw that their elected leaders in Washington had acted as midwives at the birth of a new strategic superpower — a challenger for global predominance even more formidable, because economically stronger, than the Soviet Union.

It is not only Kissinger who recognizes that the relationship with Beijing has soured. Orville Schell, another long-time believer in engagement, recently conceded that the approach had foundered “because of the CCP’s deep ambivalence about the way engaging in a truly meaningful way might lead to demands for more reform and change and its ultimate demise.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has done more than intensify Cold War II. It has revealed its existence to those who last year doubted it

The Chinese Communist Party caused this disaster — first by covering up how dangerous the new virus SARS-CoV-2 was, then by delaying the measures that might have prevented its worldwide spread.

Yet now China wants to claim the credit for saving the world from the crisis it caused. 

Liberally exporting cheap and not wholly reliable ventilators, testing kits and face masks, the Chinese government has sought to snatch victory from the jaws of a defeat it inflicted

The deputy director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department has gone so far as to endorse a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and retweet an article claiming that an American team had brought the virus with them when they participated in the World Military Games in Wuhan last October.

Just as implausible are Chinese claims that the U.S. is somehow behind the recurrent waves of pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. The current confrontation over the former British colony’s status is unambiguously Made in China. 
Yet there remains, in academia especially, significant resistance to my view that we should stop worrying and learn to love Cold War II.
Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google, argued instead for a “rivalry-partnership” model of “coop-etition,” in which the two nations would at once compete and cooperate in the way that Samsung and Apple have done for years.
The pandemic, Allison argued, has made “incandescent the impossibility of identifying China clearly as either foe or friend. Rivalry-partnership may sound complicated, but life is complicated.”

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07-OCT-2019 :: China turns 70
Law & Politics

Longing on a large scale makes History

Hu Xijin [President Xi’s trusted mouth-piece] described as ‘’This is the legendary DF41 ICBM. But it is not a tale. Today it is displayed at Tiananmen Square I touched one about four years ago in the production plant. No need to fear it. Just respect it and respect China that owns it’’.

”No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation forging ahead”, he said.

They have “stood up.” Xi’s model is one of technocratic authoritarianism and a recent addition to his book shelf include The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. 

Xi is building an Algorithmic Society.

The World in the 21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hind- sight. 

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02-JUN-2020 :: The Markets are very complacent about A US China ‘’Hot War’’
Law & Politics

It has come to a Put Up or Shut Up moment Matters India Taiwan South China Sea et al. Neither Side have an ‘’Off Ramp’’ and the US Electoral Cycle and the ‘’Wolf Warrior’’ Strategy all point at more intensity rather than less.

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Shadow State by Luke Harding review – Putin's poisonous path to victory @guardian
Law & Politics

Ludicrously, the two gormless suspects claimed they had gone to Salisbury during a bitter cold snap – the beast from the east – to inspect the cathedral, “famous for its 123-metre spire”.

Then our weird but brilliant nerd army, Bellingcat, went to work on their laptops and scoured Russia’s open and not-so-open media sources, and through dogged deduction managed to out the real names of the two suspects, Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin.

The critical detail in all this was the method, Novichok, a nerve agent only manufactured by Russia’s secret state. 

Anyone who has spent time in Russia will know that a hit of this kind could only happen with the say-so of the master of the Kremlin. 

Two years on, note the failure of western leaders to bring Vladimir Putin properly to account for the Salisbury poisonings.

Harding interviews a former GRU officer, Viktor Suvorov, who says: “My spy instinct tells me that Korobov was murdered. Everyone sitting inside GRU would understand this, 125%.” 

If this all feels like a rejected Bond script, one should note Catherine Belton’s story in her book, Putin’s People, that the Russian president spent his formative years as a KGB officer, running far-left terrorists in the Red Army Faction active in West Germany from his base in Dresden in East Germany. 

Putin is only doing now what he knows best: running infiltration agents to sow chaos in the west.

Harding sets out the evidence that Putin’s best agent could be the president of the United States; that Donald Trump is, perhaps, the biggest, the most powerful traitor in modern history

He talks to Christopher Steele, MI6’s former top officer in Moscow, whose infamous report points to a number of sources saying Trump hired two sex workers to urinate on the bed in the fancy Moscow hotel where the Obamas had once stayed. 

Trump, when challenged about this, hit back: “I’m a germaphobe.” True, but he could have enjoyed the show while sitting well back.

Harding’s thriller-for-real gets bleaker yet when he sets out the scene for the summit between Putin and Trump in Helsinki in 2018. 

He writes: “As every sentient human being was aware, Trump denied collusion with Russia. And yet his behaviour with Putin seemed, well, furtive. There was no other word for it.”

Against all the precedents, the White House side took no notes, had no aides and hoovered up the evidence of what Vladimir and Donald talked about. 

One journalist asked Putin if he or the Russian government had compromising material on Trump. Putin replied that such a suggestion was “utter nonsense” and gave the reporter an eye-roll.

Does the Russian secret state collect sex kompromat? Da, da, da. 

For example, Shadow State cites the case of Yuri Skuratov, the Russian prosecutor-general, who resembled the man filmed in bed with two sex workers. 

The secret policeman who went on TV to say the man in the grainy video looked like Skuratov? That would be Putin, just before he became prime minister in 1999.

The storytelling gets murkier when the backdrop moves to Ukraine. Knowing that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was a director of Burisma, a Ukrainian company, Team Trump started creating a case that Joe Biden as Obama’s vice-president had sought the dismissal of a prosecutor who was looking into Burisma. 

Black is white, white black, the clock is striking 13. Joe Biden and the US ambassador to Kyiv did call for the prosecutor’s dismissal because he was regarded as corrupt and not doing a proper job. 

When Trump’s shenanigans came to light, the Republican majority in the Senate saved him from impeachment.

The charge against Trump – treason – stands.

If the Kremlin interfered in the US presidential election in 2016, as the CIA believes, did Putin fix the Brexit vote, too? 

So we thought we voted for Brexit but it was, you could say, Kremxit all along? 

While the British public is kept in the dark, it’s no consolation that the master of the Kremlin has a working knowledge of everything that might be in it.

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.@MarthaRaddatz “How would you describe Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin?” @ABC John Bolton: “I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle.”
Law & Politics

In one May 2019 phone call, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, part of what Bolton terms a “brilliant display of Soviet style propaganda” to shore up support for Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro. Putin’s claims, Bolton writes, “largely persuaded Trump.”

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22-JUN-2020 :: Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World.
Law & Politics

And it all left me wondering Who exactly is controlling the Console?

I thought to myself This all has the Imprimatur of the "political technologist of all of Rus." And non linear War Specialist Vladislav Surkov.

Putin's system was also ripe for export, Mr Surkov added. Foreign governments were already paying close attention, since the Russian "political algorithm" had long predicted the volatility now seen in western democracies.

With a flourish he sponsored lavish arts festivals for the most provocative modern artists in Moscow, then supported Orthodox fundamentalists, dressed all in black and carrying crosses, who in turn attacked the modern-art exhibitions. @TheAtlantic

"It was the first non-linear war," writes Surkov in a new short story, "Without Sky," published under his pseudonym and set in a dystopian future after the "fifth world war":

"My portfolio at the @KremlinRussia_E and in government has included ideology, media, political parties, religion, modernization, innovation, foreign relations, and ..." - here he pauses and smiles - "modern art."

A ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it is undefinable Adam Curtis

The underlying aim, Surkov says, is not to win the war, but to use the conflict to create a constant state of destabilised perception, in order to manage and control

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05-DEC-2016:: "We have a deviate, Tomahawk." "We copy. There's a voice." "We have gross oscillation here"
Law & Politics

So much has happened in 2016, from the Brexit vote to President-elect Trump, and it certainly feels like we have entered a new normal. 

One common theme is a parabolic Putin rebound. 

At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded. The intellectual father of the new Zeitgeist that propelled Brexit, Le Pen, the Five Star movement in Italy, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, is Vladimir Putin.

However, my starting point is the election of President Donald Trump because hindsight will surely show that Russia ran a seriously sophisticated programme of interference, mostly digital. 

Don DeLillo, who is a prophetic 21st writer, writes as follows in one of his short stories:

The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable poignancy”.

He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm officers at Colorado Command:

“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”

“We copy. There’s a voice.”

“We have gross oscillation here.”

“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m

not sure it’s helping.”

“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”

“Thank you, Colorado.”

“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on

the step-function quad.”

“It was a voice,” I told them.

“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We will correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”

The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest sadness”.

“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60 years ago.”

I have no doubt that Putin ran a seriously 21st predominantly digital programme of interference which amplified the Trump candidacy. POTUS Trump was an ideal candidate for this kind of support.

Trump is a linguistic warfare specialist. Look at the names he gave his opponents: Crooked Hillary, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, ‘Low-energy’ Jeb — were devastating and terminal. 

The first thing is plausible deniability (and some folks here at home need to remember those words).

The second thing is non-linearity, you have to learn how to navigate a linear system (the new 21st digital ecosystem) in a non-linear way. 

Beppe Grillo, the comic turned leader of the Five Star movement in Italy said: This is the deflagration of an epoch. It’s the apocalypse of this information system, of the TVs, of the big newspapers, of the intellectuals, of the journalists.”

He is right, traditional media has been disrupted and the insurgents can broadcast live and over the top. 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.

Putin has proven himself an information master, and his adversaries are his information victims.

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The Company is pleased to announce that, the Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector) (the “Ad5-nCoV”), a vaccine jointly developed by the Company and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, received Military Specially-needed Drug Approval (軍隊特需藥品批件) with a valid period for one year from Health Bureau of the Logistics Support Department of the Central Military Commission (中央軍委後勤保 障部衛生局) (the “Logistics Support Department”) on June 25, 2020.

The phase I and phase II clinical trials of the Ad5-nCoV have been conducted in China and the phase II clinical trial was unblinded on June 11, 2020. Data of clinical trials showed good safety profile and high levels of humoral and cellular immune response. 

The overall clinical results indicate that the Ad5-nCoV has potential to prevent diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2.

According to “Measures of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for Implementation of the Drug Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China” 《( 中國人民解放軍實施<中華人民共和國 藥品管理法>辦法》), the Ad5-nCoV is currently limited to military use only and its use cannot be expanded to a broader vaccination range without the approval of the Logistics Support Department.

Cautionary Statement required by Rule 18A.05 of the Listing Rules: We cannot guarantee that we will ultimately commercialize the Ad5-nCoV successfully. 

Shareholders and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1304

Dollar Index 96.80

Japan Yen 107.48

Swiss Franc 0.9428

Pound 1.2494

Aussie 0.6963

India Rupee 74.84

South Korea Won 1194.31

Brazil Real 5.3558

Egypt Pound 16.06

South Africa Rand 17.026

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10-MAY-2020 :: #COVID19 and the Spillover Moment

We are witnessing a Spill Over into EM and Frontier Geographies

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Brazilian President @jairbolsonaro has been tested for COVID-19 after he started showing symptoms, including fever. @dwnews
Law & Politics

00:10 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been tested for COVID-19 after having a lung X-ray on Monday.

Bolsonaro, while addressing supporters outside the presidential palace on Monday, said he was feeling well. The results of the COVID-19 test are expected on Tuesday, according to Bolsonaro in an interview with CNN Brazil. 

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10-MAY-2020 :: ―Brazil is the global epicenter of the coronavirus
Emerging Markets

In Brazil we have a toxic mix of a „‟Voodoo‟‟ President @jairbolsonaro and a runaway #COVID19

Brazilians aren‘t infected by anything, even when they fall into a sewer‖

“It‟s tragic surrealism ... I can‟t stop thinking about Gabriel García Márquez when I think about the situation Manaus is facing.” Guardian

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Interesting map from UCT showing intra-African migration

Dr Garba comments that it is important to study the impact of mobility from an independent standpoint.  He said, “perspective is important: we need to take seriously where we find ourselves, in Africa and the global South and ask ourselves ‘What does it mean to think of African migration in a global context from an African location?’. This will require a systematic consideration of Issues of co-existence, solidarity; moments of tension, working together and competition all need to be considered.  The range of complexity of people’s encounters and the variation in their material conditions need to be understood in order to truly understand the migration situation, which is integral to the human condition in an Africa and Global south differentially marked by global inequality”.

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Tues. 7 July is 'Saba Saba' in Tanzania, the anniversary of the founding of the Tanganyika African National Union in 1954. @Unseen_Archive
Law & Politics

Below: @Reuters clip from 1968 festivities. Here Nyerere is opening an exhibition on TANU history, featuring the table & chair where he had worked. 1/2

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A frantic-looking scene in northeastern Ethiopia shows the location of three tectonic plates shifting away from each other.

In this region, Earth’s crust is rifting at 1 to 2 centimeters per year. New fissures opened in the Erta Ale shield volcano in January 2017, and this image from March 2017 shows the locations of the fresh lava. The shapes streaking away from the center are previously erupted, cooled, and solidified lava flows.

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Defusing Ethiopia’s Latest Perilous Crisis @CrisisGroup
Law & Politics

Oromia, which was the epicentre of the 2014-2017 protests that paved the way for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power and which is now home to an armed insurgency. 

Government and opposition leaders should urgently appeal for calm. Abiy should invite key opposition leaders for dialogue on the issues that divide them, including, most urgently, planning for delayed elections initially slated for August. 

Engaging his rivals might reduce Ethiopian actors’ temptation to settle differences on the street, a dynamic that risks tipping the country into graver conflict.

Hachalu Hundessa, one of Oromia’s most celebrated musicians, was ambushed by unknown gunmen outside an apartment complex in the capital Addis Ababa late on 29 June. 

He died of his wounds in hospital a few hours later. 

A former political prisoner detained at the age of seventeen in 2003 for his activism, Hachalu gained cult-figure status among the Oromo for his lyrics that encouraged protesters to stay the course during their campaign for political change

His music contained evocative references to Oromo folklore and narratives surrounding what the Oromo view as decades of repression and political exclusion. 

While Hachalu’s killing was the trigger of the latest unrest, the violence that followed his death also results from deeper tensions. 

These have been simmering over the course of a transition to multiparty democracy that has uncorked dangerous ethno-nationalist frictions, long suppressed by a largely authoritarian state

So far, Abiy’s government has struggled to balance competing demands for change among Ethiopia’s diverse constituencies. 

These include those of Oromo nationalists who aspire to enhanced devolution of power from the centre, an end to economic marginalisation and a formal role for the opposition in planning for the next election, among other goals. 

Many in Oromia celebrated Abiy’s April 2018 ascension to the premiership, believing that he would deliver them a greater share of political power and the fruits of a decade of rapid economic growth. Some of Abiy’s Oromo rivals now accuse him of letting them down. 

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Update: It's now day seven of #Ethiopia's national internet shutdown as the country enters a new work week offline @netblocks [came back on yesterday]
Law & Politics

Update: It's now day seven of #Ethiopia's national internet shutdown as the country enters a new work week offline; real-time network data show national connectivity at just 11% of ordinary levels with ordinary users remaining cut off from the world

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For Zimbabwe Investors, Stock Exchange Closing Is the Last Straw @economics
East Africa

When Zimbabwe suspended trading on its stock exchange last week, James Hove was left with no access to the funds he needs to conduct his business.

Like many wealthy Zimbabweans, Hove invests in the local stock market. Not for the value he sees in the companies whose stocks trade on it, but as a hedge against surging consumer prices: while annual inflation is running at 786%, the benchmark Zimbabwe Stock Exchange industrial index has risen sevenfold this year.

The authorities halted trade because they say speculation, and the use of dual-traded stocks as an indicator of the future exchange rate, are undermining the nation’s currency.

“I’m locked out and I’m not sure how this is legal,” Hove, a 48-year-old property trader, said by phone from Harare, the capital. “They’ve just tied up money I really need right now. How can they do this?”

The shutdown of the stock exchange and the suspension of large mobile-money transactions, ordered by the country’s security chiefs, is the latest measure that robs investors in Zimbabwe, both local and foreign, of the certainty needed to make decisions.

Since 2000, when the government began encouraging the violent takeover of white-owned commercial farms, investors have faced the sudden seizure of assets and bouts of hyperinflation. 

They’ve also suffered a chaotic currency regime that’s in turn seen the abolition of the local currency, its reinstatement a decade later, and overnight conversions of U.S. dollar holdings in local banks into Zimbabwe dollars.

Throughout that period, and indeed since independence in 1980, the country has been ruled by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

The stock market, which in contrast to the cratering economy has often surged, has been seen as a store of value. Now that’s gone too.

“It’s a clear indication that Zimbabwe’s economy is not normal,” said Tara O’Connor, executive director at London-based Africa Risk Consulting. 

“The ZSE was the last facade of any normal economic activity. But in closing it, ZANU-PF locks Zimbabwe in -- capital and all.”

The closing of the bourse is likely to further complicate the administration’s attempt to drag the economy out of a two-decade slump.

“Investors shouldn’t panic,” said Clive Mphambela, a spokesman for the Treasury. “The market will certainly reopen.”

Justin Bgoni, the chief executive officer of the exchange, said he is working on “getting this out of the way” as quickly as possible.

With his popularity waning, former President Robert Mugabe in 2000 encouraged subsistence farmers to invade the commercial farms that produced much of the country’s exports in the form of tobacco, roses and paprika. 

What followed was a downward economic and political spiral. A scarcity of foreign exchange hollowed out Zimbabwe’s mining and manufacturing industries as businesses struggled to buy inputs and spares.

The country’s central bank began printing additional bank notes to meet government costs and the currency tanked, leading to inflation of 500 billion percent in 2008 and the scrapping of the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009.

With an increasing proportion of the desperate population supporting the opposition, Mugabe stayed in power through a series of elections marred by violence and irregularities. 

While he was removed by the military in November 2017, his replacement Emmerson Mnangagwa has failed to make good on pledges to revive the economy.

Multilateral lenders such as the International Monetary Fund have refused to offer the country more money until it pays arrears on $8 billion of foreign debt and enacts promised political reforms. 

Food and fuel shortages are commonplace, civil servants take home a 10th of what they earned two years ago and many Zimbabweans depend on remittances from relatives who have left the country.

“Our intention is to move expeditiously in our reform program,” government spokesman Nick Mangwana said in response to questions. 

“But we have to face the reality that structural and cultural reforms are not an overnight event. There are always unforeseen challenges which slow down the process.”

The local currency, pegged at parity with the U.S. dollar as recently as February 2019, trades officially at 64 to the greenback, but the rate on the black market is more than 100.

Zimbabweans lay the blame firmly at the door of the government.

“They took the farms, then they looted bank accounts, then they told platinum miners to relinquish half their claims,” said John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare. “What they’re saying is we own everything and we can take it.”

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21-JAN-2019 :: The Mind Game that ZANU-PF played on its citizens has evaporated in a puff of smoke
Law & Politics

I have been reading Yuval Noah Harari and in his best-seller he says this about money;

“In other words, money isn’t a material reality – it is a psychological construct. It works by converting matter into mind.”

The Point I am seeking to make is that There is a correlation between high Inflation and revolutionary conditions.

Zimbabwe is a classic example where there are $9.3 billion of Zollars in banks compared to $200 million in reserves, official data showed.

President Mnangagwa was cavorting around the World with his scarf

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Daily doubling rate South Africa instead of looking at absolute numbers it might be better to look at relative total increase or DOUBLING RATE (days), as shown here @rid1tweets

With daily record number of confirmed #COVID19 cases in #SouthAfrica set to continue until we start to peak, instead of looking at absolute numbers it might be better to look at relative total increase or DOUBLING RATE (days), as shown here

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SA #COVID19 UPDATE 6 July • Positivity rate over 26% @rid1tweets

• 8,971 new cases. Daily doubling rate = 15.5 days

• Total cases = 205,721 Chart with upwards trend

• 33,950 tests conducted

• Positivity rate over 26% 

• 111 more deaths today. CFR = 1.6%

• 4,533 more recoveries

• Active cases = 104,563

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On the 10-MAY-2020 : Africa was at 56,000 confirmed #COVID19 cases continent

The number of confirmed cases in Africa has been rising by about 30% a week over the past month, but is set to incline steeply now.

There was a lot of FOX News level, mathematically illiterate magical thinking about Africa and how it was going to dodge a ‘’Silver Bullet’’

That thinking is now debunked. Africa is playing ''Whack a Mole'' with a blindfold on

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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
Minerals, Oil & Energy

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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The Saba Saba protest helped to launch the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy. @Unseen_Archive
Law & Politics

Here's a clip from 16 Nov. 1991. Martin Shikuku--who had been in hiding--attempted to address a rally at Kamukunji, & was arrested at gunpoint. Masinde Muliro was arrested at the same rally.

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Domestic commercial and passenger flights are scheduled to restart on July 15, Kenyatta said, while international travel will resume from Aug. 1
Kenyan Economy

Mosque and churches will be allowed to host services again, but for a maximum of an hour with only 100 worshippers allowed at a time.

Kenya had confirmed nearly 7,900 cases of the coronavirus as of July 6, with 160 deaths, with cases continuing to climb. 

On Saturday, 389 new infections were reported in the country’s biggest single-day jump.

The outbreak has battered the economy, with the finance ministry projecting growth to slow to 2.5% this year from 5.4% last year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenyatta said the reopening of the country came with risks, and urged Kenyans to take precautions.

“Although the path to recovery is rocky and uneven, it is navigable,” he said.

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Mobile cash transactions drop by Sh36.77 billion @BD_Africa
Kenyan Economy

The amount of cash sent by Kenyans on mobile platforms over the past five months to May fell by Sh36.77 billion compared to similar period last year, official data shows, a rare drop that reflects the financial hardship faced by households and businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that Kenyans sent Sh1.752 trillion through their mobile wallets in the five months to May, down from Sh1.789 trillion in corresponding period last year-— painting the picture of economic struggles.

 In April alone, the deals fell by Sh50.23 billion to Sh360.22 billion from similar period last year which was the biggest month-on-month drop since last year.

This sharp drop coincided with the imposition of travel restrictions and other regulation aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In March, the cash sent fell by Sh3.879 billion from Sh368.39 billion sent in similar period last year even as the CBK waived charges on mobile money transfers of up to Sh1, 000.


The Preeminent Signal in the noise 

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Bank chiefs forecast credit growth, economic activity @BD_Africa
World Of Finance

Senior managers in private commercial banks expect credit expansion in July and August driven by improved economic activity.

A survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows that reduction of the measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic will stimulate economic engagements thereby increasing demand for financing.

Banks expect that demand for personal loans will continue rising as people seek to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

“Bank respondents expected the gradual easing of restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic to lead to increased economic activities and trigger the need for financing, hence improved demand for credit in the next two months,” said the CBK in the market perceptions survey conducted last month ahead of the June 25 monetary policy committee meeting.

Sixty-four percent of commercial banks expected the demand would be high to moderate in July and August. The rest projected the demand to be either low or very low.

This was in comparison to the majority or 64 percent of banks who had expected the demand for credit in May and June to be either low or very low.

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

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