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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 11th of August 2020

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock BY T. S. ELIOT

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse

A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,

Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.

Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo

Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,

Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question ...

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

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If the security forces start to break Belarus will crumble. @carlbildt [This actually applies worldwide]
Law & Politics

But then it might use key loyal forces to try a violent crackdown as in Beijing 1989. That’s what Yanukovich did in Kyiv 2014 - and failed.

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While it took 6mths after virus first surfaced to reach 10m infections, spread has steadily accelerated since then, taking little more than 6 weeks to double that total, BBG calculated @Schuldensuehner

Global Coronavirus infections surpass 20million people, resulting in upwards of 700,000 deaths. While it took 6mths after virus first surfaced to reach 10m infections, spread has steadily accelerated since then, taking little more than 6 weeks to double that total, BBG calculated

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Goldman Sachs: A Better Vaccine Outlook Means Stronger Growth in Early 2021 @PriapusIQ

“We now expect that at least one vaccine will be approved by the end of 2020 and will be widely distributed by the end of 2021Q2.”

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“Not getting to the bottom of this crisis would be the height of absurdity. Too much is at stake'' @JamieMetzl

 “Not getting to the bottom of this crisis would be the height of absurdity. Too much is at stake. To ensure everyone’s safety, the WHO and outside investigators must be empowered to explore all relevant questions about the origins of the pandemic without limits. This comprehensive forensic investigation must include full access to all of the scientists, biological samples, laboratory records and other materials from the Wuhan virology institutes and other relevant Chinese organizations. Denying that access should be considered an admission of guilt by Beijing.”

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I am convinced that the only ‘’zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory #COVID19

There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released – Wuhan is to the CCP as Idlib is to the Syrian Regime – and propagated world wide.

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02-JUN-2020 :: Fast Forward The Markets are very complacent about A US China ‘’Hot War’’
World Of Finance

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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TikTok Is Inane. China’s Imperial Ambition Is Not. @bopinion @nfergus
Law & Politics

It’s hard to get past the initial sheer inanity of TikTok.

I spent half an hour trying to make sense of the endless feed of video snippets of ordinary people doing daft things with their dogs or in their kitchens or in the gym. 

I figured out the viral memes of the moment: animals dancing to Tono Rosario’s “Kulikitaka,” the suspenseful unveiling of hunks or hounds to the repeated words, 

“Please don’t be ugly.” I asked my eight-year-old son what I should look out for. He recommended the dancing ferret. I never found it.

Thirty minutes of TikTok left me with just one burning question: How can this thing be a threat to U.S. national security?

And then I had the epiphany. TikTok is not just China’s revenge for the century of humiliation between the Opium Wars and Mao’s revolution. It is the opium — a digital fentanyl, to get our kids stoked for the coming Chinese imperium.

First, the back story — which you’ll need if you, like me, never got hooked on Facebook, or Instagram, or Snapchat, and still use the Internet like a very fast version of your university library, and begin emails with “Dear …”

The year is 2012, and Zhang Yiming, a Chinese tech entrepreneur who briefly worked at Microsoft, founds ByteDance Ltd. as a smartphone-focused content provider. His AI-powered news aggregator Toutiao is a hit. In November 2017, he pays $1 billion for a lip-synching app called Musical.ly, which already has a growing user community that tilts young (12 to 24) and female and is established in the U.S. 

Zhang then merges Musical.ly with his own short-video app TikTok, known in China as Douyin.

The thing spreads faster than Covid-19: TikTok now has 800 million monthly active users around the globe. And it’s far more contagious: Just under half of U.S. teenage internet users have used TikTok. If it were a pathogen, it would be the Black Death. 

But it’s an app, so ByteDance is now worth $100 billion.

So what’s the secret of TikTok’s success? The best answers I’ve seen come from Ben Thompson, whose Stratechery newsletter has become essential reading on all the things tech. 

First, Thompson wrote last month, the history of analog media already told us that “humans like pictures more than text, and moving pictures most of all.” 

Second, TikTok’s video creation tools are really “accessible and inspiring for nonprofessional videographers.” Translation: Idiots can use them.

Third, unlike Facebook, TikTok is not a social network. It’s an AI-based algorithmic feed that uses all the data it can get about each user to personalize content. 

“By expanding the library of available video from those made by your network to any video made by anyone on the service,” Thompson argues, “Douyin/TikTok leverages the sheer scale of user-generated content … and relies on its algorithms to ensure that users are only seeing the cream of the crop.”

In other words, “think of TikTok as being a mobile-first YouTube,” not Facebook with cool video. It’s “an entertainment entity predicated on internet assumptions about abundance, not Hollywood assumptions about scarcity.”

So what’s not to like? The answer would seem to be quite a lot.

In February, TikTok was fined $5.7 million by the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it illegally collected personal information from children under the age of 13.

 In April, the app was temporarily banned in India by the High Court in Madras for carrying child pornographic content and failing to prevent cyberbullying. (The ban was swiftly reversed.)

But Zhang’s real headache was elsewhere. Last November, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (known as CFIUS) began a probe into ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly on the ground that it potentially affected U.S. national security. Seriously? A teenage video app is a threat to the most powerful nation-state on the planet? Well, these days CFIUS regards just about any Chinese investment as a threat — in 2010, it forced the Chinese gaming firm Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. to sell the gay dating app Grindr.

I’ve written before in this space about Cold War II. Well, TikTok has become the Sino-American conflict’s latest casualty.

Unlike everything else in America, including Covid-19, Cold War II is bipartisan. Last October, the Senate minority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, and Republican Senator Tom Cotton jointly called for a national-security investigation into ByteDance. The issue, they said, is that as a Chinese entity, ByteDance is subject to China's cybersecurity rules, which stipulate that it has to share data with the Chinese government. TikTok admits as much in its privacy policy: “We may share your information with a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliate of our corporate group.”

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27-JUL-2020 :: US China ‘’Tit for Tat’’ went ‘’Rat a Tat Tat’’
Law & Politics

"Today we sit wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP failed in its promises." - @SecPompeo

The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ... The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him.

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26 MAR 18 :: Facebook
World Of Finance

“We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable, untraceable.”

“It’s no use fighting elections on the facts; it’s all about emotions.”

“So the candidate is the puppet?” the undercover reporter asked. “Always,” replied Nix.

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15 OCT 18 :: War is coming
Law & Politics

By March 2018 in a Shakespeare level moment of hubris, Xinhua pronounced this historical announce- ment; the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China “proposed to remove the expression that ‘the president and vice-president of the People’s Republic of China shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s constitution.” 

In one fell swoop, President Xi Jinping was President for Life. That was the Apogee.

‘’This geopolitical contest will likely escalate dangerously. Powerful forces on both sides are driving the world’s two strongest countries toward full-fledged confrontation’’ [The writer is the Douglas Dillon professor of government at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of ‘Destined for War’ in the FT] 

As a candidate, Donald Trump complained that China was “raping” America. After months of smaller steps, his administration has now pledged to fight back hard on all fronts — and win.

The US military is reportedly planning to send US warships, combat aircraft, and troops through the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and other contested waterways next month in a series of exercises designed to send a message to Beijing in November. 

The incident with the USS Decatur where a Chinese warship came within 45 yards of the USS Decatur in South China Sea is surely a precursor.

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7 OCT 19 :: China turns 70

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.

Some of the Xi-era slogans are short and simple, in the manner of Western advertising, such as the “Chinese Dream,” the catchphrase embodying the party’s aim to be- come a global power by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People Republic of China. 

But Xi has taken the propagation of ideology and the cult of personality to extremes not seen since the days of Chairman Mao. 

Xi in fact has replaced Jesus in Churches and Mohamed in the mosques. “Unity is iron and steel; unity is a source of strength,” 

“Complete reunification of the motherland is an inevitable trend..no one and no force can ever stop it!” he added.

Today we know the Chinese economy is slowing, but Xi is relying on Chinese resilience 

“If there is a decoupling between the two economies, so be it. The Chinese people can endure more pain than the spoiled and hubristic Americans.

“The Folks in Hong Kong [whom Xi is seeking to unmask so he can exercise algorithmic control over them] are in open rebellion. 

Joshua Wong told German Media “Hongkong ist das neue Berlin”

I am sure Xi sees Hong Kong and Taiwan like a virus and he is looking to impose a quarantine just like he has imposed on Xinjiang. 

The Chinese Dream has become a nightmare at the boundaries of the Han Empire.

The World in the 21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops which only become obvious in hindsight. I would venture that Xi’s high water mark is behind him. 

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1740

Dollar Index 93.634

Japan Yen 106.16

Swiss Franc 0.9153

Pound 1.3076

Aussie 0.7159

India Rupee 74.85

South Korea Won 1186.01

Brazil Real 5.4821

Egypt Pound 15.9782

South Africa Rand 17.6893

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27 NOV 17 :: Bitcoin "Wow! What a Ride!" [Redux?]
World Of Finance

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!”

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27-JAN-2020 :: “But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola.''
World Of Finance

“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.’’

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Brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and Herbert Hunt attempted to corner the world silver markets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at one stage holding the rights to more than half of the world's deliverable silver.

“Hunt had a paranoid world view and it made sense to him to amass silver and hang on to it.”

Most traders buy and sell paper. The actual stuff represented by that paper is delivered to someone else. Hunt wanted the silver.

He chartered three 707 jet aircraft to haul the metal to warehouses in Switzerland and hired a dozen sharpshooting cowboys to provide security, according to Knight.

When he began buying silver with his brothers in 1973, it cost $2 an ounce and a big consumer was Eastman Kodak to make film.

Before the Hunts were through, seven years later, they’d stockpiled more than 200 million ounces, the price was soaring past $45 an ounce and regulators were preparing to take measures to make sure nothing like what Nelson Bunker Hunt had done would ever happen again.

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BREAKING- ZANU PF has denied the South African envoy sent by @PresidencyZA chance to meet any group in Zimbabwe including the opposition #ZimbabweanLivesMatter @ZimEye
Law & Politics

BREAKING- ZANU PF has denied the South African envoy sent by @PresidencyZA the chance to meet any group in Zimbabwe including the opposition saying there is no crisis in Zimbabwe. #ZimbabweanLivesMatter

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“The dark forces, both inside and outside our borders, have tampered with our growth and prosperity for too long. They have thrived on dividing us.” @thecontinent_
Law & Politics

“Zimbabwe currently is on a knife edge...Violence has its limits and I’m not convinced the situation is sustainable,” Mathuthu told The Continent

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Pandemic threatens African economic success @FT PAUL COLLIER

The writer is a professor of economics and public policy at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government

African economies were beginning to catch up with the rest of the world. Four well-led countries — Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal — were recreating in Africa the processes that transformed the east Asian economies of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

But the pandemic is wrecking this African success story.

Two in three jobs in sub-Saharan Africa are in the informal sector. There are no economies of scale or specialisation. Small is not beautiful, it is unproductive. 

Africa needs more companies capable of organising a workforce into specialised, collaborative teams, disciplined by competition. 

Yet even the firms that Africa has are bleeding from the economic impact of coronavirus.

This shock is not predominantly a result of Africa’s health crisis. The causes are the sharp downturns in advanced economies. Commodity prices have dropped and Africa is a major net exporter.

Ghana and Senegal are losing oil revenues that would have financed infrastructure. The slump in global tourism is a heavy blow for Rwanda, whose economic development strategy focused on tourism and conferences. 

By 2019 it had become the second most-visited country in Africa for these purposes. Now this business has collapsed.

Senegal and Ethiopia are major recipients of remittances from citizens working abroad. 

Normally, these rise during a domestic crisis, but in this global emergency Africa’s diaspora are losing their jobs. This also hits the most desperate places such as Yemen.

Finally, the retreat of international capital to safety is hitting hardest the countries that were most promising for investors. 

Ghana was attracting US pension fund money and major companies such as Volkswagen and Bosch. 

All four shocks are eroding Africa’s scarce organisational capital and are likely to persist for the medium term.

Why is this our problem and not just Africa’s? Because Africa’s shocks are forms of transfer. The fall in commodity prices, which has reduced incomes in Africa, has softened the impact of Covid-19 on the commodity-importing economies of the EU and China.

Similarly, the collapse of tourism is a transfer of demand. The people no longer buying Africa’s tourist services are spending their money closer to home. The capital no longer flowing into Africa is a transfer of finance. 

It is now available for domestic spending in OECD countries and China. These effects are inadvertent, but they are damaging and indefensible. They urgently need to be offset.

In OECD countries and China, governments are rightly allocating enormous resources to protect companies against insolvency, an operation financed by cheap public borrowing. 

Help for Africa could come from development finance institutions such as the UK’s CDC Group, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, Germany’s state-owned KfW, the European Investment Bank and China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. 

They could jointly commit to channel public money to the many African firms with which they are connected.

In parallel, the Bank for International Settlements could match the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Vienna Initiative, under which international banks agreed not to pull money out of eastern Europe during the post-2008 financial crisis. 

This would buy time for the Development Committee that oversees the IMF and World Bank to task these two agencies with devising more substantial responses. Fortunately, options are already under discussion.

As in OECD countries, African governments need to be able to borrow cheaply on capital markets. Currently, they are in a position similar to Italy during the eurozone crisis, facing high interest rates because of a perceived risk of default. 

In a severe macroeconomic shock, most African countries could service debts at the interest rates at which OECD governments now borrow, but not at default-driven rates.

The solution for Italy was the 2012 “whatever it takes” speech of Mario Draghi, the former European Central Bank president. Italy’s sovereign debt yields went down to safer levels. 

African borrowing needs to be similarly stripped of risk, perhaps through some combination of central bank guarantees, World Bank and IMF lending, and the IMF’s special drawing rights facility. 

A helpful start would be to prepare country-specific estimates of the impact of the inadvertent transfers on Africa and the world’s more advanced economies. 

Africa’s crisis is urgent and there will be no winners from prevarication.

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Meanwhile S&P affirmed #Angola CCC+/C rating. They see re-profiling of $21 billion debt owed to China (2/3 oil backed) @emsovdebt

Meanwhile S&P affirmed #Angola CCC+/C rating. They see  re-profiling of $21 billion debt owed to China (2/3 oil backed) + separate DSSI will ease debt burden but high debt levels + lower oil prices create enough risks of commercial default for C rating

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A million and not counting Africa closes in on 1m reported cases of covid-19 The true number will be much higher @TheEconomist

It took about five months for the continent to reach 500,000 cases and another month to reach close to 1m.

The compound daily growth rate of new cases over the past two weeks was higher in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions. In reality the millionth African contracted covid-19 many weeks ago.

But, notes Matshidiso Moeti, the head of the who Africa region, “the virus has spilled out of major cities and spread into distant hinterlands.”

The continent’s youthfulness is more of an obvious boon. Most Africans were born in the 21st century. Africa has a lower share of people over the age of 65 than any other continent. 

A recent paper published by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene argued that Uganda’s age structure will keep death rates lower than in other parts of the world. (Other pan-African models suggest that such advantages are outweighed by poor health systems.)

About 2% of Africans diagnosed with covid-19 have died. That is only half the global average. But such numbers should be treated with great caution

Such data chime with Mr Nko’s experience. South Africa has an older population than other African states. 

But many covid-watchers fear that what is happening at the southern tip of the continent may be repeated elsewhere. Whether it will be recorded is another question. ■

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Over 1 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent - @WHOAFRO

Over 1 million confirmed #COVID19 cases on the African continent - with more than 730,000 recoveries & more than 23,000 deaths cumulatively. 

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Africa is entering a Fast Growth ‘’escape’’ velocity Phase #COVID19

The million-case milestone On February 14, the first case of Covid-19 in Africa was confirmed in Egypt. This week, the continent recorded an unwelcome milestone as it confirmed more than 1,000,000 positive cases.

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Africa has a Problem COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ @AP #COVID19

Africa has a Problem COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ @AP #COVID19 and it’s good to prepare for the worst-case scenario, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said 

’We’ve crossed a critical number here,” he said of the half-million milestone. 

“Our pandemic is getting full speed.”

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

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.

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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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By June, Kenya had already lost 80 billion Kenyan shillings ($740 million) in tourism revenue, about half of last year’s total, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Tourism, Travel & Transport

“We are trying to revive the sector through the domestic tourism strategy. And that is why we ask Kenyans ... to support tourism,” Tourism and Wildlife Minister Najib Balala said.

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CIC Insurance Group Limited reports H1 2019 Earnings here
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Par Value:                  

Closing Price:           2.20

Total Shares Issued:          2615538528.00

Market Capitalization:        5,754,184,762

EPS:             0.12

PE:                 18.333


CIC is the leading provider of micro insurance and other financial services

CIC reports H1 2020 Earnings through 30th June 2020 versus through 30th June 2019

HY Gross written premium 9.283690b versus 9.594819b

HY Net Earned premiums 7.106264b versus 7.111682b

HY Investment and other income 1.201891b versus 1.623551b

HY Total Income 8.308155b versus 8.735233b

HY Net claims and policy Holders benefits [5.426039b] versus [5.040992b]

HY Operating and other Expenses [2.868846b] versus [3.214160b]

HY Total Expenditure [8.294885b] versus [8.255152b]

HY Profit [Loss] before Tax [286.548m] versus 146.839m

HY Profit [Loss] after Tax [335.531m] versus 20.9m

HY EPS [0.13] versus 0.01 

HY Cash and Cash Equivalents 2.430962b versus 1.931611b


Its going to get worse before it gets any better. 

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Equity Group Holdings Ltd share price data
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Price: 31.35 Market Capitalization: 1.094b EPS:5.93 PE: 5.287

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.@StanChartKE share price data
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Price: 151.75 Market Capitalization: $482.217m EPS: 23.49 PE:  6.460

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

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