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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Thursday 03rd of September 2020

08-JUN-2020 :: Anybody can be decisive during a panic It takes a strong Man to act during a Boom.
World Of Finance

“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.”

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Edward Ruscha, The Final End 1992

Here the phrase ‘The End’, in a black gothic-style typeface, occupies the centre of the picture like it would in the final frame of an old Hollywood movie. The format of the canvas echoes the proportions of a cinema screen. This association is reinforced by the grey background and thin vertical streaks that suggest marks on old film stock. However, long, thin, pale yellow grasses sprout from an invisible ground in front of the words, obscuring them from view. The Final End demonstrates Ruscha’s interest in the histories of visual culture and graphic design. The work and its title may express sadness about the passing away of certain beloved aspects of popular culture.

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Edward Ruscha, HOPE 1998

The visual appearance of this work is in tension with the meaning and associations of its title. Black and blue paint, applied with a spray gun, seems to be in the process of obliterating the word ‘HOPE’. The effect of the paint particles across the paper surface is reminiscent of dirt on a vehicle or even blood spatter from a gunshot wound. HOPE’s large-scale and horizontal format relate it to advertising billboards, a longstanding visual interest of Ruscha’s.

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Wilhelm Sasnal Gaddafi 3 2011 @Tate
Law & Politics

Gaddafi 3 depicts the body of the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed by rebels on 20 October 2011, lying on a mattress surrounded by a group of rebel fighters. Gaddafi 3 is the third in a group of three paintings based on digital images of the violent death of Gaddafi, the others being Gaddafi 1 2011 (Tate T14241) and Gaddafi 2 2011 (Tate T14240). The scale of this canvas, the largest of the three, establishes a direct physical relationship between the viewer and the fighters depicted within it, both engaged in focusing on the lifeless body. The flat application of oil paint, unusual fleshy palette and use of grey-scale with a preponderance of saturated black, are all typical of Sasnal’s practice. The dramatically foreshortened figure of Gaddafi also recalls Andrea Mantegna’s painting Lamentation of Christ c.1480 (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan).

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Spain reporting more cases over the last seven days than during March’s peak. @@TetotRemi

It is just a matter of time before the Spanish Government announce a new set of measures to contain the outbreak...

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1794

Dollar Index 93.036

Japan Yen 106.26

Swiss Franc 0.9140

Pound 1.3280

Aussie 0.73018

India Rupee 73.3854

South Korea Won 1188.96

Brazil Real 5.3404

Egypt Pound 15.8288

South Africa Rand 16.8275

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Covid Corruption Plague Spurs Political Shake-Up Across Africa @bpolitics
Law & Politics

African countries have generally handled their coronavirus response better than many experts feared, except for one detail: managing corruption.

Kenya is the latest African nation to have its politics shaken by allegations of graft in handing out pandemic-response contracts. 

It follows South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Uganda, which have all been rocked by scandals of their own.

Preliminary investigations show officials who’ve illicitly benefited largely adopted similar methods: awarding contracts to companies owned by relatives or friends to supply medical equipment and services to the state at inflated prices in exchange for kickbacks. The relaxation of tender and procurement rules as governments rushed to prepare health systems for an anticipated influx of patients made it easier for funds to be misappropriated.

“Massive, and often yet-to-be-borrowed, funds have fallen prey to entrenched patronage networks,” said Robert Besseling, executive director of political risk advisory firm EXX Africa

“The implications of COVID-19-related state corruption may outlive the pandemic, as many African countries that are already struggling to repay or refinance loans have lost the confidence of investors and lending partners.”

With probes ongoing in several countries, the extent of the plunder is still unknown, but is set to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, articulated the public outrage that the profiteering has elicited in an online briefing last month.

“If health workers work without personal protective equipment, we’re risking their lives and that also risks the lives of the people they serve,” said Tedros, a former Ethiopian health minister. “It’s criminal and it’s murder and it has to stop.”

30,000 Deaths

Africa has had more than 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases so far, while more than 30,000 of those diagnosed with the disease have died, data from Johns Hopkins University show.

Inadequate testing capacity on the world’s poorest continent means the actual tallies are likely far higher.

In South Africa, the authorities are probing suspect contracts worth almost $300 million -- some awarded to companies established shortly after the outbreak of the disease and owned by high-profile politicians’ relatives. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has likened those who had illicitly profited to hyenas and vowed to hold them account, but no-one has been convicted so far.

In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta this week followed Ramaphosa’s lead in ordering details of all virus-related contracts to be published online after irregularities were uncovered at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.

In Zimbabwe, Obadiah Moyo was sacked as health minister in July after being charged in connection with the unlawful procurement of $75 million worth of medical equipment. 

Virus-related scandals have also cost health officials in Botswana, Somalia and Uganda their jobs, and have implicated cabinet ministers in Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There may be genuine reasons why spending controls may be too lax, including the need to take decisions and buy equipment quickly, but there’s also a risk that corrupt officials and suppliers could exploit the situation and get away with it, said Liz David-Barrett, director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex in the U.K.

“The difficult part about a crisis is that it is much harder to differentiate corrupt behavior from the results of genuine mistakes and rushed decisions,” she said. 

“The most important thing a country can do is to make contracting transparent so that the people can still hold governments to account.”

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28-OCT-2019 :: From Russia with Love

But, he said, Russia was going to be a different kind of superpower, one that does not engage in “pressure, in- timidation and blackmail” to “exploit” sovereign African governments.

“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally with someone against someone else, and we strongly oppose any geopolitical games involving Africa.”

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Just to put things in perspective: In 6 months [on average] the number of people die in Kenya: @janzigbe

Coronavirus 581

Snake bites 1000

Road Accidents 2000

Malaria 5500

Cancer 15,000

Aids related diseases 13,000

Total deaths [various causes] 366,000 [whole year]

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

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