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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Monday 19th of October 2020

The Oracle of Our Unease @nybooks

All those New Year’s partygoers seem to have forgotten that the revelry ends with Gatsby dead in a swimming pool, an obscene word scrawled on the porch of his preposterous house. 

Gatsby is a cautionary tale about the consequences of misreading history, while its parties depict a society spinning out of control. 

The Jazz Age doesn’t end well in the novel that’s supposed to make it sound like so much fun.

Fitzgerald’s remarkably sensitive inner ear helped him register, before almost anyone else, when America started losing its balance—and calling its vertigo “jazz.” Jazz related to slang for “pep,” its earliest recorded uses signifying liveliness as often as music.

Jazz soon became so semantically mercurial that by 1915 it denoted volatility per se; before long it stood for misrule. Unpredictability was jazz, as they would have put it: when Einstein overthrew Newtonian laws of gravity, he was said to have discovered “the jazz-molecule.”

Jazz, he added, was that energy; it was “associated with a state of nervous stimulation, not unlike that of big cities behind the lines of a war.” 

It is a state that readers unexpectedly catapulted into our own age of anxiety thanks to a global pandemic may suddenly be better able to apprehend. 

Jazz spirit in 1920 wasn’t carefree: it was the hysteria of the near miss, an overwrought reaction to surviving calamity, a society going berserk because it didn’t know where else to go.

 But even at the time, Americans thought they were entering a “jazz age.” “The age of jazz” spread “like flu,” “a musical virus” transmitted across the country from Kansas (“this wild age of jazz”) to Missouri (“this age of jazz and abominations”) to Alabama (“we are living in the age of jazz”). A Nebraska editorial was comforted “in this age of jazz” by a local old-fashioned spelling bee, suggesting the “younger generation is not going to the dogs” after all. A minister in Philadelphia took up the lament: Americans inhabited “a jazz age,” “an age where everything goes,” he added, “with jazz in the atmosphere and even the moral structure jazzing.” Conservative white America found jazz deeply threatening, not least for its racially coded implications of wildness, violence, permissiveness: “jungle jazz,” they called it. In Fitzgerald’s recollection, jazz—possibly cognate to “jism,” though no one knows for sure—meant sex first, even before it meant music.

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President Trump’s influential supporter Rupert Murdoch is telling close associates he believes Joe Biden will win the election in a landslide. ⁦@thedailybeast @LachCartwright
Law & Politics

The Australian-born billionaire is disgusted by Trump’s handling of COVID-19, remarking that the president is his own worst enemy, that he is not listening to advice about how best to handle the pandemic, and that he’s creating a never-ending crisis for his administration, according to three people who have spoken with Murdoch.

In response to an email inquiry for this report asking him if he believes Biden will win in a landslide and his thoughts on Trump’s handling of coronavirus, Murdoch responded, “No comment except I’ve never called Trump an idiot,” referring to a 2018 report that the media mogul called the president a “fucking idiot” following a chat about immigration.

This isn’t the first time Murdoch has predicted a Democratic landslide, telling a conference in 2008 that Obama would win the election in a convincing victory.

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Chinese military beefs up coastal forces as it prepares for possible invasion of Taiwan @SCMPNews
Law & Politics

Beijing is stepping up the militarisation of its southeast coast as it prepares for a possible invasion of Taiwan, military observers and sources have said.

The People’s Liberation Army has been upgrading its missile bases, and one Beijing-based military source said it has deployed its most advanced hypersonic missile the DF-17 to the area.“The DF-17 hypersonic missile will gradually replace the old DF-11s and DF-15s that were deployed in the southeast region for decades,” the source, who requested anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the topic. 

“The new missile has a longer range and is able to hit targets more accurately.”

Satellite images show that both the Marine Corps and Rocket Force bases in Fujian and Guangdong provinces have expanded in recent years, according to Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canada-based Kanwa Defence Review.

“Every rocket force brigade in Fujian and Guangdong is now fully equipped,” he said.

“The size of some of the missile bases in the Eastern and Southern theatre commands have even doubled in recent years, showing the PLA is stepping up preparations for a war targeting Taiwan.”

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Coastal rocket bases have been equipped with DF-17 ballistic missiles. Photo: AP
Law & Politics

The DF-17, which has a maximum range of 2,500km (1,550 miles), made its first public appearance on last year’s October 1 National Day parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

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Since the last Weekly Epidemiological Update issued on 5 October, over 2.2 million new cases and 39,000 deaths of COVID-19 have been reported across all six WHO regions. This is the highest number of reported cases so far in a single week.

By WHO region, the European Region reported the greatest increase (34%) in cases in the past week while the African Region reported a substantial rise in deaths, with a 27% increase compared to the previous week. 

Within the African Region, South Africa continues to register more than half (56%, 690 896) of all reported confirmed cases.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Dollar Index 93.718

Japan Yen 105.4250

Swiss Franc 0.91548

Pound 1.293680

Aussie 0.709275

India Rupee 73.3701

South Korea Won 1142.69

Brazil Real 5.6458

Egypt Pound 15.709712

South Africa Rand 16.510950

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Tanzania’s election is scheduled for October 28 @thecontinent_
Law & Politics

Lissu can pull a crowd: Chadema rallies are just as full as those for the ruling party. And on social media, where – despite its best efforts – the government has less control, it is clear that the opposition enjoys significant popular support.

Working in Chadema’s favour is an informal deal it has struck with the third biggest party in the country, ACT- Wazalendo, led by Zitto Kabwe. ACT- Wazalendo is asking its supporters to vote for Lissu; in exchange, Chadema has endorsed ACT-Wazalendo’s candidate to lead Zanzibar (the island is a semi- autonomous region with the Tanzanian federation).

The question now is whether this united opposition front will be enough to unseat a sitting president who is strategically exploiting all the advantages of incumbency. Take the ballot paper itself, a sample of which was released by the electoral commission this week. Usually, the names of candidates are ordered alphabetically, but this time it is supposed to be random. Sure enough, CCM and Magufuli are first, while Chadema and Lissu are last. That’s quite the coincidence. 

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Zero public statements on the Nigerian events from the Great Powers. Nothing from UK/US; Silence from Germany/EU. And of course, zilch from China. @dondee_don

The reason: they have worked out how to deal with the old corrupt Nigeria and not sure about this new one struggling to be born

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So, better to stick with the devil you know. they are watching VERY closely. They understand this is bigger than Nigeria. About Africa and its place in the world. Really big. But prefer to watch/wait @dondee_don

So, better to stick with the devil you know. These are their cynical and short-sighted calculations. One thing is certain: they are watching VERY closely. They understand this is bigger than Nigeria. About Africa and its place in the world. Really big. But prefer to watch/wait

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21 OCT 19 :: “The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack), in other words, a producer of speed.’’

Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. now is the time of monsters.”

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“I don’t want to leave Guinea to thieves and liars. I’m counting on the youth.” President Alpha Condé @thecontinent_

Guinea’s election pits President Alpha Condé and his Guinean People’s Assembly against Cellou Dalein Diallo, a former prime minister and leader of the main opposition party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea

Guinea is now the third-largest producer of bauxite in the world.

Conté died in office in 2008. Sékou Touré died in office in 1984. Is Guinea doomed to repeat history once again?

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Omubanda affuse ensonga. In Luganda, this loosely translates as ‘The gangster has become a pain in the neck’, @thecontinent_

On Tuesday, with no prior warning, dozens of armed state security personnel forced their way inside. According to one eyewitness, as they did so they shouted: “Anyone with a soft heart should leave!”

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African Region Although the Region had seen a slow but continuous decline in newly- reported cases since mid-July, there were 11% more cases reported in the last 7 days compared to the prior week

The increase in the number of newly- confirmed cases is partially attributed to the higher number of countries reporting an increase in cases (21 countries), compared to the previous week (14 countries). 

Although there are a greater number of countries reporting increases, the pattern of increasing cases is driven by South Africa and Ethiopia, which continue to report the highest numbers of new cases in the last 7 days, followed by Kenya, Uganda, and Algeria. 

Continuing the trend from last week, the number of reported deaths increased this week with South Africa accounting for the majority of the new deaths in the Region (74%).

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#Tunisia total #COVID19 cases growing fastest in world. @jmlukens

Country: Avg Growth Rate

#Tunisia: 8.28%

#Andorra: 6.95%

#Slovakia: 5.76%

#Jordan: 5.73%

#Burma: 5.26%

#Czechia: 5.25%

#Slovenia: 4.64%

#Georgia: 4.56%

#Poland: 3.90%

#Belgium: 3.85%

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Average Daily Growth Rate #Botswana: 14.65% #Tunisia: 8.12% @jmlukens

#Andorra: 7.21%

#Slovakia: 6.08%

#Jordan: 5.77%

#Czechia: 5.28%

#Slovenia: 5.27%

#Georgia: 4.94%

#Burma: 4.68%

#Belgium: 4.26%

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Tourist Island’s Stocks Lag Most Markets as Virus Clears Beaches @markets

The Mauritian economy has been struck by waves of adversity this year, and it’s evident in the Indian Ocean island’s stock market -- one of the worst performers in the world.

The pandemic has deprived Mauritius of the visitors who support about a fifth of gross domestic product, tipping it into the first recession for almost 40 years. 

To make things worse, a Japanese bulk carrier ran aground on a reef in August, polluting tourist beaches in the country’s biggest ecological disaster. 

And the inclusion of Mauritius in a list of countries posing threats to the European Union’s financial system because of deficiencies in combating money laundering and terrorist financing battered its reputation among investors.

The Mauritian stock exchange’s Semdex index has dropped 32% in 2020, the second-poorest performance among 93 equity benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg as of Oct. 14, and on track for its worst year since 2008 and the global financial crisis. An index of frontier emerging markets is down 17%.

“The pandemic has significantly hurt the domestic economy -- tourism has ground to a halt,” Bhavik Desai, head of research at AXYS Stockbroking, said in emailed comments. 

“Exacerbating the situation was the oil spill in the southeast, and the European Union placing Mauritius on its list of High Risk Third Countries.”

Of the 38 listed Mauritian companies, only five are in the green for 2020. The island’s hotel and resort operators are among the most severely hit, along with financial and banking stocks. Index giant MCB Group Ltd., which accounts for 28% of the Port Louis benchmark, is down 36%.

“In the short term, understanding where the Mauritius Investment Corporation will inject funds will offer greater clarity and offer confidence,” he said. 

“In the medium term, we need a clear road-map as to how the government and the private sector intend to navigate out of this unprecedented crisis.”

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@WilhelmSasnal Gaddafi 1 2011 @Tate

Gaddafi 1 depicts the body of the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed by rebel fighters on 20 October 2011. Rather than show the corpse directly, Sasnal depicts an amorphous mass of paint resting on what appears to be a mattress. The thick impasto of the oil paint, alludes to the ripped and torn body of the dictator, contrasting sharply with the flat paint work of the surrounding space. Gaddafi 1 is the first in a group of three paintings based on digital images of the violent death of Gaddafi, the others being Gaddafi 2 2011 (Tate T14240) and Gaddafi 3 2011 (Tate T14242). It is the smallest painting in the group and the only one to focus exclusively on the body of the dictator.

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@WilhelmSasnal Gaddafi 2 2011 @Tate

Gaddafi 2 depicts a group of rebel fighters looking at, and taking images of, the body of the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed by rebels on 20 October 2011. The figure on the right is caught in the process of filming the scene, which forms the central action of the image. The mediation of the event, first through video footage, which was broadcast on the news worldwide, then through the translation of some of these images into painting, is elevated to the central subject matter of the work. Gaddafi 2 is the second 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 3 2011 (Tate T14242). It is rare for Sasnal to make the relationship of his paintings to digital imagery so explicit, whereas the dramatic cropping, stark palette and obscured facial features are all highly typical of his approach.

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24 OCT 11 :: Gaddafi's Body in a Freezer - What's the Message?

The raw feed of the capture and then death of the Liby- an dictator Muammar Gadd- afi and his son Mo’tassim Gaddafi raise plenty of questions. 

I am left thinking, this dead Gaddafi business is one powerful message. 

And today Marshall McLuhan’s prediction in The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) that ‘The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village’ has come to pass. 

The image of a bloodied Gaddafi, then of a dead Gaddafi in a meat locker have flashed around the world via the mobile, YouTube and Twitter.

Who is in charge of the messaging? Through the fog of real time and raw footage, I note a very powerful message. The essence of that message being;

‘Don’t Fxxk with us! Be- cause you will end up dead and a trophy souvenir in a fridge.’ 

That same person is probably repeating Muammar’s comment, “I tell the coward crusaders: I live in a place where you can’t get me. I live in the hearts of millions.”

And asking ‘Really? Are You? Or are you now very dead and in a meat locker?’

“We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we are afraid only of God,” the crowds chanted in Tunis in January a few days before Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled. 

Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his Wife Leila Trebelsi are currently sunning themselves in Jeddah, apparently in the very same villa that was availed to Idi Amin Dada. They remain alive.

President Mubarak was deposed in February and he is locked up. 

Muammar is in a meat locker and dead. The trend is your friend is an ancient mantra in the markets.

There is, i think, a narrative fallacy, that the events triggered by Mohamed Bouzizi deep on the Tunisian frontier would some somehow be contained North of the Sahara. 

I noted a new market being made on departure dates around the longest serving African Leaders. Teodoro Obiang Nguema of equatorial Guinea (32), Jose Santos of Angola (32), Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (31), Paul Biya of Cameroon (29) and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda (25), King Mswati III of Swaziland (24), Blaise Campore of Burkina Fasso (24). We are living in very accelerated times.

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@WilhelmSasnal Gaddafi 3 2011 @Tate

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

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