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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 04th of November 2020

19-OCT-2020 :: Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent Conclusions
World Of Finance






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A Luminous and Fairy Tale feel

''You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul

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14 NOV 16 :: Here comes President @realDonaldTrump @TheStarKenya [Redux]
Law & Politics

Trump confounded the pollsters and the traditional media echo chamber and was ranked a rank outsider at 4-1 in a two horse race just a few short hours before the final result was known.

Comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo, co-founder of Five Star, 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.”

And this is another important point, traditional media has lost its position of control. It’s been upended by the internet which allowed insurgent politics to broadcast over the top.

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I asked Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla three times about India losing control of at least 300 sq. km. of territory along its border with China. @dwnews
Law & Politics

I asked Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla three times (this is a clip of just two of those times) about India losing control of at least 300 sq. km. of territory along its border with China. He would not confirm this, but here's what he did say to 


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‘’Zoonotic’’ origin was one that was accelerated in the Laboratory.

There is also a non negligible possibility that #COVID19 was deliberately released

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It's conspiracy theory to suggest there was a deliberate lab leak @Dali_Yang

Here's how I see this debate: It's a scientific hypothesis to suggest there might have been a lab leak accidentally; the best scientists cannot rule out such a possibility at this point. It's conspiracy theory to suggest there was a deliberate lab leak

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However, after sequencing the full genome for RaTG13 the lab’s sample of the virus disintegrated, he said. “I think they tried to culture it but they were unable to, so that sample, I think, has gone.”

According to Daszak, the mine sample had been stored in Wuhan for six years. Its scientists “went back to that sample in 2020, 

in early January or maybe even at the end of last year, I don’t know. They tried to get full genome sequencing, which is important to find out the whole diversity of the viral genome.”

However, after sequencing the full genome for RaTG13 the lab’s sample of the virus disintegrated, he said. “I think they tried to culture it but they were unable to, so that sample, I think, has gone.”

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No-one has ever produced a safe and effective vaccine against a coronavirus. Birger Sørensen, Angus Dalgleish & Andres Susrud


What if, as I fear, there will never be a vaccine. I was involved in the early stages of identifying the HIV virus as the cause of Aids. I remember drugs companies back then saying there would be a vaccine within around 18 months. Some 37 years on, we are still waiting. Prof ANGUS DALGLEISH @MailOnline

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29 APR 13 :: :The Brothers Tsarnaev and the Long Tail
Law & Politics

There are more than seven billion of us now in this c21st world of ours. The long tail in a population of seven billion is not an insignificant absolute number.

‘’In statistics, a long tail of some distributions of numbers is the portion of the distribution having a large number of occurrences far from the “head” or central part of the distribution.’’

Put in a different way, there are surely many Brothers Tsarnaev in this new c21st of ours. 

“The byronic hero, incapable of love, or capable only of an impossible love, suffers endlessly. He is solitary, languid, his condition exhausts him. If he wants to feel alive, it must be in the terrible exaltation of a brief and destructive action*.”

Don’t get me wrong, I do not think of these folks as byronic, not by a long shot.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Dollar Index 94.251

Japan Yen 104.89

Swiss Franc 0.914235

Pound 1.2987

Aussie 0.7158

India Rupee 74.74

South Korea Won 1137.935

Brazil Real 5.7565

Egypt Pound 15.711

South Africa Rand 16.2393

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There is frequently a "coming to Jesus" meeting in Beijing where any number of things can happen

Alibaba’s Jack Ma is still young, healthy, and his company is firing on all cylinders.  Yet, he recently stepped down as chairman at a handsome ceremony – posing as a rock star and singing a few tunes.

The musical theme was appropriate.  He has been whistling past the graveyard for many years – as is the lot of prominent businessmen in the People’s Republic of China.

How a private business operates in a Communist Party-run state is a perpetual head scratcher.  However, a Western businessman with over three decades experience in China offered some insights.

You see, the Jack Ma’s of China may be entrepreneurs, but they are as much “Chinese Communist Party (CCP) corporate trustees.”  And Ma’s usefulness as a CCP corporate trustee has reached the end of its shelf-life.

The businessman continued:

Jack Ma and Alibaba were in effect used by the Party to counter eBay’s unexpected and stunning success in China.  And in China, the Party always wins.  As eBay’s fortunes sagged and Alibaba’s took off so did the career of Jack Ma.  

Under the mild-mannered Premier Hu Jintao, Ma became a national and international icon.  He served many roles the Party wanted China and the world to see. 

When Xi Jinping came into power Davos was not big enough for Xi and Ma.  Someone had to go.  

It was clear to a lot of people that Ma began to chafe under Xi’s increasing expectation that trustees like Ma subordinate themselves entirely to Xi.  

Ma perhaps didn’t know when to say “when.”  In 2015 he purchased 28,000 acres of pristine upper New York state forest lands.  This was okay under Hu, not under Xi.  

As far as is known Ma still has the land that he designated “preserved for the environment.”   

As long as he steps down from Alibaba, acknowledges Xi’s supremacy, and only talks about the environment he may be able to keep the land (and his house on Hong Kong’s Peak).  

If he falls afoul, Beijing will claim Ma purchased the land with “black money” and will want asset ownership turned over to the PRC government….a frequent tactic now when foreign real estate is the asset.  

One might expect Ma to declare his philanthropic future by building a conference and retreat center on the property where CCP officials and their corporate trustees can retire for rest, reflection, appreciation of the environment…..and meet Wall Street tycoons and American business leaders (and former U.S. State Department officials) to pitch the benefits of investing in China.

Indeed, maybe Jack Ma’s crowning achievement is not building Alibaba into a major global corporation.  Rather, it is staying both alive and out of jail as long as he has.

The businessman further explained:

Alibaba, like Huawei, HNA and similar ventures, are licensed and documented as “private” companies when in fact they are better thought of a as state-owned-private-enterprise companies (SOPE’s)…an expression the Western businessman coined.

The company “founders” are loyal CCP members (something Jack Ma kept hidden for many years) running the company effectively as CCP appointed trustees.  

The companies receive all kinds of perks (including protection), subsidies and access to whatever is needed to create powerful “champion’” companies across most major lines of business and industry.

Trustees are given executive responsibility to a great degree to run companies as they see fit – and thus appear like “regular” CEO’s of the Western sort.  But in doing so, they must follow these guidelines, noted the businessman:

-Must use company to fulfill CCP policy objectives (serve the party first and foremost)….these include political, business, brand-building and China nationalism objectives

-Build large entities in scope and scale, capability and capacity in their special field of endeavor

-Develop and/or acquire leading-edge technology

-Acquire Top 500 Company world status

-Be a major contributor to establishing new global standards for their respective business field (breaking the U.S. monopoly of the past 60 years or more)

These SOPEs have a deep line of credit with the CCP and the People’s Bank of China’s SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange) should they need U.S. dollars for their overseas activities.   

As long as they stay within the CCP’s policy objectives FX (foreign exchange) authorizations continue.  

Try paying overseas in Chinese Yuan and it’s only a few degrees better than using Zimbabwe dollars.  

There’s a reason why moving one’s wealth overseas and turning it into U.S. dollars or other convertible currencies has been a national sport in China for years – even for CCP elites. 

The businessman continued:  The trouble starts when the celebrity trustee (they attain huge celebrity status in China) begins to get full of himself and starts to enter into transactions beyond his business scope.   

This is usually where the debt problem begins to appear because there is no automatic FX payment to bail them out of a non-policy transaction gone bad. 

 Trying to fix the problem only makes its worse.  The attempted remedies don’t work – piling more debt on top of more debt. 

The CCP will fund SOPE debt as long as it goes to supporting policy objectives.  They will not fund non-policy debt.  Non-policy, usually debt-ridden ventures get sold off at fire sale prices. 

And there is frequently a “coming to Jesus” meeting in Beijing where any number of things can happen to a trustee – from forcing him to sell off non-policy debt-inducing assets, to accepting “retirement” to charges of corruption and a life sentence in prison….and no more access to the CCP’s official black hair dye #6.  

Indeed, CCTV showing court proceeding clips where the former celebrity tycoon now has white hair is the greatest indignity that can be levied on a person in political China.  The citizenry knows justice (such as it is) has been served.  

As a recent example of the CCP taking back one of its SOPEs….there is Anbang Insurance Company which got into a lot of things around the world other than insurance.  

The company was taken over by the government, renamed and rebranded as “Dajia Insurance.”  Its owner got 18 years in prison.

And the HNA conglomerate’s boss, Wang Jian, died in a fall in France last year after the company got overextended.  An accident?  The French police said so.  

But Chinese tycoons that run into trouble die with improbable frequency.  And as one observer put it:  “Typically, a man of Wang’s stature in China does not stand next to a 50 foot drop-off…especially for a photo.”   

But isn’t Alibaba different?  Yes and no.  Jack Ma wisely avoided the “overreach” that landed Anbang, HNA, and others in trouble.  

But in the PRC success can be as dangerous as failure.  And CCP leadership just might view highly profitable Alibaba as a juicy ripe peach.  The Party is the state (and everything in it), after all.

The businessman note that, of course, not all Chinese companies are SOPEs.  Small and medium size Chinese companies that you find seconded in distant parts of Los Angeles, for example, are wild-west outfits running up all kinds of debt in U.S. dollars.  

These are not SOPEs, do not have high-level backing and do not receive much consideration, if any, from SAFE. 

When these guys go broke you don’t want to be their creditor. 

So, despite Jack Ma’s considerable abilities and success, he can only be as successful and free as the CCP allows him to be.

I can hear it now…”Newsham you’re all wrong!”  Perhaps.  But here’s a test:  Have Jack Ma announce that he’s changed his mind and is going to retake Alibaba’s helm – running it as he sees fit and spending the earnings as he wishes.  

Will he be invited to a celebratory dinner in Zhongnanhai?  Maybe.  But if so, he’ll do well not to pose for photos afterwards on the rooftop.

This CCP sword of Damocles also hangs over foreign companies in China.  But there’s no shortage of Western executives who think it will be different for them. 

They’ve got well-connected Chinese friends who love them, and anyway, they are smarter than everyone else.

But this only ends one way.   Just wait a while and watch what happens to Elon Musk and Tesla after going all-in on China.

Musk should be glad he’s not Chinese.  He’ll only lose his company.

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25. 14-OCT-2019 :: @PMEthiopia a fiendishly complicated task fending off the centripetal forces which are tearing Ethiopia apart
Law & Politics

“Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of terri- tory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation.”

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Chinese aviation authorities have shut down Ethiopian Airlines' Addis-Shanghai route through the end of the year due to too many infected passengers arriving in China. @eolander
Tourism, Travel & Transport

ET also announced that it'll delay the resumption of flights to Beijing until Jan 2021.


If that is the case imagine the seeding in SSA

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“Barsa wala Barsakh,” which means “Barcelona or die” in Wolof. @nytimes

DAKAR, Senegal — An estimated 150 migrants are thought to have died after the wooden boat they were traveling in was shipwrecked off the coast of Senegal on Friday, the latest in a deadly series of accidents for those trying a dangerous sea route around northwest Africa to reach Europe that had become less popular in recent years.

This route to Spain is so dangerous that it has long been known as “Barsa wala Barsakh,” which means “Barcelona or die” in Wolof, Senegal’s most widely-spoken language. 

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10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator

Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: “After the Arab Spring, this is the Black Spring”.

We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000? 

This is another point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

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African elections are a total joke!!! @daddyhope
Law & Politics

Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara, won with 99.45%, yet if you add the percentage votes for the other candidates, it goes beyond 100%Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joyFace with tears of joy

This continent is doomed I tell, that is why young people are running away to Europe and America!

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Kenya in Talks With @IMFNews for Fund Arrangement, Lender Says @economics @herbling
Kenyan Economy

Kenya is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a fund arrangement, according to the lender’s resident representative Tobias Rasmussen.

East Africa’s biggest economy has “expressed interest in a fund arrangement” and IMF staff are in discussions with Kenyan authorities “toward such an arrangement,” Rasmussen said in an email response to questions.

“Our discussions are covering a range of issues,” he said. He declined to provide details on the size and nature of the fund. 

The new arrangement isn’t a stand-by facility, neither is it drawn from the rapid credit facility, Rasmussen said.

The Washington-based lender in May approved $739 million under the rapid credit facility to support Kenya’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Kenyan fiction Sisters and suitors battle ogres in “The Perfect Nine” Ngugi wa Thiong’o has written a delightful novel in verse @TheEconomist

The Perfect Nine. By Ngugi wa Thiong’o. New Press; 240 pages; $23.99. Harvill Secker; £12.

Among the most exciting new writing of the past few decades has been the reimagining of foundation myths by authors across the globe: Derek Walcott breathing fresh life into Homer in St Lucia; Murray Bail reinventing the princess-in-the-tower fable among Australia’s ever-varied eucalyptus forests; Gabriela Cabezón Cámara subversively turning a famous gaucho narrative from the macho Argentina of the 1870s into a gay feminist story, published in English earlier this year as “The Adventures of China Iron”.

Now comes Ngugi wa Thiong’o, an 82-year-old Kenyan novelist and playwright, with an experimental epic written in blank verse—originally in his native tongue and translated into English by the author himself. It tells of the very first Kikuyu and their passionate attachment to Mount Kenya, the home of their god, Ngai.

Early in their marriage, fleeing war and starvation, Gikuyu and Mumbi, his “partner in everything”, settle in the mountain’s foothills. They bring up a family of famously beautiful, self-reliant girls; the youngest, Warigia, is an ace with the bow and arrow, although disabled from birth and unable to walk. 

When 99 suitors turn up one day in search of brides, Gikuyu and Mumbi urge their daughters to test the men first and then choose, but above all to choose wisely.

“Warigia is my last born,” Mumbi explained.

“She makes up the Perfect Nine.

Her eyes can see a long way, and her ears hear sounds from afar.

Her legs are the only organs that remained those of a child.

The rest of the body is a grown woman, and she does things her own way.”

Mr wa Thiong’o’s writing is rich with Kikuyu folklore and observations about this mountain of tropical forests and icy peaks, and his verse has a galloping intensity that gives the narrative momentum. 

The men are instructed that they must first build new homes, each named after one of the daughters. 

Then the suitors must bring back the cure for Warigia’s disability, which, they are told, is a single hair that can be found only on the tongue of an ogre.

The sisters take the men up the mountain, trying their courage and devotion. Some get eaten by crocodiles, others sink in the mud or are bitten by snakes. Many run away. 

And then on the upper slopes they encounter the ogres, among them the Ogre of Endless Tears and the Ogre that Shat Without Stopping, around whom the air “smelled of pure rot”. The posse:

feared that the rot might pollute the rivers.

Polluting air and water is poisoning life.

We chased the ogre with the sweet smell of fresh flowers.

Gifted, ingenious and brave, the older sisters have a generosity of spirit that is well conveyed in the book’s lolloping rhythms. But it is Warigia’s story—with its challenges, uncertainties and bittersweet ending—that gives this tale its deep humanity. Most writers lose their energy and inventiveness as they grow old. Not Mr wa Thiong’o. “The Perfect Nine” is one of the year’s great discoveries. ■

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

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