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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Monday 18th of January 2021

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Negative rates are the next major gold discovery. And if you are sitting there befuddled. Buy eurodollar futures. Buy lots of them. Assuming you already own gold. @hendry_hugh
World Of Finance

The absurdity of it all brought us Trump and Brexit. Let's learn the lesson second time around. Negative rates are the next major gold discovery. And if you are sitting there befuddled. Buy eurodollar futures. Buy lots of them. Assuming you already own gold.

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America Will Achieve Herd Immunity to Trumpism. I Hope. @bpolitics @nfergus
Law & Politics

Major pandemics often coincide with religious or political contagions. In his “History of the Peloponnesian War,” Thucydides records how, during the plague that devastated Athens between 430 and 426 BC, people seemed to lose their moral compasses

“As the disaster passed all bounds, men, not knowing what was to become of them, became utterly careless of everything, whether sacred or profane. … Perseverance in what men called honor was popular with none. … Fear of gods or law of man there was none to restrain them.” 

Disregard for both religion and law undermined the city’s famous democracy, leading to a reduction of noncitizen residents and ultimately to a period of oligarchy in 411.

During the Black Death that swept across Europe in the 1340s, flagellant orders roamed from town to town, ritually whipping themselves in acts of atonement intended to ward off divine wrath. 

Calling themselves Cross-Bearers, Flagellant Brethren or Brethren of the Cross, they wore white robes with a red cross on the front and back and similar headgear. 

On arriving in a town, the brethren would proceed to its church, form a circle, and prostrate themselves, arms outstretched as if crucified. 

On the command “Arise, by the honor of pure martyrdom,” they would stand up and beat themselves with leather scourges tipped with iron spikes, chanting hymns as they did so, periodically falling back to the ground “as though struck by lightning,” according to a contemporary source.

There was more than masochism at work here. 

The flagellants were a millenarian movement with a potentially revolutionary agenda that flouted the authority of the clergy and directed popular wrath against Jewish communities, which were accused of willfully spreading the plague or of inviting divine retribution by their repudiation of Christ. 

Jews were massacred in numerous towns, notably Frankfurt, Mainz and Cologne.

The worst pandemic of the modern era, the misnamed Spanish influenza of 1918-1919, coincided with a wave of violent revolution as the ideas of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks swept the Russian Empire and sparked proletarian risings all over the world. 

Many conservatives (including Winston Churchill and Herbert Hoover) explicitly referred to the “plague of Bolshevism.” 

Churchill was especially fond of the metaphor. In a 1920 article entitled, “The Poison Peril,” he railed against “a poisoned Russia, an infected Russia, a plague-bearing Russia, a Russia of armed hordes … accompanied and preceded by the swarms of typhus bearing vermin which slay the bodies of men, and political doctrines which destroy the health and even the soul of nations.” 

The most radical anti-Bolsheviks in Europe — among them Adolf Hitler — used similar biological metaphors (“racial tuberculosis”) to characterize not only the ideology of the Soviet regime but also the Jews, whom they regarded as Lenin’s confederates. 

It became conventional on the American right in the 1930s to argue that Hitler had “saved all Europe from the red plague of Bolshevism,” in the words of the German-American poet George Sylvester Viereck. 

In reality, of course, National Socialism was itself a deadly ideological contagion that spread through the German population in ways that historians still struggle to understand.

It was therefore with the deepest anxiety that I watched the events in Washington last Wednesday, as a mob whipped into revolutionary fervor by President Donald Trump overran the Capitol in attempt to disrupt the congressional certification of the Electoral College’s votes, the final step in the constitutionally prescribed process of presidential election.

It does not matter which foreign term you wish to use: coup, putsch, autogolpe — take your pick. 

Since Nov. 3, Trump has attempted to overturn the result of the presidential election he lost, using mafia tactics (listen to his call to the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensberger), as well as cynical “lawfare.” 

On Wednesday, he not only egged on the mob; he later said he “loved” them for what they had done. This clearly violated his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

There are perfectly good English words for what Trump did and, if you could call up the founders and ask for their opinion, they would use them. 

Trump is a demagogue and a would-be tyrant whose disregard for the rule of law and encouragement of sedition and insurrection have, very fortunately for us all, been thwarted by his own incompetence and, of course, the separation of powers and other constitutional checks the founders devised, in the full awareness that one day such a man might become president.

What, I’ve been asked, is the best historical analogy for last week’s events in Washington? None fits perfectly. 

Oliver Cromwell's dissolution of England’s Long Parliament in 1653? 

The obvious difference is that Cromwell succeeded in establishing himself as lord protector. 

The dissolution of the French National Assembly by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte in 1851? 

Again, Bonaparte actually succeeded in establishing the Second Empire. 

How about Mussolini’s March on Rome in 1922?  The difference there is that King Victor Emmanuel threw Prime Minister Luigi Facta under the bus by refusing to declare a state of emergency, and then appointing Mussolini in his place.

Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 was, like Thursday’s affair, a fiasco. But it didn’t happen in the national capital and it wasn’t inspired by either the German chancellor or the president. 

Moreover, it ended with quite a lot of shooting (16 Nazis were killed on the streets of Munich) and the imprisonment of Hitler and other conspirators — in marked contrast to the mysterious leniency with which the Trumpists were treated on Thursday, with an exception being Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by a plainclothes Capitol Police officer as she climbed through the smashed door to the Speaker’s Lobby.

My Bloomberg Opinion colleague Noah Smith draws a parallel with Japan in the 1930s, but there (as in multiple South American and Middle Eastern coups) a key role was played by ultranationalist junior officers in the military. 

Something similar goes for the Tejerazo, the storming of the Spanish parliament by 200 Civil Guard officers led by Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero in 1981. 

By contrast, the American military would do nothing to support an unconstitutional seizure of power. 

Support for Trump diminishes the higher up the command structure you go, with recently retired generals among his most vehement critics.

True, there is considerable support for Trump among police officers across the nation, and video footage from Wednesday seemed to show some Capitol cops fraternizing with the mob, even abetting them. 

On the whole, however, the police seem simply to have been outnumbered and overrun. 

It remains unclear who gave the orders not to give the pro-Trump mob the same tough treatment meted out to Black Lives Matters protesters in the summer. But I doubt this was part of a coup conspiracy.

There is another reason none of these analogies works: They all omit the peculiar conditions created by a pandemic. 

It is not coincidental that the nadir of modern American politics was plumbed last week just as the third wave of Covid-19 seemed to near its crest. 

On Thursday, new daily cases in the U.S. reached a pandemic record of 260,973; daily deaths exceeded 4,000 for the first time, bringing the total death toll to more than 370,000. 

Another 130,000 Americans are hospitalized.  Only in terms of excess mortality relative to seasonal averages has the third wave not yet surpassed the first.

Pandemics, remember, are associated with religious and political extremism

The fear of illness, mutual suspicion, quack theories, hypochondria, hyper-skepticism and general mental dislocation caused by social distancing, lockdowns and unemployment — taken together, these things tend to generate outlandish behavior.

To the historian, it was not altogether surprising back in the summer to see hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mostly white protesters take to the streets in processions of expiation for the sin of racism. 

The left-wing violence that turned parts of Portland, Seattle and Kenosha, Wisconsin, into no-go zones was more destructive than the right-wing invasion of the Capitol, even if the latter’s political significance was greater.

Look, if you want evidence of pandemic madness, at the people who ran amok among the legislature last week. 

The idea that this was a false-flag operation by far-left Antifa in disguise is obviously absurd. 

Although the mob seems to have included a few retired military members or off-duty police who had the training and the tools for a serious terrorist attack, this was mostly the lunatic fringe of the American far right in an unholy alliance with the QAnon conspiracy cult.

The bearded nutter with the “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt and the thug with the “6MWE” T-shirt (which stands for “Six million weren’t enough”) rubbed shoulders with the “Q shaman,” Jake Angeli, he of the buffalo horns, tattoos and stars-and-stripes face paint

Nick Fuentes, who leads the far-right “Groyper Army,” was pictured inside the Capitol next to another fascist who goes by “Baked Alaska.” 

There were Confederate flags and nooses, but also QAnon signs (“The Children Cry Out for Justice”), crusader crosses (yes, that red cross on white again), and anti-circumcision placards.

For a brief moment on Wednesday afternoon, I felt a strong temptation to throw up my hands and admit that this really was Weimar America after all, and that Trump was indeed the tyrant depicted in so many articles over the past five years.

A closer look at this motley crew of misfits brought me back to reality — that, and the realization that, far from proclaiming presidential rule by decree and securing the TV stations (which is what coup leaders are supposed to do), Trump and his children were vacuously watching the mayhem on television

Just as the QAnon (and KKKAnon) mob were too busy filming their own antics to prevent the members of Congress making their escape, so the putative dictator was too preoccupied with fulminating against his vice president to anticipate his own summary exclusion from the major social media platforms. 

(The people reflexively cheering Facebook’s action might ask themselves if that was last week’s successful coup. It was certainly the starkest revelation yet of Mark Zuckerberg’s power.)

It is possible — I cannot rule it out — that Trump and Trumpism will persist long after his departure from the White House, whether that happens tomorrow via the 25th Amendment, next week via high-speed impeachment, or on Inauguration Day. 

He would not be the first leader in history to linger long after his departure from high office, insisting that his loyal followers treat him as the rightful president, a kind of 21st-century version of the Jacobite Pretenders to the British throne.

Nor would Trump be the first demagogue to be nominated as a presidential candidate more than once by his party: William Jennings Bryan (who at least knew how to concede defeat) was the Democratic candidate three times from 1896 to 1908. 

Even if Trump’s health were to give out, we know from the three generations of the Le Pen family in France that right-wing dynasties can be remarkably durable.

The dominant media narrative of our time is of profound political polarization, with the potential one day to escalate into civil war. 

Perhaps that is right, and what we really witnessed last week was the Trumpist equivalent of John Brown’s abortive revolt at Harpers Ferry, a precursor to the Civil War (even if the extreme Trumpists’ views on race are clearly the opposite of the abolitionist Brown’s).

If that pessimistic view is right, then we are only just emerging from the first wave of Trumpism. 

Like the new variants of Covid-19 discovered in England and South Africa, which spread more rapidly than earlier strains, it could surge back in an even more virulent form.

But my contrarian view is that, rather than worsening the country’s polarization, the events of the past few months have in fact substantially restored the center ground. 

Trump lost in the November election; but so did the far left of the Democratic Party. Biden personifies the middle of the road. 

He didn't sweep to power on a blue wave, because many voters who didn’t back Trump nevertheless voted for Republicans down the ballot. 

But for Trump’s criminal behavior, his party might have held the Senate.

Vice President Mike Pence’s letter breaking with Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech rejecting the president’s challenge to Biden’s victory on Wednesday marked the long-overdue end of the Republican establishment's sordid affair with Trump.

The narrowness of the Democrats’ majorities in the Senate and House should also help the center hold. 

There are now incentives on both sides to work together, if only to repair the terrible damage caused by Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic.

This, at least, is my earnest hope: That, having once been infected by the virus of antidemocratic politics, Americans have now acquired some resistance to it. 

The optimistic view of the pandemic is that natural infection plus mass vaccination will get the U.S. to herd immunity by around May. 

The optimistic view of politics is that we can achieve herd immunity against Trumpism in a roughly similar timeframe.

Shorn of power, assailed by litigation, his finances tottering and his access to social media abruptly curtailed, Trump may fade as quickly as a virus with a reproduction number below 1 — to become no more than a seasonal malady, threatening only to those with the intellectual equivalent of comorbidities. 

The lesson of history is that pandemics eventually end — and so do political manias of the sort that briefly seized the Capitol last week.

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04-JAN-2021 :: we are witnessing massive decline in the cognitive capacity of leadership and a steep decline in the intellectual capacity of the corpus.
Law & Politics

"Time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again- forever."

“Making masks a culture war issue was the dumbest thing imaginable,” said an Advisor to President Trump but remember it was also a culture war issue during the Spanish Flu.

The Virus and The Economy

In 1720 Marseille allowed a ship from plague-ridden Cyprus into port, under pressure from merchants who wanted the goods and didn’t want to wait for the usual quarantine. 

More than half the population of Marseille died in the next two years

Ibn Khaldun explained the intrinsic relationship between political leadership and the management of pandemics in the pre-colonial period in his book Muqaddimah 

Historically, such pandemics had the capacity to overtake “the dynasties at the time of their senility, when they had reached the limit of their duration” and, in the process, challenged their “power and curtailed their [rulers’] influence...” 

Rulers who are only concerned with the well-being of their “inner circle and their parties” are an incurable “disease”. 

States with such rulers can get “seized by senility and the chronic disease from which [they] can hardly ever rid [themselves], for which [they] can find no cure”

Chancellor Merkel pronounced “You cannot fight the pandemic with lies and disinformation...the limits of Populism are being laid bare.”

And wherever You care to turn whether it is the US under Trump, the United Kingdom under Boris Johnson, we are witnessing massive decline in the cognitive capacity of leadership and a steep decline in the intellectual capacity of the cognitive capacity of the corpus. 

We live in an Era of gobbledygook debate, a moment of complete combustion. Just open your social media account and its a torrent of bite sized nonsense. 

This is the Achilles Heel which the Sun Tzu Maestro Xi Jinping understood and the Viral War he launched was a perfectly aimed Bullet.

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26 MAR 18 :: "It's no use fighting elections on the facts; it's all about emotions."
Law & Politics

 "So the candidate is the puppet?," the undercover reporter asked. "Always," replied Mr Nix.

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05-DEC-2016:: "We have a deviate, Tomahawk."
Law & Politics

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.

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Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology @StateDept
Law & Politics

The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019
, before the first identified case of the outbreak

Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing that infected nine people, killing one.

Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). 

The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak and has since studied animals including mice, bats, and pangolins.

The WIV has a published record of conducting “gain-of-function” research to engineer chimeric viruses. 

But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including “RaTG13,” which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of SARS-like illness.

WHO investigators must have access to the records of the WIV’s work on bat and other coronaviruses before the COVID-19 outbreak. 

As part of a thorough inquiry, they must have a full accounting of why the WIV altered and then removed online records of its work with RaTG13 and other viruses.

For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention.

Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. 

The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.

The United States and other donors who funded or collaborated on civilian research at the WIV have a right and obligation to determine whether any of our research funding was diverted to secret Chinese military projects at the WIV.

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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.”
Law & Politics

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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‘’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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“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” ― Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19
Law & Politics

“There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”

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04-JAN-2021 :: Today only the Paid for Propagandists and Virologists and WHO will argue that there is a ''zoonotic'' origin for COVID19. There is no natural Pathway for the Evolution of COVID19.

It is remarkable that the Propaganda is still being propagated more than a year later. There is no natural Pathway for the Evolution of COVID19.

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Tracking the international spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351/501Y-V2 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus nCoV-2019 Genomic Epidemiology

The discovery and rapid spread of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351/501Y.V2 highlights the importance of real-time and open data for tracking the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and for informing future public health interventions and travel advice.

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Malawi record 1,232 #COVID19 yesterday above 471/day avg up 856% past 2wks. jmlukens

Countries w/ new record COVID-19 daily cases

Colombia: 21,078

Indonesia: 12,818

Lebanon: 6,154

UAE: 3,407

Bolivia: 2,573

Nigeria: 1,867

Malawi: 1,232

Rwanda: 257

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 110

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2075

Dollar Index 90.798

Japan Yen 103.743

Swiss Franc 0.89144

Pound 1.3567

Aussie 0.7688

India Rupee 73.2275

South Korea Won 1104.32

Brazil Real 5.2908

Egypt Pound 15.6685

South Africa Rand 15.252

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21. #Dollar bearishness hit new ATH. net short reaching its highest mark on record (in dollar terms) at $35bn. (via Scotia) @Schuldensuehner
World Currencies

#Dollar bearishness hit new ATH. Investors ramped up their bearish bets against the Dollar most since early-Aug 2020 w/USD’s net short reaching its highest mark on record (in dollar terms) at $35bn. (via Scotia)

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08-JAN-2018 :: The Crypto Avocado Millenial Economy.
World Currencies

High tech, millenial, crypto, avocado economy exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential and even non-linear characteristics not unlike Ebola.

The ‘’Zeitgeist’’ of a time is its defining spirit or its mood. Capturing the ‘’zeitgeist’’ of the Now is not an easy thing because we are living in a dizzyingly fluid moment.

Gladwellian level move. “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire”- Malcolm Gladwell. 


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CoViD19-ΛFЯICΛ: Confirmed: 3 235 176 (+ 27588) Actives: 505 925 (-4526) @NCoVAfrica


Confirmed: 3 235 176 (+ 27588)

Actives: 505 925 (-4526)

Deaths: 78 313 (+ 663)

Recoveries: 2 648 528 (+ 31451)

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Turning To Africa Spinning Top

Democracy from Tanzania to Zimbabwe to Cameroon has been shredded.

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

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

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

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.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.

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@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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Thus a life or dead war. Thus the chances for a compromise are melting like snow in the sun. When will it be obvious that this war isn’t a solution? @rene_renelefort

2. Thus, the “unitarist” extremism in Amhara region, the Tigrean “secessionism” & the anti-Eritrean stance in Tigray rise sharply. Thus a life or dead war. Thus the chances for a compromise are melting like snow in the sun. When will it be obvious that this war isn’t a solution?

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The fugitive leader of Ethiopia’s defiant Tigray region on Monday called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops

The fight is about self-determination of the region of around 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it “will continue until the invaders are out.” 

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Hellish highway: Moroccan army vehicles drive past wrecks in Guerguerat in the Western Sahara after they intervened in the area late last year. @mailandguardian

The liberation movement has fought for independence from Morocco for the Sahrawi region for more than four decades. (Fadel Senna/AFP)

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TICK TOCK Kenya in race to meet Chinese loan deadline for repayment @TheAfricaReport

Kenyan Treasury officials are no doubt worried about what's going to happen next Thursday. 

The date marks the end of a five year repayment holiday given by the China Exim Bank for the $1.4 billion loan used to build the Nairobi to Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway.

Unless officials from both countries come up with a last-minute deal to restructure either the loan or China’s broader debt portfolio in Kenya, the Treasury’s going to have to cut a pretty large check using what little money it has available.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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January 2021

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