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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 13th of October 2021

27 NOV 17 :: "Wow! What a Ride!"
World Currencies

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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09-MAY-2021 :: The Lotos-eaters
World Of Finance

"Courage!" he said, and pointed toward the land, "This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon."

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A discovery: gastronomic knowledge can be a source not only of fortune but of magnificent banquets, transforming the need to survive into the luxury of living. This fact defined Dionisio’s career, but it gave him no higher goal.The Crystal Frontier |

His ascent from mere appetite to culinary art and from there to a well-paid profession was attributable to his love of Mexican cuisine and disdain for cuisines of lower status, like that of the United States of America. Before he was twenty, Dionisio had taken as an article of faith that there were only five great cuisines in the world: Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, and Mexican. Other nationalities had dishes of the first quality—Brazilian feijoada, Peruvian chicken soup with chiles, Argentine beef were excellent, as were North African couscous and Japanese teriyaki—but only Mexican cuisine was a universe unto itself. From Sinaloa’s chilorio, with its little cubes of pork well seasoned with oregano, sesame, garlic, and fat chiles, to Oaxaca’s chicken with mountain herbs and avocado leaves, the uchepo tamales of Michoacán, Colima’s sea bass with prawns and parsley, San Luis Potosí’s meatloaf stuffed with cheese, and that supreme delicacy which is Oaxaca’s yellow mole—two so-called wide chiles, two guajillo chiles, one red tomato, 250 grams of green jitomatillos, two tablespoons of coriander, two leaves of hierbasanta, two peppercorns—Mexican cuisine was for Dionisio a constellation apart that moved in the celestial vaults of the palate with its own trajectories, its own planets, satellites, comets, meteors. Like space itself, it was infinite.

How could a sybarite be an ascetic when he so sensually enjoys a clemole in radish sauce?

Where were cocktails born? In Campeche, among English sailors who mixed their drinks with a local condiment called “cock’s tail.” 

Who consecrated chocolate as an acceptable beverage in society? Louis XIV at Versailles, after the Aztec drink had been considered a bitter poison for two centuries. 

Why in old Russia was the potato prohibited by the Orthodox Church? Because it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible and therefore had to be a creation of the devil. In one sense the Orthodox clergy were right: the potato is the source of that diabolical liquor vodka.

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Her parents gave Marina that name because of their desire to see the ocean. The Crystal Frontier | Author: Carlos Fuentes |

When she was baptized, they said, maybe this one will get a chance to see the ocean. 

In the clump of shacks in the northern desert, the young would get together with their elders, and the elders would tell how, when they were young, they wondered what the ocean was like. None of us had ever seen the ocean.
Every day, without fail, she tried to look at the vast horizon. The sky and the sun seemed her protectors; they were the beauty of the world, they belonged to everyone and cost nothing. 

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China’s bid to ‘weaponise trade’ crumbles as it turns to Australia for cotton, copper despite import ban @SCMPNews

China has imported US$30 million worth of Australian copper concentrate and increased purchases of cotton from the country amid international sanctions over Xinjiang, despite unofficially banning the products in November last year, Chinese trade data shows.
Chinese importers also snapped up the lion’s share of Australia’s bumper wheat harvest for the 2021-22 season, making it the country’s largest buyer just as global supplies fall.
Global shortages and political tensions have forced China to turn to Australian products, especially as its economy has bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic, although there are few signs the trend will be permanent.
Despite taking punitive trade action against Australia over several issues, including Canberra’s push for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, China will avoid shooting itself in the foot economically, said Stephen Olson, a former trade negotiator with the United States Trade Representative.

China will demonstrate pragmatism when it comes to balancing its economic prospects with its political interests, he said.
“Any punitive actions will be carefully calculated to maximise pain on Australia and minimise disruptions in China,” said Olson, who is also a senior research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation

“Given the high levels of trade and investment between China and Australia, this will not always be easy to do.
“And the exact composition of the package of punitive actions will occasionally need to be reassessed and potentially adjusted to reflect evolving commercial and economic realities.”

Not only does this show China’s pragmatism towards trade, but that countries which have weaponised trade cannot always “win”, said Tianlei Huang, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“China, like the US, often weaponises trade in order to achieve political objectives. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it does not. In the Australia case, it seems China’s sanctions have yet to yield any real satisfactory results,” he said.
“Will China learn its lessons? Probably not. China’s behaviour mirrors that of the US. As China continues to grow and trade with the rest of the world, Beijing will most likely keep trade sanctions as a geoeconomic instrument in its foreign policy toolbox, despite potential economic costs inflicted to itself.”


Australia had to show some muscle. 

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.@WHO Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 - 5 October 2021

Globally, the number of weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths continued to decline. This is a trend that has been observed since August. 

Over 3.1 million new cases and just over 54 000 new deaths were reported during the week of 27 September to 3 October 2021. 

Cases this week decreased by 9% as compared to the previous week, while deaths remained similar. 


The Lowest weekly case count for 12 weeks. 

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Global recovery continues, but the momentum has weakened and uncertainty has increased #WEO @IMFNews
World Of Finance

The global economic recovery is continuing, even as the pandemic resurges. 

The fault lines opened up by COVID-19 are looking more persistent—near-term divergences are expected to leave lasting imprints on medium-term performance. 

Vaccine access and early policy support are the principal drivers of the gaps.
 The global economy is projected to grow 5.9 percent in 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022, 0.1 percentage point lower for 2021 than in the July forecast. 

The downward revision for 2021 reflects a downgrade for advanced economies—in part due to supply disruptions—and for low-income developing countries, largely due to worsening pandemic dynamics. 

This is partially offset by stronger near-term prospects among some commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies

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. Global recovery continues, but the momentum has weakened and uncertainty has increased #WEO @IMFNews
World Of Finance

Overall, risks to economic prospects have increased, and policy trade-offs have become more complex.

The dangerous divergence in economic prospects across countries remains a major concern. 

Aggregate output for the advanced economy group is expected to regain its pre-pandemic trend path in 2022 and exceed it by 0.9 percent in 2024. 

By contrast, aggregate output for the emerging market and developing economy group (excluding China) is expected to remain 5.5 percent below the pre-pandemic forecast in 2024, resulting in a larger setback to improvements in their living standards.

Overall, the balance of risks for growth is tilted to the downside. The major source of concern is that more aggressive SARS-CoV-2 variants could emerge before widespread vaccination is reached.
Inflation risks are skewed to the upside and could materialize if pandemic-induced supply-demand mismatches continue longer than expected 

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IMF Projections: 2022 @IMFNews
World Of Finance

USA 5.2%
Germany 4.6%
France 3.9%
Italy 4.2%
Spain 6.4%
Japan 3.2%
United Kingdom: 5%
Canada: 4.9%
China 5.6%
India 8.5%
Russia 2.9%
Brazil 1.5%
Mexico: 4%
Saudi Arabia: 4.8%
Nigeria: 2.7%
South Africa: 2.2%

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1551
Dollar Index 94.358
Japan Yen 113.47
Swiss Franc 0.9294
Pound 1.3615
Aussie 0.7336
India Rupee 75.2285
South Korea Won 1193.485
Brazil Real 5.5322
Egypt Pound 15.7119
South Africa Rand 14.95

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Coffee Price Surge @Judy_Ganes

The 1977 price surge was caused by growers worldwide withholding coffee, disgruntled at selling too cheap prior to Brazil frost. In 1997, the market climbed on low cert stock.  2010 vault up was on Colombian issues and rising diffs.  Current is a mish-mash of all plus drought.

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The PLA now has T-15 tanks and Jonyang 2-part carriers on the Tibetan plateau. Cannot be for defense: India only has light infantry up there. @ELuttwak
Emerging Markets

The PLA now has T-15 tanks and Jonyang 2-part carriers on the Tibetan plateau. Cannot be for defense: India only has light infantry up there. Is a Chinese Rommel planning a blitzkrieg ? After all N Delhi is just 1000 km.. Or does Xi want to emulate Mao's 1962 surprise attack ?

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Emerging Nation ETFs See Biggest Cash Outflow Since May 2020 @markets
Emerging Markets

investors fled exchange-traded funds that buy emerging market assets last week at the fastest pace since the peak of the pandemic as U.S. policy concerns soured global markets.
Outflows from U.S.-listed emerging market ETFs that invest across developing nations, as well as those that target specific countries, totaled $1.1 billion in the week ended Oct. 8, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

This was the biggest weekly outflow for the category of funds since May 2020.
Investors took $631.5 million from the $18.9 billion iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond, known as EMB, in the third consecutive weekly loss for the largest ETF investing in developing-nation debt. 

The fund registered the biggest losses Friday, when data showing the U.S. had added fewer-than-expected jobs in September failed to raise optimism that the Federal Reserve will keep easy monetary policy for longer.  

Riskier assets, including those in the developing world, were hampered by U.S. debt ceiling discussions last week. 

When U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell offered Democrats a deal to raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday, emerging-market currencies and stocks trimmed losses. 

“What’s not keeping me awake is Covid and global growth,” Jens Nystedt, a senior portfolio manager at EMSO Asset Management in New York said last week. 

“The main risk to my holdings in emerging markets is the U.S., which is something I used to say only during the Trump administration.” 

Meantime, money managers fled Taiwanese stocks, with the $6.9 billion iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF, or EWT, losing $195.6 million, the biggest weekly loss in nearly six years.  

Stock ETFs contracted by $520.2 million.
Bond funds fell by $596.1 million.
Total assets rose to $345.1 billion from $343 billion.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index closed up 0.8 percent from the previous week at 1,257.04 points.
Mozambique had the biggest inflow, of $6.52, led by Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond.

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Money for sale: Lebanese depositors sell cheques at half price FT
Emerging Markets

So desperate was Jamal, a businessman, to get his cash out of his bank account in Lebanon that he agreed to a transaction that would make no sense anywhere else in the world.
He sold a cheque for half of its face value. 

“Someone took 50 per cent of my money, yes. But I was so happy” to get it out of the bank, said Jamal, who did not want his real name to be published. 

The cheque sale was part of an arrangement to buy property in Dubai. And, as far as Jamal is concerned, he got a great deal.
Political dysfunction has pushed the fragile Mediterranean nation towards total economic collapse — on Saturday the state power provider said its two main plants had run out of fuel, in effect causing a temporary nationwide state electricity blackout.
Lebanon’s banks introduced harsh limits on withdrawals and foreign transfers two years ago, triggering a thriving black market in cheques for some of the billions of US dollars stuck inside the Lebanese banking system dubbed “local dollars” or “lollars”.
As the country’s economic and financial crisis has worsened, rates for lollar cheques have sunk as low as 15 per cent of their face value, reflecting a collapse in trust in the country’s banks. 

It is mostly business people buying the cheques and depositing them in banks to pay off loans. 

“More informed [depositors] thought no, the money is gone [from the banking system],” said Sami Atallah, founding director of The Policy Initiative, a Beirut-based think-tank. 

They “have no trust in the banking system or that the government will actually compensate them or get their money back”.
This unusual black market underscores the challenge facing the new government led by billionaire prime minister Najib Mikati. 

As it enters into talks with the IMF, it must figure out how to rescue a banking sector that once served the region as a finance hub and salvage what remains of citizens’ savings.
The problem in part stems from Lebanese lenders’ deep entanglement with both the central bank and the state — about 70 per cent of banking assets were exposed to the heavily indebted sovereign, according to the World Bank, including a large portion of defaulted government Eurobonds. 

The previous government estimated in 2020 that the Banque du Liban (BdL) alone had losses worth $50bn.
Diana Menhem, managing director of reform lobby group Kulluna Irada, said the government, banks and central bank needed to start by agreeing on the magnitude of losses and deciding how to restructure the banking system to restore banks’ solvency.
“This is only the first step. One thing is stopping the bleeding and cleaning up the system but another thing is kick-starting the economy again,” she said.
Crucially, the authorities “need to completely solve the issue of this lollar”, said Andy Khalil, an economist. 

“You cannot have a currency that you’re calling USD, that has already been priced by the market as something worth much less than a dollar.”
More than 80 per cent of the money held in Lebanese bank accounts is denominated in dollars. But dollars that were held before the crisis can only be withdrawn as cash in Lebanese pounds, and at an official rate of 3,900 to the dollar — a fraction of the parallel rate, which means depositors lose nearly 80 per cent of their money each time they get cash out. 

Foreign transfers are nearly all prohibited.
Even withdrawals in Lebanese pounds are capped and cheques in the local currency are also being bought and sold at a discount.
Riad Salameh, the central bank governor, has argued that depositors are choosing to take a haircut when they withdraw or sell bankers’ cheques, and that their deposits are safe.
But current and former financiers argued that most depositors did not have the luxury of waiting for the crisis to be resolved. 

“It’s like saying to someone you can jump out of the plane without a parachute,” said a former senior banker.
The trade in cheques helps explain why deposits and loans in the banking system have shrunk — resident and non-resident customer deposits in the banking sector, in both dollars and pounds, have fallen from $170bn at the start of 2019 to $131bn this July, banking statistics show

Meanwhile, resident and non-resident loans have halved in the same period — from $59bn to $31bn.
The trade has been serviced by a cottage industry of dealers. One trader put his profits at about $150,000 since October 2019. 

He matches buyers and sellers with the help of WhatsApp groups of brokers, and typically trades in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.
Higher value deals, worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, are brokered between well-connected businesspeople, said a person familiar with the market.
Ultimately, the cheque trade is symptomatic of the state’s failure to manage the crisis by enacting a capital control law and unifying exchange rates, Menhem said.
Instead, “this intentional inaction on behalf of both the government and parliament has forced the biggest losses on to small depositors”.
Those, such as Jamal, who moved earlier to cash out with cheques seem so far to have lost the least. 

“I told my brother at the beginning [of the crisis] you have to cut your losses,” said one trader in the bankers cheque market. “It’s better than losing everything . . . he didn’t listen to me.”

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The trial of 14 people over the 1987 assassination of Burkina Faso's former president Thomas Sankara began in the capital Ouagagdougou @D_J_Doyle @ReutersAfrica

The trial of 14 people over the 1987 assassination of Burkina Faso's former president Thomas Sankara began in the capital Ouagagdougou on Monday, with Sankara's widow Mariam saying she hopes that the truth will emerge.  @D_J_Doyle

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‘The genie out of the bottle’ @AfricanBizMag

It’s impossible for the state to manage a guerrilla war up there and at the same time manage to control the rest of the country.

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BerhanuJula& Abebaw’s secret to a lightening victory is human wave tactics a la WWI. It will never work. @reda_getachew

#AbiyAhmed’s so-called ‘Final Offensive’ is in full swing now. Our forces are holding their ground and more in Wegeltena,Geregera,Wurgessa and Haro fronts. BerhanuJula& Abebaw’s secret to a lightening victory is human wave tactics a la WWI. It will never work. TigrayShallPrevail!

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Zimbabwe’s Dollar Risks Collapsing, Business Lobby Says @bpolitics

Zimbabwe’s currency faces collapse unless the authorities implement policy measures needed to support it, the country’s main business lobby group said.

Instability in the foreign-exchange market is being driven by an unrelenting increase in money supply, increasing imports and long delays in settlement at the central bank’s weekly currency auction, the Chamber of Zimbabwe Industries said in a statement.
“We find ourselves in a situation that could and should have been avoided had the appropriate policy prescriptions been in place,” the chamber said. 

“We are of course concerned about the response by the authorities so far, which was to blame players in the foreign currency markets as the sole cause of the currency instability.”
Delays at the central bank auction are forcing Zimbabwean companies to source their foreign exchange on the illegal parallel market. 

That’s resulted in the spread between the official and black-market rates more than doubling in recent weeks.
“This instability in the currency has prompted an aggressive administrative response from the authorities that, if continued, will send the economy into a hyper-inflationary tailspin,” it said. 

The Zimbabwean dollar is “in real peril and urgent and well considered policy measures must be implement by the authorities.”
The official rate has weakened 7.6% so far this year to 88.55 per U.S. dollar, according to data collected by Bloomberg. 

It trades at 176 per U.S. dollar on the parallel market, according to marketwatch.co.zw, a website that tracks black-market rates.
Declines in the parallel-market rate often lead to price hikes in the southern African nation, where annual inflation was 52% in September.
In 2008 the currency plunged and a bout of hyperinflation decimated savings and resulted in shortages. 

The currency was scrapped early the next year and the use of foreign currencies was legalized. The Zimbabwe dollar was only reintroduced in 2019
The central bank said Monday it reached agreement with businesses and government ministries on ways to address volatility in the illegal parallel market, which business increasingly is using as an alternative to the auction system to source foreign exchange.
Steps to be taken include reviewing bank policy rates to curb speculative borrowing, tightening money supply and government support for the auction system, the bank said in a statement.

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21-JAN-2019 :: The Mind Game that ZANU-PF played on its citizens has evaporated in a puff of smoke

I have been reading Yuval Noah Harari and in his best-seller he says this about money;
“Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any system of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”
“Cowry shells and dollars have value only in our common imagination. Their worth is not inherent in the chemical structure of the shells and paper, or their colour, or their shape. In other words, money isn’t a material reality – it is a psychological construct. It works by converting matter into mind.”

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The total of spending under the control of national government is = Ksh. 3.2T, including Ksh. 1.17 T of debt payments. @IEAKwame
Kenyan Economy

The spending for which national government is responsible is equivalent to Ksh. 65,306 per citizen. @IEAKwame

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Treasury intends to bail out nine state owned firms for loans totaling Sh105 billion @moneyacademyKE
Kenyan Economy

KPLC, Kenya pipeline, and Kengen owe the most at Sh53 billion, Sh19 billion, and Sh13 billion respectively.

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

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