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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 10th of March 2021

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The World is pirouetting on the pinhead of the Yield of the US 10 YR
World Of Finance

The Markets Its all been about the move in the US 10 Year Bond

It's been the third worst start to a year for benchmark Treasuries since 1830: DB's Jim Reid @lisaabramowicz1 

2021 could be like 2009 for long-maturity bonds @jsblokland 

chart of the week, showing the rise in 10 year US Treasury yields. @WilliamClouston

The World is pirouetting on the pinhead of the Yield of the US 10 YR 

8 1⁄2 ~ Federico Fellini (1963) @Futura_Noir 

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Lake Turkana is the world's largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake. By volume it is the world's fourth-largest salt lake after the Caspian Sea

Hominin fossils of some of the earliest human ancestors have been found in the Turkana Basin. Australopithecus anamensis fossils discovered by Meave Leakey in 1994 date to around 4 million years ago

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A photographic tribute to Kenya's Samburu people. Join us in celebrating Africa's rich cultural diversity. @africageo © Dirk Rees

The Samburu are a Nilotic people, originally hailing from the plains alongside the Nile river. As part of a Maa speaking group, they moved south under pressure from the Borana expansion in the late 16th century. 

The earliest settlement of the Maa was just south of Lake Turkana. This group became known as the Samburu, while another group moved further south and eventually became known as the Maasai. 

Their languages and rites of passage remain closely related to one another, as do their rituals and spiritual beliefs.

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Future battlefield: "there may be an equivalent number of jamming and deception systems [as sensors]...difficult to accurately attack when there are thousands of seemingly valid targets, only a small number of which are real" @shashj
Law & Politics

Future battlefield: "there may be an equivalent number of jamming and deception systems [as sensors]...Both sides might find it difficult to accurately attack when there are thousands of seemingly valid targets, only a small number of which are real"

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08-MAR-2021 :: Lights Must Never Go Out
World Of Finance

The lights must never go out,

The music must always play September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden

#Giacometti 'Walking Man' #sculpture

Notwithstanding the departure of President Trump from The White House and his Social Media Megaphone [a Megaphone that induced such a neck snapping intra day volatility into geopolitical affairs], 

one senses that the c21st World remains viral and even exponential just below the surface.

The Volatility we experienced on a daily basis via Trump’s rat-a-tat Tweets [but somehow he managed to keep the markets on a tight leash] seems to have now been exported into the markets proper but more of that later.

President Biden soft-pedalled on Xinjiang “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow”

Which comments delivered the Uighurs to Xi Jinping on a silver Platter. 

Xi Jinping is both Sun Tzu ‘'The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting'' And hard edged at the same time.

He has brought Hong Kong to heel, he is prowling around Taiwan like a Lion prowled around our Tent one night in the Tsavo, he has marched 400 kms into Indian Territory and Narendra ‘’Benito’’ Modi has said nary a word.

Xi has taken calculated risks.

The muscular and multi-faceted nature of Chinese Power is seen in its handling of COVID19

.@FHeisbourg François Heisbourg: «Le coronavirus, c’est un Tchernobyl chinois à la puissance dix»

First, they staged their "exemplary handling" of the pandemic in a very loud manner, in order to avoid interest in the regime.

And then they severely punished countries that demanded an impartial international investigation, made up of the best experts. Australia, which had insisted on the need for transparency, was imposed economic sanctions and a block on its imports.

The debate on the origin of the virus remains totally open, fundamental and potentially explosive.

Controlling the COVID19 Narrative, suppressing the Enquiry, parlaying the situation into one of singular advantage marks a singular moment 

and Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from the Home Front, the International Media Domain, the ‘’Scientific’’ domain over which he has achieved complete ownership and where any dissenting view is characterized as a ‘’conspiracy theory’’

It remains a remarkable achievement.

Of course, the c21st World is not bipolar but the relationship between the US and China remains the overwhelming question.

The Markets have been bracing themselves for a Post Pandemic World.

@Naval said Scientists who support silencing opposing voices are actually priests. @naval

And the belief in Vaccine Efficacy is now bumping at euphoric levels. 

Folks I followed on Twitter for their epidemiological excellence now simply recite Vaccine / Inoculation data like a liturgy. 

And sure the numbers slid for around 6 consecutive weeks but they have bottomed out of late.

Its not clear what % of the suppression was due to the ‘’hard’’ lockdowns [non pharmaceutical intervention] and what % was due to the vaccinnes.

We will discover the answer imminently.

My concern is that Brazil which was the epicenter of the Virus in May 2020 is once again a Precursor and a Harbinger

“I see a huge storm forming in Brazil.” Denise Garrett, vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington

The bottom line: P.1 is 2.5 times more transmissible than the wild-type B lineage. And way more transmissible than B.1.1.7. @bollemdb @obscovid19br 

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett 

Exponential growth unlike any other that we have seen. Brazil is a global threat @bollemdb

Model-based evaluation of transmissibility and reinfection for the P.1 variant of the SARS-CoV-2

The variant of concern (VOC) P.1 emerged in the Amazonas state (Brazil) and was sequenced for the first time on 6-Jan- 2021 by the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

It contains a constellation of mutations, ten of them in the spike protein.

The P.1 variant shares mutations such as E484K, K417T, and N501Y and a deletion in the orf1b protein (del11288-11296 (3675-3677 SGF)) with other VOCs previously detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa (B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351, respectively).

Prevalence of P.1 increased sharply from 0% in November 2020 to 73% in January 2021 and in less than 2 months replaced previous lineages (4).

The estimated relative transmissibility of P.1 is 2.5 (95% CI: 2.3-2.8) times higher than the infection rate of the wild variant, while the reinfection probability due to the new variant is 6.4% (95% CI: 5.7 - 7.1%).

If you have a "normal" pandemic that is fading, but "variants" that [are] surging, the combined total can look like a flat, manageable situation. @spignal

We all know by now ''viruses exhibit non-linear and exponential characteristics'

COVID19 Historic Peaks Deaths a day @brodjustice

This week, as Brazil reported back-to-back record deaths from the virus, Bolsonaro welcomed allies for a lunch in Brasilia. http://j.mp/2PCqgnH

The largely maskless group feasted on typical dishes, including beans with sausage and collard greens, plus a whole roast pig.

The following day, the president raged against governors for creating panic in the population.

"You didn't stay home, you didn't cower," Bolsonaro told a crowd of supporters on Thursday.

"We have to face our fears. No more fussiness, no more whining. Are people going to cry forever?"

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” https://bit.ly/2X4C9mS

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”

I expect th P.1 Lineage to be dominant worldwide in 8-12 weeks notwithstanding the Focus on SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7

My Thesis is based on the ultra hyperconnectedness of the c21st World.

Therefore, I would be tempering my COVID19 optimism and holding my horses which introduces interesting dynamics into the markets.

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As soon as people who are vaccinated meet, they are selecting for the most vaccine evading type. @yaneerbaryam

Laboratory studies that only use one clonal type, do not necessarily reveal the effectiveness of antibodies that are generated by a vaccine. 

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The PRRA insert at the S1/S2 site modulates cellular tropism of SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 usage by the closely related Bat RaTG13

Biochemical and structural analyses suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is well-adapted to infecting humans and the presence of four residues (PRRA) at the S1/S2 site within the spike (S) protein, which may lead to unexpected tissue or host tropism. 

Here we report that SARS-CoV-2 efficiently utilized ACE2 of 9 species to infect 293T cells. 

Similarly, pseudoviruses bearing S protein derived from either the bat RaTG13 or pangolin GX, two closely related animal coronaviruses, utilized ACE2 of a diverse range of animal species to gain entry. 

Removal of PRRA from SARS-CoV-2 S protein displayed distinct effects on pseudoviral entry into different cell types. 

Unexpectedly, insertion of PRRA into the RaTG13 S protein selectively abrogated the usage of horseshoe bat and pangolin ACE2 but enhanced the usage of mouse ACE2 by the relevant pseudovirus to enter cells. 

Together, our findings identified a previously unrecognized effect of the PRRA insert on SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 S proteins.

The four-residue insert (PRRA) at the boundary between the S1and S2 subunits of SARS-CoV-2 has been widely recognized since day 1 for its role in SARS-CoV-2 S protein processing and activation

As this PRRA insert is unique to SARS-CoV-2 among group b betacoronaviruses, it is thought to affect the tissue and species tropism of SARS-CoV-2. 

We compared the usage of 10 ACE2 orthologs and found that the presence of PRRA not only affects the cellular tropism of SARS-CoV-2 but also modulates the usage of ACE2 orthologs by the closely related bat RaTG13 S protein. 

The binding of pseudovirions carrying RaTG13 S with a PRRA insert to mouse ACE2 was nearly 2-fold higher than that of pseudovirions carrying RaTG13 S.

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So what remains of our Cylon thesis? Consider the size of the moves happening. NQ is regularly ranging 4%+ on the day! @coloradotravis

So what remains of our Cylon thesis?

Well...  it's still entirely possible that the "terrain event" that we were tracking has created speed wobbles, just as we had expected.

Consider the size of the moves happening.

NQ is regularly ranging 4%+ on the day!

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1881

Dollar Index 92.139

Japan Yen 108.797

Swiss Franc 0.9293

Pound 1.3876

Aussie 0.7689

India Rupee 72.9455

South Korea Won 1141.90

Brazil Real 5.8028

Egypt Pound 15.74

South Africa Rand 15.2822

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Bitcoin As A Meme And A Future @NoemaMag @lanalana
World Currencies

Memes perform powerful magic that turns absurdity and cynicism into the kind of true belief that can bend reality.

Every few months for the last few years, I get a flurry of texts and emails from friends, relatives and colleagues, asking me if they should buy cryptocurrency.

I study money as a media technology, and I have been writing about Bitcoin for almost as long as it has existed

But I am not a financial advisor, and I especially avoid giving advice about cryptocurrency. 

So when someone asks the Bitcoin Question (it’s usually about Bitcoin specifically), I respond by asking why the person wants to buy it — what they’re hoping to achieve.

Often, they’re just looking for my approval to engage in a little speculation. They had heard about one of Bitcoin’s many rallies and want to know if it would really be so crazy to get in on the action. 

I tell them there are a lot of scams out there, and no one ever got rich buying anything at the top of the market. 

So maybe wait out this bubble and prepare to profit off the next one. 

Maybe spend some time learning about the landscape: what to buy, how much, when, how to secure it and when to sell it.

Most people who ask me the Bitcoin Question admit that they weren’t imagining any particular use for the currency. 

They don’t predict, for example, that the banking system is going to collapse, leaving only Bitcoin. 

Nor do they really think that the value of the U.S. dollar will crash so radically and permanently that Bitcoin becomes a more stable asset. But still, they ask, but still?  

“If all money is a bet on the future, it is also a summoning of a future.”

Buying cryptocurrency in the unrelenting crisis of the COVID pandemic makes about as much sense as buying too much toilet paper. In other words, it makes perfect sense.

All money is a technology of future-makingWe only accept a particular money as payment because we think it will be accepted tomorrow by someone else. 

Every transaction is a prediction, and therefore an affirmation, of a particular future.

Even if most Americans don’t trust our government or financial system, we take for granted their ability to secure and maintain money as one of the basic infrastructures of everyday life. 

Undoubtedly, Americans worry about retiring, about wages keeping pace with cost of living, about real estate going underwater again. 

But these money anxieties work on a long or at least medium-term horizon. They don’t operate in the realm of daily transactions.

An Argentine friend once told me what it was like to live through the economic crisis there at the turn of the millennium. 

A teenager at the time, she remembered only really understanding what it meant for the peso to be in freefall when she watched her mother desperately race through the grocery store, buying up food that would be less perishable than money, trying to stay a few steps ahead of a clerk who was moving through the store putting newly inflated price labels on everything. 

When people design new money forms, it is usually with the goal of telling a new story about the future. 

Think of how euro notes have imaginary architecture — fictional bridges and arches intended to conjure a shared “European” past in order to project a shared European future.

In the 1980s, an important progenitor of cryptocurrency called the Extropians emerged

As media historian Finn Brunton describes, Extropians shared a loose set of beliefs about how technology will eventually enable humans to achieve perfection and live forever, while all the old things that held back that perfection — the government, old religion, imperfect capitalism — would wither away. 

Many Extropians put faith in cryonics — freezing human bodies at extremely low temperatures — hoping they would be awoken or their consciousness uploaded in that perfect future.

Many Extropians also had a libertarian bent: They believed in the ability of money to create a cybernetic system that could power this new world

But if you truly believe, as the Extropians did, that you will outlive the world’s governments and even its financial institutions, how do you make a monetary vehicle that will too? 

How do you set a store of value that will persist and even grow as you await revivification in your cryonic chamber?

The answer, essentially, is cryptocurrency. You set your money and its value outside the things you think are crumbling. You secure it with the things you see as eternal: cryptography and markets.

There are, of course, a lot of unanswered questions about how any of this moves from theory to reality. 

But the details, like solving disease, death and the problem of having a human body, will all be worked out while the Extropians are in their deep freeze.

“The Bitcoin-curious are trying to do their best to live in the ‘parentheses’ between cataclysms.”

There is magic in deferral. If we can just increase the time horizon, some things disintegrate but others fall into place. 

Despite imagining a future initially filled with chaos and collapse for ordinary people, Extropians consider themselves deeply optimistic.

Today’s cryptocurrency communities are similarly summoning a future. Some of those futures look a lot like the one the Extropians imagined; indeed, some of today’s Bitcoin old guard were themselves part of the Extropian groups decades ago.

My Bitcoin-curious acquaintances aren’t actively trying to bring about the demise of the old and birth of the new. 

They are trying to do their best to live in the “parentheses,” as anthropologist Jane Guyer puts it, between cataclysms. They’re not preppers, but they are assembling their go bags, using Wirecutter as their guide.

Sitting somewhere between are the folks of cryptocurrency Twitter. It is a cacophony of memes. During a time of isolation and doom scrolling, it’s funny and vital.

This vitality, these memes, are future-making. Memes perform powerful magic that turns absurdity and cynicism into the kind of true belief that can bend reality

Trump is a meme who was elected president. QAnon is a meme made into a religion. Tesla is a meme that is on the S&P 500. The GameStop rally was a meme that (sort of) beat Wall Street traders at their own game

Indeed, Elon Musk, the hero of the populist GameStop story, famously hates hedge funds because they call his bluffs — they literally bet against the futures that his billions are wrapped up in.

 When an incredibly absurd, cynical thing triumphs, the meme lords stare at the normies: How could you ever have doubted us?

But the logic of crypto memes is also one of deferral. They instruct people who hold Bitcoin to continue doing so. No matter how high the price climbs, do not sell. Keep holding out — or “hodling,” in meme parlance — waiting for a higher price, a more distant future

Hodling, of course, prevents a sell-off that would burst the bubble. This is the mechanism of cryptocurrency, and it’s the mechanism of the GameStop rally. 

Instead of hodling, the WallStreetBets subreddit talks about “diamond hands”: holding tight enough to forge something costly and beautiful out of mere carbon.

It’s a kind of scam: Everyone tells everyone else to keep the faith as they themselves sell off while the price is high. 

Eventually, it’s revealed that not everyone is actually hodling, and the price comes down. 

In the unwinding, those who kept the faith and didn’t sell are left with nothing but a devalued asset. They open their clenched fist to find nothing but dirt. 

Until next time. Like Trump and QAnon, hodling is conjuring a scam future. But it is, at least until the unwinding, a future.

When everything is crumbling, cryptocurrency feels like it stands beyond that everything and yet is the center of everything. 

Some, particularly in the Ethereum community, are actually trying to build technological infrastructures that promise new kinds of futures — better ones. 

Sometimes, these too are scam futures: Belief in them is not evenly shared by all participants. 

But even if you’re just hodling and memeing, crypto lets you manage the future. It allows you to be simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic, constructive and cynical.

I can’t keep up with crypto Twitter the way I used to. Sometimes I try to do a deep dive on the latest big story, but by the time I get to 20 open tabs, the attention (and sometimes speculative) bubble has fizzled. 

The crowd has slinked onto the next story and the next bubble, some richer than they were before, some poorer, some wielding new memes like Boy Scout merit badges.

A reporter once asked if I thought that Bitcoin provided social support, a community and an identity as much as an investment opportunity or even an ideology. I had to say yes, and for once, I felt crypto FOMO.

The people who text me about crypto investments often want to know how much Bitcoin I have. They wonder if I wish I could go back in time to when I first heard about Bitcoin and buy more. 

(For the record, when I first heard about Bitcoin, you could get Bitcoins for free from “faucets.”) Like anyone else, of course I’d like to be richer than I am now. 

But when I think about the last decade, I’m not wistful about not having procured enough Bitcoins.

Instead, I think about all the conversations I had about Bitcoin in 2011, when I first began research on it. 

Some people were imagining it as a digital gold, a money form outside the domain of banks and governments. 

Others were thinking about the uses of the infrastructure, about financial privacy and inclusion.

At the time, many Bitcoin people said things like, “I hope, in ten years, Bitcoin is boring.” They hoped that it would do good in the world — disrupting what we now call surveillance capitalism and making “Big Brother obsolete” — and that that good would be so invisible and so ubiquitous as to be banal.

A boring future wouldn’t have driven the market price of Bitcoin “to the moon,” as hodlers put it. 

You don’t hodl boring money — you pay for things with it. If you’re shopping for groceries, it’s just as hard to use a sky-rocketing currency as it is to use a plummeting one.

Market volatility makes the news. It makes some people rich. Combined with failure of traditional institutions, it drives other people to consider wild and risky investments. 

But the hard and important work of rethinking the plumbing of the economy is not nearly as attention-grabbing.

If I had known then what I know now — that ten years later, Bitcoin would not be boring but it would be valuable — I like to think that I still wouldn’t have gone all the way in on it. 

Even knowing about the countless socio-political calamities that have sent its value ever upwards, I want to believe that I still wouldn’t have joined the big hodl, the one that bets on total collapse. 

I still want to bet on different futures past, more boring ones.

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

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. 

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

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

“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably.It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused to believe- that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return.’’

Or as T.S Eliot said in The Hollow Men

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom.

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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“My take on Trump is that he is an inevitable creation of this unreal normal world,” Adam Curtis says.
Law & Politics

“Politics has become a pantomime or vaudeville in that it creates waves of anger rather than argument. Maybe people like Trump are successful simply because they fuel that anger, in the echo chambers of the internet.”

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Possibly a coincidence - but my January view that grain / wheat (+30% in 9 months) prices would stop rising when the CNY stopped appreciating - does seem to be working @RencapMan
Law & Politics


The Commodities Rally ex Precious Metals has been driven in large part as @RenCapman notes by the yuan. That trend has reversed so expect a whipsaw

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JPMorgan sees a buying opportunity This comes as yields on local-currency emerging-markets credit have risen to the highest since last March. @lisaabramowicz1
Emerging Markets

JPMorgan sees a buying opportunity after the worst selloff in emerging-market currencies since the beginning of the pandemic. This comes as yields on local-currency emerging-markets credit have risen to the highest since last March.

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316,559 Active COVID-19 Cases in Africa @BeautifyData

-39.123% % below 520,000 record high from January 2021 

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Remote-Working Consultants and Bankers Party Hard in No-Lockdown Zanzibar @thedailybeast

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania—“I fully support lockdowns and COVID restrictions, I just choose not to follow any of them” said Simon, who knew he’d be fired if he allowed The Daily Beast to publish his real name, before finishing off a pint-sized plastic red cup filled with equal measures of vodka and coke.

He was pre-drinking for Sauti Za Busaraa, a large Tanzanian festival headlined by some of East Africa’s biggest acts. “One person’s individual behavior is going to make no difference at all.”

The Zanzibar-based Brit, who is in his twenties, works as a consultant for a major European luxury fashion brand, but his employers think he is stuck under lockdown in his flashy central London apartment. Instead, he is Zooming into work from the Hilton Hotel just meters from the harbor of Zanzibar.

Set inside the stone walls of Zanzibar’s old colonial Arab Fort, the festival was a complete danger zone by the cautious standards of today’s world. 

Organizers claimed that at least 5,000 revelers crowded into the fortifications of the UNESCO Heritage sight for two days of ‘partying like it was 2019 again.’ 

As in all of Tanzania, of which Zanzibar is an autonomous region, there was barely a mask in sight. 

There are no restrictions on mingling, no curfew, and the scores of couples passionately making out on dance floors gives a clear indication of what revelers think of the social distancing concept.

In an old amphitheater to the side of the main stage, attendees in search of a quieter time openly smoked joints, sniffed cocaine, or poured copious amounts of local spirits, which were going for just a few dollars a bottle. 

It was the place to be for those after a taste of the freedom that COVID-19 has robbed from the rest of the world. 

Similar parties have taken place in other tropical spots around the world, including in Colombia and Mexico, but even these places have their restrictions. Tanzania has been the closest place to a true free-for-all.

Although Simon is the most honest about his brazen hypocrisy, he is far from alone in fleeing the lockdowns of the grey European winter for sandy beaches and sunshine. 

In two weeks of reporting from Tanzania, The Daily Beast encountered employees of major international organizations like Amazon, Citigroup and even the United Nations. 

The freedom to work remotely has led an enterprising, if ethically dubious set of well-paid office workers to set up their home offices thousands of miles away from their colleagues. 

Tanzania’s time zone, three hours past London time, allows them a few hours of extra sleep to ward off the hangovers before staggering to their computers for morning meetings.

Their main challenge has been to come up with ever more elaborate excuses for their constantly crashing internet and ever-improving tans. 

“I’m so worried about my tan!” Suzy, who also used a pseudonym, told The Daily Beast. 

Working for a major London investment bank, the spritely and energetic woman in her thirties said she has “been in the sun and partying almost every night. Surely someone is going to notice, but if they have, no one has said anything yet!”

Simon had similar concerns. Working in fashion, his bosses notice all the little details about his appearance and surroundings. 

One solution he had was to always use a white wall as his Zoom background so no one could tell where he was. Others used screenshots of their homes back in London and set them as their backgrounds.

While the country initially reacted to the pandemic by shutting down international travel and enforcing lockdown measures like the rest of the world did, its populist president, John Magufuli, quickly changed tack. 

He declared that the devoutly religious nation had eradicated the virus through the power of prayer, and opened the country completely by July 2020. 

He has also claimed that doctors are being paid to inflate coronavirus numbers and has refused to order any vaccinations for his country.

This has allowed Tanzania to have the dubious distinction of becoming a major example for lockdown sceptics eager to trumpet the “success” of countries like Sweden or Belarus, which have relied on a light touch approach to controlling the pandemic.

The influx of long-term tourists with large disposable incomes has served as a great boon for the island’s more nefarious characters. 

“Rafiki, you are a journalist? That is a good job!” a man who identified himself as ‘Pablo’ asked, addressing me with the Swahili word for friend while clasping my hand as I introduced myself

“I also have a good job. I am a drug dealer.’ He said it as calmly as if he was saying he was an accountant or a gardener. 

Another drug dealer estimated he was making up to $100 a day selling cocaine to tourists. 

In a country with a GDP of just over $1,000 per capita, this is a small fortune. 

You can’t walk down any of Zanzibar’s streets or beaches without hearing “cannabis, rafiki” or “cocaine, rafiki.”

Some visitors have taken a more holistic and sensitive approach to their temporary new home. 

Andrea, a 23-year-old Danish fashion student, said she was using her time in Tanzania to volunteer with local communities and has learned passable Swahili in just a few weeks. 

“Lockdown was really affecting my mental health. I was so tired and depressed sitting at home in Denmark. I am so much happier here. You have happiness, you have health, and you can live your life!”

Simon is convinced that Tanzania is doing the right thing. “The President here is completely correct, and Tanzania did the right thing by abolishing COVID restrictions and opening up the country. They have a young population, and most of the people are in good health, but a poor economy,” he said. 

“For them, raking in the tourist dollars makes total sense. This isn’t like the UK where lockdowns are absolutely the right thing to do.”

It is a cynical argument, but he claims it is a reasonable one. Some research does suggest that Africa’s youthful population has spared the continent the death toll that more developed countries have seen.

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for around 17.2 percent of Tanzania’s GDP, and many officials are desperate to prop up the economy. 

Treks up Mount Kilimanjaro, lush safaris in the plains of the Serengeti National Park, and photography expeditions to the wildlife filled Ngorongoro Crater have been at the top of the itineraries of travelers to Africa for decades.

Tanzania still does not publish any COVID-19 statistics, and while officials remain quiet about the details, there are obvious signs that despite the denialism the pandemic is taking a toll on the country. 

On February 17, the 77-year-old first vice president of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad, died after contracting COVID-19.

And if you decide to leave Tanzania and return to a COVID-conscious reality, it can be a difficult process. Entry into most countries now requires a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure. 

But because of widespread denialism, testing centers are scarce, the timing is unreliable, and they are, comparatively, awfully expensive. 

One holidaymaker grumbled that the cramped indoor public medical center on the outskirts of Stone Town was the most likely place to contract COVID on the entire island.

One young European man had come up with a lucrative, if highly illegal scheme to capitalize on the gap in the market. 

He was forging negative COVID test results for whoever wanted them and selling them for $25 a pop. 

Speaking over WhatsApp under condition of anonymity, he said that he “must have sold about 30 tests over the last few weeks to travelers wanting to leave Zanzibar. So far every one of my customers has gotten out.” 

He showed me one such certificate, where he had simply edited the name and date on the PDF of his own test results to reflect his customer’s details.

Not everyone who buys a fake test has a smooth process at the airport. Authorities have cottoned on to the practise and will sometimes threaten travellers with fines. 

“They don’t really care,” the forger tells The Daily Beast, adding that “the staff are just after a bribe. I tell them to just offer what they paid me for the test, and then they let them through.” 

He says authorities have never stopped anyone from leaving because of it. He justifies his actions by saying he was “sure that they just make the regular tests all fake negatives anyway.”

This is not true. The Daily Beast spoke with a traveler from Ukraine who was self-isolating after she had received a positive test. 

But it shows you the mindset that the government’s laxity has produced in travelers: if the government has no care for safety, why should they?

Yet even President Magufuli is now showing signs that he knows he might have gotten it wrong. 

The country has finally introduced rudimentary restrictions and encouraged the wearing of locally produced masks. 

Two weeks ago, at a funeral for one of his top aides who had died from the virus, he came as close as he could to admitting that the spread of the virus was getting out of control. 

“Maybe” he told the long crowd of assembled mourners, “we have wronged God in some way.”

“Let us all repent!”

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Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World

The Pandemic and Political Order @ForeignAffairs @FukuyamaFrancis

Another reason for pessimism is that the positive scenarios assume some sort of rational public discourse and social learning. 

Yet the link between technocratic expertise and public policy is weaker today than in the past, when elites held more power.

The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble.

[1/2] Contrary to a recent report in the Ethiopian Herald about a USAID investigation in Axum, USAID has neither conducted an investigation nor sent a team to investigate the reported events that took place in Axum. @USAIDEthiopia

[2/2] The U.S. government encourages independent investigations into all reported incidents of atrocities and remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance to all people affected by the ongoing conflicts in Tigray and other parts of the country. @USAIDEthiopia

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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

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Our testing positivity rate for #covid19ke is 11.5% this is much lower as many private hospitals data is not always captured @andrewsuleh

Our testing positivity rate for #covid19ke is 11.5% this is much lower as many private hospitals data is not always captured  

The 3rd wave is here with us we must not live in denial but adhere to public health protocol and the politicians must be told to stop exposing the public

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Kenya Power share price data reports FY 2020 EPS [0.48] versus 0.13
N.S.E Equities - Industrial & Allied

Par Value:                  20/-

Closing Price:           1.41

Total Shares Issued:          1951467045.00

Market Capitalization:        2,751,568,533

EPS:             -0.48



The energy company in charge of national transmission, distribution and retail of electricity throughout Kenya.

Kenya Power reports FY Earnings trough June 2020

FY Revenue from contracts with Customers 133.258b versus 133.140b

FY Gross Profit 45.759b versus 42.988b

FY Network Operating Expenses 

FY Network Management [11.119b] versus [10.806b]

FY Commercial Services [6.659b] versus [7.674b]

FY Administration [26.789b] versus [21.129b]

FY Expected Credit Losses on Financial Assets [3.267b] versus [1.434b]

FY Operating Income [2.075b] versus 1.945b

FY Other Income 7.387b versus 8.586b

FY Operating Profit 5.312b versus 10.531b

FY Finance Costs [12.477b] versus [10.315b]

FY [Loss] Profit before Income Tax [7.042b] versus 334m

FY Income Tax credit [expense] 6.103b versus [72m]

FY [Loss] Profit for the Year [939m] versus 262m

FY EPS [0.48] versus 0.13

Cash and Cash Equivalents at end of year 3.908b versus [5.426b]

Kenya Power & Lighting Plc - Condensed financial Report for the financial year ended 30th June 2020. @tradingroomke


Electricity Sales grew marginally by +0.03%

an increase in provisions for trade and other receivables 3.268b

increased impairment for inventories 3.654b

Finance costs increased by 20.96%

Tax credit via decrease in resident corporate income tax 


Its difficult to predict if and when the inflexion Point is reached 

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

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