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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Tuesday 08th of February 2022
 
Morning
Africa


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Derivatives, Alvin said. “I don’t speculate about the future, I trade it. @NewYorker
World Of Finance


And they were cross‑linked and interwoven and resold in large bundles, “future on future,” Alvin said, handing me a paper towel.
“Forget about the forces of the free market, my friend. Commodity prices no longer refer to any value, past or present—they’re just ghosts from the future.”
The Markets Are Wilding Title: Bar, Las Vegas, Nevada Artist: Robert Frank


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The final denouement @hendry_hugh
World Of Finance

 


29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change
https://j.mp/32AZEK5
A REGIME CHANGE IS UNDERWAY [in the markets]

The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop


https://bit.ly/2Wzp4Fg
Love Fellini. So brave, with that whiff of insanity. @DiAmatoStyle Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 @tcm
https://twitter.com/tcm/status/1232079264385773570?s=20


 

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The @federalreserve could entertain the novel idea of a sharp interest rate rise a la Volcker
World Of Finance


Conclusions

The Optimal move is to go to 0.75% immediately in order to do less in the round 

Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice
https://bit.ly/3Bk45Gj

Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door

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Pain Trade Trend extension, reversal, and … Untying The Gordian Knot @sunchartist
World Of Finance

Painful trades are usually where the trend seems strong, and participants think it has a lot further to go; leverage usually is high at this point. Meanwhile, things change at the wings, and a sharp trend reversal causes asymmetrical losses.
Last year’s yield curve steepener trade saw an abrupt trend change even though inflation expectations continued to rise, leading to losses at Rokos, Alphadyne, and ExodusPoint funds. What happened with
Facebook was a favorite buy recommendation, overweight in portfolios, and had considerable weight passive funds, and an earnings miss triggered a cascade of selling that is not normal.
The second scenario is when people call for top/bottom after each incremental move (this has gone too far or is not fundamentally viable). Yet, the trend continues beyond most expectations.
Short squeezes in GME, Tesla & AMC are great examples of trend extension. Melvin Capital is amongst the big losers by being short GME.
The 4-6 sigma moves are here to stay; the challenge is identifying some of them.

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Curve trades constrain the long end @sunchartist
World Of Finance


This chart is an updated version from the note “Bonds yields.” 

The curve flattening has overshot the 0.64% equal length target, and I should be saying the obvious, 0.50% is the next flattening target.
The not-so-obvious response is to look at the ranges in 10, 30-year yields, and UB futures, and I find a breakout is happening or a high probability it will happen soon. 

With no sign of rate rise pause, I must assume it continues. The risk-reward is not so good playing the flattening trend beyond a few basis points.
With a Z-score at 2.35, the curve flattening trend is extended.
I think a sharp trend reversal could be on the horizon.

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US 30 year looks set to rise further @sunchartist
World Of Finance

The sharp fall in yields from March to early December 2021 is in a descending triangle (countertrend) pattern. Even if the descending triangle count is wrong, it should test 61.8% retracement to 2.50%, the previous trend high.
A break of 2.52% would be a game-changer for the transitory inflation narrative.

I will post targets once the picture becomes clear.
Germany 10-year yields
I did not expect yields to overcome +0.06% so effortlessly. Overextended as it may be, a pause has to wait until we reach 0.29%.
Watch out for the 0.77% target, though.
The impulsive move in 10-year yields is why to rethink how European rates move from here.
I now think German 30-year yields will rise above 0.42% soon and lead to a sharp rise to 0.96%, primarily driven by unwind European curve flattening trades.

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My Struggle: Book 5 | Karl Ove Knausgard
Misc.


In the nearby bed the thin man sat up and coughed, at first a bark, then a clearing of the throat, finally a rattle.
He can’t have long left, I thought.
Against the darkness and the window he looked like someone from a horror film. At length he lay down and closed his eyes.
‘He keeps me awake at night,’ grandad said in a low voice. ‘He wants to talk. He’s sure he’s going to die. But I don’t want to be drawn in.’

He chuckled. Then he told us a string of stories. One after the other, and both Gunvor and I were spellbound, there was something about the surroundings that endowed what he said with a special intensity or else it was just that his storytelling was better than it used to be. 

But it was hypnotic. He talked about pioneers in the USA who had been close to Indians and had also lived through a raid by them. 

He talked about his youth, when he had travelled around to dances in the district and when he had met grandma, on a farm in Dike, not far from Sørbøvåg, where she worked with her sister Johanna

he had told us what it had been like when he was young. There had been enormous poverty, living conditions were tough, but look now, he said, extending his arms, it’s incomprehensible how affluence has spread. 

Then I saw it through his eyes, everyone had a car, a big showy house, a nice garden, and the shopping centres outside the towns and villages we passed were crammed to bursting with goods and wealth.

there was always an underlying sense of menace. This menace was the capriciousness of futile existence.

a whole page about American Psycho, which also had a connection with Dante in that the protagonist reads some graffiti on a wall travelling through town in a taxi: LASCIATE OGNI SPERANZA, VOI CH’ENTRATE. The gates of hell here, now, Jesus, that was good. What a novel it was. What a novel.

We went to an art museum together, the walls and floor were completely white, and with the sun flooding in through large roof windows the light inside was almost aflame. 

Through the windows I could see the sea, blue with white crests of waves and breakers, a large white-clad mountain rose in the distance. In these surroundings, in this bright white room on the edge of the world, the art was lost.

The cemetery’s full of irreplaceable people, as Einar Førde once said.

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Lack of foresight & deficit in geopolitical thinking of US largely responsible. Now, has pushed them together by treating both as adversaries at same time. Rest of the world suffers. @KanwalSibal
Law & Politics

Lack of foresight & deficit in geopolitical thinking of US largely responsible.Built up communist China & deliberately cornered Russia, scotching its early democratic stirrings. Now, has pushed them together by treating both as adversaries at same time. Rest of the world suffers.

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Is this a joke? @ElbridgeColby
Law & Politics



“A senior US official said China should have used the meeting with Putin to encourage him to de-escalate in Ukraine. “If Russia further invades Ukraine and China looks the other way, it suggests that China is willing to tolerate or tacitly support Russia’s…

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We completely reject any questions over sovereignty of the Falklands. China must respect the Falklands' sovereignty @trussliz
Law & Politics



We completely reject any questions over sovereignty of the Falklands.

The Falklands are part of the British family and we will defend their right to self determination.
China must respect the Falklands' sovereignty

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

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

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You’re a mutant virus, I’m the immune system and it’s my job to expel you from the organism. OCTOBER 30, 2014 BY @Dominic2306 The Hollow Men II
Misc.

In terms of a method to ‘manage’ government, it is not far from tribal elders howling incantations around the camp fire after inspecting the entrails of slaughtered animals.

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Since Omicron was first identified 10 weeks ago, almost 90 million #COVID19 cases have been reported to @WHO @DrTedros
Misc.

We are now starting to see a very worrying increase in deaths, in most regions of the world. It’s premature for any country either to surrender, or to declare victory.

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Arguably the laziest and most damaging cognitive error of the pandemic is not appreciating that lagged outcomes like deaths don’t reflect current threat in a rising epidemic. @AdamJKucharski
Misc.

Arguably the laziest and most damaging cognitive error of the pandemic is not appreciating that lagged outcomes like deaths don’t reflect current threat in a rising epidemic. Remember: first UK COVID case was identified on 31 Jan 2020 - first death was reported on 5 Mar.

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How the continent of Europe is doing - Cases 5% of the Danish population got confirmed with COVID last week @fibke
Misc.

19-JUL-2021 Many Folks seem to feel we are in the final Act of the COVID-19 Play. I would be limit short that particular narrative.
https://bit.ly/3Bk45Gj

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Sheba Hosp, Prof. Rahav: "We have identified a phenomenon of omicron recoverers who deteriorate and reach a severe condition after about 10 days, with problems that are not necessarily related to the airways @Gab_H_R
Misc.

Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Hosp, Prof. Rahav:  "We have identified a phenomenon of omicron recoverers who deteriorate and reach a severe condition after about 10 days, with problems that are not necessarily related to the airways"

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The New Enemies of the Open Society @aier Michael Esfeld
Law & Politics


Karl Popper’s book The Open Society and its Enemies, published in 1945, was one of the intellectual foundations of the political course that resulted in the formation of a Western community to oppose the Soviet empire. 

The assertion of freedom against the claim to power of totalitarianism set a trend that encompassed all the major social groups and political parties in the West. This setting shaped politics and society for four decades. 

In 1989, no new course seemed necessary: freedom and the rule of law had prevailed. That was a mistake. We now face again a crossroads between freedom and totalitarianism.
The open society is characterized by recognizing every human being as a person: the person has an inalienable dignity. When we think and act, we are free. 

This freedom gives rise to fundamental rights. These are rights of defense against external interference in one’s own judgement about how one wants to conduct one’s life.
By contrast, according to Popper, the intellectual enemies of the open society are those who claim to possess knowledge of a common good. 

This knowledge is both factual-scientific and normative-moral: it is moral knowledge about the highest good together with technocratic knowledge about how to steer people’s lives in order to achieve this good. 

Therefore, this knowledge stands above the freedom of individual people, namely above their own judgement about how they want to shape their lives.
These enemies of the open society have lost their credibility as a result of the mass murders that proved inevitable on the way to accomplish the alleged good. 

Not only were human dignity and fundamental rights eliminated, but at the same time a bad result was achieved in relation to the alleged good. 

Under communist regimes, on the way to a classless, exploitation-free society, more severe economic exploitation occurred than ever seen in a capitalist society. 

Under National Socialism, the path to the goal of a pure-blooded Volksgemeinschaft led these very people to the brink of ruin.
Nonetheless, today, we face new enemies of the open society from within our own societies. 

Again, they make knowledge claims that are both cognitive and moral. The difference is that they don’t operate with the mirage of an absolute good, but with deliberately stoked fear of threats, such as the spread of the coronavirus or climate change. 

These are undoubtedly serious challenges. But they are employed to set certain values absolute, such as health protection or climate protection.
An alliance of some scientists, politicians and business leaders claims to have the knowledge of how to steer society down to family and individual life in order to safeguard these values. 

Again, the issue is about a higher social good – health protection, living conditions of future generations – that is posed as overriding individual human dignity and basic rights.
The mechanism employed is to spotlight these challenges in such a way that they appear as existential crises: a killer virus going around, a climate crisis threatening the livelihoods of our children

The fear that is stirred up in this way then makes it possible to gain acceptance for setting aside the basic values of our coexistence – just as in the totalitarianisms criticized by Popper, in which the supposedly good motivated many people to commit de facto criminal acts.
This mechanism strikes the open society at its heart, because one plays out a well-known problem, namely the one of negative externalities.  The freedom of one person ends where it threatens the freedom of others. 

Actions of one person, including the contracts she enters into, have an impact on third parties who are outside of these relationships, but whose freedom to shape their lives can be impaired by these actions. 

The boundary beyond which the free shaping of one’s life causes harm to the free shaping of the lives of others is not fixed from the outset. It can be set in a broad or in a narrow way. 

The mentioned mechanism consists in spreading fear and exploiting the moral value of solidarity to define this boundary in so narrow a manner that, in the end, there is no room for the free shaping of one’s life left: any exercise of freedom can be construed as generating negative externalities that threaten the freedom of others.

The new enemies of the open society stoke fears of the spread of a supposed once-in-a-century pandemic – but, of course, every form of physical contact can contribute to spreading the coronavirus (as well as other viruses and bacteria). 

They stoke fears of an impending climate catastrophe – but, of course, every action has an impact on the non-human environment and may thus contribute to climate change.
Consequently, everyone has to prove that their actions do not unintentionally further the spread of a virus or the change of climate, etc. – this list could be extended at will. 

In this manner, everybody is placed under a general suspicion of potentially harming others with everything they do.
The burden of proof thus is reversed: it is no longer required to provide concrete evidence that someone impairs the freedom of others with certainty of their actions. 

Rather, everyone must prove from the outset that their actions cannot have unintended consequences that potentially harm others. 

Accordingly, people can free themselves from this general suspicion only by acquiring a certificate that clears them – like a vaccination certificate, a sustainability passport or a social pass in general. This is a kind of modern sale of indulgences.
The crossroads with which we are confronted hence is this one: an open society that unconditionally recognizes everyone as a person with an inalienable dignity and fundamental rights; or a closed society to whose social life one gains access through a certificate whose conditions are defined by certain experts, as envisaged by Plato’s philosopher-kings. 

Like the latter, whose knowledge claims were debunked by Popper, their present-day descendants have no knowledge that would put them in a position to set such conditions without arbitrariness.
We see a well-known result confirmed: if one places value X – in the present case health protection, or climate protection – above human dignity and fundamental rights, then one not only destroys these, but also eventually achieves a bad result in relation to X. 

The serious negative effects for health protection, for the entire population and viewed globally, as a consequence of the devastating damage caused by lockdowns and the like are now evident.
By the same token, the facts already show that CO2 emissions in industrialised countries without an energy transition hitherto (such as the US, France, England) have declined by the same percentage as in countries that have pursued an energy transition at enormous costs  in the last 20 years (Germany). 

The decisive factor is technological innovation and not political paternalism based on the advice of scientists who claim moral-normative knowledge to control society.

Why does this happen? For many scientists and intellectuals, it is apparently difficult to admit to not having normative knowledge that enables the steering of society. 

They succumb to the temptation that Popper already identified in the intellectuals and scientists he criticized. For politicians, it is not attractive to do nothing and let people’s lives take their course.
Hence, they welcome the opportunity to talk up old challenges that arise in a new form into existential crises and to spread fear with pseudo-scientific models that lead to catastrophic forecasts. 

Then, scientists can put themselves in the limelight with political demands that have no legal limits due to the alleged emergency. 

This scientific legitimacy then provides politicians with a power to interfere in people’s lives that they could never obtain through democratic, constitutional means. 

They are willingly joined by those business people who profit from this policy and can pass on the risks of their economic activities to the taxpayer.
Some scientists, politicians and business leaders were prepared to use the next virus outbreak to push such plans. 

But Popper’s philosophy of science teaches us that no individual or group of individuals can determine the course of society by means of a prepared plan (a “conspiracy”). 

It was contingent circumstances – such as perhaps the images from Wuhan and Bergamo – combined with panic reactions that led to the result that this time these plans found favor in broad circles of media, politicians and scientists.
This situation compares well with the outbreak of the First World War, which also developed out of contingent circumstances in July 1914. 

Indeed, there is the danger of the history of the 20th century repeating itself in the 21st century: the political handling of the corona pandemic is equivalent to the First World War.
Demands for a radical reset of society like zero Covid and its counterpart in climate activism correspond to Bolshevism. 

Against these demands and the failure of the elites as a whole, a radical right-wing populism is forming that could develop into the contemporary equivalent of fascism. 

The economic consequences of the lockdowns and the unlimited money printing to cover them up may lead to inflation and eventually an economic crisis like the one at the end of the 1920s. 

It is important to be aware of this danger, to recognize the parallels with the course of the 20th century and to oppose the fatal trend that has formed in dealing with the corona pandemic.
The problem that comes to light here is an old one. It is also inherent in the purely protective state

in order to protect everyone effectively from violence, the whereabouts of everyone at all times would have to be verifiable; 

in order to protect everyone’s health effectively from infection by viruses, the physical contacts of everyone at all times would have to be controllable. 

The problem is the arbitrary definition of negative externalities, against which even classical liberalism and libertarianism aren’t immune; for it is not simply obvious what counts and what doesn’t count as a negative externality.
Thus, one can derive negative externalities from the spread of viruses or the change in the world’s climate that ultimately occur in all human actions and call for regulation, be it state regulation or market regulation via the expansion of property rights. 

For example, one could grant each person property rights to the air around them, so that this air must not be contaminated by viruses that are spread by human bodies or must meet certain climatic conditions that are influenced by human actions, etc.
Consequently, the opposition is not that between the state and free markets. Control can be exercised by state or private entities. 

The certificates that cleanse people of producing negative externalities and that allow them to participate in social and economic life can be issued by private or state agencies. 

There can be competition with regard to them and their concrete design. All this is ultimately irrelevant. The point is the totalitarianism of all-encompassing control.
This totalitarianism can only be countered by a substantial conception of persons that is based on their freedom and their dignity. 

Such a conception recognizes fundamental rights that apply unconditionally: their validity cannot be subordinated to a higher goal. 

On this foundation, one can then delimit negative externalities in the guise of concrete and significant damage to the freedom of others, which indeed call for external interventions in the way people conduct their lives.
It is high time that we become aware of the crossroads at which we stand. Doing so requires a sober attitude that does not allow itself to be clouded by the fears stirred up by the new enemies of the open society; namely the respect and trust in what distinguishes each and every one of us as a rational living being: the dignity of the person, which consists in her freedom of thought and action.

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The plan is to tokenise human behaviour and place it on blockchain ledgers run by algorithms. And the spreading of global fear is the perfect ideological stick to herd us toward this outcome. FABIO VIGHI
Law & Politics


And yet, not all is lost. Despite the unstoppable convergence of science and capitalism in establishing a watertight belief-system that excludes dissent, our successfully paranoid universe will fail to totalise its structure. 
Paradoxically, the current crackdown on humanity may be the best chance yet for radical opposition to the coming regime of capitalist accumulation and its relentless emergency blackmail.

Whoever Controls The Narrative Controls The World


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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.142020
Dollar Index 95.608
Japan Yen 115.4490
Swiss Franc 0.925245
Pound 1.351465
Aussie 0.710875
India Rupee 74.6327
South Korea Won 1197.885
Brazil Real 5.2640
Egypt Pound 15.714300
South Africa Rand 15.56090

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Cooking Oils Surge Is Sign Food Inflation Can Go Even Higher @markets
Commodities


A fresh spike in cooking oil prices is increasing concerns that global food costs are heading for a record as drought curbs production in South America, a labor shortage stymies output in Malaysia and Indonesia limits exports to safeguard domestic supplies.
Palm oil, the world’s most consumed cooking oil, climbed to yet another intraday record in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, buoyed by shipment restrictions in top grower Indonesia and a chronic worker shortage in Malaysia’s plantations. 

Soybean oil traded near the highest since June, while soybeans, from which the oil is derived, jumped to the strongest since May. 

Heat and drought have led to repeated reductions in estimates for soybean crops in top grower Brazil and in Argentina. 

That may well be reflected in lower predictions for global supplies in the monthly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

Global food costs climbed nearer to a record in January, according to the latest data from the United Nations, because of more expensive vegetable oils and dairy. 

The most recent increase in cooking oil prices could push the monthly food index to a record when it is published again in early March. 

Rising fertilizer costs because of higher energy markets may also bolster food prices.

The rally on Monday followed the return of Chinese investors after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Soybean meal futures in Dalian climbed by the daily limit, while palm oil prices jumped to the highest since 2008. 

In U.S. markets, money managers increased their net bullish bets on soybeans to the biggest in eight months in the week ended Feb. 1, and on soybean oil to a 10-week high.
The cost of soybeans in Brazil jumped over the past month as forecasts for the current harvest were slashed due to excessive heat and drought. 

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To put this in perspective, in 1978 the per capita income of China was 1/3 that of Sub-Saharan Africa. @fibke
Africa

Five decades of average growth at close to 10% real is a truly remarkable performance

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One truth. Don't ask an AU official what the AU is doing to tackle a big conflict situation. The answer, invariably, is: "AU is doing a lot behind the scenes, prefers discreet diplomacy and not megaphone diplomacy." @RAbdiAnalyst
Law & Politics

In 30 years of dealing with the AU, I have learnt one truth. Don't ask an AU official what the AU is doing to tackle a big conflict situation. The answer, invariably, is: "AU is doing a lot behind the scenes, prefers discreet diplomacy and not megaphone diplomacy."

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European Union enters 2022 with a dangerously declining ability to set the security agenda along its southern borders in the face of the strategic advances made by Russia, Turkey, and China in North Africa. @inside_over @michaeltanchum
Africa


A house divided, the EU delivery deficit in establishing a sustainable security architecture in the Mediterranean basin, particularly in Libya, created a vacuum that has been filled by the increasing military presence of Russia and Turkey in North Africa. 

As Russia and Turkey rewrite the rule sets in North Africa, China has also continued to gain strength strategically in the region and will seek to increase its military footprint along the southern rim of the Mediterranean basin.

The Resurgence of Russia power in the southern Mediterranean


The resurrection of the Russian-Egyptian military partnership is Moscow’s most stunning strategic comeback in the Mediterranean.  It is also one of Russia’s most strategically significant regional defence relationships.  

Egypt is the largest nation by population in the entire Mediterranean basin and has one of the largest militaries in the region.  

In the late stages of the Cold War, the United States had succeeded in peeling Egypt away from its alignment with the Soviet Union, turning Cairo into one of the most reliable American allies in the Middle East.  

But that tight relationship frayed in the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising in Egypt that toppled the country’s long-time strong man Hosni Mubarak when U.S. President Barack Obama embraced the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood-led government. 

The 2013 ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood by the Egyptian military with popular backing and former General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ‘s 2014 election as Egypt’s president led to a rift with the U.S. and NATO that persists to this day.

As Sisi was consolidating his power, Russian President Vladimir Putin demonstrated Moscow’s mettle with Russia’s successful 2015 military intervention in Syria, ostensibly to fight ISIS and other jihadi militants.  

President Sisi turned to Putin’s Russia for assistance in combatting jihadi militants in Libya to secure Egypt’s eastern border. 

This led to the 2016 establishment of the annual ‘Defenders of Friendship’ joint Russian-Egyptian military exercises. 

Expanding in scope over the past five years, the original 2016 exercises involved joint tactical actions that paved the way for the 2017 deployment of Russian special forces and drones to Egypt’s Sidi Barrani air base near the Libyan border to assist the Egyptian-backed, Libyan General Khalifa Haftar to gain full control of Benghazi in July of that year. 

In late 2017, following that success, Cairo granted Moscow permission for the Russian air force to use Egypt’s air space and air bases, requiring only 5 days advanced notice.

During 2016-2020, Russia also became Egypt’s largest arms supplier with Cairo purchasing 41% of its weapons imports from Russia,  a laundry list of weapons that includes attack helicopters, fighter jets, and air defense systems.  

In 2018, Egypt purchased 24 Su-35 fighter aircraft from Russia for $2 billion. In 2020, Egypt reportedly agreed to purchase 500 Russian T-90MS tanks that would be assembled in Egypt at a facility built by Russian tank manufacturer Uralavagonzavod.

Building on its deep defense cooperation with Egypt, Russian power has become entrenched in Eastern Libya, from the coastal city of Sirte, the western entrance to Libya’s oil crescent, to the highly strategic al-Jufra air base further south.  

Utilizing upwards of 2,000 mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group backed by Russian air force assets, Moscow has succeeded to emerge as one of the main power brokers in Libya with a much lighter commitment of personnel and hardware than in Syria. 

The Wagner Group has extended Russia’s influence across adjacent regions of sub-Saharan Africa, most recently in Mali.

Concurrently, Russia revitalized and expanded its long-standing military relationship with Algeria. Shrewdly, Russia’s Putin cancelled Algeria’s Soviet-era military debt of $4.7 billion while Algeria committed to purchase almost twice that amount from Russia with future oil and gas revenues. 

The deal resulted in Algeria becoming Russia’s third largest arms buyer during 2016-2020, surpassed only by India and China. 

Algeria’s astounding Russian weapons shopping spree included 203 T-90SA main battle tanks, 300 ‘Terminator 2’  BMPT-72 armored fire support vehicles, 38 Pantsir-S1 air defense missile/cannon systems, 100 SA-17 Buk-M2 air defense missile systems installed on tracked vehicles, and 12 Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile systems.
Algeria also possesses 6 Russian-made, Kilo-class submarines. As a sign of Moscow’s renewed power projection into the western Mediterranean, Russia and Algeria conducted a landmark joint naval exercise of the latter’s Mediterranean coast.  

Russian-made Kalibr Club-S type cruise missiles fired by those Kilo-class submarines and Algeria’s land-based, Russian-made Iskander ballistic missiles are capable of striking the Spanish coast.

The distance between Russia’s naval and air bases in Syria and Egypt’s massive Mediterranean military base at Marsa Matruh is approximately 900 km. 

Combined with Russia’s extensive military presence in eastern Libya and deep defence relationship with Algeria, Moscow now presides over an arc of hard power across the southern rim of the Mediterranean spanning the southern border of Turkey and the eastern border of Morocco.

Turkey’s Strategic Advance in North Africa


The resurgence of Russian power across the Mediterranean basin has been matched by Turkey’s impressive advances to become one of the top powers in the region.  

Turkey is the second most populous nation in the Mediterranean with one of the region’s most powerful militaries. 

Turkey’s efforts to expand its power projection capabilities in the Mediterranean is part of Turkey’s wider strategic agenda to establish forward bases in the Middle East and Africa, an ambition enabled by the impressive transformation of its domestic weapons manufacturing to become an industry leader in several categories.

Following Russia’s Syria intervention, Turkey conducted four cross-border interventions in Syria to carve out a buffer zone in northern Syria along the length of the Syrian-Turkish border. 

However, the turning point for Turkey’s Mediterranean military footprint came with Turkey’s 2020 military intervention to preserve the Government of National Accord then ruling western Libya.  

Ankara’s first intervention far from its land borders and shoreline was an unqualified success – stopping Haftar’s Wagner-assisted assault on Tripoli in its tracks and then pushing Haftar’s forces 450 km eastward to the Sirte-Jufra line.

Ankara now stands as the main security provider in western Libya, creating an important strategic beachhead for Turkey in the central Mediterranean.  

Turkey maintains an air power deployment at the re-captured al-Watiyah air base, located 27 km from the Tunisian border, and is reported to be developing a naval base in Libya’s coastal city of Misrata.  Its first Mediterranean forward basing beyond North Cyprus, 

Turkey’s outsized military presence in Libya is nothing short of a strategic breakthrough, enabling Turkey to project its influence into the western Mediterranean.

The Libyan intervention also showcased the power of Turkey’s home-grown combat drone and electronic warfare technology that would be later used by Ankara to assist Azerbaijan in the Autumn 2020 Karabakh war that ended 30 years of stalemate against Armenia and changed the map of the South Caucasus.  

In 2020, Tunisia bought $150 million of Turkish armaments, including Anka medium-altitude long long-endurance (MALE) drones, Kirpi mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, and Ejder Yalçin armored combat vehicles.  

The sale of three Anka drones and their ground control systems to Tunisia was Turkish Aerospace Industries’ first foreign sale of the Anka UAVs.

For its part, Algeria has kept Turkey at arm’s length when it comes to military cooperation.  Despite Turkey being one of Algeria’s leading foreign investors – Turkish investments in creating local factories and businesses have made Turkish firms collectively into Algeria’s largest foreign employer –  Turkey has not been able to translate its growing economic clout into Turkish arms sales to Algeria.  

The Algerian military and political elite have been divided over Turkey’s role in Libya and especially Ankara’s use of Syrian jihadis as mercenary forces. 

In its effort not to become too over-reliant on Russia as its principal weapons supplier, Algiers has opted for German and Chinese-made weapons.

More recently, as Algeria-Morocco tensions have intensified on their border and in the disputed Western Sahara between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, Rabat has turned to Ankara as a weapons supplier.  

In 2021, the kingdom purchased 13 Bayraktar TB2 drones, the system that has repeatedly proved itself effective against Russian air defense systems in Syria, Libya, and the South Caucasus.  

Members of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces has traveled to Turkey during the second half of 2021 to receive training in operating the drones and Morocco reportedly ordered an additional six TB2 drones at year’s end. 

The Turkish system complements Rabat’s recent purchases of Israeli drones as well as Israeli anti-drone technology.  

Moroccan media has also reported that Rabat is now engaged in negotiations with Ankara to purchase naval vessels – 7 fast attack craft and an Ada-class corvette. 

While the warship purchase has not been confirmed, Turkey’s military cooperation with Morocco, should it expand, has long-term implications. 

Already the managed competition between Turkey and Russia sets the agenda for the security environment in Syria and Libya. This same dynamic could become influential in the western Mediterranean as well.

A Chinese Naval Base in North Africa?


At the close of 2021, the Wall Street Journal broke a story revealing Beijing’s plan to create a permanent military facility in Equatorial Guinea to provide China with its first naval base on the Atlantic ocean.  Could a Chinese naval base in North Africa be next? 

China is already poised to dominate the commercial ports across the entire southern and eastern arcs of the Mediterranean basin.  In addition to its massive transhipment hub in Piraeus, Greece, China upgraded and built ports in Tripoli, Lebanon and in Haifa bay in Israel. 

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings similarly operates Egypt’s major Mediterranean port of Alexandria port and its auxiliary El Dekheila port. 

Hutchison is also an equivalent capacity port at Egypt’s nearby Abu Qir Peninsula that is scheduled to start operations in 2022. 

In the western Mediterranean, China is constructing Algeria’s El Hamdania transshipment port 60 km west of Algiers with three times the capacity of Egypt’s Alexandria port. 

China is also one of the main investors in Morocco’s Tanger Med port, which has surpassed Spain’s Algeciras and Valencia ports in container capacity to become the Mediterranean’s largest port.

With so much at stake for Beijing’s in China’s Mediterranean commercial network, an increased Chinese naval presence in North Africa is not a matter of if, but when.  

China has already delivered a two frigates to Algeria and will deliver a Type 056 (Jingdao-class) corvette to Algeria in 2023. 

Egypt has purchased drones from China and Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones, purchased by the United Arab Emirates, have been a mainstay in Haftar’s arsenal in Libya. 

Should China establish a naval base on Africa’s Atlantic coast in addition to its Red Sea corridor naval base in Djibouti, then a base on the North African coast becomes Beijing’s missing puzzle piece for establishment of Chinese sea lines of communication from the Suez Canal to the Strait of Gibraltar. 

The logic for a Chinese base in the central Maghreb is compelling for strategic planners in Beijing.

The Need for European Action


From the Eastern Mediterranean to Libya to the escalating tensions between Algeria and Morocco, the European Union’s continued inability to act in a coordinated manner has eroded the union’s power to set the agenda for relations across its southern borders. 

The EU’s continued delivery deficit in establishing a sustainable security architecture in the Mediterranean will inexorably result in outcomes that neither represent European values nor serve Europe’s interests.

28 OCT 19 ::  From Russia with Love


“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally with someone against someone else, and we strongly oppose any geopolitical games involving Africa.”

“Russia regards Africa as an important and active participant in the emerging polycentric architecture of the world order and an ally in protecting international law against attempts to undermine it,” said Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov

I would argue Putin’s timing is exquisite and optimal and his Model has an exponential ROI. 

Andrew Korybko writes Moscow invaluably fills the much-needed niche of providing its partners there with “Democratic Security”, or in other words, the cost-effective and low-commitment capabilities needed to thwart colour revolutions and resol- ve unconventional Wars (collectively referred to as Hybrid War).
To simplify, Russia’s “political technologists” have reportedly devised bespoke solutions for confronting incipient and ongoing color revolutions, just like its private military contractors (PMCs) have supposedly done the same when it comes to ending insurgencies.

Putin has created a hybrid model with an exponential ROI. I would imagine he is on speed dial.

5 DEC 16 :: At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded.

http://bit.ly/2CGuGDd


20 JAN 20 :: The Intrusion of Middle Powers



29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change Gaddafi was decapitated and the domino effect only stopped when Vladimir Putin decided he was going to put a stop to it and intervened on behalf of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria
https://j.mp/32AZEK5

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

https://bit.ly/37fkpeH

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


Wilhelm Sasnal Gaddafi 2011 @Tate
https://bit.ly/3iLf58H

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@maxsiollun beautifully narrated history of Nigeria’s military governments — Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune. @drmwarsame
Africa


“The geographical expression called a Nigeria has now reached a dead end with the death of Abiola. Only God can save this nation.” Pg 192. 

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I'm declassifying evidence that Nigeria is planning a false flag operation in Switzerland. Are you ready? Here it is: @caitoz
Africa


Nigeria is planning a false flag operation in Switzerland.

See, the evidence is me asserting it. If you doubt this evidence, you're a propagandist for Nigeria.

What? You want proof? I just gave you the proof. I gave you my declassified intelligence assessment.

I mean obviously I can't give you the raw intelligence you're asking me for without revealing sources and methods and compromising intelligence officers in the field. Is that what you want? For me to compromise intelligence officers in the field? Do you work for Nigerian intelligence?

The evidence is secret. It's secret evidence. What I can give you is the information we've obtained through thorough intelligence gathering methods in which our intelligence agencies have a degree of confidence. You're free to doubt it and believe Nigerian propaganda instead, if that's the sort of person you are.

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Expert panel report commissioned by Ramaphosa finds that the ANC's internal conflict "contributed to the unrest and should be addressed as a matter of national security now.@jsphctrl
Africa


An expert panel report commissioned by Ramaphosa into the response to South Africa's worst post-apartheid violence last year finds that the ANC's internal conflict "contributed to the unrest and should be addressed as a matter of national security now."

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This is Ghana’s first C rating since it was first rated in 2003 by Fitch. And amplifies the need for policy action to safeguard debt sustainability. @emsovdebt
Africa


.@MoodysInvSvc downgrades Ghana's rating to Caa1; outlook stable 


Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today downgraded the Government of Ghana's long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings to Caa1 from B3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.

The downgrade to Caa1 reflects the increasingly difficult task the government faces addressing its intertwined liquidity and debt challenges. 

Weak revenue generation constrains government's budget flexibility and tight funding conditions on international markets have forced the government to rely on costly debt with shorter maturity. 

Moody's estimates that interest payments will absorb more than half the government's revenue over the foreseeable future, which is exceptionally high compared to peers at all rating levels

GDP per capita (PPP basis, US$): 5,799 (2020 Actual) (also known as Per Capita Income)
Real GDP growth (% change): 0.4% (2020 Actual) (also known as GDP Growth)
Inflation Rate (CPI, % change Dec/Dec): 10.5% (2020 Actual)
Gen. Gov. Financial Balance/GDP: -10.8% (2020 Actual) (also known as Fiscal Balance)
Current Account Balance/GDP: -3.1% (2020 Actual) (also known as External Balance)
External debt/GDP: 45.7 (2020 Actual)

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NAMCOR ANNOUNCES THE GRAFF -1 DEEP WATER DISCOVERY
Africa


(NAMCOR), the Namibian state-owned oil company, and its partners, Shell Namibia Upstream B.V and Qatar Energy, are pleased to announce that the Graff-1 deep-water exploration well has made a discovery of light oil in both primary and secondary targets.
The Graff-1 well has proved a working petroleum system for light oil in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia, 270 km from the town of Oranjemund. Drilling operations commenced in early December 2021 and were safely completed in early February 2022.

9 DEC 19 ::  Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes


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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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February 2022
 
 
 
 
 
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