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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Monday 21st of February 2022

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In case you were wondering The US 10y real yield is at -5% @AlessioUrban
World Of Finance

14-FEB-2022 These developments led to a seismic shift in the markets before Fridays whipsaw


Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid notes that yesterday's surge in the 2-year US Treasury yield was, by one measure, "the biggest "shock" since October 1979 when Volcker announced his intentions on the world @ReutersJamie
The last time inflation was here, February 1982 - the Fed Funds Rate was 15%. @Convertbond
Dartmouth economist and former Fed adviser Andrew Levin says the Fed needs to get rates to a neutral setting within a year or so, and that the means getting the Fed Funds rates up to 4% or 5%
Its a Wizard of Oz moment
This is ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ and we have reached the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful”’’ should not lull us into a false sense of security
The Curtain has been lifted and Mr. Powell has now arrived at his Volcker moment
Friday's action and next immediate sessions might afford us the greatest macro trading opportunity to reset shorts in the US 10 and Ultra Bond. We can look across all G7 Bonds because this is a Super Bubble that is going to burst big. There is no way out now.
There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market.
There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones
Its the End of the Bull market obviously.
The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop

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Equity Market Liquidity...Regime Change h/t @FadingRallies @Callum_Thomas
World Of Finance

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change

There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. 
There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones

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The Crash of 22 *Carnage under the Nasdaq surface Convertbond
World Of Finance

Mirrors on the ceiling, The Pink champagne on ice
Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door

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14-FEB-2022 the greatest macro trading opportunity to reset shorts in the US 10 and Ultra Bond
World Of Finance

Friday's action and next immediate sessions might afford us the greatest macro trading opportunity to reset shorts in the US 10 and Ultra Bond. We can look across all G7 Bonds because this is a Super Bubble that is going to burst big. There is no way out now.

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Manuel Álvarez Bravo The Daydream 1931 @MuseumModernArt

‘At the moment of vision, the eyes see nothing’. The moment of Vision’ is in essence a non-linear thing, its a moment of deep insight.

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African superstar Fela Anikulapo Kuti arrived in L.A. and did an interview with dad for his cable TV series, L.A. Reggae. This photo is from a series dad shot at Westwood Marquis Hotel; June 19, 1986 @TheFamilyAcid

Shortly after his release from 18 months in prison on false charges in Nigeria, African superstar Fela Anikulapo Kuti arrived in L.A. and did an interview with dad for his cable TV series, L.A. Reggae. This photo is from a series dad shot at Westwood Marquis Hotel; June 19, 1986

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Amazing scenes here in Abergavenny @TufferB

September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden comes to mind

Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play

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U.S. Defense Secretary Says Russia Poised To Strike Ukraine @PriapusIQ
Law & Politics

~ Says Wants Putin To Know Washington Stands With Allies
~ Says Russia's Invasion Is "Not Inevitable"
~ "We Hope That He Steps Back From The Brink Of Conflict"

14-FEB-2022 ::  "The end of the world is a concept without a future"

The World in the c21st century exhibits viral, wildfire and exponential characteristics and feedback loops but clearly The risk of war in Ukraine is not a Yemen Level expedition.

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Видео: Минобороны России/ТАСС Video: Russian Defense Ministry/TASS
Law & Politics

The Russian Aerospace Forces successfully launched Kinzhal hypersonic aeroballistic missiles at a planned exercise of the strategic deterrence forces.

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14-FEB-2022 :: Its Army is retooled and battle hardened
Law & Politics

The naivete of the US response, the grandstanding smacks of panic and an inability to navigate a new and dynamic landscape. Russia has rebuilt its FX reserves, its currency is backed big time by Gold, Its Army is retooled and battle hardened and like Surkov said in his book Without Sky 

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Zelensky says the security architecture in Europe is broken. It’s time for a new one. @ChristopherJM
Law & Politics

He says of the current Russia threat, "This isn't about war in Ukraine. This is about war in Europe."

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Ex- @CIA Official: A Major Concession Was Buried In All The Shrill US-Russia Back & Forth
Law & Politics

The important acknowledgment by Mr. Biden that:
"Neither the US or NATO have missiles in Ukraine. We do not, do not have plans to put them there as well." [Emphasis added.]
Biden made this commitment to Putin during the telephone call of Dec. 30 that Putin had urgently requested. It amounts to a major concession and enabled Moscow to conclude that at least one or two of Biden’s retinue – or Biden himself – have their heads screwed on right.

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Putin sees the last 30 years in Russian history as one humiliating compromise, a creeping Versailles. For him, now is the turning point. @leonidragozin
Law & Politics

No matter what, Putin is not going away without a major concession from the West and Ukraine. He sees the last 30 years in Russian history as one humiliating compromise, a creeping Versailles. For him, now is the turning point.

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Vladimir Putin insists that the West cheated Russia by expanding @NATO eastward following the end of the Cold War. Is there anything to his claims? @derspiegel
Law & Politics

In September 1993, Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrote a long letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton. The letter, addressed to "Dear Bill," began with a mention of the two leaders’ "candid exchange of opinions." And then Yeltsin let loose.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were interested in joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which was a source of concern to the Russian president. 

Of course, Yeltsin noted, every country can decide for itself what alliance it would like to be a part of. 

But the Russian public, he continued, saw the eastern expansion of NATO as "as a sort of neo-isolation" of Russia, a factor, he insisted, that must be taken into account. 

Yeltsin also made a reference to the Two Plus Four Treaty pertaining to Germany’s reunification in 1990. "The spirit of the treaty," he wrote, "precludes the option of expanding the NATO zone into the East."

In the years since Yeltsin sent his letter, NATO has accepted 14 countries in Eastern and Southeastern Europe into the alliance. 

And the Kremlin has complained of having been duped every step of the way. 

Just recently, current Russian President Vladimir Putin complained: "You cheated us shamelessly."

"You promised us in the 1990s that (NATO) would not move an inch to the East," Putin said in late January. 

And he is using that history to justify his current demands for written guarantees that Ukraine will never be accepted into the Western alliance. 

But the U.S. secretary of state at the time, James Baker, has denied that any such promise was ever made – a claim that some of his own diplomats, however, have contradicted. 

Jack Matlock, who was the U.S. ambassador to Moscow at the time, has said that "categorical assurances" were given to the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand eastward.

The versions of the talk provided by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, are particularly confusing. 

On one occasion, he said that German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the Americans had promised him that NATO "will not move one centimeter further east." 

According to those documents, the U.S., the UK and Germany signaled to the Kremlin that a NATO membership of countries like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic was out of the question. 

In March 1991, British Prime Minister John Major promised during a visit to Moscow that "nothing of the sort will happen." 

The message was clear. If Gorbachev were to provide his acquiescence for German reunification within NATO, the West would aim at establishing a Western security architecture that took Moscow’s interests into account.

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14-FEB-2022 :: Putin is seeking to stop NATO dead in its tracks
Law & Politics

 Putin is seeking to stop NATO dead in its tracks, create a sphere of influence and is seizing this moment in the context of a now extinct ''Unipolar'' World and a freshly minted Tripolar World

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A constant state of destabilised perception, in order to manage and control
Law & Politics

Oh Dearism II (non linear warfare) by Adam Curtis - Russia, Putin, politics 

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14-FEB-2022 :: Donbas and Luhansk are entirely within the scope of an imminent incursion, A Frozen conflict at this new forward boundary is I believe the limit of the scope of this Operation.
Law & Politics

“There are known knowns — there are things we know we know,” Rumsfeld said in February 2002, “We also know there are known unknowns — that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
So here we are. What we do know is Putin is not a reckless Gambler [known knowns] and therefore a full scale invasion of Ukraine is pure hyperbole. 

However, Donbas and Luhansk are entirely within the scope of an imminent incursion, A Frozen conflict at this new forward boundary is I believe the limit of the scope of this Operation.

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Beijing Could Run Russia’s Playbook on Taiwan @ForeignPolicy
Law & Politics

As Russia edges toward a full-scale invasion, U.S. thinking is understandably focused on Ukraine. But spare a thought for how Chinese President Xi Jinping might emulate his Russian counterpart’s strategy. 

While there is much debate in Washington about a bolt-from-the-blue Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Beijing may instead generate a political-military crisis by threatening to use force. 

If the United States wants to avoid being caught flat-footed, it needs to begin preparing today.

Beijing’s goal is to force Taiwan to meet its political demands—the acceptance of Chinese control over the island—while preventing the United States from standing in the way. 

While it could invade Taiwan to achieve this outcome, it does not necessarily need to do so. 

China might be satisfied with a Hong Kong-like outcome in which a more acquiescent government in Taipei takes over and makes concessions that strengthen Chinese control of the island. 

Indeed, the fact that China can invade and occupy Taiwan makes coercion, combined with political machinations, more likely. 

A scenario in which the Chinese Communist Party passes a law that spells out steps that Taiwan needs to take to unify and avoid war is not unimaginable

Beijing’s challenge is that, unlike Hong Kong, Taiwan is a functionally independent state, separated from the mainland by a body of water, and Chinese authorities are not already present in Taiwan, as they were in Hong Kong. 

To overcome these obstacles, China thus must engineer a crisis that would compel Taiwanese concessions through the threat of full-scale war. 

To help Taiwan resist such coercion, Washington would need credible diplomatic and military options during a crisis—options that aren’t yet plausible. 

In fact, if China pursued an intensified campaign of coercion similar to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current Ukraine strategy, Washington could be caught wholly unprepared.

There is no NATO in Asia. For all of NATO’s problems, a large coalition whose main purpose is to oppose aggression changes the aggressor’s risk calculus. 

While NATO is not militarily committed to Ukraine, Russia must still calculate what the alliance’s reaction to its aggression might be. 

In contrast, no single country—let alone any multilateral alliance—is similarly committed to Taiwan’s sovereignty and political independence. 

The United States is the closest, but, like the overwhelming majority of countries, it does not recognize Taiwan as a country and as such has very limited political engagement with its leaders. 

This would make it extremely difficult to coordinate policy in a crisis. 

Finally, the United States today has no formal commitment to defend Taiwan, and military engagement is thus severely restricted. 

The two militaries do not exercise together or take other steps necessary to prepare for a combined fight.

In contrast, the U.S. Defense Department and NATO have trained the Ukrainian military and know it well. 

U.S. diplomats are shuttling through European capitals, including Kyiv, to garner political and military support against Russia and coordinate punishing economic sanctions. 

Putin must take all of this into consideration. For Taiwan, however, alliance preparations for a crisis are all but nonexistent, though Japan is changing its policy. Coordinated coalition action against China is not a major concern for Xi.

Although the United States will not reinstate its former military alliance with Taiwan anytime soon, there are diplomatic and military steps that it can take now to forestall the fall of Taipei without breaking its commitment that it will not unilaterally recognize Taiwan as an independent country.

First, Washington can train a small U.S. military force that is prepared to land in Taiwan at the first sign of trouble to help protect its leadership, embed with front-line units, and secure communications between Taiwan and the outside world. 

The center of gravity of Chinese strategy is Taiwanese political will. 

The presence of U.S. military forces early in a crisis would be an enormous psychological boon to Taiwan’s people and its leaders and could dissuade Beijing from escalating a crisis. 

The number of troops involved need not be large or especially provocative.

The United States can start now by embedding small numbers of U.S. forces who speak Chinese with key Taiwanese units for significant periods of time. 

This would simply be a scaling up of existing programs. Washington can also increase the number of marine security officers stationed at its unofficial embassy. 

In addition, the United States can quietly begin to pre-position logistics and munitions on the island for use by both U.S. and Taiwanese forces.

The United States should also initiate strategic discussions and tabletop exercises with the political and military leadership of Japan, India, Australia, and permanent U.N. Security Council members Britain and France on responses to a Taiwan crisis. 

Allied leaders should familiarize themselves not only with possible military responses but also with other diplomatic, economic, and cyber-strategies to isolate, punish, and impose financial hardship on China should it choose the path of aggression. 

The new Washington consensus on Taiwan implies an almost automatic U.S. military response to a Chinese invasion, but history and the present crisis show that U.S. presidents always want to exercise nonkinetic means of deterrence first. 

They need good options, or the chances of doing nothing increase.

Thinking through comprehensive deterrent options is necessary because U.S. presidents improvise as crises unfold in unexpected ways. 

For example, China’s People’s Liberation Army could blockade Taiwan in addition to other political and military measures, and Washington may want to resupply the Taiwanese military and provide the country with humanitarian aid. 

U.S. national security leaders need to practice these scenarios with their allies, including Taiwan.

These steps may sound too provocative—though not all of them would need to be undertaken publicly. 

Yet it is China that has broken the status quo, by abrogating its promise to the United States that it would settle its disputes with Taiwan through peaceful means. 

Instead, China has built up its military for an invasion of Taiwan, has refused to publicly renounce the use of force to settle the dispute, passed “anti-secession” legislation that includes threats to attack Taiwan if certain political conditions are not met, and repeatedly engages in provocative air incursions around Taiwan as well as provocative military exercises close to the island. 

Taking small steps to better prepare for what could be one of the most complex crises in history is worth Chinese diplomatic protests.

Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation makes it uniquely susceptible to a Russia-like campaign of intimidation and coercion. 

If the United States is to help Taiwan maintain its de facto independence, it needs to become a lot more creative—and energetic—about preparing diplomatic, economic, and military responses to China’s designs on the island.

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World Of Finance

Sure the Narrative around COVID has now largely bust wide open at the seams. Society in so many places from Ottawa to Paris and all points in between is witnessing metastatic level protests, the ''Lockdown'' economy's shelf life has expired. Its morphing into a Tsunami. Some European Countries have seen the writing on the wall. Its a little counterintuitive because cases remain sky high.

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COVID at the global level @fibke

numbers are calling off but there is a high base effect now

The Virus [still] remains an exogenous uncertainty that is still not resolved #COVID19

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Nations w/ fast COVID19 2wk avg case/day increase @jmlukens

Burma: 543%
Malaysia: 336%
South Korea: 266%
Indonesia: 184%
Singapore: 181%
Belarus: 179%
Vietnam: 110%
Thailand: 88%
Iceland: 77%
Russia: 49%

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Nations w/ high COVID19 2wk avg death/day increase @jmlukens

Indonesia: 409%
Iran: 287%
Japan: 225%
Chile: 188%
Czechia: 85%
Romania: 72%
South Korea: 72%
Denmark: 69%
Spain: 65%
Iraq: 58%

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29-NOV-2021 :: #Omicron Regime Change

The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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Israel Report: Mild illness? Omicron causing more neurological issues than previous variants @yaneerbaryam

"Many who recovered from Omicron experience extreme weakness, loss of consciousness, and even a comatose state, doctors say.

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Japanese researchers found that BA.2 also possesses a higher effective reproduction number, higher fusogenicity (fusing to cells) and higher pathogenicity (the ability to cause disease) than BA.1 @Aaron_Derfel

The Japanese researchers found that BA.2’s “genomic sequence is heavily different from BA.1.” BA.2 also possesses a higher effective reproduction number, higher fusogenicity (fusing to cells) and higher pathogenicity (the ability to cause disease) than BA.1

#Omicron Regime Change

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What’s more, the researchers observed vaccine-induced humoral immunity fails to function against BA.2 like BA.1, and notably, the antigenicity of BA.2 is different from BA.1. @Aaron_Derfel

What’s more, the researchers observed “vaccine-induced humoral immunity fails to function against BA.2 like BA.1, and notably, the antigenicity of BA.2 is different from BA.1.” And previous research had shown original Omicron was “markedly resistant” to the current vaccines.
We have now crossed peak Vaccine Euphoria

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.135975
Dollar Index 95.859
Japan Yen 114.9720
Swiss Franc 0.9200700
Pound 1.361685
Aussie 0.720510
India Rupee 74.51430
South Korea Won 1193.55
Brazil Real 5.1383
Egypt Pound 15.685000
South Africa Rand 15.083950

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last value, and I am not making this up: Meta, metamates, me A slide shows this text in bold all caps next to Zuck talking @alexeheath
World Of Finance

I am told Zuck said this without laughing and explained it had to do with a story about ships and shipmates

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Facebook Meta
World Of Finance

“We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable, untraceable.”
“It’s no use fighting elections on the facts; it’s all about emotions.”
“So the candidate is the puppet?” the undercover reporter asked. “Always,” replied Nix.

It’s all in plain sight now but what will be done? It’s a pivotal moment for Western Democracies and others further afield. It is indeed an extraordinary outcome. 

A 1997 US Army Quarterly concluded “One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims.” and this has come to pass.
In an extraordinary boomerang, The US’ adversaries have turned social media on its head and used it as a ‘’Trojan Horse’’ via psychographic profiling and micro-targeting at a mass scale.
The fundamental challenge for Facebook is this: It has represented itself as an ‘’Infomediary’’ An infomediary works as a personal agent on behalf of consumers to help them take control over information gathered about them. 

The concept of the infomediary was first suggested by John Hagel III in the book Net Worth.
However, Facebook has been hawking this information as if it were an intermediary. This is its ‘’trust gap’’. That gap is set to widen further. Facebook is facing an existentialist crisis.

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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. #BTC
World Currencies


GameKyuubi posted "I AM HODLING," a drunk, semi-coherent, typo-laden rant about his poor trading skills and determination to simply hold his bitcoin from that point on.

"I type d that tyitle twice because I knew it was wrong the first time. Still wrong. w/e," he wrote in reference to the now-famous misspelling of "holding."
"WHY AM I HOLDING? I'LL TELL YOU WHY," he continued.
"It's because I'm a bad trader and I KNOW I'M A BAD TRADER.  Yeah you good traders can spot the highs and the lows pit pat piffy wing wong wang just like that and make a millino bucks sure no problem bro."
He concluded that the best course was to hold, since "You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob.  The people inbetween hold. In a zero-sum game such as this, traders can only take your money if you sell."
He then confessed he'd had some whiskey and briefly mused about the spelling of whisk(e)y.  [HODL Definition | Investopedia]

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COVID seroprevalence in Africa rose from 3% in Q2 2020 to 65% in Q3 2021.

The pooled seroprevalence in Africa estimated in this study (65.1% in Q3 2021) is among the highest in the world (comparable to the South-East Asia region)

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Fears of a Lurch to Dictatorship Blight Arab Spring’s Last Hope @bpolitics

TV talk-show host Amer Ayad was expecting a backlash after he used his platform to portray Tunisia’s president as an aspiring dictator. But even he was stunned by its severity.
Police seized him from his home in his pajamas, bundled him at dawn into a car in front of his wife and young sons, and hauled him before a military court, where he was charged with defaming President Kais Saied and damaging the army’s morale. He was in jail for seven weeks.
“I knew then that the coup had begun to enact its dictatorial project,” recalled Ayad, who was detained for his on-air recital of an Iraqi poem whose author dreams of questioning a tyrant. 

Months after his Oct. 3 arrest, he’s back home in the northern town of Monastir, awaiting trial and banned from international travel.
Saied has denied he’s seeking one-man rule and has vowed to protect freedoms

Nonetheless, many have taken Ayad’s treatment as a flashing-red warning for the state of Tunisia’s fledgling democracy, one of the few lasting achievements of the 2011 popular uprising that ousted a longtime dictator and inspired years of tumult across the Arab world.
After a landslide election win in 2019, the former law professor is accused of crushing the revolution with a power grab and crackdown on dissent that stirs echoes of the days of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
An austere figure who delivers addresses in slow, formal Arabic, Saied has defended his July moves, taken as protesters rallied against parliament, as necessary to save the country from chaos and corruption.
 "As General De Gaulle once said, I can't at this age start a career as a dictator,"  Saied told reporters in Brussels on Thursday when asked about the accusations against him. 

Walid El-Hajjam, a spokesman for the presidency, did not return calls nor respond to a text message seeking comment for this report.
As freedoms shrivel and the economy sputters, unrest threatens to explode across the country once more.
If Tunisians once reveled in their newfound freedom of expression, Saied’s critics can now face trial for a mere Facebook post, as happened to one lawmaker who was in court this month for describing the president’s moves as a coup

Protests, a staple of the political landscape for the past decade as successive governments struggled to address economic ills, face more frequent crackdowns. 

Secret detentions of perceived opponents have multiplied, according to Human Rights Watch.
It comes at a crunch time for the North African nation’s tourism and agriculture-led economy. 

Years of mismanagement combined with the coronavirus pandemic have authorities seeking an International Monetary Fund bailout that would likely need an agreement across the political divide on painful spending cuts.
Gross domestic product declined 8.8% in 2020 and expansion was limited last year. 

The central bank has warned 2022’s recovery prospects are “timid.” Inflation hit a more than two-year high in December.
While critics wait for the knock on the door, Saied is also hacking away at Tunisia’s democratic institutions. 

What started in late July with his suspending parliament and firing the prime minister has extended to his taking control over prosecutions, ruling by decree and appointing his own cabinet with fewer powers.
This month, he replaced the Supreme Judicial Council, a guarantor of judiciary independence, with a new body under his tutelage. 

On Tuesday, he fired the head of national radio. The head of the National Syndicate of Journalists warned in an interview of the “seriousness” of Tunisia’s human rights situation.
This month the United Nations and Western powers made a rare call for Saied to respect judicial independence but there’s been little international pushback so far.
As he consolidates power, Saied is jettisoning long-time associates and becoming more isolated. 

He’s set parliamentary elections for December and a referendum on revisions to the 2014 constitution in July.
He’s surrounded himself with smart people, “but the unpredictable character of his rule stymies their independence in implementing any strategy,” said Youssef Cherif, director of Columbia Global Centers in the capital, Tunis.

“Those who think about the economy are not in his closest circle,” while security figures, police and law experts and activists who backed his campaign are, he said.
Saied’s approach has shocked Abderraouf Betbaieb, a former adviser who quit in 2020, later joining a movement dubbed Citizens Against the Coup. “I no longer know the man I lived beside for 40 years,” he said in an interview.
Even lawmaker Mabrouk Korchid, who made waves in 2021 by calling for a benign dictator to take tough decisions and move the economy forward, is disappointed. 

“The president doesn’t think about development, he is only able to create conflicts with others,” Korchid said.
So far, Saied has benefited from a deeply divided opposition. The largest party in the frozen parliament, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, has been unable to build an alliance with other political groups with whom it bickered for years as the economy stagnated.
Others don’t want to be associated with Ennahda’s “reverse Midas touch,” said Monica Marks, an assistant professor of Middle East politics at New York University, Abu Dhabi.
The one player that could mobilize opposition, the powerful UGTT trade union, hasn’t taken a consistent position on his moves. “They have in a way been enabling him,” Marks said.
More than a decade after Tunisia gave birth to the Arab Spring, there’s a danger of another outpouring of real, widespread anger -- especially if the economy doesn’t rally. 

“Saied’s claim that the people are with him is a big lie,” said TV host Ayad. “There is another street that wants something else.”

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January 15, 2011 Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution @csmonitor

Mr. Ben Ali in a speech on Monday called the riots “terrorist acts” that were the work of “masked gangs” operating for foreign parties.
"We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we are afraid only of God," the crowds chanted on Tuesday in Tunis.
On Thursday, the American secretary of State said the following in Qatar.
“In too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand,” said Secretary Hillary Clinton. 

“Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries’ problems for a little while, but not forever, If leaders don’t offer a positive vision and give young people meaningful ways to contribute, others will fill the vacuum.”
“No presidency for life,” Ben Ali, 74, said in Tunis, pledging not to run after 2014.
By Friday evening he was gone in a puff of smoke. French President Sarkozy would not allow him to land on French soil and it was the Saudi Arabians who accepted the Ben Ali entourage.
The day’s seismic events in Tunisia were described by the broadcaster Abeer Madi al-Halabi as serving “a lesson for countries where presidents and kings have rusted on their thrones.”
Change is never incremental, it tips and surges. Looking at Tunisia and Africa, I see so many similarities. 

There is the widest spread between the average age of the rulers and the average age of the ruled. Tunisia is but the first example of the elastic band snapping. 

The demographic skew is such that an average of more than 60 percent Africans are under the age of 26. 

And keep an eye on food prices. Those are sky high and not coming down and not unlike dry kindling, awaiting a spark.

The Jasmine Revolution feels like the story of Gulliver and the Lilliputians. Gulliver was the state. All powerful. You owned the levers to the state, you owned it all. L'état, c'est moi. 

Then the Lilliputians got connected and that connection was the net with which to catch their Gulliver.
John Donne wrote:
"...Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee..."

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Turning To Africa

Democracy 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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Lasting Tigray-Ethiopian government peace agreement unlikely @japanizar & Jordan Anderson @JanesINTEL

Ethiopian government forces halted significant Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) advances in December, but the government's position is perilous. Jordan Anderson, Bisrat Semere, and Nizar Manek analyse three scenarios for how the Ethiopian conflict may develop.

Key points
 The Ethiopian civil conflict between pro-government forces and Tigray opposition groups began in 2020.
 The likelihood of ceasefire talks is increasing as battlefield ascendancy shifts between each side, but talks would likely break down during bad faith negotiations.
 Janes has also identified two scenarios with lower probabilities, including the government establishment of buffer zones in Tigray and the capture of Western Tigray by the Tigray Defence Forces.

In the three months preceding the civil war, as reported to Janes by an Eritrean opposition leader in Ethiopia in October 2020, nomads filtering into Eritrea through Ethiopia's Afar regional state and Port Sudan observed co-ordinated military training in Eritrea between the ENDF and the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF). 

The sources additionally observed the installation of radar equipment in Agordat city in Eritrea's Gash-Barka region, which borders Tigray.

TDF attacks followed ENDF and EDF movements toward the Badme, Zalambessa, and Rama fronts at the Eritrea-Tigray border, Eritrean soldiers and militiamen supporting relevant Eritrean mechanised and infantry divisions reported to Janes (in late 2020 and early 2021) both before and after returning to Eritrea.

As part of a purported unilateral ceasefire in late June 2021, pro-government forces withdrew from Tigray, except for the Western Tigray zone. 

This area is claimed by Amhara region and is Tigray's only foreign border not with Eritrea (bordering Sudan). 

However, the Ethiopian government continued to limit the flow of humanitarian aid into Tigray, as well as largely cutting off telecommunications, power and fuel imports, and banking services.

The GoT cited its need to break this ‘blockade' and launched TDF offensive operations into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions in July. 

However, as their forces advanced, the TDF and allied forces sought to push Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed out of office altogether. 

TDF troops advanced south and east from Dessie and Kombolcha, threatening the A1 highway through Mille, Afar - Ethiopia's main import-export corridor through Djibouti - to within approximately 170 km of the outskirts of Addis Ababa in late November. 

By mid-December, however, the TDF had withdrawn fully into Tigray in what it termed “territorial adjustments”.

Five sources inside the TDF command structure and Afar regional administration told Janes in December 2021 that two key factors forced this retreat. 

First, an intensification of military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) strikes against the TDF's supply chains, logistics, and heavy weaponry. 

Second, government counter-offensives in Afar and the northern Amhara region threatened to cut off and encircle TDF troops further south. 

Senior Afar regional government sources also informed Janes in December 2021 that Eritrean mechanised forces had supported Afar regional forces in November in fighting the TDF, and continued to enter Afar.

Despite the significant losses of materiel amid the retreat and UAV strikes, these withdrawals helped to minimise losses in open-field battles, leaving the TDF with most of its fighting capacity intact, military advisers at Western embassies in Addis Ababa told Janes . 

TDF sources estimated to Janes in late December 2021 a claimed fighting force of 200,000 fighters. 

Multiple attendees of a Prime Minister's Office private cadre training session for officials in January 2022 told Janes that Abiy had then claimed that 25,000 TDF fighters are ex-ENDF soldiers.

The PP is heavily divided internally, with fault-lines particularly between the Amhara and Oromia factions of the party.
Abiy has increasingly positioned himself as the only individual capable of preventing a TPLF return to power, personally travelling to the front lines in late November to take command of pro- government forces.

External risk (High, 2.7)

Ethiopia's dispute with Egypt and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and related Nile water-sharing issues continue to be aggravating factors in trilateral relations. 

There is a high-impact but low risk that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) could seek to capture part of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state in Ethiopia in which the GERD is situated – also the subject of a territorial dispute with Sudan – as well as to seize the fort of ENDF and EDF soldiers sealing off Tigray from Sudan.

Ethiopia's territorial dispute with Sudan over the Fashaga triangle (between northwest Amhara in Ethiopia and Sudan's Gedaref state) remains delicate. . 

Speaking with a Janes interlocutor in December, a senior Eritrean official said the EDF was training soldiers for a potential scenario of open military confrontation, alongside the ENDF, with the SAF and Egyptian Armed Forces as a pretext to supply the TDF. 

In late December 2021 and early January 2022, the TDF engaged in cross-border raids from Sudan near Humera (at the tripoint between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan) a TDF source told Janes , indicating a level of tacit Sudanese support for the TDF.

Internal security risk (Very high, 3.6)

Ethiopia declared a nationwide six-month state of emergency on 2 November 2021 in response to the expanding conflict. 

The TDF's incursions into Amhara and Afar regions, and particularly their push into central Ethiopia in November, stoked fears of a TPLF return to power and led to several embassies evacuating personnel from Addis Ababa.
During 2021 the ENDF began to train mountaineering divisions, indicating that pro-government forces were preparing for potential offensive operations into the mountainous terrain of TDF- controlled Tigray.
Parallel armies have effectively emerged in Ethiopia's regional states. 

Amhara regional state is building independent capabilities, sending 30,000 new recruits to Eritrea for training since August 2021 without prior discussion or approval by Abiy, according to a Janes source in December.
When these recruits started to return from Eritrea in November 2021, they requested that the ENDF hand over weapons; when the ENDF refused, the recruits forcibly emptied these depots, leading to clashes between Amhara special forces and Oromo and Southerner ENDF regular units. 

Emboldened Afar special forces could in time turn their attention to Ethiopia's Somali regional state over disputed territory, engaging that region's own special forces.

Infrastructure risk (Very high, 3.7)

Ethiopia's domestic conflict has caused significant infrastructural damage, with the government and the TDF both accusing the other of engaging in deliberate sabotage, vandalism, and looting. 

Axum and Lalibela airports have particularly suffered damage – likely both as a result of heavy fighting and deliberate sabotage – and key bridges over the Tekezé and the Alweha rivers have been destroyed. 

A large fire at the Tekezé hydroelectric power station (in TDF-controlled territory) in November and concurrent power cuts in Tigray were blamed by the TDF on a government airstrike, which the government denied and claimed that a TDF attack was responsible.
The government has confirmed airstrikes against alleged TDF targets, including an industrial engineering site in Tigray's capital Mekelle.

Advisers to European and Asian diplomatic missions told Janes in November 2021 that in November a Turkish railroad construction company in Kombolcha was looted, likely in retaliation for Turkey providing military supplies to the ENDF. 

These procurements included satellite communication services, satellite imagery analysis, reconnaissance, and military service equipment, along with UAVs, tanks, and modern artillery, a senior government source told Janes in December 2021.

Economic risk (Very high, 3.3)

IHS Markit economists project Ethiopia's economic growth to be close to 2% in 2021 and 4% in 2022, with transportation and harvest disruptions because of the domestic conflict as well as weaker investment and industry production growth accounting for this. 

Moody's Investors Service cut Ethiopia's sovereign credit rating twice in 2021, on heightened external liquidity risks.
The US removed Ethiopia's African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) qualification – which gave duty-free access to the US – on 1 January 2022, which will likely significantly hurt Ethiopia's exports and challenge government revenue growth. 

On the announcement of this planned removal in November 2021 announcement, Ethiopia's USD1 billion Eurobond maturing in 2024 hit a record low.
Annual average headline inflation remained elevated at 33% in November 2021, decreasing from 34.2% in October (the highest rate since April 2012), and will likely remain in double digits in the one-year outlook. 

In April 2021 only two bids were submitted from 11 pre-war expressions of interest for two licences in EthioTelecom, the centrepiece of Ethiopia's liberalisation drive and crucial in efforts to raise foreign currency. 

The 18–19 December Turkey-Africa summit yielded Abiy additional military supplies as well as a Turkish government credit facility to import strategic supplies, a senior government source told Janes .

Lasting Tigray-Ethiopian government peace agreement unlikely @japanizar & Jordan Anderson  @JanesINTEL [CONTINUED] 

After Ethiopian government forces halted significant advances of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) advances in December, Janes examines three scenarios for how the situation may develop ranging from bad-faith ceasefire talks, to the creation of a buffer zone in Tigray and the Tigray Defence Force (TDF) recapture of Western Tigray.

Scenario 1: Ceasefire talks begin but break down, resulting in renewed fighting Probability: High

In this scenario, pro-government offensives would halt at the disputed Raya area of Southern Tigray, with the TDF having vacated Amhara and Afar regions, which the government had previously stated was the minimum requirement for commencing talks. 

The House of People's Representatives would then lift its designation of the TPLF as a terrorist organisation but some sanctions of TPLF leadership would continue.
Both sides would agree to enter ceasefire talks. The government would opt to support African Union (AU) mediation led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo – described by a senior Ethiopian diplomat to Janes in December 2021 as being receptive to government interests.
The AU process would work from within the auspices of a government-led dialogue commission, through which the government would seek to dictate mediation terms and obstruct US-supported mediation efforts led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

AU talks would help to relieve international pressure on the Ethiopian government, with the US delaying sanctions escalation.

To buy more time, Abiy would propose a transitional arrangement for areas contested with Tigray, but this would rapidly break down through bad faith negotiations, including disagreements with the Amhara PP on control over the Western Tigray zone. 

Both sides would view talks as little more than a lull in fighting, as each side's ‘primary threat' (the TDF's existence as a fighting force, or the continued Abiy government) remains unresolved.

The ENDF would use this time to further train new recruits, boosting its fighting capability. 

In particular, efforts would be made to replace Ethiopian losses of air force pilots and technical personnel (a pilot who defected from the ENDF Air Force told Janes in December that Ethiopia's Air Force had lost about 30% of its MiG-29 fighter jets), as well as operators for military UAVs.
Consequently, both pro-government and TDF forces would be quick to seize any opportunity to launch new attacks that would deal their opponents a defeat, or, in the case of the TDF, yield significant new supplies.

Scenario 2: Pro-government forces create buffer zones inside Tigray Probability: Moderate

In this scenario, pro-government forces, including the Eritrean military operating through Afar region, would pursue a retreating TDF into Tigray as the TDF was pushed into a defensive posture after its failure in November–December 2021 to bring the Dessie-Kombolcha route under its control. 

Pro-government forces would create a buffer zone in western, eastern, and southern Tigray, while using UAVs to degrade TDF capacity on the borders. 

This would result in TDF fighters retreating into mountainous terrain.
Senior sources within the Afar government told Janes in December 2021 that it had been observed that 4,000–5,000 new Afar special forces had been trained by the Eritrean military in Afar as part of a wider Eritrean training campaign and were about to graduate, armed with light to heavy weapons including DShK heavy machine guns. 

This training would enable them to participate in the pursuit of the TDF into Tigray.

Pro-government Ethiopian and Eritrean forces would invade from the north, east, and south to overwhelm the TDF. 

However, the TDF would continue to receive strong support from the local population, driven by previous and ongoing civilian casualties resulting from pro-government military operations.

Both sides would persist in what multiple sources in both camps already described in November and December 2021 to Janes as growing strategies of attrition. 

Widespread airstrikes, targeted killings, and other human rights abuses targeting ethnic Tigrayans by the ENDF would prompt the US and EU to escalate sanctions against Ethiopia.
Consequently, the Ethiopian government would increasingly rely on China, Iran, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates for assistance. 

The intensity of the conflict would continue to prevent the distribution of emergency food aid to Tigray, heightening famine conditions.

Scenario 3: TDF recaptures Western Tigray and pushes into Sudan Probability: Low

This scenario would be triggered by an outbreak of fighting between ENDF troops and Amhara regional forces over control of heavy weaponry largely possessed by the ENDF but sought by Amhara forces. 

The TDF would perceive a breakout opportunity at a moment of critical pressure during bad faith peace talks. 

The TDF, which has established defensive lines in the south and has the mechanised units needed to engage in flat terrain, would launch offensive operations into the Western Tigray zone for the first time, aiming to push out pro-government forces and secure a route to the Sudan border for supplies, including critical anti-air assets.

The TDF would succeed in recapturing Western Tigray, but only due to a substantive sudden military intervention by the SAF, which would allege Ethiopian provocations in al-Fashaga as a pretext for its operations. 

These forces would be joined from across the Tekezé by Tigrayan defectors from ENDF peacekeeping missions and refugees trained in camps in Sudan. 

Eritrean military forces stationed in Western Tigray would withdraw to Amhara and Eritrea. 

The SAF would take full control of al-Fashaga, and Sudanese authorities would allow the TDF to establish a supply line into Sudan for food, fuel, and munitions.

Heightened ENDF-SAF clashes would follow, or the Ethiopian government would agree to delay its counter-attacks and engage in ceasefire talks with the GoT and Sudan, seeking to avoid further military escalation with Sudan and facing the difficult task of otherwise attempting to defeat a strengthened TDF. 

This scenario's low probability stems from the TDF being distracted and would require intervention by the SAF. 

The TDF's focus would be on the Eritrean and Afar borders, as senior sources within the Afar regional government described to Janes in mid-December 2021, as well as face UAV disruption to mechanised activity on flat terrain.


A PP executive committee source told Janes in December that in late November 2021 the PP executive committee had discussed the concept of negotiations for the first time. 

According to leaked internal government reports, in mid-December 2021 the PP held initial public consultations in parts of the country including Oromia and Sidama, where people were receptive to pursuing dialogue with the TDF and other actors.
PP fault lines are hardening and the likelihood of fracture will increase if the Oromia PP accepts the principle or preconditions to start negotiations and the Amhara PP rejects the preconditions. 

For its part, the GoT wrote a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on 19 December saying that its withdrawal to Tigray from Afar and Amhara aligned with government preconditions to commence negotiations, stating: “We trust that our bold act will be a decisive opening for peace.”
On 23 December the Ethiopian government announced that the “first phase” of its military operations against the TDF had “ended with victory”, and that pro-government forces had been ordered not to advance deeper into Tigray “for now”. 

A senior ENDF officer told Janes in mid- December that there were mixed views within the military on its own capacity to eliminate the TDF and the TDF's capacity to regroup. 

Although the potential for opening talks is real, this will depend in large part on how battlefield dynamics unfold. Continued fighting – even if punctuated by lulls and bad-faith negotiations – is common to all three of the scenarios discussed above.
A comprehensive peace settlement that satisfies all the major parties to the conflict is unlikely to materialise in the coming months, as government objectives centre on dictating mediation terms from a position of power and continuing to seek TDF acquiescence. 

Both sides continue to pursue a military-led solution through attrition, and to draw out any negotiation processes to this end.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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November 8, 2020 .@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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

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

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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@RondosForAfrica @Rondos_EU raises the spectre of the Sri Lanka Tamil solution @BBCNewshour

“Sri Lanka option” for counter-insurgency  Death of the Tiger @newyorker Jon Lee Anderson H/T @jamescrabtree

Its basic tenets were: deny access to the media, the United Nations, and human-rights groups; isolate your opponents, and kill them as quickly as possible; and segregate and terrify the survivors—or, ideally, leave no witnesses at all.

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Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is ultimately expected to produce more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, more than doubling Ethiopia's electricity output. RFI

"The newly generated electricity from the GERD could help revive an economy that has been devastated by the combined forces of a deadly war, rising fuel prices and the Covid-19 pandemic," said Addisu Lashitew of the Brookings Institution in Washington.


I wonder what the Demand side looks like, currently. 

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

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