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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 25th of May 2022

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To deny that this move in the Ruble is real is to deny that energy is real. Such denial is how we got into this mess in the first place. @DoombergT
World Of Finance

We gave Putin leverage, he foolishly chose to use it, and sanctions have not produced the desired result. All three are true.

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Sunday, April 10 ‘You can print money, but not oil to heat or wheat to eat’ wrote @CreditSuisse’s Zoltan Pozsar.
World Of Finance

Russia essentially gave the $ and the Euro the very same exorbitant privilege that King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia gave President Franklin D Roosevelt aboard the USS Quincy in Great Bitter Lake in February 14, 1945 when the petro dollar economy was symbolically born.
By insisting payments are made in Russian Rubles for Russian commodities Vladimir Putin has withdrawn that exorbitant privilege.
The Russian Ruble rally is real and has much further to go.

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Unprecedented windfalls for Putin that keep rising @RobinBrooksIIF
World Of Finance

Russia's current account surplus usually declines as temperatures in Europe rise and demand for energy falls. From 2007 - 2011, the surplus averaged $9.9 bn in Jan, $8.3 bn in Feb, $8.4 bn in Mar & $6.7 bn in Apr. Not in 2022. Unprecedented windfalls for Putin that keep rising...

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When sanctions miss the target
Law & Politics

There is awful lot of self-congratulatory nonsense around about the EU's cohesion after Vladimir Putin's attack. 

We are not part of that consensus. We think they have not thought this through.
The data we are getting about money flows to Russia suggest that the sanctions have proved a giant own goal. 

We have succeeded in making oil and gas much more expensive, but we failed to reduce consumption to offset the price effect. 

The result is that we have provided Putin with a massive windfall gain from energy sales. 

This is worse than if we had done nothing, or if we had imposed a complete energy embargo from day one. 

This is an example where the EU way of lazy middle-ground compromise gives rise to very worst potential outcome. During the sovereign debt crises, we noted similar phenomena.
We reported yesterday on Russia’s all time record current account surplus for the first four months. 

Robin Brooks from the Institute of International Finance calculated that the April figure alone constitute a seven-fold (!) increase compared to the average of the last 20 years. 

How is this possible, given that Russian oil should be essentially off market by now? 

Data on shipping movements suggest that Greek tankers are making this possible, according to Brooks.
Janis Kluge, from the SWP think-tank in Germany, makes another important point: Putin is getting so much money now that he may be able to afford to impose gas sanctions on us later in the year.

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Alain Peyrefitte used to be De Gaulle's confidant. @RnaudBertrand

In 2002, 3 years after his death, his memoirs about De Gaulle ("C'était De Gaulle") were finally published. 

In it he revealed for the first time what the general told him about Kennedy's assassination in Dallas.

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On Lee Harvey Oswald: Everything leads me to believe [he was a patsy]. @RnaudBertrand
Law & Politics

They got their hands on this communist who wasn’t one, while still being one.
He had a sub par intellect and was an exalted fanatic—just the man they needed, the perfect one to be accused...

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Don DeLillo, Libra

"Maybe what has to happen is that the individual must allow himself to be swept along, must find himself in the stream of no-choice, the single direction. This is what makes things inevitable. You use the restrictions and penalties they invent to make yourself stronger.
History means to merge. The purpose of history is to climb out of your own skin. (101)"

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Chinese, Russian bombers hold joint patrol, safeguarding world strategic stability amid Western provocations Global Times
Law & Politics

The Chinese Defense Ministry said that China sent two H-6K aircraft to form a joint formation with two Russian Tu-95MC aircraft over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.  

The strengthening of all-round cooperation between the China and Russia militaries is conducive to maintaining regional peace and stability, and can deter some troublemakers, experts said.

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Two-Step Flow Theory: @G_S_Bhogal
Law & Politics

Most people's opinions are copied from their favorite influencers, who in turn copy the opinions of their favored mass media. As such, politics is largely a battle between two armies of puppets being ventriloquized by a handful of actual thinkers.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.070000 
Dollar Index 101.966
Japan Yen 127.0130
Swiss Franc 0.962395 
Pound 1.253535
Aussie 0.710405 
India Rupee 77.51565 
South Korea Won 1264.405
Brazil Real 4.8195000 
Egypt Pound 18.510000 
South Africa Rand 15.69696 

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Nigeria’s central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in almost six years to curb accelerating inflation. @business

The monetary policy committee voted to hike the rate by 150 basis points to 13%, Governor Godwin Emefiele said Tuesday in a televised briefing in the capital, Abuja. 

Only two of 10 economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast an increase.

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Eyewitness accounts, video confirm reports of Tigrayan children held in concentration camp @Salon @JonHutson


When he asked for permission to buy insulin from a local pharmacy, his captors said, "We are not here to treat you; we are here to kill you. We are gathering the Tigrayan refugees here to kill them." 

The dividing line between a normal jail, prison or detention center and a concentration camp is clear enough: 

The latter is defined by arbitrary arrest and detention in harsh conditions based on ethnicity, during a conflict and without judicial process, especially where people are locked up indefinitely for no valid legal purpose (such as a quarantine or relocation on humanitarian grounds for the purpose of saving lives). 

The Abbadi warehouse compound in Mai Kadra appears to qualify as a concentration camp under those standards.

I saw the police beat some children with sticks, too. When they beat the boys, they would say, "You are the son of the junta [a reference to the Tigration People's Liberation Front, or TPLF].

" When they beat the girls, they said, "Daughters of junta." 

If they found children without their father, they would assume that the father must have left to fight for the TDF [Tigrayan Defense Forces]. The beaten children said nothing. But tears slid down their faces.
This reporter plans to go into Tigray to walk the sites of the concentration camps and interview former prisoners and their captors.

 And to find the three-year-old boy and his mother, two former prisoners whose faces stare from the video footage that Solomon smuggled out of Mai Kadra when he escaped. 

This is the first visual evidence corroborating eyewitness reports that the Ethiopian government has locked up children of all ages in concentration camps, starved them, beat them and told them they would die, in hopes that the world would turn a blind eye.


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War makes for bitter men. Heartless and savage men, Abiy said in his Nobel prize lecture. @FT @davidpilling

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

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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Banks first quarter profits up 25pc on lending spike @BD_Africa
N.S.E Equities - Finance & Investment

Banks earned a cumulative pre-tax profit of Sh57.3 billion in the three months to March on increased lending that saw loans to the private sector grow at double-digits for the first time in six years as the economy recovers.
The earnings represent a 24.8 percent increase over the Sh45.9 billion they earned in the three months to March 2021, the latest sector data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows.
The data shows lending to the private sector increased 10.9 percent in March, the first time since the growth of 11 percent in May 2016.
Risk however remains elevated with non-performing loans hitting a record Sh473.7 billion or 14 percent of total loans.
Banks that have begun disclosing their first-quarter numbers show impressive growth in earnings fuelled by higher operating income and low loan provisioning.
Earnings have also been driven significantly by higher lending to the government whose appetite for funds remains high due to a wide budget deficit.
Equity Bank’s lending, for instance, rose 27.8 percent to Sh623.5 billion while its holdings of government bonds and T-bills increased by a similar margin to Sh233.9 billion.

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

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