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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Monday 06th of June 2022

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2023 implied rates moving higher. Terminal rate up to 3.20% in June and December nudging above 3.00% @ReutersJamie
World Of Finance

2023 implied rates moving higher. Terminal rate up to 3.20% in June and December nudging above 3.00%, both the highest in two weeks. Indicating Fed will keep foot on the accelerator ... and still likely to cut rates in the second half of the year.

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Its a Wizard of Oz moment This is ‘’Voodoo Economics’’
World Of Finance

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”’’ 

The Curtain has been lifted and Mr. Powell has now arrived at his Volcker moment 

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%

The worry is if Powell blinks 

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Inflation is out of control. Markets are imploding because investors are not confident that the @federalreserve will stop inflation. If the Fed doesn’t do its job, the market will do the Fed’s job, and that is what @BillAckman
World Of Finance

Inflation is out of control. Inflation expectations are getting out of control. Markets are imploding because investors are not confident that the @federalreserve will stop inflation. If the Fed doesn’t do its job, the market will do the Fed’s job, and that is what

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is happening now. The only way to stop today’s raging inflation is with aggressive monetary tightening @BillAckman
World Of Finance

is happening now. The only way to stop today’s raging inflation is with aggressive monetary tightening or with a collapse in the economy. With today’s unprecedented job openings, 3.6% unemployment, long-term supply/demand imbalances in energy, ag and food, housing,

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The Fed has already lost credibility for its misread and late pivot on inflation. @BillAckman
World Of Finance

The Fed has already lost credibility for its misread and late pivot on inflation. There is no economic precedent for

[There is no economic precedent for] 200 to 300 bps of fed funds addressing 8% inflation with employment at 3.6%. @BillAckman

200 to 300 bps of fed funds addressing 8% inflation with employment at 3.6%. Current Fed policy and guidance are setting us up for double-digit sustained inflation that can only be forestalled by a market collapse or a massive increase in rates. That is why I believe there are no

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How does this downward market spiral end? It ends when the Fed puts a line in the sand on inflation and says it will do ‘whatever it takes.’ And then demonstrates it is serious by immediately raising rates to neutral @BillAckman
World Of Finance

Buyers for stocks. How does this downward market spiral end? It ends when the Fed puts a line in the sand on inflation and says it will do ‘whatever it takes.’ And then demonstrates it is serious by immediately raising rates to neutral and committing to continue to

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Raise rates until the inflation genie is back in the bottle. @BillAckman
World Of Finance

raise rates until the inflation genie is back in the bottle. Stocks (of real businesses) are cheap once again. Markets will soar once investors can be confident that the days of runaway inflation are over. Let’s hope the Fed gets it right.

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Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

They pointed to the bull and horse of the corrida — the latter in agony; the mother with a dead child in her arms at left; the woman with a lamp reaching through a window in the middle; the screaming woman beneath a window at right; the fallen soldier at the bottom, his extended right hand grasping a broken sword; and the street-light/eye/sunburst/bomb-blast at the top. 

That last reminded visitors – at a time when Cold War tensions were high – of the thermal flash of an atomic bomb.

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Those whose despair
Enrages the desolate flames of hope
Let’s crack open together the last bud of the future

Outcasts the death the soil and the disgust
Of our enemies has the dull
Colour of our night
We will defeat it.

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J. Briones, They Shall Not Pass, Madrid November 7, 1937.

The popular character of the resistance. Men and women in civilian or worker clothes stand shoulder to shoulder on the barricades or in battle lines. Uniformed militiawomen shoulder rifles, campesinos do the same, and everywhere the slogan “no pasarán”.

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T. S. Eliot and the Holy Grail @JSTOR

When the inaugural issue of the prestigious literary magazine Criterion hit shelves in October 1922, 

it included a 434-line-long poem by a little-known American author who spent his days as a banker at Lloyd’s. T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, with its cacophony and bleakness, encapsulated in verse the spirit of modernism, much like Stravinsky had in music with Rite of Spring in 1913.

The Waste Land includes drowned sailors, soothsayers and tarot-card readers, and quarreling lovers. There are mythological figures, such as Tiresias, Tristan, and Isolde, and lines from poems, operas, and works of literature that span genres and cultures

Undergirding the action is one of the most well-known, yet enigmatic myths in Western tradition, namely the legend of the Fisher King, which contains elements of your standard heroic quest, the restoration of the land, and cyclical fertility rites.

The Fisher King, whose portrayal as an angler accounts for his title, is blighted by a wound that will not heal and, because of this injury, the land he rules wilts into a wasteland.
A character from the Arthurian literary cycle dating as far back as the 12th century, the Fisher King is the guardian of the Grail, originally conceived of as a platter; later versions of the story explain it as a chalice from which Christ drank at the Last Supper, ergo its holiness. 

In all tellings, the Grail is a coveted object with miraculous power and is pursued by knights on a quest. 

Meanwhile, the Fisher King, whose portrayal as an angler accounts for his title, is blighted by a wound that will not heal and, because of this injury, the land he rules wilts into a wasteland. 

Both he and the land will only become well when a knight asks the right question.

Eliot’s Interpretation: Indo-European Precedents

Although the Fisher King is never mentioned by name in The Waste Land, he appears at least three times. 

The poem’s first section, “The Burial of the Dead,” goes against the general idea of renewal brought about by the onset of Spring. 

In it the character Madame Sosostris, a fortune teller, pulls from her tarot deck, “the man with three staves.” 

In his footnote, Eliot writes that this man is one “[he] associate[s], quite arbitrarily, with the Fisher King himself.”

According to Betsey Creekmore, the tarot Madame Sosostris pulls features the image of a man “in green vegetation interspersed with rocks, and the three staves he holds are living boughs. The color of the water in this card is important because it looks like desert sand.” 

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The Waste Land BY T. S. ELIOT


                                IL MIGLIOR FABBRO
              I. The Burial of the Dead

  April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.
 Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,

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Putin’s War Is Splitting the World Along Economic Lines @business Newsletter
Law & Politics

Vladimir Putin may have failed to take Ukraine in a swift military strike, but in one regard his war has already been a success. 

The global economy is splintering, and the West’s conflicting imperatives—as well as those of the developing world—are slowly revealing themselves.
Putin has a long record of trying to sow discord, using misinformation to power sock puppets in the Brexit referendum and political campaigns of Donald Trump, among other examples. 

And though his latest gambit has backfired spectacularly in terms of weakening NATO, from the standpoint of economic division, the war on Ukraine may prove his crowning achievement. The fault lines are emerging.

There are at least four groups of diverging interests. 

In Ukraine and the Baltic states, defeating Russia is literally existential. 

But in Germany, France and Italy, the calculation is very different.

When it comes to imposing energy sanctions with teeth, Germany and Italy are dependent on Russia for roughly half of their natural gas imports and don’t have the infrastructure to implement a quick substitute. 

Berlin has even drawn up a three-phase plan if Russian gas is turned off, telling carmakers they may have to shut production lines to ensure families can heat their homes over winter. 

The Bundesbank has warned of recession if supplies are cut.
Italy has started rationing energy in public buildings. 

And France is equally leery, knowing from the Gilet Jaunes (yellow vests) protests the kind of social unrest that can result from high fuel prices. 

While Europe’s biggest powers say they plan to wean themselves off Russian imports, they need time. 

Hence renewed attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, even if it means asking Ukraine to cede even more territory to Russia.
Across the English Channel and beyond the Atlantic, the economic consequences of the war (inflation notwithstanding) are looking less critical. 

The US is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s resistance—not only to push Russia back to its borders but to send a clear message to China about its territorial ambitions in Taiwan. 

But it helps that America’s economic considerations happen to align with its geopolitical goals. 

Supplying arms and munitions promises a bonanza for its powerful military industrial complex, while America’s relative self-sufficiency on energy and food insulates it from the worst repercussions of the war.

Moreover, there are longer-term financial benefits that may flow its way. 

As Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, “don’t take this the wrong way, but there is a huge economic opportunity. Europe is not going to be independent of natural gas. Why not burn American gas rather than Russian gas?”

In the UK, with little direct exposure to Russian gas and similarly aligned with President Joe Biden’s hard stance on Kremlin aggression, some business leaders think British industry can substitute for closed German factory lines. 

Not to mention that the UK is home to some of the biggest defense contractors in Europe.
But while Europe wrings its hands and America and the UK see advantage, much of the rest of the world faces a grimmer prospect thanks to Putin’s war. 

Russia is threatening a global food crisis by blockading the Black Sea, raising the prospect of a humanitarian catastrophe in the developing world and exposing the fragility of supply chains yet again after the initial protectionism of the pandemic. 

Export restrictions on food staples have been imposed by 19 countries.
In all, Beata Javorcik, chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, estimates that 17% of the world’s traded calories are now landlocked.
At Davos, she warned of riots and social upheaval as rocketing food prices bankrupt governments in the developing world. 

Famines will indeed be blamed on Putin—but he is offering a simple way out: drop the sanctions. 

That’s arguably an impossible offer to an increasingly divided world.

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5 DEC 16 :: The Parabolic Rebound of Vladimir Putin
Law & Politics

One common theme is a parabolic Putin rebound. At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded. 

The intellectual father of the new Zeitgeist that propelled Brexit, Le Pen, the Five Star movement in Italy, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, is Vladimir Putin.

However, my starting point is the election of President Donald Trump because hindsight will surely show that Russia ran a seriously sophisticated programme of interference, mostly digital. 

Don DeLillo, who is a prophetic 21st writer, writes as follows in one of his short stories:
The specialist is monitoring data on his mission console when a voice breaks in, “a voice that carried with it a strange and unspecifiable poignancy”.
He checks in with his flight-dynamics and conceptual- paradigm officers at Colorado Command:
“We have a deviate, Tomahawk.”
“We copy. There’s a voice.”
“We have gross oscillation here.”
“There’s some interference. I have gone redundant but I’m not sure it’s helping.”
“We are clearing an outframe to locate source.”
“Thank you, Colorado.”
“It is probably just selective noise. You are negative red on the step-function quad.”
“It was a voice,” I told them.
“We have just received an affirm on selective noise... We will correct, Tomahawk. In the meantime, advise you to stay redundant.”
The voice, in contrast to Colorado’s metallic pidgin, is a melange of repartee, laughter, and song, with a “quality of purest, sweetest sadness”.
“Somehow we are picking up signals from radio programmes of 40, 50, 60 years ago.”
I have no doubt that Putin ran a seriously 21st predominantly digital programme of interference which amplified the Trump candidacy. POTUS Trump was an ideal candidate for this kind of support.

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Law & Politics

Economic sanctions deliver bigger global shocks than ever before and are easier to evade

Not since the 1930s has an economy the size of Russia’s been placed under such a wide array of commercial restrictions as those imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine. 

But in contrast to Italy and Japan in the 1930s, Russia today is a major exporter of oil, grain, and other key commodities, and the global economy is far more integrated. 

As a result, today’s sanctions have global economic effects far greater than anything seen before. 

Their magnitude should prompt reconsideration of sanctions as a powerful policy instrument with major global economic implications.

Sanctions are not the only source of turmoil in the global economy. Energy prices have been rising since last year as the economic recovery from the pandemic encountered overburdened supply chains. 

Global food prices rose 28 percent in 2020 and 23 percent in 2021, and they surged 17 percent this year between February and March alone. 

The war has also harmed Ukraine directly as fighting has closed the country’s Black Sea ports, blocking its exports of wheat, corn, sunflower oil, and other goods. 

The effects of the loss of Ukrainian supply have been amplified by two even larger shocks: the sanctions imposed on Russia by 38 North American, European, and Asian governments and the responses to those measures by global firms and banks. 

This barrage of legal, commercial, financial, and technological restrictions has drastically impeded Russia’s access to the world economy. 

It has also vastly increased the range of commodities from both countries that are no longer finding their way onto world markets. 

Sweeping sanctions against Russia have combined with the worldwide supply chain crisis and the wartime disruption of Ukrainian trade to deliver a uniquely powerful economic shock. 

Additional sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports would magnify these effects further.

A different category

A look at the past century of economic history makes the significance of the sanctions against Russia even clearer. 

Even the strongest sanctions regimes of the Cold War period, such as UN and Western sanctions against Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and apartheid-era South Africa, or US sanctions on Cuba and Iran, did not target large economies. 

Some of the sanctions regimes currently in place are more stringent than those aimed at Russia—especially those on Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. But these countries have much less weight in the global economy and international trade.

The impact of the sanctions on Russia belongs to an altogether different category. 

Russia is the world’s 11th largest economy, and its role as the prime commodity exporter among emerging markets gives it a structurally significant position. 

Among advanced economies, only the United States, Canada, and Australia have a comparable footprint in global energy, agriculture, and metals markets. 

Moreover, since the end of the Cold War, more than two decades of advancing integration have made Russia a very open economy, with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 46 percent, according to World Bank data. 

Among the seven largest emerging markets, only Mexico and Turkey had higher shares in 2020 (78 percent and 61 percent).

Unless such policies are put in place in the next few months, grave concerns about the world economic outlook for 2022 and beyond will be justified. 

It is high time for our thinking about the global economic stability implications of sanctions to catch up with the new realities of economic coercion. 

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The @POTUS Official Who Pierced Putin’s “Sanction-Proof” Economy @NewYorker
Law & Politics

Singh said, “We’ve made him stare into an economic abyss. But he could choose to pull back.”
The markets are where these two systems touch—the supply of buckwheat, the joint energy ventures, the price of the ruble—and within this arena the sanctions were a demonstration that Washington still had levers to pull. 

“You know, we can play chess, too,” Singh said. “It was important for us to show that the fortress could come crumbling down.”

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After 100 days of war, the battle for Ukraine is only getting started. @unherd @Halsrethink
Law & Politics

For Putin, the next steps seem obvious: unilaterally declare a ceasefire, ease the international interventions on behalf of Ukraine, and provide time to regroup and prepare for a new drive westward through Odesa to Moldova and Transnistria, perhaps next year. 

If a ceasefire is declared, the world will sigh with relief, stock markets will rebound, worries about world food shortages will diminish, and diplomats will go back to sleep. 

But the war will only be in hibernation; the action will resume at a later date. 

After 100 days of war, the battle for Ukraine is only getting started.

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Wide Awake @DoombergT
Law & Politics

“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” – Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan was a brilliant scientist, gifted orator, skilled teacher, and effective advocate for his strongly held beliefs. 

It is no exaggeration to say that Sagan is likely responsible for inspiring more people to pursue a career in the sciences than any other person in history. 

His 13-part television documentary Cosmos: A Personal Journey – which first premiered on PBS in 1980 and is still stunningly well-worth watching to this day – is widely regarded as one of the best science-themed series ever produced. 

Sagan knew how to turn a phrase to enchant an audience and routinely did so with a level of passion and charisma that cannot be faked.

In the climactic final episode of Cosmos titled Who Speaks for Earth? Sagan makes an impassioned plea for nuclear de-escalation

The first nine minutes of the piece are particularly spellbinding, and the introduction draws to a close with Sagan walking along a rocky shoreline where he delivers a historic monologue (emphasis added throughout):

“The civilization now in jeopardy is all humanity. As the ancient myth makers knew, we are children equally of the earth and sky. In our tenure on this planet, we have accumulated dangerous, evolutionary baggage – propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders, hostility to outsiders, all of which puts our survival in some doubt. We have also acquired compassion for others, love for our children, a desire to learn from history and experience, and a great, soaring passionate intelligence – the clear tools for our continued survival and prosperity.

Which aspects of our nature will prevail is uncertain, particularly when our visions and prospects are bound to one small part of the small planet earth. But up and in the cosmos, an inescapable perspective awaits. National boundaries are not evidenced when we view the earth from space. Fanatic ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile, blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars. 

There are not yet obvious signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, and this makes us wonder whether civilizations like ours rush inevitably into self-destruction. I dream about it... and sometimes they are bad dreams.”

Like all of us, Sagan was not infallible nor immune from controversy. He was famously denied tenure at Harvard, presumably because the more senior members of its faculty were uncomfortable with his high-profile public persona. 

His pacifist views were labeled “unpatriotic” or “soft on communism,” calls which only grew louder after he was arrested at a demonstration outside of a nuclear test facility in Nevada. 

To the members of the conservative right at the time, Sagan was likely considered to be a danger to US national security, especially in light of his uniquely effective communication skills.

Sagan was also proven wrong on several high-profile issues of his time. 

His hypothesis that a “nuclear winter” would follow a tactical exchange of such weapons created a temporary bout of media hysteria, despite several prominent scientists questioning the underpinnings of his claims. 

The Kuwaiti oil fires that resulted from Saddam Hussein’s scorched earth policy during the first Gulf War represented an interesting test case for key elements of Sagan’s hypothesis. 

With the fires still burning, Sagan agreed to debate Fred Singer – then professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia and one of Sagan’s fiercest critics on the subject – on the ABC News show Nightline. 

Ultimately, Singer was proven right, a fact that Sagan himself acknowledged in a gracious letter he sent to Singer in 1996, days before dying.

Singer himself passed away in April of 2020, and, as this obituary in the New York Times makes clear, his skepticism about the connection between human activity and climate change makes him worthy of cancellation in today’s hyper-politicized environment, regardless of his scientific qualifications, the strength or weakness of his arguments, or the soundness of the evidence he put forward in support of his many varying hypotheses. Here’s a key passage:

“Even as evidence of the human causes of climate change and its risks to the planet coalesced into a scientific certainty, Dr. Singer argued that the threat of climate change was overblown, that efforts to blunt its effects would cause grievous economic damage, and that the effects of global warming would be largely beneficial.”

By using the oxymoronic phrase “scientific certainty” in a not-so-subtle attempt to denigrate Singer, the author of this obituary, journalist John Schwartz, reveals that he has precisely zero understanding of the definition of science or how the scientific method works in practice. We suspect Sagan himself would be aghast at Schwartz’s characterization of his fellow scientist and former debate opponent, for Sagan was an unabashed supporter of rigorous, evidence-based thinking who stood ready to reverse previously held views should the data dictate such a shift was necessary.

How is science meant to work? The purpose of the scientific method is to explain the observable universe. 

Scientists develop hypotheses – mental models for how they think certain aspects of the universe can be understood – and they then submit those hypotheses to the scientific community for rigorous criticism

The entire point of science is to unrelentingly try to nullify hypotheses through experimentation and data collection. 

The hypotheses that survive the harshest criticisms may eventually graduate to the level of a theory. 

If a theory survives several more decades of intellectual attack, it might then graduate to the level of a law, which you can think of as an axiomatic input into the development of yet more hypotheses.

 But even laws are susceptible to a single nullifying observation, as Einstein ultimately proved when he nullified Newton’s laws of physics, which had previously enjoyed centuries of status as bedrock axioms of science. 

Einstein ultimately gave birth to quantum mechanics, and while quantum mechanics might currently explain much of the universe as we can observe it, it too stands one reproducible data point away from nullification.

If you are in favor of limiting criticism of scientific hypotheses or constraining debate about the meaning of evidentiary data, science grinds to a halt. 

Even if you think the people doing the critiquing are being disingenuous, or they are funded by nefarious characters seeking to exploit ambiguity for monetary gain, or you convince yourself that the mere airing of such critiques is a danger to society, the moment you give in to the temptation to censor counterarguments – to label them as misinformation, for example – you’ve lost. 

Either you are willing to outlast your opponents in an extended debate by patiently and calmly rebutting all critiques, or the soundness of your hypothesis must be considered suspect.

Recently, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki spoke at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos and detailed the company’s plans to further limit “misinformation” on its platform. 

One does not have to wonder how Professor Singer would be treated by YouTube, one of the world’s most important platforms for information sharing, if he were still alive today. 

The powerful company announced in a blog last September that it would demonetize all videos skeptical on climate change, and Wojcicki reiterated this stance in Davos, proudly saying the quiet part out loud:

“And then lastly, we're just really careful about what we monetize. So, we always want to make sure that there's no incentive. So, for example, with regard to climate change, we don't monetize any kind of climate change material. So, there's no incentive for you to keep publishing that material that is propagating something that is generally understood as not accurate information.”

Generally understood by who exactly? And when did that become the standard by which our digital overlords would decide who gets to see what? 

Inspection of Wojcicki’s biography reveals that, like Schwartz, she appears to have no scientific training whatsoever.

In a haunting interview granted to Charlie Rose in May of 1996, a visibly gaunt Sagan warned of the dangers inherent in just such a development. 

Tragically, the interview would be Sagan’s last. He succumbed to complications arising from a two-year battle with a bone marrow disease just months later. Here is the critical part:

“There's two kinds of dangers. One is what I just talked about. That we've arranged a society based on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces. I mean, who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don't know anything about it? And the second reason that I'm worried about this is that science is more than a body of knowledge. It's a way of thinking. A way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we're up for grabs for the next charlatan – political or religious – who comes ambling along.”

If you have made it this far and you think this is a piece about climate change, you would be mistaken. We have not written about the topic directly and the odds that we will in the future are low. 

Our focus in that regard has been on critiquing society’s response to climate concerns, pointing out the likely consequences to humans if we get the transition wrong, advocating for a bigger role for nuclear power in our collective energy future, and promoting what we believe are smart policies that manage to obvious constraints while optimizing the standard of living for as many humans as possible.

How long until the things we have written are labeled misinformation, unsuitable for a platform as influential as Substack hopes to become? 

Never mind that our subscribers have proactively chosen to hear our views, routinely critique what we write (both in the comments section and directly via email), and are free-thinking people capable of reading things they might disagree with while simultaneously coming to their own conclusions. Case in point, we are particularly proud of the number of Bitcoin supporters who have stuck with us, despite the numerous and mostly critical pieces we’ve written about digital currencies. This is how a democracy is supposed to work.

Despite our best efforts to express authentically held views in a civil manner and to back those views with data, we suspect it won’t be long. 

The creeping incrementalism of the do-gooders who have empowered themselves to adjudicate what information is suitable for public consumption will mean ever-more topics are considered off-limits. 

Soon, critiquing society’s response to climate change will be labeled another form of climate denialism, and efforts to de-platform those expressing such views will accelerate. 

The intoxicating power to nullify people instead of hypotheses is irresistible, and Sagan’s dark predictions will prove true.

Bad dreams, indeed.

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They now turn to rule over the people by means of what could be dubbed “big data totalitarianism” and “WeChat terror.” @ChinaFile #COVID19 Xu Zhangrun
Law & Politics

You will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. @ChinaFile #COVID19 

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On May 26, an RAAF P-8 aircraft performing routine surveillance was intercepted by a Chinese J-16 fighter jet in international airspace in the South China Sea region.
Law & Politics

Marles said the fighter jet first flew close to the side of the surveillance plane and released flares.

“The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8, settling in front of the P-8 at very close distance,” he said.
The fighter then released “a bundle of chaff”, which included small pieces of aluminium. Some of that chaff entered the engines of the surveillance plane.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.07334
Dollar Index 102.035
Japan Yen 130.7115
Swiss Franc 0.96177
Pound 1.250430
Aussie 0.720430
India Rupee 77.66405
South Korea Won 1252.925 
Brazil Real 4.776 
Egypt Pound 18.608000
South Africa Rand 15.484200

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BBG: The price of a pint of beer in the UK has risen more than 70% since the financial crisis of 2008, and has reached £8 ($10) for the first time in London @AlessioUrban


So our cost have increased with zero benefits to anyone by 58p a bottle. Once margins are are applied at the usual wholesaler and retailer percentages this 58p becomes over £1.50 a bottle FOR NO BENEFITS TO ANYONE, and it’s you the consumer that’s paying this @DanielLambert29



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May 29 2022 It is also clear that Putin is seeking a quid pro quo between easing the Food situation with a removal of sanctions.
Food, Climate & Agriculture

The Question is whether there is an appetite for a quid pro quo because if there is not, then we are going to see another serious spike.

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Putin fez várias declarações importantes Existem várias possibilidades para a exportação de grãos ucranianos 🇺🇦 Mas então é necessário remover as sanções de Minsk. @PepeEscobarPT
Food, Climate & Agriculture

Existem várias possibilidades para a exportação de grãos ucranianos 🇺🇦 do porto de Berdyansk ou o mais simples - através da Bielorrússia 🇧🇾. Mas então é necessário remover as sanções de Minsk.

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Russian Navy’s task force of 12 large landing ships on duty in Black Sea – source TASS
Law & Politics

Russia is ready to carry out combat missions in the Black Sea, a source in the power structures of Crimea told TASS

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. A Russian Navy task force, comprising six amphibious assault ships of Rusisa’s Northern and Baltic fleets, as well as six amphibious assault ships of the Russian Black Sea fleet, is ready to perform combat tasks in the Black Sea, a Crimean security source has told TASS.
"For the first time ever, a Russian Navy task force of this size is active in the Black Sea. It comprises twelve large landing ships of the Northern, Baltic and Black Sea fleets," he said. 

"Those large landing ships are ready to perform assigned tasks as part of the special military operation."
On February 10, six Russian large landing ships of the Northern and the Baltic fleets have entered the Black Sea.

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28 OCT 19 :: From Russia with Love

Putin said, Russia was going to be a different kind of superpower, one that does not engage in “pressure, intimidation and blackmail” to “exploit” sovereign African governments.

“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 in November 2018.

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European dependency on Russian gas isn’t the only strategic mistake the EU made. Another one is not working towards Africa’s agricultural self-sufficiency and leaving entire countries dependent on exports + food aid. @Melaniegouby

European dependency on Russian gas isn’t the only strategic mistake the EU made. Another one is not working towards Africa’s agricultural self-sufficiency and leaving entire countries dependent on exports + food aid. The AU will only lean closer to Russia as the crisis goes on.

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The Malawi kwacha [25% devaluation of the kwacha] has once again been devalued @thecontinent_

Currently, one United States dollar is equal to 1,100 Malawian kwacha, up from 816 the day before the devaluation.

John Kapito, the executive director of the Consumers Association of Malawi, describes the situation as a nightmare, with “panic and confusion” in markets.

Within days of the devaluation, Illovo Sugar Malawi, which produces about 60% of the sugar in the country, announced a 25% increase in their prices. 

It cited a sharp increase in the cost of production, for which it needs imported goods like fuel and fertilisers.

The country’s Reserve Bank governor, Wilson Banda, said the “devaluation is a necessary evil in order to fix our economy”. 

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Voters will be going to the polls on 9 August. @thecontinent_
Law & Politics

Kenya is frequently touted as a trailblazer in technology adoption. The country’s digitalisation trajectory has earned it nicknames like “Home of M-Pesa” and “Silicon Savannah”. 

And while the former is certainly a success, and the latter a tagline that appears to be here to stay, the East African nation could just as well be described as a canary in the coal mine: its misadventures in the digital space are a cautionary tale about of how technology, bolstered by dizzying hype, can fail catastrophically to deliver on its promise.
In both 2013 and 2017, the technology malfunctioned, leading in many instances to manual voting, tallying and results transmission.
In 2017, more tech was procured. The cost of the election jumped from $10 per registered voter in the first election to $25 in the next, helping to earn Kenya the dubious honour of holding the most expensive elections in Africa.
Late last month, an investigation by Lighthouse Reports, Africa Uncensored and Le Monde concluded there was far too much scope for the opaque technology to be abused: “Whoever chooses the technology wins the elections.”

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Kenya Eurobonds:
Kenyan Bonds - Long Term

The yield on the 10-year Eurobond issued in 2014 at 11% 

The yield on the 10-year Eurobond issued in 2018 at 10.3%

The yield on the 30-year Eurobond issued in 2018 at 11%

The yield on the  7-year Eurobond issued in  2019 at 10.8%

The yield on the  12-year Eurobond issued in 2019 at 10.5%

The yield on the  12-year Eurobond issued in 2021 at 9.9%

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

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