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Friday 03rd of June 2022

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Crazy Pills @DoombergT
Law & Politics

Before proceeding, we should note that pointing out the flaws in the West’s war response is not “pro-Putin,” nor is it “unpatriotic” as some propagandists on Twitter would have you believe. It is the opposite. 

Until we collectively understand how Putin gained powerful leverage over us and why our economic response is not only destined to fail but also likely to backfire, we cannot craft a better path forward.

For evidence that our current strategy is more Blue Steel than brilliant, we turn to the chart of the Russian Ruble. 

Despite having precedent-setting sanctions imposed upon everything Russian – companies, people, assets – the Ruble has strengthened against the dollar compared to the pre-war period. 

The Central Bank of Russia recently cut interest rates for the third time since initially raising them to 20% early in the war. 

Here’s how the New York Times describes it (emphasis added throughout):
“Russia’s central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate to 11 percent, from 14 percent, in a hastily arranged meeting on Thursday as policymakers sought to support businesses and households struggling under sanctions.
The bank is cutting interest rates faster than expected as the country’s currency has rapidly appreciated, reaching its strongest level in four years against the U.S. dollar this week.
Capital controls imposed by the central bank after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, particularly those forcing exporters to exchange their earnings into rubles, have increased demand for the Russian currency. 

The country’s large current account surplus, a measure of trade and investment flows, has been bolstered by high earnings from oil and gas exports and a drop in imports, is also keeping the ruble elevated.”
Two weeks ago, we held our inaugural Doom Zoom webinar with members of our Doomberg Pro tier. 

The presentation was titled “A Unified Theory of Doom: Life, Energy, and Currency” and was followed by a vibrant Q&A session that lasted nearly an hour. 

At that event, we argued that currency reserves are – in the most literal sense possible – claims on future energy.
Energy is life, standards of living are dictated by access to energy, and these two facts are the undeniable conclusions of the laws of physics. 

Since all humans everywhere strive for a higher standard of living, energy is the real money. 

In that context, the purpose of a currency is to organize our energy transactions in a way that efficiently and (hopefully) equitably shares our collective energy bounty. 

During times of primary energy abundance, countries geared more towards value-added work tend to see their currencies appreciate. 

During times of energy scarcity, countries that produce excess primary energy have the advantage. We are experiencing a period of energy scarcity today.
With this framework at the ready, let’s analyze why the behavior of today’s political Zoolanders is actually helping Putin instead of constraining him.

Two weeks ago, we held our inaugural Doom Zoom webinar with members of our Doomberg Pro tier. 

The presentation was titled “A Unified Theory of Doom: Life, Energy, and Currency” and was followed by a vibrant Q&A session that lasted nearly an hour. At that 

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May 29 Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity
Law & Politics

In terms of a method to ‘manage’ government, it is not far from tribal elders howling incantations around the camp fire after inspecting the entrails of slaughtered animals. 
Layer on top of this a highly managed media construct which is essentially a Claque where alternative voices are deplatformed and we have an environment which was accurately described thus by @FukuyamaFrancis
The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble.
At a time when what is required is agile multi disciplinary thinking we have ''weaponized babble''
Less than two months ago The ''Leader of the Free World'' President Biden said his sanctions against Russia would “reduce the Ruble to rubble” and this has happened

The Architect of the Sanction warfare program said 
The @POTUS Official Who Pierced Putin’s “Sanction-Proof” Economy @NewYorker [4]
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.”
The geoeconomic debacle is off the scale.  
To reiterate and from Sunday, April 10  ‘’You can print money, but not oil to heat or wheat to eat’’ wrote @CreditSuisse’s Zoltan Pozsar [5]

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.
Russia's current account surplus is soaring. @RobinBrooksIIF
BREAKING NEWS: The price of gas, oil, and wheat are so high that President Putin has demanded that any peace negotiations will include maintaining all EU sanctions against Russia for the foreseeable future. @GarlandNixon
The Hubris is at a Shakespeare level
Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/; from Ancient Greek ὕβρις (húbris) 'pride, insolence, outrage') describes a personality quality of extreme or excessive pride or dangerous overconfidence, often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance
Meanwhile Our Leaders make speeches at  Davos, dress up in military fatigues and call for Regime change. It is a complete farce.

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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
Law & Politics

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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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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China responds to ‘collusion’ between US and Taiwan @The_Real_Fly
Law & Politics

Beijing said it had dispatched warships and warplanes near Taipei as a warning

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Law & Politics

1-4-2-1. The first 1 refers to defending what has since come to be called the homeland. 

The 4 refers to deterring hostilities in four key regions of the world. 

The 2 means the U.S. armed forces must have the strength to win swiftly in two near-simultaneous conflicts in those regions. 

The final 1 means that we must win one of those conflicts “decisively,” toppling the enemy’s regime.

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Turkey, Terrorists and NATO @GatestoneInst
Law & Politics

Turkey, reportedly on the verge of yet another military incursion into Syria, appears up to other fun and games as well.

The so-called "terrorists" to whom Erdoğan is referring are Kurdish politicians, political activists, and refugees who live in Sweden and Finland. 

In particular, those who engage in advocacy for political equality and the official recognition of Kurds in Turkey and Syria. 

The Turkish government wants the two Nordic nations to extradite these individuals to Turkey.
Erdoğan's regime, however, does not see actual jihadists in the region as terrorists and even actively supports them. 

For instance, news outlets have documented evidence of Erdoğan's government's close relationship with ISIS (the Islamic State).

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Londongrad How the Lebedevs partied their way to power @Tortoise @pcaruanagalizia
Law & Politics

Paul Caruana Galizia continues his investigation into Russian money in London, telling the story of Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, and what Britain did to itself.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.074865
Dollar Index 101.766
Japan Yen 129.9625
Swiss Franc 0.9576850
Pound 1.256575
Aussie 0.72543 
India Rupee 77.6175 
South Korea Won 1242.780 
Brazil Real 4.7967 
Egypt Pound 18.635100 
South Africa Rand 15.437345 

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Sanctions-hit Russia has limited exports of noble gases such as neon, a key ingredient for making chips, until the end of 2022
World Of Finance

Russia's export curbs could worsen the supply crunch in the global chips market. 

Ukraine was one of the world's largest suppliers of noble gases until it suspended production at its plants in the cities of Mariupol and Odesa in March.

Exports of noble gases, which Russia used to supply to Japan and other countries, will be allowed only with special state permission until Dec. 31, the Russian government said on May 30.
The move will provide an opportunity to "rearrange those chains that have now been broken and build new ones," Deputy Trade Minister Vasily Shpak told Reuters via the ministry's press service on Thursday.
Russia accounts for 30% of the global supply of noble gases, according to the ministry's estimate.

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Southern Ukraine is thus chokepoint #1: a neon gas chokepint. Commodity Chokepoints and QT @CreditSuisse Zoltan Pozsar

Half the world’s neon supply might thus get under Russian control soon, which is important to realize given that chip companies and industry analysts say that there is only one to six months worth of neon gas in reserve (see here). So there you go:

the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is down and is not easy to refill, and the “Strategic Neon Reserve” is down too and is also not easy to refill. That’s bad, and so chipmakers in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan are in the midst of all this.
No neon, no chips.

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President Félix Tshisekedi may have opened Pandora’s box by inviting troops from neighbouring countries to fight rebels based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). @CrisisGroup

President Félix Tshisekedi has allowed Uganda to deploy troops to fight rebels based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is tacitly permitting Burundi do to the same. 

Rwanda appears to be considering its own incursion in the area. Meanwhile, a Congolese armed group, the M23, is regrouping.

Tshisekedi’s decision to invite in foreign troops could roil the already unstable east by triggering proxy warfare or energising Congolese rebels.

Tshisekedi should set rules for foreign intervention on Congolese soil, while intensifying efforts to dissuade Rwanda from deploying forces across the border

President Félix Tshisekedi may have opened Pandora’s box by inviting troops from neighbouring countries to fight rebels based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

In November 2021, following deadly bombings in Uganda’s capital Kampala, Tshisekedi allowed Ugandan units to cross into the DRC’s North Kivu province in pursuit of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel coalition whose largest faction has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. 

The following month, Burundian soldiers reportedly marched into the DRC to battle the RED-Tabara rebel group. 

These interventions are causing fresh upheaval in a country that has suffered greatly from regional rivalries. 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has warned that he might dispatch soldiers as well, while Kenya-led talks have revived a proposal for an East African intervention force. 

On 8 February, President Kagame gave a thundering 50-minute speech to the Rwandan parliament, decrying a threat to the country’s security emanating from the DRC’s Kivu provinces. 

He cited alleged connections between the ADF and one of his longstanding foes, the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), a remnant of the Rwandan Hutu militia responsible for the 1994 genocide. 

In his native Kinyarwanda, interspersed with English, Kagame said the danger was great enough that he was considering deploying troops in the eastern DRC without Tshisekedi’s approval. 

“As we are a very small country, our current doctrine is to go and fight the fire at its origin … We will wage war where it started, where there is enough space to wage war”, Kagame said. “We do what we must do, with or without the consent of others”.

Uganda’s deployment is the most substantial open foreign intervention in the DRC since the devastating Congolese wars ended in 2003.

Burundi’s incursion into South Kivu is shrouded in secrecy. In late December, residents of the province’s Uvira territory reported seeing about 400 Burundian soldiers and Imbonerakure, Burundi’s notorious ruling-party youth militia, cross the Rusizi river between the two countries.

The Burundian army reportedly sustained heavy losses, while thousands of residents fled the violence. Burundi has repeatedly denied that its troops are fighting in the DRC, however.

For his part, Tshisekedi worries about Rwanda’s regional ambitions. “It is unrealistic and unproductive, even suicidal, for a country in our sub-region to think that it can always benefit from maintaining conflicts or tensions with its neighbours”, he told diplomats in late February

Some Congolese opposition figures worry that the government could use a spiralling rebellion to suspend the 2023 presidential election in the east, as voters there largely favour the opposition.

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Africa's COVID deaths to fall by 94% in 2022, @WHO analysis shows @Reuters

Deaths on the African continent from COVID-19 are expected to fall by nearly 94 percent in 2022 compared to last year, modelling by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed on Thursday.

2021 was the pandemic's most deadly year in Africa, with COVID-19 the seventh major cause of death, just below malaria.
"Our latest analysis suggests that estimated deaths in the African region will shrink to around 60 a day in 2022. ... Last year, we lost an average of 970 people every day," WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti told a virtual news conference.

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.@AbsaKenya share data

Price: 10.20

Market Capitalization: 55,401,667,200
PE: 5.100

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Cyclones and More Frequent Storms Threaten Africa @AfricaACSS

Global warming is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms in Africa, which are exacerbating other socioeconomic stressors across the continent.

More Rain…
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that, as a result of global warming, the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events will increase for most of tropical Africa (while parts of northern and southern Africa will become drier). 

This translates into a significantly increased risk of flooding.
Runoff in the Congo River basin, for example, is projected to increase by 50 percent, elevating flooding risks, especially flash flooding, across large parts of Central Africa.
Rising global temperatures, based on their current trajectory, are also expected to increase rainfall in parts of the Greater Horn of Africa by over 40 percent. 

Extraordinarily heavy rains in East Africa in recent years have contributed to the worst desert locust outbreak to hit the region in the past 25 years.

Scientists have shown that for every 1 degree Celsius increase of warming, the atmosphere can hold 7 percent more moisture. This means that warm conditions make storms much wetter, leading to record-breaking rainfall.
… and Stronger Storms
Global warming also increases sea surface temperature. This packs more energy into storms that develop over the oceans, generating more intense rainfall and higher wind speeds, making them more damaging.
As oceans have warmed, Africa has experienced four times as many storms and more than a doubling in the number of cyclones since the 1970s. 

This equates to an average of 3 cyclones coming off the Indian Ocean each cyclone season, which typically runs from November through March. During the 2021-2022 season, there were six.

With warmer ocean temperatures and more energy driving each storm, tropical cyclones from the Indian Ocean are also making landfall over a wider swath of Africa’s east coast. 

Beyond historical paths affecting Madagascar and rural northern Mozambique, the cyclones are expected to push into latitudes farther north (encompassing Tanzania) and south (including South Africa).
These cyclones are more likely to impact more densely populated urban areas such as Maputo, Durban, and Dar es Salaam. 

A direct hit on one of these urban areas could affect millions of people and cause acute economic costs.
Illustratively, Cyclone Idai, in March 2019, was unprecedented. It was the deadliest (causing over 1,000 deaths) and the most costly (around $3.25 billion) cyclone ever to hit Africa. 

The following month, Cyclone Kenneth was the strongest cyclone ever recorded on the continent with winds peaking at 225 kph (140 mph) and floods reaching 2.5 m above normal water levels.

More Severe Flooding and Landslides
More frequent and intense rainfall and storms lead to more inland and coastal flooding. Rain-related natural disasters  in Africa have grown nearly tenfold over the last 50 years.

Since 2000, floods have accounted for 66 percent of disasters recorded in Africa. 

These have been concentrated in East Africa with South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya regularly among the African countries having the largest numbers of people affected by floods. 

Reflective of the unpredictability of flooding from year-to-year, this list varies greatly and countries from West Africa (e.g., Nigeria, Ghana, and Niger) as well as southern Africa (Malawi and Angola) are also, at times, seriously impacted.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world that has recorded increasing rates of flood-related mortality since the 1990s. In 2020, floods affected 8.1 million people and caused 1,273 deaths.

Increased flooding also increases the spread of vector-borne diseases—such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, Zika, and Rift Valley Fever. 

In South Sudan, there were an estimated 800,000 cases of malaria,  diarrhea, and snake bites after the unprecedented floods of 2021.
At 1.5°C of global warming, distribution and seasonal transmission of vector-borne diseases is expected to increase, exposing tens of millions more people, mostly in East and Southern Africa.

Climate disasters are compounding challenges in conflict-affected areas. 

Conflict has simultaneously hindered many countries’ ability to focus on disaster preparedness and adaptation to climatic changes. 

This is contributing to a vicious circle of poor governance, conflict, and climate disaster. 

Floods add to already record levels of refugees and internally displaced due to conflict.
The impact of climate-related disasters is arguably worse than recognized due to chronic underreporting of losses from disasters, particularly with regard to small-scale disasters, which cumulatively can be just as damaging as large-scale disasters.
Helping vulnerable communities design solutions to adapt and to mitigate the effects of stronger and more frequent storms will be of growing importance to human security in Africa. 

Disaster risk reduction lessons and early warning system installations in places like Beria, Mozambique will result in more lives saved and faster recovery from disasters. 

Community risk mapping, such as what was done in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kisumu, Kenya, provide the data necessary to develop more effective disaster risk mitigation (DRM) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans.

Disaster Risk Reduction Lessons from Africa
Even before Cyclone Idai hit the city of Beria and its 500,000 inhabitants, its mayor was already working on a plan to make the city flood-resistant by 2035. 

Despite the mayor’s proactive antiflooding efforts, however, the 105-mph winds of Cyclone Idai proved more than the city could handle. It left an estimated 90 percent of the city damaged. 

Though the storm wreaked havoc on the landscape—tearing roofs from homes, leveling trees and powerlines—the mayor’s flood resistance efforts were successful. 

The water quickly receded in those parts of the city where the canals had been refurbished, allowing people to clean up and return home sooner. 

Looking forward, the city government, with support from international partners, has plans to improve housing, expand the canal system throughout the city, and fortify the city’s shoreline as part of a disaster risk reduction plan.
Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. Most of that growth has been unplanned. As a result, being a coastal city, it is prone to increasing incidents of flooding. 

A community risk mapping project called Ramani Huria was launched in 2015. By October 2018, Ramani Huria had mapped over 228 communities of roughly 3.5 million residents, generating geospatial information on land use, infrastructure, and exposure. 

All that data has informed the DRM and DRR plans for the city. In the process, the collaboration between a broad spectrum of stakeholders—local academic institutions and NGOs, the Tanzanian Commission of Science and Technology, the Tanzania Red Cross Society, and the World Bank, among others—has led to increased receptivity to required changes in behavior and greater understanding of underlying causes of disaster risk.
The port city of Kisumu in Kenya may be another model for other cities interested in learning how to design DRR plans. 

With support from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, over 100 participants from Kisumu’s municipal departments and local organizations and communities developed their first DRR action plan in 2018. 

Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, Kisumu is prone to flooding during the heavy seasonal rains. Before, the city would wait for the floods and then render the necessary humanitarian response. 

Since the DRR consultations, the emphasis moved from being reactive to proactive in preparing for and mitigating the effects from flooding. 

Key to Kisumu’s success has been civic engagement and participation. In addition to improving the city’s drainage infrastructure and keeping storm drains clear, the community focused on replacing a frequently flooded bridge that connected downtown to the rest of the community.

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In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.

Lorenz wrote:
"At one point I decided to repeat some of the computations in order to examine what was happening in greater detail. I stopped the computer, typed in a line of numbers that it had printed out a while earlier, and set it running again. I went down the hall for a cup of coffee and returned after about an hour, during which time the computer had simulated about two months of weather. The numbers being printed were nothing like the old ones. I immediately suspected a weak vacuum tube or some other computer trouble, which was not uncommon, but before calling for service I decided to see just where the mistake had occurred, knowing that this could speed up the servicing process. Instead of a sudden break, I found that the new values at first repeated the old ones, but soon afterward differed by one and then several units in the last decimal place, and then began to differ in the next to the last place and then in the place before that. In fact, the differences more or less steadily doubled in size every four days or so, until all resemblance with the original output disappeared somewhere in the second month. This was enough to tell me what had happened: the numbers that I had typed in were not the exact original numbers, but were the rounded-off values that had appeared in the original printout. The initial round-off errors were the culprits; they were steadily amplifying until they dominated the solution." (E. N. Lorenz, The Essence of Chaos, U. Washington Press, Seattle (1993), page 134)[7]
Elsewhere he stated:
One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a sea gull's wings would be enough to alter the course of the weather forever. The controversy has not yet been settled, but the most recent evidence seems to favor the sea gulls.

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An "obscure" climate Phenomenon called the the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) [an oscillation of sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean]

For those who are Weather enthusiasts, the current drought conditions in East Africa is being caused by an ''obscure'' climate Phenomenon called the the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) [an oscillation of sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean]  

It wasn’t until the 1990s that Japanese scientists discovered the Indian Ocean Dipole, a warm pool of water that migrates between western and eastern “poles” and affects atmospheric temperatures and rainfall. 

The phenomenon occurs in cycles of positive (warmer) and negative (cooler) sea temperatures, but it has become more extreme in recent years due to climate change.
A negative Indian Ocean Dipole results in less rainfall over East Africa, and that’s contributing to the current drought that aid agencies warn could trigger mass famine. 

The Scientists found that before 1924, the IOD occurred approximately every 10 years, but since 1960, IOD events have been occurring approximately 18 months to three years apart.

The researchers suggested that global warming effects on the western Indian Ocean have driven the observed shift in IOD variability and note that the IOD has replaced the El Nino-Southern Oscillation as the major driver of climate patterns over the Indian Ocean region. 

It is this negative Indian ocean Dipole which has parched the Country and the region.

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.@SafaricomPLC share data
N.S.E Equities - Commercial & Services

Price: 26.00

Market Capitalization: $8.9b
EPS: 1.74
PE: 14.943

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

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