Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): Goldman Sachs Speaks On The Investment Outlook

As August looms, Our team received this courtesy of the team at Goldman Sachs which we wanted to feature in light of the uncertainties before us in the Economic landscape due to Tariffs and other decisions by the Trump Administration:

Midyear Investment Outlook: Staying the Course

At the start of the year, the Goldman Sachs Investment Strategy Group (ISG) released its 2018 outlook, making the case for staying invested in the equity markets, despite an increasingly uncertain and unsteady political and geopolitical landscape. In response to subsequent spikes in market volatility and intensifying geopolitical headwinds, ISG released a midyear outlook, Taking Stock of Our 2018 Outlook: (Un)Steady as She Goes, reexamining the underlying factors driving markets. Given the steady backdrop of broad-based economic and earnings growth, robust employment and wage growth, and improving business investment, ISG reiterates the recommendation to stay fully invested, with a strategic overweight allocation to US assets. "There may well be a time when the unsteady undertow becomes too strong and overwhelms the steady factors, or when the steady factors point to a less attractive outlook," the authors said. "But halfway through 2018, we do not think that time has yet arrived. In fact, there has been improvement in many of the steady factors."
Read report

Monday, July 30, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special Month-End Edition): Brief Thoughts On Our World....

It has been quite a month in our World as we bid farewell to July and gear up for a very busy August here in our properties.    The elections in Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Mali along with the continued controversies surrounding the President of the United States has been quite a scene to be witness to.  This is as Israel passed the Nation-State Law that led to a resignation by an Arab Member of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament.     Syria, in the meantime, is also in the news as the end of the War appears to be in sight even though the war continues onward with no end in sight.   We also were witness to changes in the Media Landscape as the parent of the Sydney Morning Herald, FairFax Media was bought out for 4 Billion Dollars and Disney's buyout of 21st Century Entertainment Assets was finalized.   

As we gear up for a new month in our properties, we decided to embrace the new month with a high note about what can be possible with this "Rewind" courtesy of Al Jazeera about what can be possible--a very powerful 22 minutes as we look forward to our continued service:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Thursday Edition): On Our World.....

Tehran From the Vantage Point of its' largest Structure:
 Borj Milad (Milad Tower) 
Rial Collapses and Gold Increases (Courtesy Iran Farda) 

It has been an interesting week in our World as we have continued to assess the on-going realities in Iran.     The week began with comments from President Rouhani noting how The US had a chance to either come to terms with Iran or go to war--warning President Trump not to Play with a Lions Tail because it will have consequences.   This is as a question was asked by many in the Iranian Disapora captured in this headline from the LA Times' Sarah Parvini:

Iran has seen a number of Cabinet changes by the President as the Currency has collapsed and the price of Gold Coins (a harbinger of Economic Health) has began to soar as People take refuge in such resources.    The war of words has continued so far--including the Parliament Speaker calling the President a Thug and The latest that came out of the Commander of the Quds Force.    Qasem Sulemani came out and warned the United States that the Quds Force had the ability to deal with anything the United States threw at it.  This is as another of the Senior Commanders (and current Secretary of the Expediency Council), Mohsen Rezaai, reminded the US that Iran had over 50,000 US Troops in its' sights.     The attacks by the Houthis against Saudi Tankers earlier this week may well have been one indication of Iran's Sabre Rattling.

Beyond Iran, there is Syria.   It is increasingly clear that Assad has won and such a win is winning grudging acceptance by the World.    As we went to press, there was a Syrian Plane that was shut down and suicide bombers struck Government areas yet again.   This is as Russia sent a delegation to Lebanon to facilitate the return of refugees back to Syria--over 1 Million Syrians live in Lebanon that constitute almost one quarter of Lebanon's Population.   We have also been assessing the on-going election in Pakistan as Imran Khan seems to be in a pole position to form Pakistan's Next Government--we will continue to assess it an provide updates through our Media Virtual Circle over the ensuing days.

We Leave you all with some "Random Thoughts" : 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Mid-Week Edition): @TrevorNoah & @SethMeyers Reflect Upon @realDonaldTrump; #Iran & Other Thoughts

As our team continues its' on-going assessment, please enjoy these selections on another realistic check on the reality at hand as Trevor Noah also reflects upon the visit by @BarackObama to Africa on the occasion of #Madiba100:

Monday, July 23, 2018

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On #Iran, #Israel & #Syria

On the Realities in Iran:  How Iran's Currency has lost its' Value
It has been quite a weekend in our World.     We hereby commend Israel for facilitating the evacuation of 800 Syrian White Helmets and their families from Syria.   We are also of the view that is shared by many that it appears that Bashar Assad has apparently won as we saw reports of how things seem to be getting back to normal in Syria.

Beyond Syria, there is Iran.   The US Secretary of State made a speech at the Reagan Library over the weekend that we hereby present courtesy of the State Department laying out the Trump Administration's assessment of the situation in Iran--as the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, came out swinging with his own attack on the Trump Administration.     Late Sunday night, President Trump responded in kind on Twitter In Capital Letters:

The Secretary of State specifically  named names including the head of the Judiciary and other key Ayatollah's and corrupt Revolutionary Guard Officials.   Here is his speech in full that we will have more to say on it--as  the Secretary of State some known realities about the state of affairs inside Iran today:   

Friday, July 20, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Friday Edition): "Earth From Space"

As we welcome all to Friday here in our Properties, our team decided to do things a "little different" as we hope all enjoy this live feed from the International Space Station which is available live by clicking on it here  as we go dark in our Properties throughout the weekend:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On @POTUS Watch regarding #HelsinkiSummit2018

#Helsinki2018 aftermath continues.  Our team picked up analysis from some in the Conservative Media noting that the so-called "Left" or "Resistance" was in a state of Hysteria.   Jonathan Capeheart of the Washington Post compared the GOP reaction to what happens when the GOP comes out with its' "Thoughts & Prayers" Foreign Policy Edition especially in light of this very interesting article in Bloomberg View.

 The Day after and the Aftermath was noted by Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah:

As we went to press, the President walked back his comments yet again in an interview with CBS News as he held President Putin responsible in spite of what was discussed regarding Ambassador McFaul and Bill Browder that we released guidance on yesterday   

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special @POTUS Edition): On the Aftermath of #Helsinki2018

As the aftermath of #Helsinki continues, this was the latest courtesy of MSNBC--this is as President Trump gave an interview to CBS News stating that he holds Vladimir Putin responsible and he conveyed it to him during their one-on-one.      This is also as apparently the case of Bill Browder came up and the question was asked at the Daily White House Press Briefing regarding questioning the former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul  and a Professor at Stanford:

Our team created this grid of a meeting President Obama had while Ambassador McFaul served on the White House Staff with reaction from among other people including former Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.

Truly Interesting times....

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): @BarackObama Delivers the #NelsonMandela Lecture

As we went to press here in our Virtual Studios here in Laguna Niguel, it is Wednesday in South Africa and officially Mandela Day.    Former US President @BarackObama delivered the annual Mandela Lecture and we hereby present the whole event courtesy of the Obama Foundation which also featured comments by the President of South Africa and the Widow of Nelson Mandela.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): Out & About in Our World ((With an Update From Africa))

As our team went to press, President Trump had left Scotland after a 2-Day non working getaway at his resort to meet with the President of Russia in Finland.    Before he left, though, he gave an interview to CBS News which was reported out by the Team at the Washington Examiner in this manner--and an apparent suggestion that The UK should sue the EU--which the UK Prime Minister noted she decided not to take:   

President Trump described the European Union as "a foe" in an interview aired Sunday, ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.
"I think we have a lot of foes," Trump told CBS News. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they are a foe."

As the President called for a massive increase in spending, the team at the National Priorities project provided a snapshot of what that would entail with profound implications for the World:

The world is becoming a more dangerous place.

This week at the NATO summit, President Trump not only campaigned, as he has been, for every NATO country to spend at least two percent of its GDP (gross domestic product, a measure of economic productivity) on its military – but for every NATO country to double that goal and spend four percent.

The two percent goal is already nonsensical, and just serves to underscore how European countries that spend less on their militaries also spend more on bread and butter programs that actually make peoples’ lives better, as Lindsay Koshgarian writes in Fortune.

The massive military spending spree Trump demanded at NATO serves no actual security purpose. Trump’s four percent goal comes out of the same playbook as his military parade. It would make a big point, at a big cost, with no real benefits.

If every NATO country met the four percent goal, it would be akin to adding a U.S.-sized superpower to the world. Conversely, if every NATO country – including the U.S. – spent two percent of its GDP on its military, total NATO spending would actually decrease – and that could allow the U.S. to meet any number of other domestic and international goals, according to this thought-provoking Washington Post analysis.

We also were assessing what was the latest out of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.   As the Syria War seems to be winding down, there is a "clamour" for Iran to leave and Iran's Supreme Leader Advisor for International Affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, said that Iran is willing to leave Syria as Israel continues its' attacks.     The more crucial flashpoint, right now, is Iraq though especially as protests continue and now there is a nationwide internet shutdown-as the protests began in Basra and have continued onward.  As for Afghanistan, Civilian deaths continue to climb at an alarming rate.   There was also the on-going siege of Gaza and the latest flareup as Israel pounded Gaza yet again as two teen-agers were killed after Hamas rocket attacks.  
As we look to a new week, though, we wanted to note that the Final Game of the World Cup is being played right now as we went to press.   France was up 2-1 against Croatia.   This is also as the formal handoff between Russia and Qatar occurred:

Russia Hands Over FIFA World Cup Hosting Duties To Qatar

Onward to the New week as we conclude with this #Africa Watch as the World celebrates Mandela Day on July 18: 

More than 1.8m social grants beneficiaries migrated to new Sassa card
More than 1.8-million social grants beneficiaries have been migrated to the new gold South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) card, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Comprehensive Social... 
Saudi Arabia pledges to invest R133bn in South African energy sector
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ambitious plan to attract $100-billion to kick start the country’s struggling economy got a major boost on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia committed to invest $10-billion... 
Western Cape edges closer to an end to the drought as dam levels continue to rise
Duduzane Zuma culpable homicide case postponed
Ramaphosa embarks on Eskom overhaul
Tshwane mayor defends 'bodybuilder' executive director appointment
'You are a land thief' – BLF tells AfriForum's Kallie Kriel at Duduzane court appearance
Nkwinti off to see Lesotho Highlands Water Project progress
Fatality-free Pan African sparkles on lower-cost, longer-life prospects
South Sudan parliament votes to extend president's term until 2021