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February 17, 2019

The ZAR gets caught up in the CrossFire

US President Donald Trump. /REUTERS
US President Donald Trump. /REUTERS

Robert Swan Mueller III [The Special Counsel and President Trump's nemesis] has been ''flipping'' all of President Trump's henchmen and even some of his hatchet-Men and his latest flip is Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s Chief Financial Officer .The Book Keeper is a Keeper of Secrets and you will recall it was the Book Keeper who eventually sank Al Capone]. Weisselberg has been given an immunity deal. This follows hot on the heels of the news that Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen had turned on his former boss after a conversation with his father in which the elder Cohen told his son that he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name tarnished by the US president. Whilst I remain of the view that Trump is a political Harry Houdini [Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss or Harry Weiss; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts], things are indeed thick.

President Trump [under some mind bending pressure, self evidently] said

“I know all about flipping, for 30, 40 years, I’ve been watching flippers,” Trump explained in an interview with Fox News. Trump lashed out again and again at those he described as “rats” President Trump is a linguistic warfare Specialist, who can forget the names he gave his opponents: Crooked Hillary, Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, ‘Low-energy’ Jeb — were all devastating and terminal but his linguistics increasingly resemble a ''Hoodlum'' or a Mafia Boss. Anyway, this is the domestic US backdrop.

“I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and large scale killing of farmers.” tweeted Trump.

Senator CORKER characterised Trump's South Africa tweet as "a base stimulator"

CORKER:“Well, there are portions of those who support the president that are—I’m sure that generates excitement. I mean, it’s—you know what I’m saying...”

President Trump evidently studied the US Army War College Quarterly 1997. The US officer assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Intelligence), charged with defining the future of warfare, wrote “One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims.”

This information warfare will not be couched in the rationale of geopolitics, the author suggests, but will be “spawned” - like any Hollywood drama - out of raw emotions. “Hatred, jealousy, and greed - emotions, rather than strategy - will set the terms of [information warfare] struggles”.

47 farmers were killed in 2017-18, according to statistics from AgriSA. However the same figures show that farm murders are at a 20-year low. My Point is we exist in a Post-Factual World and President Trump is the contemporary Politician who has understood this, intuitively if at times viscerally.

The rand dropped more than 1.5 percent against the U.S. dollar in early trade on Thursday, before recovering a little. The Rand has been a Roller-Coaster rallying +20.689% Q4 2017 through April 2018 this year as everyone imbibed the Ramaphoria Kool-Aid but now has reversed all its gains and since April has slumped -23.478%. If this goes fully-fledged and it might well might because it plays like sweet music to President Trump's base then I think the Rand is at risk of a precipitous, asymmetric downside move as far as 17.00 to the Dollar. Traders might consider buying 1 Year Maturity One Touch ZAR Puts with a 17.00 strike.

I wrote on 13-AUG-2018 :: ''President Trump seems to be relishing his financial warfare strategies. He has Khamenei on the run, Maduro in Venezuela is being attacked by remote-controlled drone, Xi suddenly looks ever so fragile'' Of course he has given President Erdogan a fearful hiding as well. I reckon Trump has Cyril and Julius for breakfast and Julius' natural bent is to escalate. Julius Malema, who has led calls for the seizure of white-owned land, told Trump to keep out of the debate.

“We want to send a strong message to the U.S. to stay out of South Africa. You have caused enough problems in Africa,” he told journalists.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman said Trump was “misinformed” Ramaphosa had announced on Aug. 1 that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) plans to change the constitution to allow the expropriation of land without compensation.

Steve Hofmeyr, a South African Musician, who is a foremost crusader for white right-wing causes, – is speaking of a ''white Genocide'' inn South Africa.

Data from the International Institute of Finance (IIF), an authority on global portfolio flows, this week showed $800 million (12 billion rand) bled out of South African bonds from the start of the month up to Aug. 17, more than any other emerging market, including Turkey. Between January and June foreign investors sold $2.5 billion worth of South African bonds, the highest sell-off on record.

Jacob Zuma used to regale Friends with a rendition of "Bring Me My Machine Gun."

President Trump the linguistic and financial warfare specialist has the Machine-Gun and the ZAR is in its line of Fire.

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