Our Africa index shows dollar strengthening against key currencies; Trump last ditch effort at US-Africa trade …

As of 5:10 pm AST, here are exchange rates between the United States and key African nations:

Pairs OANDA as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 23 December 2020 Notes 
USD/KES 110.603 109.163 Dollar weakening 
USD/NGN 379.792 380.931 On 21 December USD/NGN peaked at 383.512 
USD/GHS 5.8522 5.87027 Dollar strengthening 
USD/CDF 1951.91 1950.60 US redesignation under AGOA on 22 December 
USD/AOA 649.638 649.479 Flat 
USD/ZAR 14.6031 14.6359 Dollar strengthening 

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political events impacting US-Africa trade relationship

Trump re-designates the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a sub-Saharan beneficiary nation under the Trade Act of 1974

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump designated the Democratic Republic of the Congo a beneficiary sub-Saharan country under the Trade Act of 1974 as amended by the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Africa Investment Incentive Act. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 3703, the President has determined that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has made progress or is making progress toward the following:

(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights for men and women, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimizes government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets;

(B)the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process, a fair trial, and equal protection under the law;

(C)the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment, including by—(i)the provision of national treatment and measures to create an environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment;(ii)the protection of intellectual property; and(iii)the resolution of bilateral trade and investment disputes;

(D)economic policies to reduce poverty, increase the availability of health care and educational opportunities, expand physical infrastructure, promote the development of private enterprise, and encourage the formation of capital markets through micro-credit or other programs;

(E)a system to combat corruption and bribery, such as signing and implementing the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; and

(F)protection of internationally recognized worker rights, including the right of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor, a minimum age for the employment of children, and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.

The President has also determined that the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not engage in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests; and does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or provide support for acts of international terrorism and cooperates in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations and terrorist activities.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo lost its designation as a beneficiary sub-Saharan nation in 2010 under the Obama administration, according to the President’s executive order. With this new designation, certain textiles and apparel will be able to enter the United States duty free.

Sources: Executive Office of the President; Legal Information Institute-Cornell University

As of 10:37 am AST 11 December 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe

How to read the chart:

EUR/USD: You want to buy euros (EUR) with US dollars (USD). Where the market determined exchange rate is one EUR for 1.21088 USD, you divide your dollars in hand by the exchange rate to determine the number of euros you will receive.

USD/CAD=1.27702

USD/GBP=0.75077

GBP/USD=1.33175

USD/CNH=6.53412

USD/EUR=0.82575

EUR/USD= 1.21088 

USD/DKK=6.14584

USD/NGN= 379.869  

USD/JPY=104.36

USD/INR=73.6224

USD/GHS=5.84964   

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event impacting foreign exchange

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin addresses congressional oversight commission on CARES Act

Yesterday, U.S. Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the following address:

“Senator Toomey, Representative Hill, Representative Shalala, and Commissioner Ramamurti, I am pleased to join you today to discuss the Department of the Treasury’s work to execute the National Security Loan Program established in the CARES Act. Treasury has worked diligently to implement every piece of the CARES Act, including the National Security Loan Program, efficiently and transparently. 

NATIONAL SECURITY LOAN PROGRAM

The CARES Act provides funding for up to $17 billion in loans to businesses critical to maintaining national security related to losses incurred as a result of coronavirus. The CARES Act authorized Treasury to make loans and loan guarantees for “businesses critical to maintaining national security.” The statute, however, does not define that term. Therefore, after consulting with the Department of Defense and the Office of Director of National Intelligence, Treasury issued guidance on April 10, 2020, providing that a company can fall within this definition if it meets at least one of three criteria: 


If a company met at least one of the three necessary criteria, Treasury conducted detailed financial and legal reviews of each application pursuant to consistent credit standards that were applied to all applicants. 
To date, Treasury has approved 11 loans totaling nearly $736 million. Information on the companies and dollar amounts are publicly available on our website, Treasury.gov.
Many of the companies we initially expected to take part in the program were able to raise funds in the capital markets, leaving most of the available loan funds unused. Going forward, I urge Congress to re-allocate these funds to provide relief for aviation industry workers, who continue to struggle through no fault of their own. 

CONCLUSION

I would like to thank the members of the Commission for working with us to provide vital economic relief to American workers, families, and businesses. I hope that the extensive amount of information Treasury has provided to the Commission has been helpful to you, and I am pleased to answer any questions you may have.”

As of 9:36 am AST 3 December 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and BitCoin; Federal Reserve sees increased bank delinquencies in 2021 …

As of 9:36 am AST, 3 December 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .77302 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.29344 CAD

CAD/USD=0.77302   USD/CAD=1.29344

CNH/USD= 0.15265   USD/CNH=6.54972

EUR/USD= 1.20787   USD/EUR=0.82781

DKK/USD =0.16225   USD/DKK=6.16157

NGN/USD= 0.00262   USD/NGN=377.841

JPY/USD=0.00957   USD/JPY=104.50

INR/USD=0.01357      USD/INR=73.5849

JMD/USD=0.00678    USD/JMD=144.553

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.916

GHS/USD=0.17049     USD/GHS= 5.82649

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00897      USD/KES= 109.505

BBD/USD = 0.50000     USD/BBD = 2.0000

TTD/USD = .14488         USD/TTD= 6.65179

BTC/USD= 17444.40     USD/BTC= 0.00006

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event impacting foreign exchange

Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book finding moderate, modest US expansion

Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System released its final Beige Book for 2020.  The Federal Reserve determined that US economic expansion is either moderate or modest at best.  A number of districts, including the Philadelphia district, have observed a slow down in growth with a spike in COVID-19 cases since early November.  Banks expect the number of borrower delinquencies to increase in 2021.  

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Foreign exchange rates in light of Mnuchin, Powell testimony before the US Senate …

As of  11:23 am AST, 1 December 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .77051 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.29766 CAD

CAD/USD=0.77051   USD/CAD=1.29766

CNH/USD= 0.15204   USD/CNH=6.57584

EUR/USD= 1.19642   USD/EUR=0.83573

DKK/USD =0.16075   USD/DKK=6.21944

NGN/USD= 0.00261    USD/NGN=378.336

JPY/USD=0.00960    USD/JPY=104.12

INR/USD=0.01351       USD/INR=73.8918

JMD/USD=0.00675     USD/JMD=145.028

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 205.043

GHS/USD=0.17028    USD/GHS= 5.82869

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00900       USD/KES= 109.047

BTC/USD= 16,987.20    USD/BTC= 0.00006

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal events impacting currencies

Today, Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, are testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  Questions are expected to seek clarification as to Secretary Mnuchin’s request that remaining funds from the CARES Act be sent back to the Congress’ general fund.  Chairman Powell will reiterate the need for fiscal policy in the face of increasing COVID-19 infections and an economy that is still on the rebound.  

Source: U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

As of 9:51 am AST 30 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and BitCoin

As of 9:51 am AST, 30 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76954 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.29852 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76954   USD/CAD=1.29852

CNH/USD= 0.15205   USD/CNH=6.57348

EUR/USD= 1.19622   USD/EUR=0.83576

DKK/USD =0.16071   USD/DKK=6.21851

NGN/USD= 0.00260    USD/NGN=377.445

JPY/USD=0.00960    USD/JPY=104.06

INR/USD=0.01351       USD/INR=73.7640

JMD/USD=0.00675    USD/JMD=145.165

GYD/USD=0.00468       USD/GYD= 205.117

GHS/USD=0.17037     USD/GHS= 5.82050

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00898       USD/KES= 108.719

BBD/USD = 0.50000     USD/BBD = 2.0000

TTD/USD = .14475         USD/TTD= 6.65695

BTC/USD= 16987.20     USD/BTC= 0.00006

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event impacting foreign exchange

On 27 November 2020, President Donald J. Trump nominated Brian P. Brooks as Comptroller of the Currency for a term of five years.  As Comptroller, Mr Brooks would be responsible for administering the United States’ national banking system as well as the branches of foreign banks doing business in the United States.  Mr Brooks is currently serving as acting Comptroller.  His nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Source: Executive Office of the President

As of 12:04 pm AST 27 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and BitCoin

As of 12:04 pm AST, 27 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76870 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30069 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76870   USD/CAD=1.30069

CNH/USD= 0.15229   USD/CNH=6.56495

EUR/USD= 1.19144   USD/EUR=0.83922

DKK/USD =0.16007   USD/DKK=6.24556

NGN/USD= 0.00261    USD/NGN=378.872

JPY/USD=0.00959    USD/JPY=104.28

INR/USD=0.01355       USD/INR=73.7012

JMD/USD=0.00673    USD/JMD=145.545

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.941

GHS/USD=0.17070     USD/GHS= 5.83161

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00901       USD/KES= 108.870

BTC/USD= 17368.40     USD/BTC= 0.00006

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event impacting foreign exchange

Basel Committee amends capital requirements for non-performing loan securitisations

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision yesterday published the technical amendment Capital treatment of securitisations of non-performing loans. The rule, which the Committee started developing before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, closes a gap in the Basel framework by setting out prudent and risk sensitive capital requirements for non-performing loan securitisations.

The Committee consulted publicly on the technical amendment in June 2020. In contrast to the consultative proposal, the final rule permits banks to apply the external ratings-based approach to non-performing loans securitisation exposures, without the 100% risk weight floor. In addition, the final rule include discounts on tranche sales in the definition of discount incurred by the originating bank that factors in the capital requirements.

Committee jurisdictions agreed to implement the technical amendment by no later than January 2023. The Committee would like to thank all those who contributed time and effort to express their views during the consultation process.

Source: Bank of International Settlements

As of 12:53 pm AST 25 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and Bitcoin

As of  12:53 pm AST, 25 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76700 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30361 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76700   USD/CAD=1.30361

CNH/USD= 0.15198   USD/CNH=6.57876

EUR/USD= 1.18665   USD/EUR=0.84261

DKK/USD =0.15941   USD/DKK=6.27148

NGN/USD= 0.00261    USD/NGN=379.186

JPY/USD=0.00957    USD/JPY=104.49

INR/USD=0.01350       USD/INR=73.9408

JMD/USD=0.00671     USD/JMD=145.984

GYD/USD=0.00468       USD/GYD= 205.237

GHS/USD=0.17068     USD/GHS= 5.82307

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00903       USD/KES= 108.669

BTC/USD= 18,846.90     USD/BTC= 0.00005

Source: OANDA

Major legal/political event:

First-time unemployment claims increase

The number of first time unemployment claimants is still high. This morning the U.S. Department of Labor reported that 778,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the week of November 21st, an increase of some 30,000 claimants from last week. Since the peak of 5,790,250 in April 2020, the moving average of total insured claimants has been trending toward the moving average level pre-Covid-19 but is still more than three times its March 14, 2020 pre-Covid-19 moving average level of approximately 232,500. The labor market still has a way to go before getting back to that point.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

As of 10:25 am AST 24 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and BitCoin

As of  10:25 am AST, 24 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76486 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30725 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76486   USD/CAD=1.30725

CNH/USD= 0.15227   USD/CNH=6.56585

EUR/USD= 1.18633   USD/EUR=0.84284

DKK/USD =0.15930   USD/DKK=6.27554

NGN/USD= 0.00261    USD/NGN=378.884

JPY/USD=0.00961    USD/JPY=104.01

INR/USD=0.01348       USD/INR=74.0457

JMD/USD=0.00672     USD/JMD=145.825

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.934

GHS/USD=0.17100     USD/GHS= 5.81368

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00905       USD/KES= 108.605

BTC/USD= 18,431.20     USD/BTC= 0.00005

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event in the United States

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary

Axios reports that presumptive U.S. president-elect, Joseph R. Biden, will announce later today his choice of Janet Yellen as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.  Ms Yellen, 74, served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2014 to 2018.

Source: Axios

As of 9:50 am AST 23 November 2020, Foreign exchange rates between U.S., select countries in East Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia, and BitCoin

As of 9:50 am AST, 23 November 2020:

How to read the chart:

CAD/USD: If you come to the United States with one Canadian dollar (CAD)and wish to sell it for a US dollar (USD), the market price is .76362 USD.

USD/CAD: If you take a US dollar (USD) to Canada and wish to sell it for a Canadian dollar (CAD), the market price is 1.30914 CAD

CAD/USD=0.76362   USD/CAD=1.30914

CNH/USD= 0.15258   USD/CNH=6.55057

EUR/USD= 1.18551   USD/EUR=0.84331

DKK/USD =0.15913   USD/DKK=6.27877

NGN/USD= 0.00260    USD/NGN=378.095

JPY/USD=0.00962     USD/JPY=103.81

INR/USD=0.01348       USD/INR=73.9600

JMD/USD=0.00673     USD/JMD=145.650

GYD/USD=0.00469       USD/GYD= 204.889

GHS/USD=0.17074     USD/GHS= 5.80300

XCD/USD=0.37037        USD/XCD= 2.70

KES/USD = 0.00905       USD/KES= 108.539

BTC/USD= 18,581.00     USD/BTC= 0.00005

Source: OANDA

Major political/legal event in the United States

On 22 November, the press secretary for the President of the United States issued the following statement at the G20 Leaders Summit:

“President Donald J. Trump participated in the second day of the virtual G20 Leaders Summit on November 22, 2020.  President Trump discussed the economic model he has enacted through cutting taxes and regulations, promoting abundant and affordable energy, and negotiating trade agreements grounded in the principles of fairness and reciprocity.  President Trump expressed the importance of policies that promote workers and families.  He also discussed the historic achievements made in the United States and around the world in empowering and investing in women, and called on all countries to do more.  President Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for its leadership during its G20 presidency and looked forward to working with Italy as incoming G20 president.  He also encouraged the G20 to continue to work together to achieve security, prosperity, and peace for all nations.”

Source: Executive Office of the President of the United States

Blacks don’t have to adhere to the nation-state concept …

The ‘country’ or ‘nation-state’ experience was never a part of African culture. It was never birthed into the DNA of Africans or into their descendants that were hauled into the western hemisphere. The concept was forced fed into them by westerners who needed to ensure uniform administration of human capital and natural resources in Africa, North and South America, and the Caribbean.

Ironically, the only group of Blacks that voluntarily adopted and incorporated the nation-state was the Haitian people who captured territory and created a nation the old fashioned and only legitimate way: by gun, machette, and blood. In my opinion, Haitians are the only Blacks on the planet that have a country (pursuant to the rules of this realm) for this reason.

None of that petitioning shit…

Given the roadblocks erected by Europeans to fully incorporate blacks into their political economies (just look at the U.S. Virgin Islands and its 103 year unincorporated status and only partial protection under the US Constitution), one wonders why Blacks don’t aggressively take the opportunity to create an independent socio-political-economic reality completely of their own?

The immediate response to that question tends to be the classic, pain and suffering driven, moralistic argument about this country or that country being built on the blood and sweat of Blacks. It is a narrative that Blacks hope whites will buy into, but after 503 years in the western hemisphere, Blacks should have learned by now that morals and emotions don’t build countries and sure don’t provide a full license to be included into existing ones.

With all the talk of the tumult of 2020, maybe the “universe” is signaling that Blacks are free to go and try another way; to create another “dimension” within or better yet overlaid on top of this one. With the domestic output, disposable income, and population that surpasses most countries on Earth, and an existing if not shaky affiliation with a continent rich in resources, Blacks have the potential to dominate multiple spaces on their own terms. Time for a will that equals the potential ..