Lots going on in international currency markets largely due to the perception(note the word perception) that the talks and recent activity between USA and China are leading towards the signing of a trade deal later this month. Consequently trade orientated currencies led by the Yuan(CNY) and the Aussie Dollar (AUD) have benefitted as have both the NKR and SKR. CNY stands at 6.9867 versus USD following the PBOC (Peoples Bank of China) only cutting rates by 0.05%. Safe haven currencies CHF and JPY have both lost out to the trade orientated currencies.
Cortes was a Spanish administrator who became the Governor of Mexico and brought about the downfall of the Aztec Empire. He had assured his power base by conquering most of Central America, amassing fabulous wealth and discovering California by the age of 40. If he had stuck to his economic and scientific work in Mexico he might have had a different place in history, but he was a serial invader and was only truly fulfilled when conquering and subjugating indigenous Central Americans and all that comes with that. When he returned to Spain in 1528 he was decorated and celebrated by King Charles V. Time moved on and Spanish people no longer approved of the harsh tyranny that he imposed on Mexicans and Native Indians to the extent that when he next went back to Spain in 1541, he was largely ignored and not recognised for his achievements even by the Emperor Carlos. Despite his penchant for waistcoats and dressing gowns to wrap his “full” physique-see below- and his consequent reputation as a dandy, he was outed for abuse of power and died almost penniless from dysentery and pleurisy in Spain in 1547. Outside history books, Cortes is consigned to a mention in John Keat’s sonnet:
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
In Russia at least where a court has sentenced a Jehovah’s Witness to 6 years in jail for organising an extremist organisation. The law was changed in 2017 and since then 8 have been jailed, 46 are in detention and 284 are under investigation. President Putin a champion of the Orthodox Church which enjoys a 72% following in Russia supports Orthodox scholars which considers Jehovah’s Witnesses as a dangerous foreign sect that erodes state institutions and traditional values. Founded in the 1870’s by Charles Taze Russell, Jehovah’s Witnesses number 8.6 million globally and are overseen by a group of elders in Warwick, New York. The Rouble weakened yesterday from 63.3 Roubles to 63.5 Roubles to the USD but it is unlikely to be on the back of the jailing of the luckless Jehovah’s Witness .
SGM-FX punk fan “Bopper” Euan shakes his head sadly and comments that the Jehovah’s Witnesses should have learnt from pop group Pussy Riot’s jail time for the far from catchy and (very) long song Punk Prayer. Here’s an excerpt which goes a good way to explain just why the girls served time:
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, banish Putin
Banish Putin, Banish Putin!
Black robes brag, golden epaulettes
Freedom’s phantom’s gone to heaven
Gay Pride’s chained and in detention
The head of the KGB, their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
….and plenty more of the same….!
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder