Having urged “don’t panic” just 4 short months ago, it appears Nigeria just did just that as the global dollar short squeeze forces the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari to beg The World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5bn in emergency loans to help fund a $15bn deficit in a budget heavy on public spending amid collapsing oil revenues. Just as we warned in December, the dollar shortage has arrived, perhaps now is time to panic after all.
In September, Nigerian central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele ruled out a naira devaluation on Thursday and told people not to panic about a government order which risks draining billions of dollars from the financial system.
Having told banks and investors “don’t panic” in September, amid spiking interbank lending rates and surging default/devaluation risks, it appears the massive shortage of dollars that we warned about in December has washed tsunami-like ashore in oil-producing Nigeria. Following the Central bank’s decision this week to halt dollar sales to non-bank FX market operators, black market exchange rates spiked to 282/USD (vs 199 official) and CDS spiked to record highs implying drastic devaluations loom.
With the western world facing high terror alerts, the biggest meeting of top CEOs and world leaders comes at a delicate time. As Bloomberg’s Tom Gibson exclaims in this brief clip, “it feels like half the Swiss army is here,” but officials play down the security presence as ‘business as usual’. With a special no-fly-zone and snipers overhead, Davos is protected by 3,000 military personnel for these few days… no wonder the billionaires aren’t worried about leaving their private jets unlocked on the Davis runways.
Having proclaimed it is not Zimbabwe, Nigeria’s currency is starting to look a lot like a hyper-inflating mess. After devaluing to a 168 peg in November, the Naira has crashed to 200 / USD today – smashing above the upper peg band of 176 as it appears Nigeria is losing control. The collapse of Oil Producer currencies had abated for a week or two but the last 2 days have seen the Ruble and Naira tumble (even as The USDollar weakens modestly ahead of the ECB QE tomorrow).
Because nothing says ‘stability’ like a Central Bank in charge of things, the
smartestrichest men in the world have proclaimed in Davos this week that “we need a central bank of oil, like the central bank in financial world.” As long as they are not Swiss, of course. Oil has been volatile today amid these calls for stability after Saudi Aramco comments on cutting projects (supply) sent prices higher, and was then talked back by the CEO bringing prices lower. Oman – the largest non-OPEC Middle East oil producer – blasted that “we have created volatility,” noting it was having a “really difficult time,” and that’s “bad for business,” demanding OPEC slow production. But it was The IMF that sparked the greatest concerns as it warned oil producers to treat this oil price drop as permanent noting that they expect these economies to lose $300 billion. only to be contradicted by OPEC’s al-Badri who noted “oil prices will rebound back to normal soon.”
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Following the WHO’s warnings, (the ironically named) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a “state of emergency” over the Ebola outbreak that is rapidly escalating in his nation. This comes on the heels of a US medical journal study that finds, as Reuters reports, the Ebola virus that is ravagaing West Africa was not imported from Central Africa but caused by a “new strain” of the disease – raising the specter of further regional epidemics.
Ebola is endemic to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan and Gabon, and scientists initially believed that Central Africa’s Zaire strain of the virus was responsible for the outbreak. However, as Reuters reports,
– Troops Deployed In West Africa Ebola Clinics As 2 More Nigeria Cases Revealed; Saudi Blocks Travelers (ZeroHedge, Aug 5, 2014):
Following Monday’s announcement that it will not issue pilgrimage visas to pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia due to concerns regarding the spread of the Ebola virus, Saudi Arabian officials have admitted they are testing samples from a man who had returned recently from a business trip to Sierra Leone for suspected Ebola infection. With the virus having killed at least 887 people, Saudi Arabia is getting serious, “we have communicated the instructions to the officials at all ports of entry.”
– Runaway Ebola-Infected Woman Dies As US Doctor Tests Positive For Virus (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2014):
It continues to go from bad to worse for Africa’s “deadliest ever” Ebola epidemic which has officially claimed well over 600 lives, and unofficially many more.
Following the death of a Liberian government worker two days ago who collapsed in the international airport of Nigeria’s 20-million megacity, Lagos which resulted in a “red alert” Nigeria clamping down into a quasi-quarantine state, sending specialists to airports and seaports fo containment, overnight we got an update on the other major Ebola story from last week, namely the female patient whose family broke her out of a hospital in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, and who had been on the loose of several days, leading to a nationwide hunt. She has passed away, dying in an ambulance on the way to hospital, Reuters reports.
– Following First Ebola Death Nigeria “On Red Alert”, Deploys Specialists To Airports For Containment (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2014):
Shortly after our report yesterday that the Liberian man suspected of carrying the Ebola virus has died while quarantined in Nigeria, the local health ministry confirmed that he was indeed the first confirmed Ebola death in the Nigerian city of Lagos, which with a population of roughly 20 million, is the largest city in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. The victim, who worked for the Liberian government, collapsed at Lagos international airport after arriving on a flight from Monrovia via the Togolese capital Lome on Tuesday, according to the Nigerian government. And now the “red alert” scramble begins in Nigeria, with a population fo 170 million, to isolate who else the deceased may have come in contact with. And while borders have not yet been closed, health specialists have been deployed to all sea ports and international airports to identify any passengers displaying symptoms associated with Ebola.
– Nigeria Central Bank Diversifies Reserves: Sells Dollars, Buys Chinese Yuan (ZeroHedge, Jan 28, 2014):
It seems the “dollar is a reserve currency for ever and ever” propaganda has not reached Africa, also known as Southern China as explained here two years ago, where moments ago the Central Bank of Nigeria issued the following surprise announcement:
- CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA TO SELL DOLLARS TO DIVERSIFY RESERVES
- NIGERIA CENTRAL BANK TO RAISE SHARE OF YUAN TO 7% FROM 2%
- NIGERIA CENTRAL BANK TO DIVERSIFY RESERVES INTO YUAN
- NIGERIA CENTRAL BANK CONSIDERING DIM SUM BOND: MOGHALU
But why would anyone buy Yuan when there are so many ever-more diluted dollars available? And now, let’s open it up for the most creative Nigerian email scam involving Chinese Yuan…
– 30 killed in school attack in northeast Nigeria (USA TODAY, July 6, 2013):
POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic militants attacked a boarding school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Saturday, killing 29 students and one teacher. Some of the pupils were burned alive in the latest school attack blamed on a radical terror group, survivors said.
Parents screamed in anguish as they tried to identify the charred and gunshot victims.