Weeks of violent street protests were brought to an end in Ecuador in mid-October after the president walked back austerity measures.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno withdrew the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed agreement to increase fuel costs. The agreement had paralysed Ecuador's economy as it hit the poorest and the minority indigenous population.

The government decided to cut fuel subsidies, which cost the government $1.3bn a year.

Quito had asked the IMF for a $4.2bn loan as it struggled to cut its budget deficit and debt. At the same time as receiving the loan, big businesses won a concession wiping out past taxes, according to former Minister of Finance Wilma Salgado.

Now the question for many is: Why would you take a loan to help corporations but cut subsidies to the poorest?

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Ecuador's Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner explains that cutting fuel subsidies was the right thing to do for the country.

Sonnenholzner argues that fuel subsidies in Ecuador benefit the "ones who have the most" and those who consume the highest quantity of fuel.

"I have nothing against subsidies when they are necessary and they go to the people who need them. But in the case of Ecuador and fuel subsidies, they just don't," Sonnenholzner says.

He adds that if you put it together, "the fuel subsidies has cost the country more than its GDP for the last 45 years."

"It has no economic sense, no social sense, and of course no environmental sense. So something that makes no sense, why would you keep it?"

Cash crunch in Kenya

Kenya is in the midst of a cash crunch. Now the lender of last resort, the IMF, may lineup a loan to make sure East Africa's biggest economy does not succumb to an economic shock.

The cash crunch comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to create one million jobs annually but to do that he has been increasing spending on healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture and housing.

Nairobi has increased its debt to 62 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), spending a third of its revenue on servicing debt. And the loans are not cheap - going to the markets to raise seven billion euros ($7.8bn). There is now less money to pay contractors, forcing the government to increase the debt limit to $87bn.

Ahead of elections in two years, there seems to be little political will to downsize civil services, which eats another third of tax revenue.

The Kenyan government also seems to be unaware of the breach of its legal debt ceiling of 50 percent of GDP from 2015 to 2016. The infringement only surfaced after a new team took over the treasury following charging of the previous finance minister with corruption-related offences.

Alisa Strobel, senior economist for Sub-Saharan Africa at IHS Markit, says besides the job losses the latest cash crunch in Kenya has resulted in "sticky, non-performing loans" in the banking sector.

"With the removal of the interest rate cap, we do expect to see some improvement on this front that will hopefully support aggregate demand in the near term," Strobel says.

Can Netflix hold on to its crown?

Cord-cutting, Peak TV and the rise of so-called over-the-top services, or streaming to you and me - are we witnessing the end of television as we know it?

It is estimated that 63 percent of people watch their favourite shows online. And more content companies like Disney, HBO and Peacock are launching their own services.

Industry leader Netflix saw 13.2 million people watch Martin Scorsese's epic gangster movie The Irishmen in the United States over the first five days of its release. The streaming giant is spending billions on content and has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide.

Apple is now spending $6bn on content, including a reported $300m on the Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston. And Amazon claims it signed up millions of people after paying 90 million pounds ($120m) for three years' worth of premier league games.

So can Netflix hold on to its crown?

Daniel Gahder, research manager at the analytics company Ampere Analysis, points out that budget is very important when it comes to the success of new streaming platforms and Amazon and Netflix seem to have a strong market position at the moment.

"These new companies coming in like Disney and a lot of the studios do have a lot of content to lean on and ultimately I think in their current form this many services might be difficult to sustain in the market. What we may see is some of them adapt and change."

Source: Al Jazeera News