Economic Thoughts: Challenging 2016 Risks

For a while it looked as if the Fed was going to be our main 2016 risk (and Zuma our main headache). How quickly things change (and doubtlessly will keep shifting). What will be our main disrupters in 2016?   We are now being devoured by devastating drought, Chinese equity and currency market instability are [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:16+00:00 January 8th, 2016|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: The contrarian windfall Funk

I don't know about you, but I am getting ready for my next fix. Prof De Kiewiet after decades of much study & contemplation promised us years ago (1946) that SA progresses by way of political disaster and economic windfalls. We have had our fair share of political disasters (serially in recent years), and the [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:16+00:00 January 7th, 2016|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: Warren Buffett Upside Down

Warren Buffett is known for many sayings, having a worldwide following as the world’s most successful serial investor. One pays attention when Warren says “only when the tide goes out, do you discover who's been swimming naked”. In other words, when times turn poor, and interest rates rise, we can see who in good times [...]

2016-01-06T07:23:40+00:00 January 6th, 2016|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: Thinking about the Rand

What is top of mind when thinking about Rand prospects, near term and far? It isn't all daily randomness. There is structure, some of it obvious, some of it requiring more digging, giving us a better probability of getting the levels right where the Rand may be residing over time. Even if we cannot pin [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:16+00:00 January 5th, 2016|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: An Interesting Year

It was an interesting year. Many also say it was a horrible year, and it certainly was for some, indeed momentous in some respects. But the JSE didn't lose 80% of its value as in 1969, we didn't have massacres like Sharpeville 1960, Soweto 1976, Bisho or Boipatong 1992 or Marikana 2012, we didn't do [...]

2016-01-04T07:26:14+00:00 January 4th, 2016|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: Super Salesman Pravin Gordhan

There are genuine rewards & recognitions, and then there are hospital passes. What happened to Pravin Gordhan last Sunday was a bit of both when Zuma re-offered him (as a pair of ultimate safe hands capable of damage control) the position of Finance Minister so very recently vacated by his new colleague David van Rooyen, [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:17+00:00 December 15th, 2015|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: Zuma “changes” his mind

A rather unexpected course of events late Sunday night (13 December 2015), as Zuma “reconsiders” his decision to fire finance minister Nene, and reappoints Pravin Gordhan (who should never have been replaced last year in the first place with a presumably more pliable Nene) as finance minister.   The background to these unprecedented Zuma moves [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:17+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: SA Tourism: up, up & away?

SA tourism has not had a good decade, marked by global economic crisis & falloff in travel, reinforced by own goals on the visa front. A steadily weaker domestic economy and hash-tag protest marches upsetting potential foreign visitors completes the misery.   But could there be a turn for the better in prospects? A surprisingly [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:17+00:00 November 23rd, 2015|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: Impressions

What's striking recently is the retreat of Chinese luxury, the impression of weak global industry but strong services sectors, weak developing but resilient developed market economies, the advance of Putin, the SA drought, and EM & commodity producer woes. But is it transitory or more permanent?   For some months now, there is the suggestion [...]

2015-11-18T07:14:20+00:00 November 18th, 2015|Economics|

Economic Thoughts: Macro’s many Battles

It may not always be obvious but SA macro policy is fighting many hard battles with our collective interests uppermost in mind. Not least on how to prevent chaos from overwhelming us. The focus here is firmly on National Treasury & SARB trying to maintain financial & monetary discipline. These entities should be assessed separately [...]

2018-05-27T17:08:17+00:00 November 5th, 2015|Economics|