Nimrod Zalk

The curious incident of the ratings agency and the developmental state

Something strange happened last week. An international credit ratings agency told us we should act more like a developmental state. Standard & Poors — which does credit ratings of countries and large companies — warned that South Africa‚Äôs power utility Eskom needed a financial injection from the government in order to cover the costs of…

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Dropping import tariffs to raise exports: How mumbo-jumbo conquered the policy ‘debate’

The heated discussion over the past few weeks about whether South Africa should unilaterally lower its import tariffs reminds me of Francis Wheen’s excellent book How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions. In it, Wheen documents a range of modern delusions where truths are assumed to be so obvious that there…

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