Business

Scotland 5. Donald Trump 0. What price America?

Author and humourist PG Wodehouse once wrote that “it is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”. He was absolutely right when it came to American presidential hopeful and property mogul Donald Trump’s attempts to insinuate himself into the Scottish culture with his £750 million (R15.9 billion) golf estate…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Give your car a hug

So here we are, little more than a century later, and the car is as welcome in every home as the chamber pot was before inside toilets arrived. It wasn’t always so, though. When the first adventurers took to the roads in steam and electric and clockwork and petrol-engined cars in the 1890s only the…

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Let’s call a spade a spade, the EFF is marching towards a socialist dictatorship

It was an ordinary February morning in 1989, for most in Berlin, but not for 21-year-old East German Chris Gueffroy. It would be his last day alive. The cold metal force from a border guard’s gun would rip through his jacket and shirt and pierce his heart — pouring deep red warm hope out onto…

24 Comments Continue Reading →

Where should the rand be?

For those who see conspiracy in the steep plunge in the value of the rand against the US dollar, the graph below showing the decline of the Australian dollar can only mean a similar conspiracy against the Australian currency. If you don’t believe in conspiracies — which is not the same as acknowledging that traders…

1 Comment Continue Reading →

The poor economy is not all Zuma’s fault

Some lessons I have learned from reporting on economic crises: * Don’t fixate on any one cause. Economies are complex webs of interrelated phenomena. Interest-rate changes are not the whim of the central bank, ie the Reserve Bank. They depend on a range of other economic actors, including our government and other economies in the…

5 Comments Continue Reading →

The rand’s fall – it’s deja vu all over again

At around R13 to the dollar now, our exports must be quite competitive. They could get quite a lot more competitive soon. At the same time as being a temporary boon for the mines, a weaker currency should boost the trade balance because we’ll all have to cut back on imports. A weaker currency also…

1 Comment Continue Reading →

ILO mistakenly assumes that its old ANC pal is pragmatic

Voters elect politicians on the basis of their proclaimed ideology. However, it is not ideology that drives government effectiveness. Rather it is how ideology is adapted to resolving real-life problems. This week’s report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a reminder to what extent, despite all evidence to the contrary, African National Congress (ANC)…

2 Comments Continue Reading →

The microfinance delusion: who really wins?

I’m always amazed at how many students show up each year in the classrooms of the London School of Economics, where I teach, quivering with excitement about microfinance and other “bottom-of-the-pyramid” development strategies. Like eager young missionaries, they feel they’ve stumbled upon the One Idea that is sure to save the world. Would that it…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

Read Yanis Varoufakis’s “The Global Minotaur”!

Until recently, Yanis Varoufakis was the Greek Minister of Finance, who resigned after the Greek populace voted overwhelmingly against the imposition of more austerity measures against them in order to service the country’s crippling debt — resigned, because he believed that would give Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister, more negotiating space with the representatives of…

15 Comments Continue Reading →

Bravo Greece!

The outcome of the Greek referendum on whether to accept the stringent conditions for another “bailout”, laid down by its creditors, should be applauded as an unambiguous manifestation of the democratic public spirit that refuses to continue allowing the neoliberal economic regime to put money before people. It also testifies to historical amnesia on the…

20 Comments Continue Reading →