Does the Gordhan correction undo the damage wrought by Nene’s axing?

You might be surprised at how carefully some people who’ve never set foot on these shores, people who are mostly blindingly clever at maths and informed to a scarily deep level about our politics and history and whose job includes trading our currency and bonds, have asked me that headline question in the last week.Continue reading “Does the Gordhan correction undo the damage wrought by Nene’s axing?”

Overreach – how generals, tyrants and puffed up fools implode

Business Day  this morning published an article suggesting that Nhlanhla Nene was on the verge of being shuffled out of his Minister of Finance position to some face-saving backwater. I wrote early last week in a client note: “It is widely held that the National Treasury and Minister Nhlanhla Nene have come under hostile pressure forContinue reading “Overreach – how generals, tyrants and puffed up fools implode”

Black Middle class saves our world …. and other plausible hopes for salvation

Greeting … and compliments of the season to you all. I was too busy to post here during the last few months of 2014. I had been writing and then road showing (here and abroad) an argument that suggested pressures acting on the ANC might, ultimately, save the organisation from its slow-motion collapse into whatContinue reading “Black Middle class saves our world …. and other plausible hopes for salvation”

Lesotho, Guptas, Jacob’s Ladder, Julius huffs and he puffs but he doesn’t blow the House down, Cyril’s hard week down at the commission …. and so much more

Here are some bits and pieces I highlighted for investors over the last few weeks. Thanks as always to BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities for allowing me to republish these snippets here … it is also a touch more information that most people require, but I post it here for the record, if nothing else. IContinue reading “Lesotho, Guptas, Jacob’s Ladder, Julius huffs and he puffs but he doesn’t blow the House down, Cyril’s hard week down at the commission …. and so much more”

Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us

I intend, in the near future, to dust off my Marxist theory.* I am going to need a framework through which to express my growing conviction that much of our politics can be understood as a function of the collapse of the alliance of classes that underlay the national democratic revolution – and the African National Congress. The bigContinue reading “Hold fast comrades – the Thatcher-lites are upon us”

Strike out, the presidential health, SONA2014#2 and EFF and the landed gentry gets a finger wagged in its direction

Some humble and not so humble opinions on various snippets of recent and not so recent political news. Platinum strike finally over Amcu and the platinum producers announced a settlement on Tuesday. The industry reports the strike cost producers R24-billion in lost revenue and the workers R10.6-billion in forsaken wages (see the pro-industry website here for other data.) SoContinue reading “Strike out, the presidential health, SONA2014#2 and EFF and the landed gentry gets a finger wagged in its direction”

Now is the winter of our discontent …

… which I entirely doubt will be made glorious summer by this sun of KZN when he gives his 5th nth State of the Nation Address this evening. I am not, as my children might have said, very amped for this. The only ray of light so far (I am watching on eNCA) was a brief interview with FloydContinue reading “Now is the winter of our discontent …”

Madonsela, EFF’s red beret shortage, election estimates and more

I will make a decision on the caption competition soon, but meanwhile here is my latest news update and summary – the Madonsela story continues to grow and, frankly, should be encouraged to. The Public Protector clashes with Zuma’s security chiefs On Friday state security agencies abandoned their urgent interdict in the North Gauteng highContinue reading “Madonsela, EFF’s red beret shortage, election estimates and more”

Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more

As promised some comments on the politics of Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget … but first forgive me for expressing some of my irritation at two of his (Gordhan’s)  recent statements. That will be followed by some of  the bits and pieces I found interesting in the weekly newspapers – if you didn’t see the ‘Zuma gaffes”Continue reading “Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more”

The sound coming from business about policy, especially labour policy, is hurting my head

Forgive the dearth of postings here … I was brought low by some late winter dreaded lurgy and as a result my life came to grinding halt for almost two weeks. The big story (which I will deal with later today or tomorrow)  is the astonishingly decisively manner in which the ANC and its governmentContinue reading “The sound coming from business about policy, especially labour policy, is hurting my head”

Ten days that shook my world

Preface  I wrote what follows in July 1990 immediately after returning from a two week trip to Moscow. I was part of a group with the now sadly departed Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (Idasa). The original was published in Democracy In Action, the institute’s monthly newsletter. I had looked for a copy forContinue reading “Ten days that shook my world”

SA political risks for investors

I was looking for a shorthand way of summarising what I thought were the main political risks that are in the minds of investors in South African financial markets. Note that the emphasis here (in what appears below) is what I think is an appropriate prism for investors in financial markets, and specifically those withContinue reading “SA political risks for investors”

Are we in the predator’s labyrinth?

Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza provides the lead headline in today’s Business Day as “warning of a rogue state future for SA”. So imagine if you could, for a moment, that you are playing a sports game. As in a dream, you suddenly realise you don’t know the rules; you don’t know how to score, who’sContinue reading “Are we in the predator’s labyrinth?”

ANC’s economic policy – a bit like being wounded without the pleasure of a scar

It is no easy matter to explain how a paragraph from Michael Ondaatje’s poem “The Cinnamon Peeler” speaks to me about the ANC’s economic policy process. The poem is a  sensual delight – quite unlike the ANC’s policy discussion. Anyway … here is the relevant paragraph: what good is it to be the lime burner’sContinue reading “ANC’s economic policy – a bit like being wounded without the pleasure of a scar”

My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention

Remember kaleidoscopes? Basically a tube that you held up towards a light and peered through as if it was a telescope? But unlike kid’s telescopes –  which, like kid’s microscopes, were blurry and disappointing and stupid – the kaleidoscope was a device of astonishing power and beauty. The point for my six-year-old self who received his first kaleidoscope for a birthday, probably,Continue reading “My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention”