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”

Be careful what you wish for

Listening to the EFF be the rock against which Zuma’s blithe refusal to account finally dashed itself yesterday I felt briefly elated. Gangsters! Bashi-bazouks! Yes, PAY BACK THE MONEY! PAY BACK THE MONEY! Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles! But after a moment’s reflection I pulled myself, by the ear, back into the vehicle. “You irresponsibleContinue reading “Be careful what you wish for”

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 …”

Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious

(Note: please read Jonny Steinberg’s comments on my miscasting of the implications of the recent HSRC’s South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, 2012. Jonny argues that I have taken “a story of resounding success and twisted it into a tale of alarm”. Jonny Steinberg is correct on all counts and I hope to redress myContinue reading “Glacial progress in employment equity and Ronnie gets hilarious”

Cynical quotes and facetious asides: an attempted antidote to the twin plagues of pompous banality and gruesome brutality

Perhaps you are a journalist covering the May 7 elections or the Oscar Pistorius trial – and will soon be immersed in Shrien Dewani’s adventures in our specialist niche of the honeymoon-tourism market. You might be a TV continuity announcer-cum-journalist, circling endlessly between serious discussion about bone fragments, Nkandla’s fire retarding swimming pool, Numsa’s endless exit  from CosatuContinue reading “Cynical quotes and facetious asides: an attempted antidote to the twin plagues of pompous banality and gruesome brutality”

Polling, polling, polling down the river

It’s the 1st of April and I have already seen that Helen Zille has accepted an ‘elecnomination‘  to spend two weeks living in Khayelitsha, surviving on the minimum wage and using a bucket toilet. Good for her, I say. In other news the DA has announced that the Western Cape government it is going to upgrade Zille’s private residenceContinue reading “Polling, polling, polling down the river”

Madonsela, Manuel, Mining and other things that are not quite what they seem

Herewith some of my latest news updates. (Just as an aside before I start: I couldn’t help but smile at Richard Poplak’s seriously over-the-top take on the Nkandla report in Daily Maverick this morning: “But Madonsela has certainly nailed Zuma to history’s grimiest post—he will be forever remembered as a thief, a fool, and a Zulu man whoContinue reading “Madonsela, Manuel, Mining and other things that are not quite what they seem”

The very fat goose, the socialists* party, all Zuma’s bets are on the NDP, mining companies show some fang and much much more

I am on my way to London to speak to the funds that buy and sell South Africa’s corporate and government bonds i.e. the market that sets the price at which the world is prepared to lend us money. Daily I become more convinced that the South African political economy is, like quick clay “so unstableContinue reading “The very fat goose, the socialists* party, all Zuma’s bets are on the NDP, mining companies show some fang and much much more”

Our Maggie moment

The Numsa exit from the alliance is a natural consequence of what appears to me to be a ‘Maggie Thatcher moment’ in South African politics. (This is a loose characterisation and it purely means that I believe there is evidence that government is taking a much harder line with the union movement and is backingContinue reading “Our Maggie moment”

EFF off and DA

“How seriously to take the EFF is becoming the question of the year for a view on South African political risk” As I listened to Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech I thought I would share with you an extract of my news commentary from Monday morning. But I forgot to hit ‘publish’ as I was beingContinue reading “EFF off and DA”

‘Why do people still vote for the ANC?’ asked the clever child, exasperatedly

This is a quick  aside before getting onto the more riveting topics of the May 7 elections, service delivery protests (and their search for a Gene Sharp handbook as well as the predictions of the Davies J-curve), the platinum strike, Julius Malema’s sequestration hearing in the North Gauteng High Court this morning (and the pressing matter of whetherContinue reading “‘Why do people still vote for the ANC?’ asked the clever child, exasperatedly”

Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future

I have been agonising over whether to keep this website going –  or to consign it to the wastelands of the interwebs there to wander mournfully, accumulating lurid advertisements for secret ways of getting rid of belly fat and invitations from young, beautiful and lonely people, in your area, waiting by their phones for a call from you. AfterContinue reading “Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future”

Nelson Mandela and the ticker tape

(This is part of a brief note I sent out to clients this morning) Nelson Rolihlahla Dalibunga Mandela,  95, died last night on Thursday December 5 2013. There may be short-swings in some South African financial instruments but it is unlikely that this will be a longer term driver of the markets. Nelson Mandela hasContinue reading “Nelson Mandela and the ticker tape”

Numsa, Nkandla, the SACP and other matters

Herewith some comments on the latest political news. Apologies that I have posted so seldom here of late. I see a New Year’s resolution coming on. I see a New Year’s resolution exiting stage left. Numsa, Cosatu and the SACP … and Jacob Zuma During this past week the National Union of Metalworkers of South AfricaContinue reading “Numsa, Nkandla, the SACP and other matters”