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”

Greeting – and a few thoughts of home – from Belgrade

I am in Serbia on a social visit and I thought I would record here some of my initial observations about stuff we might learn from this country about some aspects of SA politics and culture. Cultural Betrayal Firstly, I am in Belgrade – a city of 1.6 million people built on the confluence ofContinue reading “Greeting – and a few thoughts of home – from Belgrade”

Housekeeping, MTN, Iran, US secret power, Zimbabwe, Malema and the Interminable Mangaung

Right. I have got to find a way of continuing to populate this website. The reasons posts are becoming infrequent and irregular is that almost every day I produce bespoke and paid for research. I have less time every week to write specifically for … except the occasional philosophical musings, which probably have a … very specific?Continue reading “Housekeeping, MTN, Iran, US secret power, Zimbabwe, Malema and the Interminable Mangaung”

Neither the best nor worst of all possible worlds

Arrived late last night in New York from London (and Edinburgh and Frankfurt)  and the lag means I am only going to want to fall asleep at exactly the time it will be most unsuitable to do so. I have been travelling (for Indian owned Religare Capital Markets, where I have a new berth) withContinue reading “Neither the best nor worst of all possible worlds”

Egypt, my Egypt

I am clicking “Publish” in a rush … I suspect I will come to regret this later. Anyway: The popular mobilisations in Tunisia, Egypt and a swath of authoritarian North African and Middle Eastern states are interesting and important for more reasons than can be named, let alone examined, here. But the aspects that haveContinue reading “Egypt, my Egypt”

Who is Cronin’s enemy?

Jeremy Cronin’s criticism of Cosatu’s  recent hosting of a “Civil Society Conference” is impossible to understand without understanding his – and the SACP’s – assumptions about the world and South Africa in November 2010. Cronin’s premise is that “an enemy” is attempting to make the public debate about the future of South Africa focus onContinue reading “Who is Cronin’s enemy?”

Strike while the iron is hot

No-one can take serious issue with the leopard for pouncing down on the neck of a wayward sheep and dragging the carcass back up the rocky outcrop to her cubs for a leisurely feed. It’s what leopards do. Engaging the leopard in any special pleading about the benefits of keeping this particular sheep alive is,Continue reading “Strike while the iron is hot”

Apartheid Reparations and Foreign Investment

Could IBM, Fujitsu, Ford, General Motors , Rheinmetall and Daimler be guilty of “knowing participation in and/or aiding and abetting of the crimes of apartheid; extrajudicial killing; torture; prolonged unlawful detention; and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”? Should they be tried for this crime in a US federal court? If they are found guilty shouldContinue reading “Apartheid Reparations and Foreign Investment”

A back-to-the-future quote from FDR

Here’s FDR in an interesting quote I dug up. It’s from about 1935 – in the lead-up to his re-election in 1936 – and it is made to a journalist from the Hearst organisation. This gives one a sense of how threatening was the Great Depression – to the very system of capitalist accumulation itself. This is,Continue reading “A back-to-the-future quote from FDR”

Government versus the private sector

Paul Krugman tilts at the USA citizen’s default hostility to government. He argues that on health care policy and on banking regulation it is more government, not less, that is needed. Does the same apply in the South African case? I think the issues are significantly different, with the first task in South Africa being toContinue reading “Government versus the private sector”

2010 – imagine the worst

Think of the outrage at the Munich Olympics in the summer of  1974; the Champions League Twenty20 cricket in Mumbai last year; the boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980; bomb threats at the Grand National in 1997; the Sri Lankan marathon massacre in 2008; the extensive security fears at the Ryder Cup post the September 11 attacks andContinue reading “2010 – imagine the worst”

SA pushed to do more on Zimbabwe by Clinton?

Let’s see how that plays… The Voice of America says US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, will, in her meeting with “senior South African officials” in Pretoria today:   push South Africa to do more to counter embattled President Robert Mugabe’s negative effect on the Zimbabwe reform process. South Africa under Thabo Mbeki would have bridled andContinue reading “SA pushed to do more on Zimbabwe by Clinton?”