Friday, 7 November 2014


Central Banks would appear to be a close-knit lot. No sooner had the US Federal Reserve stopped buying its own government’s debt with freshly minted dollars, when their opposite number in Japan started to do it. This seemingly never ending flow of crisp new money pouring  into the financial systems tempts investors to believe that stock market prices are underpinned and so they set off on another buying frenzy. This is very pleasing for the governors of those banks who can point out to the political decision makers that: “See, everything is just great!” Meanwhile the debts mount – but no one seems to mind. Paying them off will be someone else’s problem.
Quite correctly there has been scant hysteria so far about the announcement by one of the self-important rating agencies that as of last night it has moved SA down a notch on their ludicrously lengthy scale of credit worthiness. However, they also adjusted their outlook on the country from “stable” to “negative” and that deserves notice. Reasonable people will not dispute that view. The tax man published his survey of his “clients” this week and without drowning readers in statistics it can be noted that SA is a nation in which most citizens enjoy representation without taxation. While historically the converse of this has often triggered a violent response, in our case the heavily taxed are seeking quieter unostentatious remedies.
It is unlikely that economic growth and higher employment will return to this country until we are offered a government which doesn’t feel capable of interfering at every level of human activity. Furthermore, we need leaders bold enough to reject the race-based cadre-deployment policies that have plagued this nation for about a century. There are talents, skills and drives aplenty, just leave them alone to find out what works.
A typical example of how socialists fail to understand what investing is about appeared in a report prepared by three parliamentary researchers. After surveying cases of Foreign Direct Investment world-wide they reached the indignant conclusion that the money foreign companies invested can be overtaken by the remittances they send abroad. That, dear researchers, is the point! When you invest, as opposed to donate, you expect not only one day to get your money back but, also to get a return on that money. Frankly, the foreign firms are not that interested in that politically correct stuff like job creation and skills transfer unless they can see how it could make them more profitable. There is nothing wrong with this attitude. After all it creates economic activities that were not there before and, guess what the result is? Employment and taxes happen, and all that remains for you, the government, to do, is to stamp their passports and get out of the way.
A really alarming flyer was delivered to the house recently. Under the banner “You Deserve Better” three local political activists quote a quite terrible national crime statistic and urge the Durban municipality to do something about it.  Quite right too. We do deserve better. The puzzle is that the flyer is published by the present ruling party. Are they suggesting its time to vote for someone else?
National police commissioner Phiyega is surely busy sketching designs for a new medal. This one will be for officers who are attacked while lunching and first recipients will be the two members of her force who, while stopped at a roadside stall purchasing snacks, were robbed of their weapons and locked in the back of their own van. Another benefit is that it will undoubtedly soon  join the rack of undeserved other gongs that she sports on her chest.
Isn’t it fun to watch our national sides winning? Especially against the antipodeans. Any word on why the Aussie T20 side are dressed to look like All Blacks? Certain voices suggest that Ireland at home will not be easy for the ‘boks tomorrow. It’s such a late kick off it will not be easy to be fully alert to be able to watch.
James Greener
7th November 2014