Economics - Some years back, local chicken farmers complained that they were not being protected by the state. We have all eaten imported cheap chickens – the cost was the closure of a great many local chicken producers. Sugarcane farmers now call for protection and assistance: one wonders whether they will be heeded.
Economy - Sales of new passenger cars slumped by some 10% in January compared to that of the January before. Whilst optimism is permeating our economic outlook for the year, this figure is disturbing: it would appear to be a marker of economic sentiment which does not auger well.
Economy - The Absa PMI rose to marginally positive in December, the best level of last year. The Business Confidence Index deteriorated marginally to 31 in the last quarter. The Consumer Confidence Index settled at a marginally positive rate.
The first time is a mistake; the second... When a clerk, my secretary was the erstwhile shot-put and discus champion of the Eastern Cape; not a lightweight by any means…Incensed but co-guilty, I had, late-night, insulted her on tape. Unpleasantries forgotten, I rose to meet her in the morn. She mo*red me, decked me and proceeded to wail publicly in my boss’ ABSA foyer.
With pleasure - In 1985 I was hired as a conveyancer and was stuck into Groot Dries’ agency conveyancing practice. Learning to collaborate was the first order of the day. Stowell’s employed a receptionist who, when asked to be put through, would respond just: with pleasure”. She had a dark, husky and incredibly sexy voice. I was titillated beyond measure.
I have a friend who collects strange friends. Several of them are involved in MMA and such. They ride Harleys, sport tattoos, carry (in American parlance) and, if they weren’t such a nice buggers, would scare the daylights out of most law-abiding citizens.
Borshare mistake - We are tuff okes, tired but tuff, nikse limp-wristed Swedish massages, we go for the deep tissue massage; vir ouens met spiere. Sommer vir n uur.
Gentle Reader, In praise of … cost? - Bhaktapur is the cultural capital of Nepal. It is also busy, poor and dusty. It takes me 8 minutes and 70 Rupees to be diagnosed, issued with a script, taken up into ER, purchase the drug and be given a rabies shot. That is not R10. The SA cost of one dose of rabies vaccine (excluding the service) is in the order of R550.
Economy - The US is said to be the largest giver of foreign assistance: this president Trump wishes to curtail when it comes to countries unfriendly to the US. Understandably, the threat of cutting off aid to countries that vote against the US at the UN’s smacks of coercion, but one cannot really take issue with the principle at stake; can one?
Business - Coca-Cola is reportedly in talks with a Canadian marijuana producer to develop health-focused beverages that will ease inflammation, pain and cramping… Surely someone should be doing field tests in Margate?
Economics - A recent article about the Tanzanian president, urging women to throw away their contraceptives, because the country needs more people, dealt with the negative effects of population growth. At the back of my mind I could not help but wonder whether that president was not angling for so-called demographically driven economic growth: this is a seemingly self-sustaining method of achieving overall economic growth, albeit most probably at the expense of individual wealth. Looks good on paper though.
Economy - Quite an interesting take on the technical recession we have entered, was a note by minister Nene that the technical recession (caused by a dramatic contraction of the agricultural sector output) was, in part, caused by the previous over-performance of the agricultural sector and not the expropriation debate. Perhaps.. but see below.
Business - Have you ever wondered why Muslims do so well at business? They are a community of traders and entrepreneurs descended of Indian and Arab- Muslim traders and involve themselves in community collaboration. Hate them or love them, the fact is that they, much like the Jewish community, punch way above their weight.
Business Review - Most ex large-practice conveyancers have a love/hate relationship with banks. I share the sentiment. I business-bank with Nedbank to access, what has become the industry standard for handling client deposits and guarantees, Corporate Saver.
Business Review - It is common cause that our SOE’s have been managed into financial difficulty. What to do? Borrow money from the public service pension scheme to such an entity and convert the loan to equity and voilà, the problem is solved. The government still controls the SOE involved and the debt disappears.
Economic review - The Rand has plummeted against the US dollar of late: understandably if one considers the poor performance of our retail stocks of late, growing state debt and so on. Seemingly out of step are the following:
Economic review - It is not only South Africa that is again experiencing an economic slowdown: the European Commission cut its forecasts for the Eurozone’s economic growth this year to 2.1 percent. The economies of both France and Germany are expected to lose steam both this year and the next. The slowdown is attributable to the growing trade tensions with the US.
Order without law: ADR - Universities, in the past, taught on the assumption that litigation is the primary method of dispute resolution. This mindset is therefore that which tends to dominate when lawyers are involved in dispute.
Economic review - It has been said that the state needs to nationalise the SA Reserve Bank. One of the arguments against nationalisation is that the bank does not make much money anyway. Judge for yourself: The March profit before tax of that entity was R3.2bn; its governor earns R7m per annum.
Economy - Earlier in the year we were treated to predictions of anything between 1.8 – 2.1% economic growth in South Africa. Good news, by latter-day standards. The effect of this was an uptick in business confidence and the like.
Economy - Can you remember when the Reserve Bank first had a go at VBS Mutual Bank? There were cries of racism (the Reserve Bank, really?) and so on. The latest is that several municipalities stand to lose some R1.5bn as a result of the shenanigans within that institution. One can but wonder what happened to those initially distraught?
Economy - Can Gordhan sell SAA off or close it down? Leich (Daily Maverick) opines no. Who would buy a terminally ill airline?
Economy - Warren Buffet has likened Bitcion to rat poison squared. One buys Bitcoin in the expectation that a rising price will be created as more buyers would want to buy the same item and pay more. Interestingly this was said just prior to reports of a plunge (a drop, yes but hardly that) in crypto currencies’ price.
Economic review - Faust made a deal with the devil: so too, it is said, did the USA in the Bretton Woods agreement; upon which agreement our current practice of using the US dollar as a reserve currency, is founded.
Business - The role of salary in motivation is oft explored; the summation of which is self evident: salary matters much for the poor and much less for the wealthy. Large organisations tend to award across the board salary increases, which, incidentally, is going to be about 3% this year, according to PayScale.
Economic review - There are a number of signals that our economy is picking up. One of them, significant for the likes of I, is a report from Loos that, on a scale of 10, our housing sales activity rating rose to 6.18 points in the 1st quarter; up from a multi-year low in the previous quarter.
Gentle reader, this is the latest edition of a series now 21 years old. Snippets commenced publication in 1997, was modernised and rechristened in 2007 as BusinessBytes and now, owing to a restraint, must needs re-brand. You may note the image of an extract of Posada’s Calavera of Don Quixote; a reminder to an absurdly chivalric that one should not take oneself too seriously. Regards, Dr. Daan Steenkamp