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JPMorgan Chase CE Jamie Dimon admitted last week that he had been “dead wrong” to dismiss concerns about the US bank’s trading a month before posting a $2-billion loss. Stories began circulating in April of material credit derivatives market losses. Dimon initially...
May 25, 2012


Voters across Europe made it plain this month that they are more than unhappy with the austerity programmes currently being implemented by their governments to deal with the sovereign debt crisis. In France, a new ‘growth first’ President has been elected, while in...
May 18, 2012


It emerged last month that corporate deposits in South Africa exceeded R520-billion in January, as companies decided to hoard cash rather than invest, owing to weak domestic confidence and ongoing global economic uncertainty. The figure is below its peak of about...
May 11, 2012


The Department of Trade and Industry has identified a list of more than 70 pharmaceutical products that could be designated for supply from local drug manufacturers for a two-year R2.5-billion oral solid-dosage tender. The pharmaceutical designations for local...
May 04, 2012


All of us agree that the competition authorities have done a tremendous job in clamping down on anticompetitive behaviour. Their high-profile actions against the steel, construction, airline, automotive, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, petrochemicals and food sectors have...
Apr 27, 2012


Until a few weeks ago, all things economic seemed to be going in the right direction – despite ongoing dire warnings from certain economists. Global markets had a great first quarter, the US seemed to be growing and creating jobs, and fears about a Chinese slowdown...
Apr 20, 2012


When hearing that a litre of petrol was poised to rise to close to R12 from April 4, some Gauteng motorists initially thought it was a cruel April Fool’s Day joke. But it wasn’t. Some are also still hoping against hope that the e-toll project will be abandoned later...
Apr 13, 2012


The immediate outlook remains horrible. But one of the highlights of the recent reporting season among South Africa’s listed construction firms was the steady growth reported in orders. Much of this increase also predates some of the workflow that could arise from...
Apr 06, 2012


Most economists still do not believe the South African Reserve Bank will move to raise interest rates any time soon. But governor Gill Marcus has cautioned that inflation pressures are becoming more broad-based and could reflect the emergence of demand pressures. How...
Mar 30, 2012


There is little question that Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises put in an extraordinary effort to help moderate the power tariff increases from April 1, 2012. For their labours, they deserve genuine praise. But the price shocks over the last few years...
Mar 23, 2012

Syrian Siege:

Last week, people were fleeing the Homs suburb of Baba Amr, in Syria. As they fled, they related stories of serious atrocities by the security forces. It is difficult for the claims to be verified, but tales of summary executions and the cutting of prisoners’ throats...
Mar 16, 2012


The opposition remains as vociferous as ever. But the Gauteng e-tolling project appears to be back on the road, literally, with the South African National Roads Agency Limited having received a R5.8-billion fillip from the National Treasury, which has enabled it to...
Mar 09, 2012

Mighty Smack:

Perhaps the only hitting similar in its venom to Richard Levi’s record-breaking performance in Hamilton, New Zealand, was a smack dished out by President Jacob Zuma in response to some outlandish land claim comments made by his Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries...
Mar 02, 2012


The emphasis given to infrastructure development by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address has been widely applauded. But Zuma and his Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission have some way to go if they are to close a credibility gap that...
Feb 24, 2012

LAST NAIL, BUT . . . :

The African National Congress’s (ANC’s) long-awaited report into mine nationalisation may officially still be a ‘study without status’. But it most certainly can be seen as the beginning of the end for a policy proposal that would have been an ‘unmitigated disaster’...
Feb 17, 2012


In January, Apple launched its iBooks textbooks for the iPad tablet, leaving school authorities globally to consider whether or not to adopt such materials. Some South African schools have already decided to take the leap, with many of the early adopters being the...
Feb 10, 2012


Internal African National Congress politics aside, most South Africans are relieved that the National Treasury is finally taking active steps to deal with poor financial controls, fraud and corruption in Limpopo. It is unfortunate that the intervention has become...
Feb 03, 2012

Screeching Halt:

The proposed February implementation date for the controversial Gauteng e-tolling system was unceremoniously scrapped in early January by the newly appointed South African National Roads Agency Limited board. No promise was made about abandoning tolling entirely,...
Jan 27, 2012
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