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Seeraj Mohamed

Seeraj Mohamed
Mohamed is the director of the Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development Research Programme in the School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand – seeraj.mohamed@wits.ac.za

Tito's torture transforms us all into subprime borrowers

By: Seeraj Mohamed     26th October 2007 South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor Tito Mboweni is transforming creditworthy South Africans into subprime borrowers. 

Complex credit conditions are a cause for concern

By: Seeraj Mohamed     19th October 2007 National Credit Regulator (NCR) CEO Gabriel Davel recently told Parliament's Trade and Industry Committee that there are about 300 000 people in South Africa who are so indebted that their monthly debt repayments far exceed their incomes. Special arrangements have had to be made with their... 

Growth, not interest-rate hikes

By: Seeraj Mohamed     12th October 2007 The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has a difficult job deciding whether to increase interest rates or not. The turmoil in global credit markets and the possibility of a recession in the US are two recent issues that have to be factored into its thinking. The size of South Africa's trade... 

The power of finance

By: Seeraj Mohamed     5th October 2007 The financial sector has grown hugely powerful during the period of financial liberalization and global economic integration over the past 3 decades. With power comes the ability to rig the game. We are fed a myth that globalization and financial liberalization means a smaller role for states and... 

Continued contagion and more credit crunch

By: Seeraj Mohamed     28th September 2007 Over the past few weeks, there has been more contagion from the US subprime housing market. These events show us how far and wide securitised US subprime market debt has been bought. This risky debt was repackaged and sold as relatively low risk financial assets. One wonders how much of this debt... 

Clouds on the horizon for economic growth

By: Seeraj Mohamed     21st September 2007 There is much optimism about the future performance of the South African economy. The 2010 soccer World Cup, massive infrastructure investment and new platinum mines will help sustain relatively high levels of economic growth for the next five to ten years. The looming recession in the US economy... 

Owning versus renting

By: Seeraj Mohamed     14th September 2007 South Africans believe that home ownership is better than rental. Given the damage caused by the subprime market collapse in the US, it makes sense for us to reappraise our views on rental versus owning one's home. 

Skills development and the proper deployment of skills

By: Seeraj Mohamed     7th September 2007 The skills shortage in South Africa is generally accepted as one of the country's most serious problems for achieving future economic growth and development. The solution to this problem is generally agreed to be improvement in education and training. We have to develop the skills of young... 

Possible danger for South Africa from global credit crunch

By: Seeraj Mohamed     31st August 2007 A flurry of central bank activity has occurred over the past weeks to ease conditions in credit markets. We have seen the problems in credit markets developing over a long period of time. The huge levels of global liquidity caused a huge amount of risky, wasteful financial-market activity. The... 

Global financial instability and new industrial policies

By: Seeraj Mohamed     17th August 2007 At the end of July, the MD of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo de Rato, made a speech in Thailand titled 'Caital Flows in an International World'. 

Better reporting on financial markets needed

By: Seeraj Mohamed     10th August 2007 The collapse of the subprime market in the US is showing the interconnectedness of different markets in the global economy. Finance is the thread that binds these markets together. 

You have to dance at the liquidity party

By: Seeraj Mohamed     27th July 2007 The question I have been asking myself for the last three or four years is when is the next financial market crash going to happen? Sometimes I feel like those prophets of doom who walk around with boards stating that 'the end is nigh'. But then I read the Financial Times and the Wall... 

Be serious about unemployment

By: Seeraj Mohamed     20th July 2007 There is a strong association in the minds of many South Africans between unemployment and labour-market flexibility. The message from business and the media has been so strong, consistent and one-sided that the only explanation for unemployment in South Africa that people have heard is that... 

Cov-lite craziness and other greed induced folly

By: Seeraj Mohamed     6th July 2007 There may be a slowdown in private-equity deals and mergers and acquisitions (M&As) over the next year or two because of the recent financial troubles of some hedge funds. On the other hand, the craziness in global debt markets may continue and the frenzied activities of hedge funds may lead... 

Beware of bond sell-offs

By: Seeraj Mohamed     29th June 2007 There was a scary sell-off in the bond market in the US and Europe this month. June 2007 may well go down in history as the month that marked the end of a period of low global interest rates. These events show that no trend lasts forever. Many investment analysts and traders had begun to assume... 

More power to the Public Investment Corporation

By: Seeraj Mohamed     22nd June 2007 Former Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon castigated the CEO of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Brian Molefe, for his attempts to influence the racial balance of the boards of directors of top South African companies. The PIC is powerful because it has a huge asset base and huge future... 

SA should watch Chinese financial markets

By: Seeraj Mohamed     15th June 2007 I hope South Africa’s economic policymakers are paying attention. Events in China’s financial markets are happening so fast that it is hard to keep pace. China, the world’s fourth-largest economy, is among the fastest-growing economies in the world. The World Bank revised its... 

Growing global liquidity means growing risks

By: Seeraj Mohamed     8th June 2007 One of the major concerns of many economists is the impact of high levels of liquidity on the global economy and on individual countries. We have witnessed a steady increase in global liquidity since the 1970s. The development of the euro-dollar market and the end of the Bretton Woods... 

China buys into private equity

By: Seeraj Mohamed     1st June 2007 The recently formed Chinese State investment fund has already started making waves. It has bought a ten percent stake in US private equity company Blackstone. The Chinese government paid $3-billion for its stake in this leading buyout company. The Chinese State investment fund was formed from a... 

Industrial policy in a world dominated by finance

By: Seeraj Mohamed     18th May 2007 The government seems to be getting serious about industrial policy. One hopes that over the next year there will be plans for overall industrial development and also plans for specific industrial sectors. The South African economy has grown recently but during this period we have seen decline in... 

Global financial stability

By: Seeraj Mohamed     11th May 2007 The Bank of England (BoE) warns in its ‘2007 Financial Stability Report’, released on April 26, that a surge in cheap corporate lending with looser credit standards “has increased the vulnerability of the [global financial] system”. They also warn that repackaged loans,... 

Watching the private-equity fad

By: Seeraj Mohamed     4th May 2007 Private equity has become a household term over the last year. The recent growth in private-equity transactions in South Africa has followed global trends. Since we are trend followers, we have the advantage of learning from experiences in other countries. During this post-Enron era, where... 

SA’s new industrial policy

By: Seeraj Mohamed     27th April 2007 The government of South Africa seems to be embarking on a renewed process of developing industrial policy. One hopes that this process has the full backing of senior elected officials and their staff. One hopes that this process will gain quick momentum and that the new industrial policies will... 

A world made crazy by finance

By: Seeraj Mohamed     20th April 2007 The world of finance seems to have gone crazy. The richest country in the world, the US, has the largest budget and trade deficits and huge debt problems. There is a huge amount of global liquidity available at low interest rates. There are housing and financial assets price bubbles in developed... 

Understanding investment

By: Seeraj Mohamed     13th April 2007 We all agree that South Africa requires investment and that the pace of investment should be increased. Government and the media hail the recent growth of investment in the South African economy. However, there is broad recognition that recent economic growth in the South Africa has been the... 

Worrying about the trade deficit

By: Seeraj Mohamed     6th April 2007 We recently heard that the South African trade deficit was more than 7% of the country’s gross domestic product. Government officials said that we do not have to worry about the trade deficit because South Africa receives enough investment flows to allow us to pay for our trade deficit.... 

Fine art and financial bubbles

By: Seeraj Mohamed     30th March 2007 February proved to be a very good month for auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London. A Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art netted about $90-million and was described by the auction house as “the most successful contemporary sale ever staged in Europe” 

Double Dutch hurts South Africa

By: Seeraj Mohamed     23rd March 2007 Dutch disease is the name given to economic problems affecting countries with a rich endowment of minerals resources. 

Burst US housing bubble could hurt South Africa’s growth

By: Seeraj Mohamed     16th March 2007 The US housing bubble has begun to burst and there will be repercussions for the global economy. There is a likelihood of a recession in the US that will reduce global levels of demand. South African policymakers have to develop a strategy for responding to these potential changes in the US and... 

Govt signals a new macroeconomic policy

By: Seeraj Mohamed     2nd March 2007 It took a group led by Harvard economists to convince government that the volatile exchange rate is a problem. 

The wrong economics for addressing unemployment

By: Seeraj Mohamed     16th February 2007 Unemployment was the great concern of the economics profession until the 1970s. During the period after the Great Depression, government policies in most of Europe and the US were focused on alleviating unemployment. 

Unemployment and violent crime

By: Seeraj Mohamed     9th February 2007 There is great concern about violent crime in South Africa. All our lives are touched by it. 

Policy lessons from Thailand

By: Martin Zhuwakinyu     19th January 2007 Thai stocks plummeted on December 19, 2006, when a number of foreign investors dumped their Thai stock. 

Invest instead of spending and speculating

By: Seeraj Mohamed     15th December 2006 Look around and tell me whether South Africa looks like a country where the citizens are serious about development. 

Be careful what you take credit for

By: Seeraj Mohamed     8th December 2006 Finance Minister Trevor Manuel claims that government’s management of the economy is the major factor behind the “success story” of the economy today. 

Unregulated global financial risks

By: Seeraj Mohamed     1st December 2006 Finance Minister Trevor Manuel recently announced that the G20 (Group of 20 nations) will try to better understand the functioning of private equity funds and hedge funds over the next year. 

The costs of ongoing exchange-rate volatility

By: Seeraj Mohamed     24th November 2006 We seem to have grown so accustomed to the volatility of the rand that its recent rapid depreciation was not a concern to many people. 

Christmas cheer despite Tito’s grinching

By: Seeraj Mohamed     17th November 2006 The grinch this year is Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni. Many South Africans are gearing up for their Christmas spending sprees despite warnings that we consume too much and save too little. 

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