Over the last week, the bizarreness of Trump continued, from tax cuts for the rich to embarrassment at the UN General Assembly; Angela Merkel has kept her position as Chancellor of Germany; and an ex-CEO of Trillian has become a massively valuable whistle-blower in the case to expose South African State Capture. Catch up on the week’s economic and business news:
- Angela Merkel both won and lost the German elections on Sunday, her party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and sister party the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won 33% of the vote. This is the lowest result the party has received since 1949 and is below expectations in the run-up to the election.
- Last week at the UN General Assembly, Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea,” he also said that his friends go to Africa, “trying to get rich” and made up a country – Nambia.
- Donald Trump has extended his travel ban to include restricting citizens from Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela from entering the United States.
- Trump’s proposed tax reforms: a 15% decrease in corporate tax, a 4.5% drop in taxes for the middle class, a reduction in tax brackets and an end to inheritance tax. Reaction to the plan is mixed, with some raising questions over its viability in light of America’s seven trillion-dollar deficit.
- S&P downgraded China’s sovereign debt from AA- to A+. The rating agency cited debt levels and a decrease in financial stability as the reasons for the downgrade.
- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept interest rates on hold and made no changes to monetary policy – BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that it was too early to taper quantitative easing.
- The South Africa Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged. There were expectations that there would be a decrease of 25 basis points. Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, cited uncertainties in the economy and a potential 20% tariff hike from Eskom for the decision.
- Bianca Goodson, an ex-Trillian CEO, has blown the whistle on Trillian’s role in State Capture. Follow the link for her full statement.
- Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) held a nationwide march demanding the removal of President Jacob Zuma.
- Malusi Gigaba, South African Finance Minister, needs billions in order to bail out State Owned Enterprise South African Airways again, the due date is, 30 September 2017, and there is much contention over where he will find the money, including reports that the PIC has been requested to provide support.
Source: Dynasty, Stanlib, Prescient, Moneyweb, fin24, biznews, Daily Maverick and Bloomberg Markets etc