It is interesting to see the international political environment unfold. The US has gone from a country that was the leader of international diplomacy and has turned towards isolationism and protectionism. While Russia and China, traditionally isolated countries, are coming to the fore of negotiations, communication, and diplomacy. Is this potentially a foreshadowing of future roles?
- The Turkish lira is heading toward a currency crisis. Over the last week is has nosedived, falling by 5% just yesterday.
- Donald Trump has called off the summit between North Korea and the US citing aggression on the part of North Korea. North Korea has said that they are still open to discussion.
- On Thursday North Korea dismantled its Punggye-ri nuclear test facility. This was considered a gesture of good faith ahead of the now cancelled summit.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged that Russia sought to elect Donald Trump as President before the 2016 election.
- After highlighting China’s stance on car tariffs as unfair to the US and a main point of the potential trade war, Trump announced that he is pushing for tariffs on cars and trucks imported to the US. This will target the US’s allies.
- Additionally, Trump has signed a huge rollback of financial regulation implemented after the 2008 financial crisis.
- The US Justice Department has launched an investigation into Bitcoin price manipulation.
- The ANC held a land summit over the weekend and revealed that it is not necessary to change the constitution regarding land expropriation without compensation as the constitution already provides for it. Follow the link for an interesting article written by respected economist Azar Jammine, titled Rand and the land: The key risks facing SA’s economy in months to come.
- Gwede Mantashe is implementing the removal of a clause in the mining charter that he says looks suspiciously like a “Gupta-clause”.
- The CEO of South African Airways announced that they would receive an R5bn bailout from the government. This is in direct contradiction to what we published last week – that the National Treasury’s Director General, Dondo Mogajane, said that the forthcoming bailout for SAA would not include government money.
- Retail sales for March were a positive surprise this is most likely due to the low inflation and interest rate environment.