So much has happened this week — maybe it is the last surge of fervour before the lull of the end of the year: the DA has had a week horribilis that will hopefully precede much-needed introspection; Brexit has had its feathers severely ruffled once again, but is seemingly moving closer to a possible conclusion; and SARS relaunched a unit focused on revenue collection from large corporates and high net worth individuals.
- World economy leaders flirted with how to go about implementing fiscal stimulus to revive the sagging world economy.
- In an interview, incoming European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has said that President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has dented global economic growth and that he could remove this uncertainty and lift that burden.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to surrender and postpone Brexit this week after UK lawmakers accepted the principles of the Brexit deal but not the timeline to implement. He has now called for a snap election to take place on 12 December 2019, which will in effect act as a second referendum. The vote on whether the election will happen will take place on Monday.
- Meanwhile, the European Union is in debates in Brussels over how long of an extension to grant Britain over the Brexit process.
- Vice President Mike Pence has come out swinging against China’s stance on liberty and human rights, also expressing support for Hong Kong’s protest movement. Additionally, Pence criticised the NBA and Nike for their support of China.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will retain power after winning the election but with a minority government. He now leads with the support of a smaller left-leaning party.
- Google’s supercomputer has completed a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken predeceasing supercomputers thousands of years to perform. This could signal massive growth in computing power.
- In a major development, Mmusi Maimane stepped down as leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and resigned from his position in parliament. Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip, soon followed suit. The DA is now leaderless, follow this link to a scathing article on Helen Zille (please note that the views expressed in this link are not necessarily those held by Dynasty Asset Management). To add to this, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, also resigned from his post.
- The South African Revenue Service relaunched a unit focused on revenue collection from large corporates and high net worth individuals that was shut down under Tom Moyane’s leadership.
- Follow this link for an article written by Chris Yelland of EE publishers about how a series of failures and design flaws brought Medupi to its knees, causing the load-shedding experienced last week.
- Eskom’s generating capacity has recovered from last week’s outages and there has been no subsequent load-shedding. However, the woes continue in that Eskom’s ongoing maintenance issues, incorrectly specified and faulty engineering, and a lack of spare capacity, mean that it is probably not the last we will see of load-shedding. This is a major hurdle to South Africa’s rising levels of sovereign debt and our economic growth prospects.
- Goldman Sachs said that there is nowhere to go in South Africa but up, saying that, “the good news is our (South Africa’s) growth outlook has risk to the upside, there is no risk to the downside, because we are at the bottom”. That is an interesting take on the situation!