Short- and long-term unemployment

The US, despite its nascent recovery, is learning some hard lessons about the differences between short-term unemployment and long-term unemployment. South Africa should have some lessons to teach here. We have enough experience to expect some insights. Sadly, I’m not sure we’ve done much except become accustomed to it. Long-term unemployed – one definition is […]

European deflation risks not deflating

The UK Telegraph (and other sources) are highlighting the rising panic about Euro area deflation. For those Austrian / hard money / gold standard / bitcoin / generally poorly informed amongst you, it’s not that deflation is itself a problem, but that it creates scenarios of debt spirals increasing the real value of debt obligations and […]

Education, CAs and how long is long to study

A recent Moneyweb article poses the question of whether Chartered Accountants in South Africa should study longer. The problem is that high schools are failing learners and many accounting students start out with significant literacy and numerical weaknesses in their learning. Now, as it turns out, I’m not a supporter of increasing the required length […]

Sewing seeds of manufacturing growth

The NY Times has a fascinating article on the increasing demand for American made goods, particularly textiles, and the limited supply of labour with the relevant skills. There is plenty more to the story than just manufacturing increasing in the US – it also includes an historical perspective on the sources of labour in the […]

How to draw conclusion on Vavi’s R4,500 minimum wage

Vavi has disappointed me with his call for a R4,500 minimum wage. There is no question that higher pay is better, all else being equal. I expect the overwhelming majority of eyes that have ever glanced at this blog belong to beings that earn more than R4,500 a month. There is no question that lower […]

Fixing SA education – political will not (only) money

I blog from time to time about education in South African and its frightening link to unemployment and all the societal ills that go along with that. I also point out that as a nation we spend a fair amount of money on education with very poor results. This story about absenteeism amongst South African […]

Worrying signs of renewed credit crunch

The last month hasn’t been pretty for economic performance, credit or retail sales. Everyone from Richemont to Mr Price has taken a beating.  Woolies is down about 13% in the last month. And now both Capitec and African Bank are reporting worse default experience (respectively through temporary strike-blips or through a cyclical downwards trend) and […]

Policy should include clear views on how it will be measured

This is getting ridiculous.  Shockingly bad policy is now being shown empirically to be shockingly bad. Only thing is, the policy proponents aren’t admitting they were wrong. I get randomness. I understand that we don’t know exactly where the UK would be without austerity policies.  We don’t have a control group, there’s no clear comparison. […]