Income inequality over average income

In South Africa we have a major income inequality problem. It’s historical (accumulated wealth, accumulated skills) and current (disastrous public education) and isn’t going away any time soon. The free market argument here is to forget about income inequality per se and focus on economy friendly, business friendly policies that will grow the entire economy […]

More on gender and analytical problems

Here is another interesting story with a gender angle. A study shows that stockholders in companies with women in the Board achieved better returns than those without. The obvious and likely correct point is that women add something valuable to the Board and is the company performs better. Diversity is a good thing in general, […]

Three Years of Mumbling

I can’t believe how the same blog post is basically exactly relevant, word for word, 3 years later. Eskom produces electricity for the country and makes a profit or a loss doing so. This profit or loss goes back into treasury, which, inefficiencies aside, belongs collectively to the citizens of South Africa. If prices are […]

Taxidermist Time

Clem Sunter outlines some scenarios and gives them probabilities. I’d stay as far away from this assessment as possible. In his explanation he demonstrates several times a pretty flimsy, superficial understanding of economics. I don’t think he knows the first thing about why unemployment rates have dropped in the US. ┬áHe points to the dip […]

Book Review: The End of Influence

Brad de Long and Stephen S. Cohen have a new book called The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money. It’s an interesting, informative, provocative and relevant read, providing context for the economic position the US finds itself in now. Perhaps of more direct interest, the issues of currency manipulation (done to the US), foreign policy, industrial (and defence) policy, trade deficits and long-term structural problems within an economy are definitely relevant to South Africa.

It’s not the traditional rip-roaring holiday read, but the style is light enough to enjoy and doesn’t have the density of statistics and numerical proof offered by This Time is Different.

We can’t all be Germany

Some interesting thoughts on what drives Germany’s apparent success. The article does understate the problem that Germany’s success is significantly export driven – not everyone can export for obvious reasons. Also, the author notes that consumption has grown more slowly than economic growth without understanding that is exactly the source of an export-encouraged boom. Growth […]

NBMR – still relevant

With several life insurers reporting financial results, including horribly broken measures of new business profitability such as VNB margin or VNB / PVFNBP, it feels like time to roll out New Business Margin on Revenue again and describe why it is a much better measure. It is a good time, but I don’t currently have […]