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Short Notes

Short Note                                                                              19 November 2015

Throwing the Kitchen-sink  

by Cees Bruggemans          words 500

Ask a mainstream academic economist what is wrong with SA policy, and he/she will throw the academic kitchen-sink at you.

In other words, the collective technical western wisdom accumulated not only in the economic sphere these past 300 years (economics 101) but also the financial, legal & philosophical underpinnings going much further back in time, indeed in some instances not just centuries but millennia.

And yet this doesn't turn out to be the “main” problem to be mastered.

Short Note                                                                              18 November 2015


by Cees Bruggemans          words 550

What's striking recently is the retreat of Chinese luxury, the impression of weak global industry but strong services sectors, weak developing but resilient developed market economies, the advance of Putin, the SA drought, and EM & commodity producer woes. But is it transitory or more permanent?

Short Note                                                                              14 November 2015

Modern Quotations     

by Cees Bruggemans          words 500

Now and then, one comes across a paragraph either full of wisdom, or shedding light where only darkness used to prevail. I had a few such sensations in quick succession this week, with deep implications for economic life. Herewith is what made me sit up:

Short Note                                                                              10 November 2015

Countdown, Ignition, liftoff     

by Cees Bruggemans          words 580

Following startlingly robust October employment data, the Fed is likely to be finally ready to start its ignition sequence, after which it is “all stations go” and we have liftoff (16 December). After which eons of radio silence, for the Fed has promised to normalise very, very slowly, in slow-mo, like a chameleon crossing the road in measured fashion….clearly not the one-&-only Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” or the equally thrilling “YMCA”.

Short Note                                                                              3 November 2015

Things warranting concern   

by Cees Bruggemans          words 750

The things to fear most at present? There is so much to choose from. Even when excluding the personal and focusing only on the economy, there still remains a rich list.

Short Note                                                                              28 October 2015

SA labour force dynamics    

by Cees Bruggemans          words 360

SA has two major labour market surveys, both run by StatsSA. They both use acceptable methodology. But their messages differ somewhat.

Short Note                                                                              22 October 2015

Revolt in Times of Flux  

by Cees Bruggemans          words 430

Discontent of all kinds simmers just below the surface, indicative that the nation’s managers aren't quite managing to stay on top of things. This could get worse, if expectations keep expanding exponentially while delivery keeps failing to keep track. These are difficult years in an ever more difficult decade.

Short Note                                                                              20 October 2015

Slim pickings to rejoice   

by Cees Bruggemans          words 600

In stressed times, even small mercies loom large. And so in the short term we can identify a few snippets supporting our drifting condition.

Short Note                                                                              13 October 2015

The Big SA job disrupters  

by Cees Bruggemans          words 400

We tend to think of global shocks & their recession consequences, and excessive domestic wage demands inviting businesses to hold the line on wage bills by way of other means, as the big threats to jobs.

But a bigger threat to our employment by far might be structural & ongoing by way of technological disruption, a global reality and not bypassing us.

Short Note                                                                              8 October 2015

SA Industry Line-Up Update  

by Cees Bruggemans          words 470

The 3Q15 keeps shaping poorly, but it isn't all gloom & doom.

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