It's just a jump to the left, or a step to the right.
Today there has been a fair amount of comment devoted to Trevor Manuel and his address to the National Assembly yesterday.
There have been grumblings that the cause of the financial crisis was unfettered and unrestrained free market policies. Whether this is true is debatable but it certainly happened under the watch of the neo liberals.
Trevor warned that a policy shift would damage our ability to maintain the national economy by driving away foreign investment and dampening growth according to Business Day.
Justmoney does not hold a political opinion, we like to look at all the options rather than get blinded by political opinion, but even the Huffington Post in the US is of the opinion that "Every economy in the world must [...] submit to policing to avoid the financial skulduggery that has brought the world to its knees".
Already in South Africa we are largely immune to the first causes of the crash due to our prudent implementation of the National Credit Act (NCA) last year.
Business Report came with the headline "Steady as she goes, says Captain Manuel to Good Ship SA" basically saying that we should stick with our prudent policies and that Manuel had said that his office was inundated with calls from foreign countries wanting to study the legislation that we have already put in place. The Huffington Post carried a story by a US Senator who has proposed a bill in their legislature to introduce credit controls to the US economy with his Credit Card Reform Act.
It can be seen that the NCA which imposed legislative control on credit and lending restraining the fully unfettered free market and protected us. This is not a political argument rather one of sensible and serious attention to the hidden hands at play in economics. While some will advocate more market freedom and others more populist polices, the Treasury reckons what it is doing already will deliver us growth of 3.7% this year in the face of a global recession. The extent of this recession is covered by Business Day.
Business Report quoted Director General of the Treasury Lesetja Kganyago that it was not all "doom and gloom" for the economy and that the outlook was fairly positive for the future. iAfrica however carried a dissident opinion that Stats SA would be releasing shocking figures on November 25th. They also supported this by saying that the private sector which accounts for 70% of South Africa's GDP is contracting and would not be carried entirely by the 30% of public expenditure which is expected to increase. Time will tell which opinion is the most accurate. However even Trevor Manuel as quoted in the Business Times believes that our growth expectations and our capacity to achieve this are not matching up.
The upshot of this is that there is still space for entrepreneurs in the market and the Economist looked at what the effects the global crisis will have on start ups.
In other news India's Livemint reports that the secretary general of the UN Ban Ki-moon has called a global meeting of heads of state in Doha, Qatar to discuss solutions to the crisis, for the 28th of November.