TREVOR MANUAL will come to rue the day he chose to support the Dollar and devalue the Rand. South Africa’s entry into financial markets has literally cost every man, woman, and child R6000*. In an instant we have wiped out the gains of the last five years, pushing the currency back to levels that are dangerously close to the devaluation which occurred during the mid-nineties. The Reserve Banks activity in buying the Greenback shortly before the devaluation should become a subject of public inquiry, since in so doing, we have allowed our country to yet again become the slave to Wall Street Bankers.
The recent crisis in capitalism comes after the market in derivatives based upon junk bonds was allowed to get out of hand, forcing the collapse of several banks including US Treasury’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. To call it a “sub-prime” crisis is to miss the point about junk bonds. The continued use of complex derivative schemes that leveraged assets that did not exist, or had little worth in the real world from an equity perspective remains. The problem of what Joseph Stiglitz calls “the phantom economy” , in other words, a false economy, is the result of the abandonment of financial regulations in favour of a wholly deregulated market – George W Bush’s supposed radical reforms. The role of the South African Reserve Bank in the critical period before the devaluation needs to be to be investigated, but is not all that surprising, since the Bank has continued to allow itself to be drawn in as a guarantor of last resort, even for debt that it does not own, propping up the system with tax-Rands.