David Gracey

David Gracey

Head of Foreign Exchange and Fixed Income Trading

Currency Comment - Waiting for the FED at Jackson Hole

    All eyes are on the news that will come out of the Jackson Hole Symposium.

    In the meantime the Rand is acting like a newcomer to an LSD party. Is it red, is it green , or is it somewhere in-between.

    Last week saw everyone fretting about the Rand making new (recent) lows….today we are scratching our heads as the Rand again looks like it wants to strengthen back below 15.

     It’s all terribly confusing….let’s hope that news out of Jackson Hole provides some clarity and direction.

    In the meantime, let's visit some of the recent events making headlines.

    I see our Minister of Social (un)development has come up with a grand scheme to fleece even more money from the beleaguered taxpayer in South Africa. Framed as a grand “social security” fund, the green paper proposes a 12% tax on all employed South Africans. This goes to the very core of ANC economic policy. Tax, an Tax and Tax. And then when that is not enough (let’s not even get started on where all the money goes – I have not yet taken my blood pressure tablets), lets propose some new tax. And when that predictably fails, Government rolls out the old “let’s get our grubby little mitts on the private pensions”. And then finally – maybe we should nationalise the Reserve Bank, because perhaps we can print the money we need?

    And let’s not forget the grand NHI plan – in the hands of the same department that handed out a 150 million rand “communications” tender, to someone who allegedly cozied up to the health minister and his family.

    Every 5 years our election posters scream – [insert party name here] will create x million jobs, yet we spend the remaining time destroying confidence through antiquated policy implementation so that we can call each other comrade, and wallow in our collective unemployment misery.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the Governing party spent as much time as it did fleecing current taxpayers, in actually implementing policies that grow the tax base? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if government social grant spend actually decreased as a consequence of employment growth? But here we are ….trying to debate policies that will certainly drive confidence and money offshore. It’s so damn depressing.

    Moving on……Bitcoin, remember her……also as volatile as the wife who discovered compromising pictures on her husbands' phone.

    It's back at 50 000. After falling over 50% from its all-time highs, it’s now rallied some 60% from its recent lows. Much of the dialogue during this period has focused on regulation of the crypto industry. Some countries don’t know what to do. Others have embraced the technology, and yet others are trying to get their heads around regulating the industry. China is trying to ban the mining of crypto on the basis that it consumes too much energy, yet all this does is direct further investment into renewable crypto mining energy generation. It seems to me that the crypto cycle supply chain is maturing and that it will be impossible to put the cat back in the box (Schrodinger’s or Jon’s)

    So we wait for Jackson Hole testimony, and try to deal with the fickle nature of markets at the moment.

    Big ups to the SA under 20’s men’s relay team for breaking the world record. Big ups to the Bokke, I'm so glad the rugby championships are still going ahead because I can’t wait to see us against the mighty all blacks. Big ups to my soccer team, and big ups to Man U for the draw. #oleinforever

    Have a great day further.