Business as usual

This past week we saw the familiar pattern repeat itself in world markets. The US shares took a beating early in the week, just to bounce back later in the week. The greatly feared debt ceiling crisis in America was averted by a temporary lifting thereof, enabling the US government to pay its debt. This is a story repeating itself annually, but still the equity markets rally on the news. South African commodity shares got a bit of a lift and even the shattered Chinese tech and internet stocks like Alibaba and Tencent got a big bounce. It seems October is going to be a very strange month with lots of volatility; and a deeper correction of 10% or more is not yet ruled out.

But, as we always say at JWR, keep the balance. We all tend to focus a lot on the day-to-day issues like stock market moves and political rhetoric. We worry about the pothole down the street and whether we should get the large cappuccino instead of the regular one. It is usually not until something really big hits us that we turn our attention back to what is really important in life.

Covid is under control now and South Africa has been taken off the UK’s red list, opening up travel between the two countries. This is very important news for a lot of people in the hospitality industry. Another big breakthrough is a new malaria vaccine, which could save a lot of lives in Africa where more than 260 000 children die of malaria each year.

Perspective is a fantastic thing and it can be achieved fairly easily by going on the internet and searching for images of our planet from the Hubble telescope; or reading about how our space scientists have paved the way for us earthlings to go to Mars in the not too distant future. Sweating the small stuff has its place, but taking a holiday from the day-to-day grind and expanding our sense of wonder is equally important.

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