As we have discussed before, equity markets have historically performed well over the months of October, November and December. We have seen a steady rise in South African shares over the last 40 days and the US markets are hitting record highs. The rand has strengthened somewhat, even though Moody’s moved our credit rating from stable to negative.
In South America we are seeing violent protests, similar to what we saw a few years back during the Arab Spring uprisings, which led to regime changes. Bolivia had elections which did not go well; Chile implemented austerity measures which sparked the protests; Venezuela are still battling a corrupt dictator; and Argentina kicked out their pro-business president and replaced him with a socialist pro-populist one.
With youth unemployment at 50%, South Africa might be heading the same way soon; but perhaps we will see another miracle like we saw in 1994, and dodge the bullet of political and economic meltdown. We are a tenacious people and have the ability to find a way where there is none. It has been a long, volatile year and most of us are looking forward to a few days of rest and recharging.
But, first we have to hope for a trade deal between China and the US; some actual structural changes in our economy; and some jail time for the people who have stolen the last decade of our political and economic lives.