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Finance minister Tito Mboweni is certain that it will be a piece of cake to get a $4.2bn loan from the International Monetary Fund (IFM), that there will be no strings attached and that the interest rate will be zero.

This is not 100% accurate but it is probably a fair enough approximation of the situation. The IMF is the global fire brigade, to steal a phrase from economist Mike Schussler, and it wants to put out the fire that the Covid-19 pandemic has started as quickly as it can. It has made its full lending capacity of $1-trillion available and has put $100bn into two emergency facilities, which countries can access fast...

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