I felt it in Johannesburg in 1998: a gloom that set in as the Reserve Bank hiked rates to 20%, crushing our economy. I felt it in London in 2001 in the middle of economic slowdown: a pervading stoic sombreness. I felt it in Reykjavik in 2009 when the global financial crisis occurred: a disbelieving shock and anger from a desperate society.

Now I feel it in Cape Town. It feels like a time warp back to London in 2001. Economists are reluctant to call 2001 a recession because technically it didn’t meet the definition. In reality, it was a developed market slowdown and, if you were in SA you probably didn’t even notice it. However, it felt very real in London, where jobs were lost and businesses closed...

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