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There are three unrelated sets of control — on taxis, foreign exchange and credit — which expose a pervasive problem. Rhetoric that legitimises control seldom coincides with real-world consequences. More seriously, things are never controlled. All controls control you, often more directly and seriously than you might realise. Last week, reckless regulators accused Shoprite of reckless lending. The national credit regulator employs people with virtually zero interest or proven competence in assessing the creditworthiness of debtors to do so. The ruling proves it. National credit regulator officials and the National Consumer Tribunal, who pay no price for being wrong, think they are better judges of creditworthiness than experts whose livelihood depends on it. No one wants debtors to be more creditworthy than creditors. Shoprite was fined for "reckless lending" after all supposedly "reckless" debts had been settled in full. Read that again. You may be forgiven for disbelieving it. Of ...

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