Is Julius Malema’s move in tabling a bill to nationalise the Reserve Bank a purely cynical attempt to outflank the ANC or does the EFF really believe that removing the Bank’s private shareholders will lead to lower interest rates and faster growth? The rand was rattled after Malema introduced his SA Reserve Bank Amendment Bill last week, prompting the Bank to stress that the proposed bill does not in any way alter the Bank’s primary mandate of price stability or its independence. This is quite simply because the Bank’s 650 private shareholders do not "own" the Bank and have no influence whatsoever over monetary policy, financial stability or banking regulation. The Bank’s mandate to keep inflation low and stable is determined by the constitution. As such, the whole shareholder issue is a red herring; nationalising the Bank would be a purely cosmetic exercise with zero economic benefit. Since this is widely understood and undisputed, it would seem impossible for the EFF not to know t...

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