On September 20 the SA Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) will keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5%. The trade war between the US and China has had a negative effect on emerging markets with high levels of external debt. SA’s low levels of external debt can be ascribed to the macroeconomic management of the Mbeki team — though the Zuma administration depleted the fiscus in the name of radical economic transformation. Argentina and Turkey’s central banks have been very active in the currency markets, using capital management techniques that have divided economists and policymakers as to their effectiveness as inflation-management tools. Argentina hiked interest rates by 15 percentage points to 60% on August 30 in an attempt to support a falling peso against the dollar. Turkey responded likewise on September 13, hiking interest rates by 6.25 percentage points to 24%, annoying President Recep Erdogan who had wanted the rates lowered. President Cyril Ramaphosa would also pre...

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