KHAYA SITHOLE: SA needs a president with backbone to steer it out of the crisis
A corrupt government squandered the advantages SA had during the financial crisis; now Cyril Ramaphosa needs to address the trust deficit
One of the most important lessons of the financial crisis of 10 years ago was the importance of credibility on the part of those in positions of trust. The relationship between society and the various stakeholders involved in the financial crisis reached its lowest point when no-one seemed to have any idea how the crisis had developed. These stakeholders found themselves having to justify their existence to a sceptical public. Ratings agencies, for example, had gradually entrenched themselves in the fabric of the financial system on the basis that they could provide assurance about the credit quality of the financial products in the marketplace. As it turned out, the complexity of the financial instruments that had evolved superseded the ability of the ratings agencies to keep up. Consequently, they found themselves dealing with a crisis of legitimacy that has taken a decade to re-establish. Coincidentally, that decade coincided with the lost years of the SA economy. As a player in ...