In some ways I preferred the period of 2005-2008, when Cosatu would march to the Reserve Bank and make demands to the governor. They were simpler times, with simpler demands. The debate is growing again about the Bank “mistakes” and “outrage” being expressed at a lack of cuts. This of course is occurring within a larger dual-track debate over the role of the Bank — with some looking to weaken the institution for state capture purposes while others are simply concerned with stuck old records about neoliberalism. A sensible debate can certainly be had with people who want an alternative vision for the Reserve Bank. But those who want to weaken it for rent-extraction purposes and remove the blockage during the state capture years need to be called out aggressively. Setting aside the issues of constitutional mandate, nationalisation and overall politicisation, the broad argument for an alternative Bank modus operandi within the existing monetary policy committee (MPC) mandate is...

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