Déjà vu does not quite do justice to the recent turmoil in the SA currency and debt markets. The hope for a weaker dollar and the stronger rand — and the lower interest rates, inflation and faster growth that comes with a stronger rand — has once more been dashed. 

Trade wars and currency manipulation do less damage to the US economy than to others, as it is less dependent on global trade and much more dependent on the US consumer. Hence in times of trouble, capital flows towards the US raise the exchange value of the dollar and depress bond yields. Emerging-market exchange rates weaken more than most and emerging-market bond yields rise rather than fall. And the rand generally falls more than most other emerging-market currencies.

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