One of our greatest disadvantages as Covid-19 hit in March 2020 was that as a result of the so-called lost nine years, we were in very weak fiscal shape to react to the economic damage that would unfold in its wake. A decade of low growth, rising debt and falling confidence levels — amid tales of rampant state capture-led corruption dominating our national news headlines — had weakened our fiscal position and triggered a slew of downgrades of our credit ratings into junk status.        

Our immediate and only defence against the storm unleashed by the lockdowns was for the Reserve Bank to aggressively cut interest rates in unison with many of the world’s central banks. The four consecutive cuts between March and June 2020 were supportive of an economy that, for lack of any other word, was in shock. Monetary policy that is so often criticised for its conservatism stepped into the breach when it was needed. As inflationary pressures rise globally, it now looks like the window...

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