About three years ago I spent a little more than R600 on a book. On the face of it, the book was about a “great convergence” in the global political economy. It’s a good book, but I had some nagging problems because of mild tremors in the global political economy. I ventured a guess, which I will probably bore the reader with because I have referred to it in this column previously, based purely on a hunch at the start of 2020 that March that year may signal a turning point in the global political economy. Much of the world went into lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I could not and will not claim any powers of prediction, as I wrote in this column in early 2021. 

Never mind. Here we are and the “great convergence”, a fairly logical account of globalisation by Richard Baldwin, professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, suddenly looks like a bit of a sideshow. Much of what Baldwin wrote about rested...

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