As an investment bet, emerging markets had their high season when global investors saw little to no promise of their money growing in the developed climes of either the US or Europe. This was the time of the Lula moment in Brazil, a path some in the ANC hoped their newly elected president would follow. Of course, this was all underpinned in large part by China's insatiable appetite for African and Latin American commodities. As soon as it became evident that China could no longer base its growth on building highways, but had to boost domestic consumption, the lights dimmed on the emerging-market story. When former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke called time on quantitative easing, the fundamentals of the countries within the emerging-market basket of nations came under close review. Top of that pile then was South Africa — and, because of the liquidity of the rand and historical ties that keep the country in the global spotlight, it still is. Under this scrutiny, the past few years have b...

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