Hiraeth has been on my mind. And this week the Welsh word seemed apt for the unexpected developments in the finance ministry. It means, by some definitions, a longing for a place to which one cannot return, such as a childhood home. But it's not the house that one may yearn for, it's the texture of a particular time, likely when life was seemingly easier. Tito Mboweni has finally achieved what some reports in the 1990s suggested was his ultimate ambition - to become finance minister. In the late 1990s, Trevor Manuel was firmly ensconced in the position. Instead, Mboweni was appointed Reserve Bank governor. It was a post he held for more than 10 years. His appointment as governor, announced in 1998, a year before he took over from Chris Stals, sparked a reactionary response and a few guarded endorsements from big business. Announced on a Saturday, it was on the Monday that the rand weakened by 40c to touch fresh lows at the time of R6.75 against the dollar. This week, just over 20 ye...

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