The politics of the rand
What moves the market? How important are domestic influences in determining the value of the SA currency?
In the early days of January 2018, between the watershed December 2017 ANC elective conference at Nasrec and Cyril Ramaphosa’s assumption of the presidency in February, the rand unexpectedly spiked more than 1% against the dollar. Traders had picked up something before anyone else: Zuma had fallen.
But what had actually happened, alas, was that Elon Musk’s latest satellite launch — a mission coded Zuma, for reasons that are not recorded — had ended in failure. News-scanning algorithms had erroneously interpreted the event as a premature end to the presidency of the mission’s namesake.