What Financial Mail readers are saying about our stories.

The DA — a crisis squared.

Forget Gauteng. If the DA carries on as it is, the party could lose Cape Town and the Western Cape as well. Don’t get me wrong, I reckon the DA on its worst day is still a far better party than the ANC, EFF and so on are on their best day, but this cat-fight is ridiculous.

We are facing a natural disaster in Cape Town, and I would like to see the DA leadership get their collective heads out of their collective rear-ends and put every effort into combating the drought.

Fighting each other is simply wasting energy and playing into the ANC’s hands. Stop the nonsense and concentrate on what really matters right now. We have a major crisis looming.

Rod Baker

In defence of short sellers.

Rob Rose is spot on: short sellers correct the market where it overvalues specific shares. What surprises me is the irrational attitude to this; short selling is just the other side of being long.

Consider the market mechanics: a respected asset manager researches a stock. It decides the fundamentals look good and the share price will go up over the long term. Its funds then fill their pockets with stock before it releases its research to the market. Punters buy the stock based on this ostensibly credible research, to an extent pushing up the price and validating the target price that the researchers have set.

This happens every day, and it is not considered market manipulation — and no-one screams that it’s a “long and distort” strategy. If the research house were to try manipulate the market by releasing poor research, it would lose credibility over time (and, perhaps, market power).

Shorting is the opposite: do research, find the reason the stock is overpriced and back that conviction with a short position (exactly what happened with Steinhoff). If the market believes you it will follow, if not you will lose a lot of money very quickly.

Jacques le Roux

H&M: not buying the outrage.

If you want to be offended by that H&M ad, then I guess you can choose to be offended.

I don’t see any outcry against the criminal actions of the EFF at H&M stores. Why no arrests? Why no outrage at the damage, at the cost? H&M apologised because the media hounds running with the “outrage over racist ad” campaign demanded it and because that is the politically correct thing for corporates to do these days. It apologised because of the mock outrage by the likes of the EFF, [which used the incident] to get itself on the front page.

Do you think a single member of the EFF gives two hoots about that ad? They couldn’t care less — for them it’s a public relations exercise to continue drumming up resentment towards ordinary white South Africans. It’s all a load of rubbish.

Of course, H&M’s apology doesn’t wash — the company doesn’t know what it is supposed to apologise for, and in its heart it knows there was no racism in the outfit. The company designed the top and the ad agency did the ads and photo shoots, the talent scouts selected the child models and their parents stood and watched. If the hoodie isn’t racist by itself, then I can’t see how a black child wearing it can make it so.

Paul Kane

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