economy

Some thoughts on GDP

I was asked a question: "Would I be right in saying GDP is not always a good indicator of an economy?"

My response: "GDP is an important piece of a larger puzzle which should never be looked at in isolation."

Here's a brief explainer:

GDP (gross domestic product) is the value of services provided and goods produced in a year.

Smoking killjoys

In Italy, cigarettes and other tobacco products in that country can only be sold by designated tobacco shops called "tabacchi".

These outlets are ubiquitous and easily recognisable by very distinct blue sign with a large 'T' and the words 'sali tabacchi, valori bollati'.

The "sali" part goes back to days when salt was a government controlled monopoly. That's no longer the case for salt, but tobacco still is.

Day 6: The political game-changer

Many people have noticed that the Ramaphosa government has quite efficiently been rolling out water supplies to communities following the declaration of the Covid-19 State of Disaster.

Not only water supplies; provisions for emergency housing in the form of tents or other makeshift shelters as well as increased shelters for potential victims of domestic violence has also swiftly been deployed.

So many of us have been asking, if government was capable of doing this all along, why was this not done earlier?

Day 4: Covid-19 crisis will prove to be the death rattle of the EU

Italy, country of my eldest daughter's birth and home to some of my dearest friends, has borne the brunt of Covid-19 tragedies thus far.

As I write this, 812 people have died in the past 24 hours pushing the death toll to 11 591.

There will be much speculation in the years ahead as to why the virus's impact has been so devastating in that country, but put that aside for now.

Boris's Bravado

Day 1 of lockdown in South Africa greeted with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement today that he had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

The news was greeted with mirth and derision by the usual suspects. They pointed to BoJo's previous bravado about shaking hands with infected patients. Slurs such as "covidiot" were abundant.

The real value of Boomers

The United States is braced for the single biggest transfer of wealth in history.

"Boomers" make up about 45 million households, worth about US $68,4 trillion, according to Cerulli Associates. an asset management research group. As they die over the next 25 years, their heirs will receive most of this, and those heirs are mostly millennials.

The question is, what will those heirs do with the money?