Quote of the week

Johnson used to at least be able to give a passable imitation of being Boris Johnson. Now he can’t even manage that. The gags and the mannerisms that used to be his calling card, now just fall flat. A one-trick pony whose one trick everyone knows. The surface has been stripped bare to reveal a core of molten need. Someone who craves attention and fears he wouldn’t exist without it. Someone whose narcissism leaves him devoid of empathy. Incapable of either giving or receiving love.

John Crace
The Guardian
18 August 2010

The money and ingenuity looking for a long term home – i.e. capital that is prepared to set up bricks and mortar and businesses with global reputations to uphold – is going to be particularly cautious about deals like this one because: It exposes Black Economic Empowerment to be nothing more than a mechanism to bribe the political class – rather than what it was promised to be: a mechanism to spread the benefits of capitalism to the previously denied and disadvantaged; It acts as a massive drain on the productive employment of capital i.e. it adds so much extra costs to the normal costs of conducting whatever business you are in that the benefits of being in South Africa, as opposed to anywhere else, disappear; The kind of “money and ingenuity” that you get when your market presents such long term risks are short term specialists – the ones who make a living out of basket cases and are used to dealing with them – with their bribes and coups and political meddling. – Nic Borain on the ArcelorMittal /Imperial Crown Trading deal

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