Rational Perspective

Rational Perspective

Rational Perspective is Alec Hogg's regular podcast.

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    Paul O'Sullivan on court ruling ejecting NPA chief Shaun Abrahams: "Prosecution floodgates will now open."

    South Africa's famous forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan has joined thousands of "the good, honest cops" in celebrating today's Constitutional Court judgement which ejected the tainted head of the country's National Prosecuting Authority. He describes the ruling as a watershed in the fight against corruption and State Capture, explains where he will be focusing his attention (hint: wants Shaun The Sheep in jail), and shares his idea of who the best person would be to replace former president Jacob Zuma's legal shield.

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    As authorities start investigating, big bets in wake of Elon Musk's "Tesla going private" tweet

    Pretoria-raised super entrepreneur Elon Musk is a global personality on whom there is no middle ground. His disruptive approach is now challenging long- held stock market rules on the disclosure of share price sensitive information. An unprecedented "going private by tweet" has sparked an investigation by the SEC, delighted fans and emboldened short sellers - further polarising the divisive opinions about the CEO of Tesla. What's certain, though, is this time he will be exposed as an ambitious huckster with an overworked hype machine - or, as his supporters claim, will finally be recognised for his unmatched genius.

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    Another big promise from Musk, but serious investors aren't biting, treat $82bn Tesla buyout as a joke

    South African born entrepreneur Elon Musk is back in the headlines after a move that was outrageous, even by his standards. It came via twitter, where Tesla’s founder has been super-active in recent months as the pressure on his business has escalated. It seems few had any inkling of what he was about to unleash. Musk owns 20% of Tesla’s shares. Apparently he will now buy out the other 80% at a price of $420, with funding already secured. That's far above the highest level the share has traded at. And at a price where lenders would need to stump up $70bn in cash to buy a company that hasn't made a profit in any of its 15 years in business. For context, the biggest ever leveraged buyout was in 2007 when a private equity group that included KKR and Goldman Sachs did a $45bn deal to acquire Texan utility TXU Energy. After surging on the news, Tesla's share price eased back to around $370, a $50 discount to the supposed buyout offer. That tells us everything. Serious investors think it's a hoax.

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    Man who saw the GFC coming, The Big Short star Steve Eisman, warns Tesla's bubble is going to burst

    After this week’s release of its quarterly results to end June, Tesla’s share price jumped from $300 to $330 because the company had burned through $730m in cash – less than the $900m Wall Street’s analysts were expecting. While Elon Musk's fans went wild, cooler heads warned that there is still only enough cash to last until the end of the year. Steve Eisner, immortalised in The Big Short, is among those who are now betting that the Musk magic won't last much longer.

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    The whitewashing of Zimbabwe’s ancient history

    In this episode we get a timeous reminder of how powerful people are sometimes able to distort history to serve their own ends. For decades, a myth was propagated around Great Zimbabwe, the massive ancient city structure near Masvingo, 280km east of Bulawayo. The whitewashing is laid bare in this superb report by Rebecca Kesby of the BBC World Service.

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    Magda Wierzycka: Helping SA back from brink - and that infamous convo on SAP's corruption

    At 12, Magda Wierzycka's family risked their lives escaping communist Poland only to spend the next year in an Austrian refugee camp before her medical doctor parents were offered a new start in South Africa. That experience was a big motivator in this qualified actuary's decision to lift her head high above the parapet when her new homeland needed it most. Last year, when resistance against Gupta-driven industrial scale plunder of South Africa was at its lowest, Wierzycka went very public with her concerns. Hindsight shows she helped greatly in turning the tide. With the old regime having been ejected, Magda has now returned to her day job. I caught up with her in a sweltering London yesterday where Sygnia's founder and CEO is investigating ways to globalise her mushrooming business. We spoke about South Africa's immediate past, its likely future and how she feels now about the very public position she adopted. An exercise in courage and, yes, testicular fortitude.

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    Eskom on retribution mission against McKinsey and others which plundered R19bn since 2012

    This week’s release of financial results from South Africa’s State-owned electricity supplier Eskom was always going to be worth watching. It marked the first public engagement of a fresh board of directors installed 69 days earlier by a forceful new political head. The occasion lived up to its billing. Those who plundered a now quantified R19bn from Eskom are going to be pursued for as long as it takes. Which is bad news for a number of multinationals led by consulting group McKinsey which earlier this month repaid almost R1bn in fees it received from the parastatal. It now transpires that McKinsey’s malfeasance was merely the tip of an iceberg...

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    Naspers CPO Aileen O'Toole on the outperforming group's secret sauce: Executive pay is 90% based on risk

    In the latest episode of the Rational Perspective podcast, Naspers group's Chief People Officer Aileen O'Toole provides perspective on the eye-popping earnings of Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk. And it doesn't take long to realise that like his predecessor, Naspers chairman Koos Bekker, Van Dijk is living proof that the group's secret sauce delivers. O'Toole takes us through the thinking that shapes the Naspers pay policies and promotes its highly entrepreneurial culture. And unpacks the highlights of a 25 page executive remuneration report released last week which provides greater transparency for shareholders.

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    Paul O'Sullivan: We'll force Hogan Lovells to come clean on SA State Capture role

    South Africa's famous forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan and his friend, British peer Peter Hain, are on a mission to expose global law firm Hogan Lovells. The duo have accused the London-headquartered operation of facilitating the destructive process of State Capture in South Africa in much the same way as McKinsey, KPMG and SAP have admitted to doing. They're determined to force Hogan Lovells to own up and compensate the nation for the damage it wrought. I caught up with O'Sullivan at a pub in central London...

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    Meet Tshepo Mahloele - Big Capitec shareholder, ABSIP's "CEO of the Decade" now accused by Holomisa as kingpin of corrupt network

    The young democracy of South Africa is a noisy place, especially during periods of political power shifts. And after the ejection of Jacob Zuma, wild accusations are being thrown against both the guilty and innocent. Even in this context, a scathing five page letter penned on political party UDM's letterhead by its leader Bantu Holomisa is impossible to miss. Sent to president Cyril Ramaphosa and then surreptitiously distributed via the internet, Holomisa targets four black businessmen. He pegs financial services entrepreneur Tshepo Mahloele as the kingpin of this apparent "iceberg of corruption" which he claims has plundered the State pension fund. I met Mahloele this week and took along my recorder to hear his side. And got the story of a low profile financial service entrepreneur who has rode the Capitec wave from R30 to R900 and whose private equity fund has invested $1bn into African infrastructure. An unsung hero or a corrupt villain? I know where my money lies.

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    McKinsey’s South African mea culpa bombs as it claims "no corruption", critics reject apology as too little, too late

    I enjoyed a front row seat at the first public engagement by Kevin Sneader, new global managing partner of the world’s largest consulting firm, McKinsey & Company – the business in the vortex of South Africa’s State Capture scandal. Sneader, who has been in the post for exactly a week, accepted an invitation from GIBS, a leading South Africa’s business school. A scathing riposte to his 20 minute speech was delivered by the other panelist, Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa. Mohale, who is as eloquent as he is outspoken, was formerly chairman of Shell South Africa. The temperature rose even further when the floor was opened to questions where former Competitions Tribunal's chairman David Lewis and forensic Investigator Paul O'Sullivan kept up the pressure. A must listen.

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    GGA's Alain Tschudin: Providing context on SA's major flashpoints - history helps with solutions to crumbling municipalities, EWC

    Dr Alain Tschudin is my kind of interviewee. An academic with a career in professional research, he is also an author so like most wordsmiths, his conversation flows easily. A PhD from Cambridge, he is the executive director of Good Governance Africa, a not-for-profit which aims to help unlock Africa's potential by praising those doing right - and exposing the corrupt. In this interview he addresses South Africa's two big flashpoints - the destruction of rural municipalities and the ANC's policy of land Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC).

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    After years of deep research, UK film maker Anthony Fabian convinced SA's new dawn will break soon

    In the latest episode of my Rational Perspective podcast, British film maker Anthony Fabian speaks about progress on his Good Hope project which has evolved from an eight part documentary on South Africa into a full length documentary feature. After hundreds of hours of filming and a continuous struggle for funding, Fabian is on the final lap of his ambitious project which focuses on the next generation of South African leadership - a group whose multi-racial, progressive and inclusive outlook on life confirms that after nine years of corruption and mismanagement, a bright new dawn is very much in the offing. A return to what president Nelson Mandela dreamed of. Rather appropriate in the year which marks the centenary of his birth.

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    Jakkie Cilliers: We’re missing EWC point – rural chiefs in crosshairs, unleashing growth the priority

    As you’ll hear in this episode, apart from giving us some insight into the way next year’s elections will go, author and ISS founder Jakkie Cilliers offers a cool headed counter to scaremongering of many pundits on South Africa's Expropriation Without Compensation. He has drawn on very recent engagements with the ANC top brass to support the prognosis outlined in his book. Lots of meat.

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    Global internet champion Naspers hitting top gear with "best set of financials in two decades"

    In today’s episode, an update from South Africa’s exponential growth marvel, Naspers, as Alec Hogg of Biznews.com gets to spend half an hour in London with the group's CEO Bob van Dijk and its CFO Basil Sgourdos to talk about numbers, strategy, exponential growth and the past decade's 23% Internal Rate of Return on its investments excluding the astonishing Tencent (over 50% when the Chinese company is included) .

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    An hour in London with iconoclast Pieter-Dirk Uys, opening up on Mandela, Ramaphosa, courage, madness - and sex

    Last night, I was among 300 relocated South Africans at London’s annual fundraising dinner for Afrika Tikkun and its associated charities. It was a splendid black tie affair whose theme in this 100th year since Madiba’s birth was to honour 30 iconic South Africans. Each table of ten was named after a national hero. Alongside Nelson Mandela were familiar names like Desmond Tutu, OR Tambo and Dr Chris Barnard. Included on this elite list was Pieter Dirk-Uys, the inconoclastic actor, playwright, activist, raconteur and politic analyst. Unfortunately, Uys wasn’t able to make the dinner – it was the last but two night of his three week run at the Soho Theatre at the other end of London. But seeing him being honoured in this way brought home just how special an afternoon I’d just had.

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    Meet the unheralded American introducing African talent onto global opera stages

    In this episode we meet Elise Brunelle, acting MD of the Cape Town Opera, who reckons there are well over 50 South Africans making a living on the world's opera stages. It's an inspiring story showing that even in a country where the needs of the broader population are vast and urgent, talent keeps breaking through in the least likely areas, testament to the resilience of our species, and the way the cream somehow always finds a way of getting recognised.

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    Six great shares to look at now. London's best value investors share their best ideas.

    Two earlier episodes of the Rational Perspective podcast are devoted to interviews with two of the presenters – Dawid Krige and Ben Preston. Thanks to my trusty Zoom Hn4 Pro recorder and a front row seat at the London Value Investor conference, I’ve sifted through the other speakers and selected three more stocks whose virtues were extolled by the best of them.

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    Coal miner Peabody: A fast-rising phoenix - from bankruptcy to top value manager's stock pick

    At the London Value Investor conference last week, stockpicker Ben Preston of Orbis – Allan Gray’s global arm – extolled the virtues of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal miner, which declared itself bankrupt in April 2016. I caught up with him during the tea break where we caught some of London's early summer sun outside of the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster.

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    Dawid Krige's best ideas - buying shares in two giant Chinese companies you've never heard of

    Dawid Krige is one of many highly skilled South Africans who are making names for themselves in the world’s financial centre. He’s also one of the few westerners who identified the opportunity in Chinese stocks long before they started becoming fashionable. In this episode, he elaborates on the keynote presentation he gave to the London Value Investor's conference - and shares the two stocks that he recommended to the 450 kindred spirits in the audience.

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    Claudius van Wyk uncovers links between Deepak Chopra, Jan Smuts's Holism and Ubuntu.

    Claudius van Wyk shares his encyclopaedic knowledge in this fascinating podcast on a thought process that is sweeping the world. The conversation with Rational Perspective host Alec Hogg draws together the links between Holism, teachings of bestselling author Deepak Chopra, and the South African concept of Ubuntu. Keen to explore new territory? Then this one's for you.

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    Educating The Donald – “Trade War” on hold as adults start surrounding Oval Office incumbent

    Those who voted Donald Trump into White House in 2016 believed the controversial businessman would show the politicos a thing or two about dealmaking and negotiating the best deal for America. It hasn’t worked out that way. What sounds great on the stump is rarely translatable into policy. Put differently, the skills required to get elected are very different to those needed to govern responsibly. But even the most stubborn of our species don’t keep banging their heads against the wall indefinitely. In this episode we get to absorb some superb analysis from Carl Weinberg is the chief economist of High Frequency Economics , and CNN's long-time senior political analyst Bill Schneider, who has just published a book called Standoff – How America Became Ungovernable.

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    Why anti-corruption activists Lord Peter Hain, Paul O'Sullivan, now gunning for global law firm Hogan Lovells

    A riveting half hour with anti-corruption activists Paul O'Sullivan and Lord Peter Hain who share why they're determined to put global law firm Hogan Lovells in the dock. They say the high powered lawyers were willing accomplices in South Africa's network of corruption, because they protected those perpetrating industrial scale plunder - and also served as attack dogs against honest officials who tried to stop it. Hain and O'Sullivan explain why they believe Hogan Lovells needs to be viewed in the same way as disgraced auditors KPMG and implicated management consultants McKinsey. Subscribe to the Rational Perspective podcast to be sure you don't miss a single episode.

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    Compelling argument why America's FAANGs will keep rolling and top 2018 performance league

    Every now and then Wall Street gets the jitters about the tech stocks which have pulled the overall market higher for some years already, lashing FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) which have served investors so well. But without fail, those who sold out of these tech titans have lived to regret their decision as they watch the prices soar past previous highs. One of those who has called the FAANGs bull market virtually since inception is Credit Suisse's head of US equities, Jonathan Golub. In this podcast, we get to hear his updated views on tech, hear about a surprise new favourite - and those sectors he is cautious about.

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    CEO Bob van Dijk: Why Naspers is cashing its Flipkart chips in Walmart's historic $20bn Indian swoop

    Media group Naspers is one of the world's most successful examples of a company that has managed to overcome the radical transformation of its industry. Another successful chapter in its story was published today when the group sold its 11% stake in India’s Flipkart for a chunky $1.6bn profit, banking $2,2bn after a cumulative $616m investment over five and a half years. It has proven to be another hugely successful investment for the South African-born global internet group whose $30m bought 50% of a fledgling Tencent is celebrated as the greatest private equity investment in history. Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk, who has served on the Flipkart board for the past five years, gives us the inside track into the major beneficiary of the biggest retailing acquisition of all time - and explains why Naspers decided to cash in its chips - unlike Tencent, Microsoft and some other investors.

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    Warren Buffett's share investment journey: Lessons learnt when he was 11 still work today

    The world is getting ever-more complex and fast-paced, and every day seems to bring new investment options - cryptocurrencies, CDOs, contracts for difference, hybrid notes. But sometimes, the best investment advice is the simplest, as this tale by Warren Buffett illustrates. It's easy for individual investors to feel overwhelmed, and to feel like they don't stand a chance against highly-trained analysts. But as Buffett explained, all investors really need to do is harness the productive power of businesses to work for them. It's an inspiring perspective.

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    Charlie Munger's Berkshire AGM zinger for "ridiculous" Elon Musk: A "moat" is not a puddle.

    Plenty of people love Elon Musk for iconoclastic style and his refusal to play by the rules in business. But sometimes, sense is more important than style. Lately, perhaps feeling the pressure of Tesla's growing pains, Musk's behaviour has been a little more wacky than usual. As Tesla groans under the weight of growing debts, Musk's jokes about bankruptcy fell flat, and his strange behaviour on Tesla's recent earnings call (combined with some weak numbers) saw the share price plunge. Now, Musk seems to have stumbled into a mini-feud with the investing giants Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett. For a CEO who desperately needs to raise capital, Musk sure is being rude to investors this week.

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    Ian Kilbride: Warwick does a huge deal with Cadiz and says more to come

    With many South Africans starting to take a critical stance on new president Cyril Ramaphosa, it's refreshing to listen to Ian Kilbride's more moderate perspective. In this interview, Kilbride shows us the power of optimism - he's a big believer in South Africa and he's putting his money where his mouth is with a big new acquisition. His company, Warwick, has acquired Cadiz Asset Management and Kilbride says there's more to come. His comments are a powerful antidote to some of the negative sentiment we're starting to see today.

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    DA young gun Dean McPherson on Ramaphoria, Steinhoff’s German connection

    In most democracies, politics is the preserve of an older generation – a world dominated by those looking for a new challenge after establishing themselves financially. Or, in developing countries like South Africa, a reward for loyal service to the party over many years. But the DA’s 37 year old leader Mmusi Maimane is surrounded by a more vigorous animal. Among Mmusi’s young bucks is Dean MacPherson, the fresh-faced shadow minister of Trade & Industry. Elected to Parliament in 2014 as a 29 year old, MacPherson typifies this wave of educated, articulate young politicians occupying the opposition benches.

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    Christo Wiese: Insider view on Steinhoff CEO Jooste's corporate crime of the century

    Billionaire retailing entrepreneur Christo Wiese lost more than anyone else in the Steinhoff collapse. As the biggest single shareholder, there’s the matter of almost R60bn that disappeared from his asset base overnight. As precious, for those who operate in his rarified atmosphere, is the damage to his reputation. On top of that, a pile of Wiese’s loans, secured by Steinhoff shares, cost Wall Street’s biggest banks billions more, and overnight they transformed him from high society’s A to, well, no list. He resigned as chairman of Steinhoff’s board shortly after the fraud surfaced in early December – now he wants his money back.

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    Trump's "Mini Me", new US economic tsar Larry Kudlow, accuses China of thievery, cheating but says "No Trade War"

    Such is the competition for airtime between American television pundits that they learn early on that he who shouts loudest gets best heard. And with a decade and a half of hosting a TV show, Donald Trump's new economic tsar Larry Kudlow is an expert in the art of media over-talk. In a fascinating but disconcerting interview, Kudlow shows he intends promoting the soundbite approach so favoured by his new boss, to justify the White House's aggressive stance towards the world's most populace nation which he accuses of systematic cheating and thievery.

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    Alec Hogg: The inside story of South Africa's game-changing new start

    Alec Hogg has unique access to powerful business and political leaders in South Africa - and he has a story to tell. It's the story of a transformation in the country. It's the tale of how South Africa, which came perilously close to the edge, is turning around and looking stronger than ever. Most of all, it's a hopeful story of opportunity and growth.

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    Alec Hogg : Here's why South Africa is poised to take off

    Sometimes we all get caught up in the day-to-day grind and it can feel like nothing changes. But when you take time to look up and examine the bigger picture, you can truly see how far we've come. In this speech, Alec Hogg lays out exactly why South Africans have every reason to be optimistic about the future of the beloved country. From government to business we are seeing important changes that, taken together, bode well for the nation's future.

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    Robin Renwick, Britain's "undiplomatic diplomat", defending Rupert, laying bare the Zuma kleptocracy

    It's perhaps no surprise that Lord Robin Renwick works out of offices in Mayfair that are directly opposite the house where "The Lady With The Lamp" lived and died. Because like the famous Florence Nightingale, this most undiplomatic diplomat uses a lamp of his own, his books, to expose areas of darkness. In his ninth book, How To Steal A Country, Renwick lets the facts speak for themselves, and then skilfully follows the advice of his friend Pravin Gordhan to ‘join the dots.’ It’s a well written easily flowing record of the young democracies darkest hour and how it managed to escape a very gloomy future. And with a manuscript vetted by Gordhan himself, this is about as close to the ugly truth of the Zuma Kleprocracy as we're likely to get. I spent an hour with Lord Renwick last week. This edition of Rational Perspective provides the highlights of that fascinating conversation.

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    From the Wall Street Journal: Why Trump is trashing Amazon (and how much it hurts)

    U.S. president Donald Trump is a long-time Amazon critic. Lately, however, he has been tweeting up a storm about the online retail giant. Trump has criticised Amazon's relationship with the U.S. Postal Service and has complained that the company doesn't pay sales tax (it does in states that require it to). The Amazon share price has fallen in response to the attacks as investors worry about potential regulation or changes to Amazon's delivery costs. This podcast takes a look at the Trump vs Amazon fight.

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    From the Wall Street Journal: More tech in cars, more problems for drivers

    Cars are getting increasingly high tech - they now come with touchscreens, complex software, bluetooth connectivity, and plenty of automation. But with this new technology comes a host of new problems. Drivers report screens that switch off mid-drive, problems connecting, stalled software updates and a host of other issues. While it can be annoying when your new smartphone screen goes dead, when your car's touchscreen goes dead it can be a matter of life or death. In this episode, a look at the costs and benefits of high-tech cars.

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    From the Wall Street Journal: Don’t panic – America and China are talking trade, quietly

    Despite what the U.S. president thinks, trade wars are usually neither good nor easy to win. In fact, they’re usually an “everyone loses” proposition. But there are signs that fears of a global trade war may be overblown. Despite incendiary rhetoric from the U.S., diplomats from America and China are in talks to avert a trade dispute. Negotiations between the two economic giants may help stave off tit-for-tat tariffs and a decline in global trade.

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    From The Wall Street Journal: Here’s what Facebook’s data scandal means for you

    Facebook has come under heavy fire after revelations emerged about the uses to which Facebook user data has been put. Whatever you may think about the story, it’s crystal clear that Facebook has, at best, a very cavalier attitude towards users’ privacy. The company seems happy to give anyone with a $10 ad budget access to its data treasure trove and make no mistake – studies show that Facebook knows as much about you as your spouse does. Some people think that, as long as they aren’t doing anything shameful, it’s OK for their information to be shared freely. But mounting evidence shows that our politics and democracy are being systematically manipulated by companies that are using our Facebook information.

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    From The Wall Street Journal: After pedestrian death, questions about the future of self-driving cars

    After an Uber self-driving car hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, some people are asking if self-driving cars are truly ready to be out on the streets. While some states in America ban self-driving cars, many are allowing them to be tested on public roads. But is the technology really ready? In this podcast, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the state of the tech and its track record.

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    From The Wall Street Journal: LinkedIn is desperate to get you to use it

    In 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. There have been relatively few changes to LinkedIn since the acquisition – Microsoft has seemed content to allow the professional networking platform to do its own thing. But LinkedIn is under rising pressure to get its users more engaged. So the network is trying a range of different tactics to get people to come by more often. How often do you visit LinkedIn?

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    From The Wall Street Journal: The president and the porn star - Trump and Stormy Daniels

    If you've been following the saga of the president and the porn star, you'll know that adult actress Stormy Daniels has claimed to have had an affair with U.S. president Donald Trump. Trump has denied the affair, and there is a lawsuit underway over a non-disclosure agreement that allegedly prevents Daniels – her real name is Stephanie Gregory Clifford – from discussing the affair. It’s a peculiar situation. Trump has said there was no affair, which makes it unclear what the non-disclosure agreement prevents Daniels from discussing. Trump also didn’t sign the agreement – it was signed by “David Dennison,” an alleged pseudonym of Trump’s – so it’s not clear that he can be legally protected by it. In fact, the whole thing is a mare’s nest. Luckily, this podcast explains what you need to know.

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    From the Wall Street Journal: Facebook's real problem? No one trusts it anymore

    Facebook has lost about $60 billion in market cap so far this week on the back of startling revelations about the misuse of user data. But the problem runs deeper than some missteps with Cambridge Analytica. Facebook has been under fire for around two years for a related string of scandals ranging from fake news to election meddling to privacy blunders. On Wednesday, the founder of WhatsApp, which Facebook purchased a few years ago for $19 billion told his Twitter followers that it's time to delete Facebook. The basic problem, it seems, is that Facebook cannot be trusted. More and more users are holding back on Facebook, unsure of how safe or sensible it is to share information with the company or to believe information they see on the platform. This has the potential to be a more serious, long-term problem than this week’s share price correction.

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    Magnus Heystek - Uncertainty over land tenure driving some farmers into a "scorched earth" approach

    Having established the successful financial advisory business Brenthurst Wealth, Magnus Heystek enjoys a freedom of expression that few in South Africa's business sector possess. And in this podcast focusing on the country's burning issue of the moment, he doesn't hold back. Heystek shares feedback from his many clients who are farmers, warning that the ruling ANC's approach of land expropriation without compensation has sent those who provide the nation's food security into a highly defensive state of mind. Some, Heystek says, are adopting a "scorched earth" approach reminiscent of what Napoleon encountered when his troops invaded Russia just over 200 years ago. With the possibility of their land being taken from them, these farmers are abandoning long-term reinvestments in the land and machinery. Although distasteful in a national sense, squeezing the maximum out of the asset is a rational response when there is a threat of that asset being taken away. Heystek offers some logical suggestions of his own.

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    From The Wall Street Journal: Robots are already deciding who goes to rehab and who goes to jail

    Artificial intelligences are already out in the world playing a role in our decisions. In some cases, they're going one step further and making decisions for us. Increasingly, companies, government agencies, and the police are relying on algorithms to make decisions and allocate resources. Many people believe that this is a good development, because it means objective and informed decisions made by disinterested systems. However, as this podcast explains, there is plenty of bias in our AIs, and the decisions they make are often just as prejudiced as human decisions would be.

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    Roubini exposes Bitcoin manipulators: One of the biggest scams ever, price should be 80% lower

    NYU professor Nouriel Roubini shrugged off the ridicule of his peers when steadfastly warning against the Great Financial Crisis of 2007 when the world could only see economic sunshine. But "Dr Doom" turned out to be "Dr Right" - and he's at it again with a dire warning about the price of Bitcoin which he says has been manipulated by what he calls a criminal currency exchange Bitfinex in a classic "pump and dump" scam. Roubini reckons the Bitcoin price has been pushed at least 80% beyond its true value. In this podcast go back to 2007 to confirm Roubini's impeccable credentials and then move forward to a warning that should strike fear into everyone who has an interest in the Bitcoin market.

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    From The Wall Street Journal: The Age of Quantum Computing is (Almost) Here

    The first in a two part look at the phenomenon of Quantum Computing. Previously the preserve of scientists and propellor heads, it's starting to come mainstream. Quantum computers are no longer the stuff of science fiction. In the first of the two parts, the Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything team talk to computer industry executives who are experimenting with this revolutionary technology and take us inside a lab racing to make it a reality.

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    Fighting an existential threat: CEO Gerrie Fourie on Capitec's defence against Viceroy

    In December., short selling research house Viceroy hit the headlines with its research report that helped floor the world's second largest furniture group, Stellenbosch headquartered Steinhoff. Little over a month later Viceroy trained its guns and staked its newfound reputation on another South African target, this time high flying Capitec, a company whose disruptive business model earned it nine million clients and thousands of delighted investors. Viceroy claims the bank is a loan shark that needs to be put into curatorship. Within two trading sessions of its report being released Capitec's shares had lost 21% of their value. In the weeks since, a spirited defence led by Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie has steadied the ship. But he reckons Viceroy is only halfway through its carefully co-ordinated plan of attack. I met Fourie in London over the weekend to hear his masterclass in effective crisis communication.

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    It's Ramaphoria vs "Leninist" ANC as Dr Martyn Davies waves some sceptical flags

    Deloitte's Emerging Markets and Africa MD Martyn Davies talks to Alec Hogg about South African politics, economics, and the SA-style "Developmental State" model that is doomed to failure - because its "Leninist" protagonists have a deliberately skewed and notion of how the China economic miracle.

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    Next stop $2 000 a share as AmazonFresh accelerates its retail swamping tidal wave

    Although its shares have achieved five-bagger status in just four years, Jeff Bezos's wealth generating phenomenon is still accelerating. In this edition of the Rational Perspective, one of Wall Street's top rated retail sector analysts explains why he sees the $1,500 stock breaking through the 2,000 level in the near future. He argues that the launch of AmazonFresh will put the group onto an accelerated trajectory. Fascinating insights on a stock that has become the mainstay of both of Biznews's offshore portfolios - the top performing Global Share portfolio (CAGR 32% since 2014) and the newly launched US Exponential portfolio (20% since launch in November last year).

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    Meet "one percenter" Dawid Krige: China-focused Buffett devotee who generated 75% last year

    Nowhere else on earth is value investing as strongly followed as in South Africa. It might have something to do with the deeply conservative values that give them a natural affinity for the long-term, common sense investment approach championed by the Oracle of Omaha. The subject of this interview, Dawid Krige, is another star from the Buffett guided production line. Six years ago he decided the best value lay in Greater China. Since then his fund's returns rocketed it into the best 1% in the world.

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    Making of a great editor - the George Palmer playbook

    George Palmer passed away on New Year's Day 2018. His passing sparked an outpouring of emotion in South Africa, the country where he spent the prime years of his career as a financial editor. In many ways Palmer was the father of business journalism in the country joining the pioneering Financial Mail as deputy editor at its launch in 1959. He took over as the editor of the magazine in 1961 and continued running it until his retirement in 1977. During those turbulent years he displayed the courage and leadership that set the standard for dozens who went on to become household names in journalism and other fields all around the world. This is his story.

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