Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Mauritius To Fully Reopen Borders At the Worst Possible Time

October 1 is not looking good. We’ve recently recorded some of the fastest growths in Covid cases in the world that has placed us on CDC’s list of very high infection risk. Deaths have also reached record levels and there is a very wide consensus that authorities are heavily underreporting them – less than half of the 160 covid deaths have been attributed to the virus including only 9% of the 11 people who died with the virus in the last three days. 

The ambient denial can be explained by the fact that the trickle-down economics pursued over the past fifteen years have delivered an economy that’s less than half the one expected. While the vaccination rate is above 60% it will not be enough to prevent the situation from worsening especially when we hear the reply of the President of the union of workers of the Ministry of Health when asked whether a patient is safe when she goes to hospital these days: “I’d rather not answer.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Society of Financial Analysts At 20

At least its evening launch at Clos St. Louis, Domaine les Pailles. This was the first stage of something I had wanted to do since the early nineties. More on this later. Pictured above from left to right are James Leung, CFA, Sanjay Jagatsingh, CFA, Minister of Financial Services, Sushil Khushiram, Randhir Mannick, CFA, the late Anil Poonie and Prem Beejan. Missing in this picture is James Benoit, CFA who was making his speech. The SFA was soon to have Mauritius appended to its name before joining the family of AIMR Societies less than two years later. Today it goes under a slightly different name

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Latest IMF Staff Report is Another Big Time-waster

I’m definitely not spending more than a few minutes  on a report (it’s not the only one) that says right off the bat that our economic performance was solid before the pandemic appeared. In 2020 COVID-19 caused a damage of about 100 billion rupees to the Mauritian economy while the GDP shortfall of the 15% flat tax (a Bretton Woods best practice implemented by one of the boys) between 2006 and end of last year was over Rs2.1 trillion. That’s more than 21 times the economic loss from the pandemic.

It’s no surprise then than the IMF/WB have created famine and failed to predict huge uprisings. How much is that litre of oil again now?

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Two Ways Mauritius Can Help With the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The first one is to share how as a multi-religious multi-ethnic population we've been coexisting peacefully for decades since we became independent.

The second way is to showcase our experience with the FPTP (First Past The Post) system, the best electoral system in the world. Our friends in Israel will no doubt be interested to find out that in Mauritius there have been only five general elections since 1996 while they’ve had eleven whereas since 2014 they’ve had five compared to only two here. Plus they had so much trouble forming a government with their PR (proportional representation) system after the 2019 elections that Israel had to go vote again in another three general elections during the past two years, narrowly escaping a fifth a few weeks ago. 

Adoption of a FPTP system like ours will free them from the nightmare of perpetual political instability that leaves the Middle East country with either a caretaker government or one which is not stable enough for way too long. Once they do this they will be a lot more serene to sit down around a table with the Palestinians to hatch a long-lasting deal acceptable to both parties. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Mauritians Say Goodbye To Their Longest-Serving PM

Two days of mourning to remember SAJ who has been PM of Mauritius for an incredible 19 years. He leaves behind a positive legacy essentially because he led Mauritius within the best electoral system in the world and a regime of progressive and sustainable taxation for most of the time he was in the driver seat. One of his most important contributions is without any doubt leading the effort to thwart an evil political plan in December 2014. His last fight was presenting in front of the ICJ for the Chagos. The 91-year-old will be cremated at the botanical garden in Pamplemousses in 10 minutes next to a colleague. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Sharpest Report on Mauritius in A Long Time

The Mauritian economy contracted by 15% in 2020 and the virus giving COVID-19 has been mutating. This calls for a solid policy response. To do that you need to get your facts right. My August 2020 analyst report on the 2020/21 Budget does precisely this by providing crucial insights based on independent research and analysis. If you liked Kozelidir you will love it. Here’s a brochure of the 28-page report

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Covid Doesn’t Give Standing Ovations

If it did the curve in the chart would have been at worst flat at zero. But it’s not. Reminding us that we need to beat the virus each time and not get too complacent about having successfully contained it once in 39 days last year thanks to our public health system that needs a serious upgrading. We’ve lowered our guard and we’re paying for it. Cases are rising fast and the death count has resumed after 336 days. There aren’t many solutions to flattening that curve now. Partially softening the already leaky lockdown in a few hours is not one of them.