Saturday, April 11, 2009

Protectionism is Here!

South Africa: mulling over a protectionist response to global crisis

As part of its response to the current economic crisis, the South African government would seriously consider reversing some of the tariff cuts that it had pursued diligently, and ahead of its international commitments, since the advent of democracy in 1994.

South Africa’s Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies gave notice on Tuesday that such a repositioning could be necessary to mitigate against some of the imbalances that were likely to arise as a result of the many bail-outs being deployed in other countries to salvage distressed firms and industries.

USA: Treasury tells US investors to buy American

US private investors are to be encouraged to "Buy American" as a number of financial houses prepare to launch investment bonds that will allow individuals to part-fund the American government's $1 trillion (£682bn) toxic asset clean-up.

Somewhat similar in spirit to the "War Bonds" issued by the US during the latter stages of the First World War, the new products will allow small-time investors to potentially benefit from the uplift in distressed mortgage assets over time.

The US Treasury is encouraging fund managers and other institutions interested in buying up some toxic assets from bank balance sheets to involve ordinary Americans.

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