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Has the market ever so savagely destroyed a finance minister?

David van Rooyen lasts less than 4 days as South Africa's finance minister

Nothing is more powerful than the market.

"I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody," US political pundit James Carville said.

He might want to rethink that because the FX market can be even more powerful.

On Wednesday, South African President Jacob Zuma removed Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister and replaced him with David van Rooyen.

Despite pledges to maintain fiscal discipline, van Rooyen's appointment was ravaged by the market. The rand fell to all-time lows and the bleeding continued into the weekend. ZAR had lost more than 8% of its value in less than 3 days.

I'm sure there are a few examples of the market obliterating a political career before it started but van Rooyen didn't even get a chance. He was replaced with Pravin Gordhan today and the rand rebounded.

My thinking is that van Rooyen was really the straw that broke the camel's back. ForexLive South African reader Tony offers a bit of insight. he said mismanagement and corruption have begun to sting the rand.

"Local media on the weekend was awash with stories of under-handedness, subterfuge, and plain old politics, because Zuma felt threatened by Nene who had the guts to question and oppose the proposed $100 billion nuclear power station deal with Putin," he writes. "... and Zuma's support of national airline chairperson Dudu Myeni's running of the South African Airways, which needs another ZAR 5 billion bailout tax payer funded of course."

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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