Lesotho Times

Who should warn us of troubles ahead?

IT’S been three years since the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit the world economy. Many economies are yet to recover from the crisis.

And now even those countries that we once thought were strong are heading towards more disaster.

Lesotho’s fragile economy has also been ravaged by the crisis.

I am trying to think back 2008 or slightly before that to recall how I got to know or better understand the sub-prime mortgage crisis and its impact on the world in general and Lesotho in particular.

What is certain is that neither the government nor the Central Bank of Lesotho, the country’s financial overseer, contributed to my education about the crisis.

I am sure many will attest to the fact that they learnt about the crisis and its impact on Lesotho from some sources other than the government and the central bank.

The point I am trying to bring out here is that the very institutions that are supposed to get reliable information and disseminate to the public as well as local and foreign investors don’t seem to be playing their part.

The result is that unless they find the information for themselves local and foreign investors are in the dark about the very issues that affect their investments.

In the absence of such information the public is oblivious to the matters that affect their savings, jobs, livelihoods and their earnings.

Unless they are lucky enough to have gone through some business, financial or economic courses the majority of Basotho are groping in the dark.

As things stand now we are certainly heading for more troubled times but we have not heard a single public announcement or statement telling us where our economy stands in relation to the looming crisis.

By now someone should have explained the implications of the weak US dollar might have on the rand, which our Loti tracks.

We have not been told how the upsurge in commodity prices will affect us as a country.

Gold, for instance, has hit a record US$1 600 an ounce as a direct consequence of the Euro zone crisis, Spain and Italy to be precise, which have had the costs of borrowing spiralling to an uncontrollable high.

Who exactly is responsible for informing and educating a Mosotho entrepreneur, say a carpenter, who works by the main market of Maseru that there is a financial Tsunami looming and hence the need to implement strategies to hedge against any risk or exposure.

I would not be surprised if I could get a majority of respondents claiming that our very own central bank, the country’s  financial overseer, is responsible for the processing of such information and publish it.

But really, aren’t we just asking too much from our national banker which has only to this point published a single quarterly report for this year and has only so far published monthly reports for only January to March?

Someone must warn the public and investors troubled times lie ahead. The fiscal status of the already fragile economy is heading for turmoil again, only this time it’s bigger and deeper.

Reason: simply because America, a country with the most sophisticated economy, has lost its Triple A rating and the Piigs (Portugal, Italy, India, Greece, Spain) as well have also joined the race towards a global default.

If only someone could tell this to the members of public then they would know how to conserve the few coins they get every month.

They would know where and how to invest.

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls Telephone: +266 2231 5356

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