Zuma hits out at US

2011-04-15 08:15

Boao, China - President Jacob Zuma on Friday added his voice to criticism of the United States for pursuing loose policies that he said are putting the world economy at risk.

Speaking at the Boao business forum on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, Zuma said the global financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies and shortcomings of the international monetary system, which has the dollar at its core.

"In this regard, South Africa joins the call on major reserve currency-issuing economies to adopt responsible macroeconomic policies. They must take into account the ramifications of their monetary policies for both the domestic economy and the world economy," he said.

Zuma did not refer specifically to the dollar. The euro zone, Britain and Japan, the guardians of the other main reserve currencies, have also adopted ultra-stimulative monetary stances to help their economies recover from the global financial meltdown.

But emerging markets have reserved particular ire for the United States and its central bank.

They have repeatedly criticised the Federal Reserve's current $600bn bond-buying programme for depressing the dollar and sending unwanted waves of footloose capital into their economies in search of higher returns, pushing up exchange rates and asset prices.

The dollar by some measures is trading at a record low against the currencies of America's trading partners.

"We would like to caution ... that we need to remain vigilant to any significant moves towards trade protectionism and competitive devaluations of individual currencies," Zuma said.

"If these occur, it will merely result in a race to the bottom and undermine all G20 efforts to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth," he added.

War of words

Zuma was speaking hours after Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said rich countries were more to blame than China for imbalances in the world economy.

"The primary responsibility for the excess liquidity lies with the advanced nations, not emerging ones," Mantega told Reuters in response to questions about China's exchange rate, which many economists say is kept artificially weak by Beijing.

Mantega made his comments in Washington on the eve of a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 rich and developing nations. Brazil and South Africa are both G20 members, as is China.

G20 ministers will try yet again, after several fruitless attempts, to agree on a formula for identifying which countries have large external payments imbalances that are a risk to international financial stability.

Zuma's stance will please his hosts. China says its current account surplus is due not to an undervalued exchange rate but to deep-seated factors that generate a hefty domestic savings surplus.

Beijing rejected a proposal at a G20 meeting in February to include a country's current account position and foreign exchange reserves total as indicators of an economy out of kilter.

China's current account surplus, though large, is declining as a proportion of gross domestic product and the country ran its first quarterly trade deficit since 2004 in the first quarter.

But Beijing said on Thursday that its foreign exchange reserves, accumulated by the central bank through purchases to hold down the yuan's exchange rate, now exceeded $3 trillion, by far the largest stockpile in the world.

  • scud - 2011-04-15 08:20

    Did Zuma say this based on his understanding of the situation,or did he read a speeech prepared by a cadre genius?

  • Blip - 2011-04-15 08:25

    Zuma speaking on economics is like Malema speaking on ballet.

      Bloodbane - 2011-04-15 16:32

      no it's like malema speakingon wood working

      Oom - 2012-03-28 18:48


  • Gorilla - 2011-04-15 08:25

    I think Jacob should get his own house in order before he tries to curry favour with the Chinese with his inane commentary.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-15 16:57

      the chinese are going to flavor zuma before they devour him.

  • Makutu - 2011-04-15 08:31

    I blame China for copying everything and innovating NOTHING! Ben Bernancke, PhD in Economics. Jacob Zuma Grade 5 (SA Schools system)... I'm sorry but the American economy has a GDP of $14trillion last year and it grew by 2.8%! To get a GDP to be that size doesn't take anyone that doesn't know their economics. The US makes $1.8 from every patent that they manufacture in China. China is actually riding on the American wave. If I were Jacob Zuma I'd stay away from the Chinese! FAR FAR AWAY!!!!

      MaLemmer - 2011-04-15 11:48

      Yes, please!

      piet.strydom - 2011-04-15 14:00

      America also has a debt of $14 trillion. But I agree with you, the BRICS spout empty rhetoric. It is not rich countries or poor countries, it is people all over the world that are greedy, and following selfish policies, at the national and the personla level.

  • Krush - 2011-04-15 08:34

    What an idiot. Zuma, remove that big log out of your own eye before trying to remove the splinter from America's.

  • - 2011-04-15 08:34

    Really i didn't know he can talk!!!

      daaivark - 2011-04-15 12:17

      That's all he does. Talk.

  • infidel - 2011-04-15 08:35

    And Zuma dancing to his new masters.

  • bill - 2011-04-15 08:37

    And just what would this buffoon know about economics?

  • Madelane - 2011-04-15 08:41

    Um....okay.....and what about your YL that are calling for nationalisation and land grabbing? That is a major problem for the economy of SA!

  • JohannV - 2011-04-15 08:43

    Watch the Rand take a tumble... Thanks Showerhead, now we can start exporting again! Come on moneyyyyyy!!!

  • John - 2011-04-15 08:44

    This is Zuma doing what he does best, telling his audience whatever they want to hear. Soon they will discover he is all hot air and no substance. I would also be very surprised if he personally understands the issues that he is pontificating about.

  • J - 2011-04-15 08:45

    First take the log out of your own eye, you bloody moron. These Chinese croneys of yours are gonna bite you so hard, I can barely wait.

  • JohannV - 2011-04-15 08:45

    Watch the Rand take a tumble... Thanks Showerhead, now we can start exporting again! Come on moneyyyyyy!!!

  • - 2011-04-15 08:47

    Wahahaha.... Do you think Zuma has any idea what any of this means? Heaven help him if he ever has to answer any questions based on a speach he's just read!

  • XXian - 2011-04-15 08:51

    Meanwhile, the ANC's plundering of our country is putting out own economy at risk. I did not know they taught economics in standard 6!

  • Wacko - 2011-04-15 08:52

    This clown says what they want to hear , only when he wants money.......

  • callan - 2011-04-15 08:53

    ....Pursuing loose policies.... Good one JZ, from a dude who doesnt know how to .."zip it..", in more than one sense...!

  • exocist - 2011-04-15 08:55

    what does zuma the zombie know about finance he must be the comedian at the conference

  • Paul - 2011-04-15 08:58

    Float the Yaun China or shut up !!!

  • Janaman - 2011-04-15 08:58

    Zuma pretending he knows what an economy is... CLASSIC!!! tell the person who writes up the transcript to use smaller words and put some "eich & hicona's" in so it matches Zuma's IQ

  • gekko - 2011-04-15 09:02

    Your friend Malema puts the South African economy at risk!

  • John - 2011-04-15 09:04

    This is Zuma doing what he does best, telling his audience whatever they want to hear. Soon they will discover he is all hot air and no substance. I would also be very surprised if he personally understands the issues that he is pontificating about.

  • Sisie - 2011-04-15 09:10

    Very easy to open your big mouth when you have the big boys behind you. But remember this when you take your begging bowl to the US and they turn you down flat.

  • Aelf - 2011-04-15 09:12

    But he says nothing when the ANC puts the South Africa economy at risk? Practise what you preach mr. President.

  • Cui Bono - 2011-04-15 09:12

    Before Zuma shoots his mouth off again ( now that he has found some new playmates) he would do good to remember that the only reason the US$ became the global standard currency was because of all the little despots around the world, who mismanaged their own curreny ( think Wee Bob) so they relied on the most stable one - being the US$ - rather. The fact that the US$ is rocky now is because the US is trying to save the global economy from meltdown - a responsibility which they and the rest of the west could easily ignore (like China and India are doing). Remember, the west was China and India's biggest customer and it is because of them that China and India are in the positions they are at the moment. Just becuase he has found some new playmates, Zuma shouldn't get too cocky towards the West just yet ...

      brown_bread - 2011-04-16 07:15

      I agree with your first point about currencies, but please, dont you come and lie about the US saving the global economy...please. They had big problems themselves recently. If any country with money wanted to help poor countries, they should STOP giving handouts/aid. This will get these countries to do something with their situation, and if they dont, die off.

  • Slapper - 2011-04-15 09:13

    And of Course Zuma would know, being the great leader he thinks he is?

  • OttoDietrich - 2011-04-15 09:15

    Zuma putting economics above human rights, again

  • duncan - 2011-04-15 09:16

    And Barack apologises !

  • - 2011-04-15 09:16

    Wahahaha! Do you think Zuma has any idea what any of that means? Heaven help him if he ever has to answer questions about the speach he's just read!

  • lor@2 - 2011-04-15 09:20

    This comes from a man who can't even control his own personal finances and who caved in to every union demand for infalted salary increases...get real

  • PikeLee - 2011-04-15 09:24

    This coming from the president with the lowest IQ in the world. Please JZ, look after your own house first. You have no right to criticize any other country when your country is one of the worst run in the world!

      daaivark - 2011-04-15 12:24

      Do not equate low education with low IQ. He may be no economist and not worth much as a leader, but he is one sharp cookie, else he would not have been able to get this far.

  • Bee and Jay - 2011-04-15 09:32

    Everybody knows that Zuma is just the latest of China's useful fools. Nobody in their right mind will listen to the inane utterings of another uneducated African.

      daaivark - 2011-04-15 12:14

      So you must be educated Africans then, or weren't you born here?

  • William - 2011-04-15 09:36


      Unathi - 2011-04-15 12:46

      Check your spelling buddy, you are not smart either

  • Shivermetimb - 2011-04-15 09:37

    So if you dont like what the Americans are doing, get smart and beat them at their own game. Duh.

  • Bosduif - 2011-04-15 09:37

    This coming from the man who is "selling" this country to the Chinese.

  • William - 2011-04-15 09:41


  • clark - 2011-04-15 09:43

    - Oh please - What the hell does this unqualified know about economics ? Zuma , how about about fixing the SA. economy before you tell the US what to do. Seems he is trying to make an impression with the Bric members. He probably never understood a word of the speech written for him. Get home Zuma and sort the mess you and your govt. has caused in this country. ( Highly improbable ) Wonder how many private scams and deals he's organised for himself at this conference ?

  • OlgaKobus - 2011-04-15 09:44

    I'm sure that Obama is shivering in his suit with this critism from Zuma 783.

  • TGIL - 2011-04-15 09:47

    says a corrupt rapist? Nice speech, clearly written by the Chinese. A man wearing a loin cloth running a country with rampant rape, murder and corruption is not qualified to tell the world how to think. Go back to your goat kraal and put someone qualified in charge of SA, wanker

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-04-15 09:48

    Please, no one in the world can possibly take this rapist accused seriously

      Razzo Corporation - 2011-04-16 19:49

      And don't forget, fraudster.... a fraudster commenting on world economics... tooooo funny!!

  • Yasr - 2011-04-15 09:51

    Why font these crazy mtf ever comment on an article like this. Too hard to wine to?

  • 120over80 - 2011-04-15 09:52

    The new Doctor of Economics, or Puppet on a String?

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-04-15 09:58

    What does the ANC know of economic policy?

  • mufasa - 2011-04-15 10:09

    Zuma what do you you about business... get a MBA that you can comment you bufoon...

  • K-NINE - 2011-04-15 10:15

    Zuma, you and your corrupt ANC chinas are putting SA's economy at a risk!! As thick as a bric - now I know where this saying comes from!

  • YES - 2011-04-15 10:19

    He would better stay among the pack. Otherwise, the man likes straying too much and playing to the gallery. Zuma lacks boldness of his counterparts. He is likely to renage on his statement when he goes to America or Europe in his next trip.

      PJ - 2011-04-15 12:39

      He will once again claim that he has been miss quoted. Is that not the ANC's usual reply?

      PJ - 2011-04-15 12:46

      He will once again claim he has been miss quoted. Is that not the ANC's usual reply?

      PJ - 2011-04-15 12:57

      He will once again claim he has been miss quoted. Is that not the ANC'c usual reply?

  • The realist - 2011-04-15 10:58

    Zuma? Critisizing someones monetary policy? Are we now in a world gone completely freakin nuts... A man who rapes his own people of their money, to spend on his family and friends, talking crap about ho wother people handle money!!!! My God...the end is nigh...

  • ActNow - 2011-04-15 11:02

    It is realy interesting that one of the only few countries who stand up against dollar is S.A. How can a country like USA who is about to be bankrupt, still spending money to attack countries without a good reason, can keep its currency strong? Soon it will be called DSA (divided states of america)and dollar will be history. Well done BRICS.

      exocist - 2011-04-15 12:07


  • Meanleader - 2011-04-15 11:30

    Of course Zuma is the leading authority on finance . One just needs to check his academic credentials to form an opinion of him.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-04-15 12:37

    Zuma a weak dollar means high oil and commodity prices. Do you really want that to stop the devaluation of the dollar and for oil and gold to fall back to $10 per barrel and $299 per ounce for gold respectively? SA's unemployment will skyrocket and the generous wages South Africans are currently enjoying will become impossible! Only China gains from a stronger / stable dollar. It has $2trn + in dollar reserves. Every time the dollar weakens, the real value of Chinese exports to the US which amounts to hundreds of billions a year, falls: China can buy less with their exports. So a stable / strengthening dollar is in the interest of China, while a depreciating dollar is in the interest of South Africa. Don't criticize, rather suggest solutions, such as the Bancor.

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