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SA courts make popular judgments at the expense of the law

Some recent cases have sparked alarm among those concerned with the rule of law in the country. One of them, surprisingly, is the Constitutional Court case ruling over President Zuma's Nkandla residence. The court effectively ruled that a presidential appointee outside the judiciary may make rulings on unproven allegations. In another case, Oscar Pistorius' conviction for unintentional murder has now been turned into outright murder. Something is wrong here, argues Leon Louw. 

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The economic underworld of bankruptcy for profit - Part 2

In the second part of this series, William Black testifies before the Inquiry into the banking crisis in Ireland. He talks from a US perspective, but explains how to tell when banks are behaving recklessly (when their loan books are growing faster than the economy), how bankers have lobbied politicians to get rid of pesky legislation that inhibits their gambling instincts and how they have managed to avoid going to jail. This is fascinating testimony into the dark heart of modern banking.  

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The economic underworld of bankruptcy for profit

Professor William Black, an expert on banking and economics from the US, testified in 2015 before the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis in Ireland. In his testimony, he pointed out that the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 is certain to repeat because none of of the criminal bankers that bankrupted the country had been sent to jail - unlike the "Savings and Loans" crisis nearly two decades earlier in the US, which resulted in more than 1,000 convictions. One of the indicators that tell us banks are making "liar loans" is the speed at which lending is growing. If Black is right, modern banking will sink us all. 

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Goldman Sachs $5bn fine is a sham and a disgrace

Goldman Sachs got slapped with a $5bn fine for selling worthless pieces of paper called subprime mortgages. But as this story from makes clear, the victims who lost their houses over this fraud will get little of the cash. The lawyers, the Treasury and the Justice department are the main winners. Goldman Sachs will only pay out roughly $2bn, which is a fraction of the money the bank made from securitisation transactions during the financial crisis leading up to 2008.

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