In perhaps the most fitting tribute to the shaky world economy, Chairperson of the Finance Portfolio Committee, Nhlanhla Nene, is brought down to earth.
If you want the lowdown on what exactly has happened in the global economy to cause the panic and strain we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks in finance markets worldwide, you could do a lot worse than the following links:
In The Giant Pool of Money, This American Life producer Alex Blumberg teams up with NPR’s Adam Davidson to tell the surprisingly entertaining story of how the U.S. got itself into a housing crisis.
In the follow up show, Another Frightening Show About the Economy, Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson recount what happened when the credit markets froze, and how the housing crisis started impacting the markets as a whole through the ‘evils’ of unregulated credit default swaps.
In plain spoken English these guys do a great job of informing the rest of us exactly what the hell happened.
Given today’s ever-increasing fuel prices in South Africa, you really only have two options available to you:
1. Sit in a corner and cry while waiting for the price to come down,
2. Learn how to drive your car safely in as fuel efficient a manner as possible.
I chose the latter, and it’s paying off.
I’m driving a 1.6 petrol Citroen C4, not a small car, but a comfortable ride, and a pretty damn fuel efficient one too, when driven correctly. My last tank of approximately 55 litres, took me to 812.8km before I lost my nerve and pulled in at the petrol pump. My usual tank range is around 700km, so you can understand the caution. The new consumption works out to 6.6l per 100 km in the combined cycle, say 50% highway, 50% everywhere else. I’ve been used to getting 8.1 or 8.2 litres per 100, so this certainly was a big step up.
Now I’m not saying buy Citroen – I’m saying learn how to drive again – make the journey an adventure in cost saving. Learn to love neutral, and enjoy coasting down hills and highways. Hypermiling can be fun, when done safely. It brings a new lease of life to the boring old commute, and think of all the cool stuff you can do with that money instead of burning it.