South Africa and the Credit Crunch

  • Date: Friday, 15 May 2009

Nicola Viegi (UCT)

Ben Smit (BER & Stellenbosch)

& Christopher Loewald (National Treasury)

South Africa and the Credit Crunch.

About the panel members:

Dr Christopher Loewald was appointed Deputy Director-General of the new Economic Policy Division of the National Treasury in March 2006.  He ran the 2006 Budget as Acting Deputy Director General for the Budget Office and the Chief Director for Fiscal Policy. From 1998 to 2005 he was responsible for macroeconomic policy and international economic policy, including the development of the inflation targeting framework. He co-chairs the Macroeconomic Standing Committee of the Reserve Bank and Treasury, and is a member of the South African Statistics Council. He completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University.

Prof Ben Smit is currently Director of the BER and Professor of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. He was appointed Director of the BER in 1998 but continues to lecture post-graduate students in the Department of Economics, which he joined in 1975. In 1985/86 Prof Smit spent a year at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Econometrics in the USA.

Professor Smit has been involved with numerous consulting positions including at the Department of Finance (1992 - to date), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (1994 - 1995) and the World Bank (1996 - 1998). He was involved with the macro-Economic Strategy for Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) in 1996.

Prof Smith is a Member of numerous editorial boards - including those of Studies in Economics and Econometrics and of Management Dynamics: Contemporary Research Journal of the Southern Africa Institute for Management Scientists.

Prof Nicola Viegi is an Associate Professor in economics at the University of Cape Town. A graduate from the Scottish Doctoral Programme in Economics, he has been a lecturer in economics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, invited lecturer at the University of Malta and at the Ecole Superior de Commerce in Toulouse.  He has been a regular Visiting Scholar at De Nederlandsche Bank.  Nicola's main areas of research are economic policy theory, macroeconomic modelling and regional macroeconomic integration. Current research includes inflation targeting under uncertainty, monetary policy and asset prices, and macroeconomic integration in Southern Africa.