‘You want to listen to what Michael Burry has to say’ – Steven Nathan

Steven Nathan is the BizNews Power Hour’s regular Tuesday co-host, with the 10x founder sharing his rational opinion on topical political and investment related news. Nathan unpacks what the potential turnaround of Transnet could mean from a broad business perspective, with a number of industries relying on the ports being efficiently run. He also provides fascinating insights into the Zambian elections, which was won in a landslide by the opposition party, and what knock on effects this could have for the upcoming elections in South Africa. Lastly, Michael Burry shorting Cathie Wood’s flagship Ark Innovation ETF finished off the discussion, with Nathan stating that Burry is a very respected person within the global investment fraternity. ‘You want to listen to what Michael Burry has to say’. – Justin R0we-Roberts

Steven Nathan on the benefits of rescuing Transnet:  

Definitely, it’s such a critical piece of infrastructure that could make us so much more competitive and can reduce the cost of doing business and also ease the cost of doing business. I was speaking to some retailers recently, with the unrest in Durban, they couldn’t get goods in – it was a sizeable retailer. So he said ‘we’ve missed our whole season’. We’ve missed that, and obviously their kind of confidence and motivation to keep on investing in those kind of businesses, reducers. So we all going to be losers if we are inefficient. And as you say, the multiplier impact of getting that right on so many aspects of South Africa is enormous. And it’s great to see that that’s the focus of government. If this comes to pass, is that they’re looking at areas that can have a large impact on society and on the economy and on job creation as opposed to maybe window dressing here or there. So that would be a really big positive sign for us in South Africa.

On the opposition party in Zambia winning the election and its effects for the South African elections:

Hopefully, it’s a really interesting election. Firstly that they can have free and fair elections – I think is a really big, big positive. Even though the president was accused of some quite strong arm tactics in not allowing voters to free access to the polls etc. That’s a positive sign that Zambia still has a vibrant democracy. And hopefully we can see a change in power their done peacefully. So that’s a big tick. What I’ve seen from the Zambian elections is that the new president elect focused on the youth and offered the youth a better deal, a more prosperous future. In South Africa, it’s interesting because because if you look at our population, we’ve got a bubble at the younger end, we’ve got a very young population. So the youth’s ability to influence the electorate is enormous and probably bigger than they actually realise if they could collectively mobilise that voting power. Before you can vote, you’ve actually got to register as votes. I think in South Africa we’ve got quite low voter registration and then even our voter turnout isn’t so great. So if that can be mobilised in the correct way, it could be very interesting. Hopefully the youth would be voting for someone with a party, with growth friendly policies that are going to create job opportunities, going to create prosperity rather than a populist party that will promise a lot and probably deliver very little, if anything. So definitely a very interesting election and a case study for us to follow and hopefully emulate in a positive way.

On Michael Burry (The Big Short) betting against Cathie Wood’s ARK:

Yes. As you say, Michael Berry is a very interesting person. His brief background is he was studying medicine and he actually qualified as a doctor. And then he was going on to become a neurosurgeon. But then he kind of went into finance. He was quite interested in finance. He is a real brain surgeon in finance. And he is a very independent thinker. He’s actually been clinically diagnosed with Aspergers. He’s really bright, but very kind of unemotional. And often in investing, you need to be unemotional because a lot of us get caught up in the fads of the day. And it’s very difficult to separate your emotions from just being rational when everyone else is losing your heads around you. He definitely demonstrated that very much in the 2008 financial crisis, he spotted the sort of poor pricing and the poor credit risk of the mortgage backed securities and the enormous risk that posed, profiting handsomely. You want to listen to what he has to say.

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