RULES CHANGE FOR BULL MARKETS It's well known that one of the best ways to make a personal fortune in a very short time without having to do a stroke of work is to list a bank on the JSE. Latest passenger for this particular bandwagon is something called Fulcrum Science and Technology Bank who, with no previous track record, have announced their intention to list on June 1.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange used to prudently insist on a minimum of five years in business as a condition for listing but in bull markets the rules change so that everybody can have a fair crack at capitalism.
The listing consortium is headed by leisure-loving Barry Swart, late of First National Bank. No prizes for guessing who will be decorating the head office.
VIEW ON CAPE PROPERTIES OBSCURED Capetonians are still anxiously waiting to find out what increases they will be paying in rates when their properties are revalued. The last revaluation was in 1979 and property values have climbed somewhat since then, particularly on the Atlantic seaboard.
It's felt that luxury apartments in Clifton and Bantry Bay are likely to suffer the most from a rerating and some estate agents are predicting that a sharp rise in rates will kill the property market in Cape Town. Coincidentally the most vociferous critic just happens to live in Bantry Bay. However, as money is no object for the mostly absentee owners, nobody is really too bothered. What is concerning people is the cynical suggestion that there should be an additional "view levy" which would be specifically aimed at the wealthy owners of apartments with an uninterrupted view of the ocean.
A committee of five "view assessors" would visit affected properties and would score the view out of five. For example, a sea-facing apartment would score a clear five but if you can see a corner of a neighbouring building the assessors would mark you down to a four. As this would be unlikely to affect many real Capetonians, or the poor, it is an idea that is gathering plenty of support in these egalitarian times.
MAD, BAD AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW Saddam Hussein had a regular morning ritual - shower, put on a fresh uniform, comb hair, drop a few chemical weapons, pat medals in place, then stand in front of his special full length mirror and intone:
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the meanest, most sadistic, sneaky conniving, Machiavellian son-of-a-bitch of them all?"
And the mirror would dutifully reply every morning: "'Tis you, mighty ruler."
Saddam would give a satisfied smirk and the day would be off to a fine start.
One morning the most terrible screaming and cursing suddenly emanated from the presidential dressing room, together with the sound of things being thrown, followed by the crash of breaking glass and more curses.
The Presidential Guard was really worried: "Are you all right, Your Excellency?"
"Yes, I'm okay, but who the f... is Louis Luyt?"