Budget Speech winners
By Lyndal Keeton
Congratulations to Benjamin “Jamie” McGraw for winning the postgraduate finals of the 2017 Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition! Jamie is currently completing his Master’s in Economics here at Wits and has recently started as an Analyst in the Applied Behaviour Economics practise at Genesis Analytics. His profile is available online.
The Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition has been running for 35 years and is the only one of its kind in the world. The competition consists of two categories, postgraduate and undergraduate. In each category, students write essays tackling difficult, pertinent topics posed by Nedbank and Old Mutual.
This year the postgraduate students were tasked with determining whether or not the unconventional monetary policies adopted in recent years by developed countries are actually effective. Jamie’s winning essay, titled, “Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Role of Central Banks in the Financial Crisis,” is available online.
The undergraduate students had to provide the economic and fiscal costs of corruption. From the essays submitted from tertiary institutions from all over South Africa 10 postgraduate and 10 undergraduate finalists are chosen.
This year Wits students took 5 of the finalist positions with Jamie McGraw and Victor Sithole in the postgraduate finals and Chloe-Marie Kikillus, Nastassja Philippou, and Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt in the undergraduate finals.
The final phase of the competition took place in Cape Town this week where the finalists attended parliament for the 2017 Budget Speech delivered by the Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba. The finalists were also submitted to tough interviews by a panel chosen by Nedbank and Old Mutual that included economists and government officials.
The final event was a gala dinner held in honour of the budget speech competition finalists on the evening of the budget speech winners. This took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and was attended by Minister Gigaba, the South African Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, other distinguished Cabinet Ministers, the CEO of Nedbank, Mike Brown, the chairman of Nedbank, Vassi Naidoo, the CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, Peter Moyo, and many other influential guests from government and the private sector.
Image top: Left to right: South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, CEO of Nedbank Mike Brown, Jamie McGraw, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets Peter Moyo, Chairman of Nedbank, Vassi Naidoo
Jamie receiving his prize – a cheque for R150,000. Left to right: CEO of Nedbank Mike Brown, Jamie McGraw, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets Peter Moyo
Finalist Victor Sithole posing a tough question regarding land expropriation without compensation to the Finance Minister.
Nastassja Philippou meeting Peter Moyo at the pre-budget speech breakfast hosted by Old Mutual held at the Table Bay Hotel.