It is with immense sadness that we confirm that Mike Schussler, well-known economist and founder of economists.co.za died on Tuesday 24 May 2022 after a short, brave fight against cancer. He was 60 years old.
Mike’s colourful career spans over about 30 years, in which he has excelled in many different sectors of the economy. In his early years he worked at Transnet, the Treasury, FBC Bank, EW and SAA, it was here where he gained valuable experience and insight into the transport sector of the economy, which remained one of his niche focus areas throughout his career. His career developed towards consultancy in 2000 and in the eight years to 2008, Mike was the chief economic consultant to T-sec (previously known as Tradek.com). With this in-depth experience in the investment industry added, he founded his own independent consultancy economists.co.za in 2005.
At economists.co.za Mike’s passion and insight into the economy really came to fruition. He consulted widely, to high profile local and international clients, among others National Treasury, Daimler Chrysler, BP, SAPOA (South African Property Owners Association), Financial Planning Institute of South Africa, DCASA (Debt Counselling Association of South Africa), Capitalworks, SAPA (South African Poultry Association), Private Sector Health Forum and many more including mines, banks, pharmaceutical companies, micro lenders and commodity desks at private institutions.
His research also resulted in the development of unique indicators for the South African economy, which is one of his great legacies for the South African economic sector. In earlier years, he developed provincial economic barometers and more recently the BETI, the BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index, the BPPI, the Private Pensions Index and the BTPI, the BankservAfrica Take-home Pay, which are released on a monthly basis and provides valuable timeous information on the state of the South African economy. There were also, among others, the CTrack Transport and Freight Index and the ADCORP staffing Index. Mike was also the consulting economist for Brenthurst Wealth Management and also consulted to MasterCard, the trade union UASA, and SAFCOL, the forest company, which uses his input for arbitration, remuneration, inflation and pricing.
Mike has won the South African Economist of the year competition twice, in 2005 and 2007, one of only three economists to have achieved this. His passion for the economy, his insightful analysis of current economic affairs, often with an unconventional angle (and sometimes controversial), will be greatly missed by his clients, his peers and the broader society, who had the privilege to read and hear his views in the media on a regular basis.
Mike held a M Com (Economics) from the Rand Afrikaans University and in earlier years also taught part-time at SBL Unisa, UOVS (MBA) and UJ (M com Economics).
Mike left his wife Greta and son Rudi behind.
I’m so sad to hear this news. Mike was a great person and economist. I always loved listening to his opinions and insights. – Henry Harper
My deepest condolences on the loss of Mike, he was an incredible guy and wonderfully insightful. I always learnt so much from his presentations. – John Steenhuisen (DA)
Dankie vir alles wat jy vir my gedoen en beteken het. Jou skerp insig en vermoë om syfers te laat praat, was ongeëwenaard. – Vida Booysen
Mike was a good man with strong views who expressed them thoughtfully — and his presence mattered for us all. – Brooks Spector
Op die ekonomiese front het ‘n biblioteek van kennis afgebrand. Ons land is armer. Op ‘n emosionele vlak ontbreek die woorde om julle & ons pyn te verwoord. – Ankie Engelbrecht (economist and friend)
Die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie het ‘n reus verloor! RIP dear Mike! You will be remembered for your insightful analysis, often calling a spade a blooming shuffle! You will be dearly missed. – Elize Kruger (independent economist and friend)
I interviewed Mike on numerous occasions and deeply respected his insights. – Chantal Dros (journalist)
Mike was a great man and I admired him a lot. He is a South African icon and will be remembered for his wealth of knowledge. – Deon Calitz
Hein Kruger van KRUGER INTERNATIONAAL
Mike en ek het twee groot events in die wêreld gedeel. 1. Toe die eerste vliegtuig in die World Trade Centre vasgevlieg het, het hy en ek saam middagete geëet in Westdene. 2. Toe die London Underground bomaanvalle gebeur het, was dit omdat Mike en ek in Rosebank saam middagete geëet het! Dit was benewens al die goeie gesprekke oor die ekonomie wat ons gedeel het en ons een TABOE – Ons het besluit ons mag nooit weer saam eet en wyn drink nie want anders gaan daar weer êrens ń terroriste aanval wees! Laat sy herinneringe voortleef, daar is BAIE!