When the storm hit, South Africa had been sitting on relatively strong fundamentals and emerging from a protracted period of economic expansion. The meltdown allowed “not-so-well-hidden” vulnerabilities to surface. Unemployment, inequality, poverty, crime, and HIV/AIDS still continue to plague the country. Agriculture, mining and manufacturing declined while the trade and current account deficit (CAD) widened.
Public Sector and Governance
The impact of the current global crisis on Angola’s economy can be divided into three parts. First, a marginal impact on the financial sector: no stock exchange, very small inter-banking credit markets, limited transaction flows with international markets (except via Portuguese Bank), low level of banking services, low ratio of loans to deposits, etc. Nonetheless, there was a decline of around 20% in demand deposits in foreign currency in November.
Lorsque l'on parle du secteur de la microfinance au Niger, on entend souvent les termes de restructuration et de réforme, comme si la faible pénétration du crédit dans les zones rurales était forcément due à des institutions financières à restructurer et à réformer.
“When I was a boy of fourteen,” Mark Twain once said, “my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.”
In the midst of the very serious resumption of violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, an interesting debate has broken out between Paul Collier and Adekeye Adebajo on the question of who should deliver basic services in post-conflict societies. Paul suggests these services be provided by non-state actors, such as NGOs and church groups. Dr.
I gave the Jerome A.Chazen lecture at Columbia Business School the other day. The gist of my talk was that:
The conventional wisdom that African financial systems have little to worry about in the wake of the global financial crisis needs to be challenged. In the attached note, I raise five* concerns:
My earlier post on the lessons to be drawn (and not drawn) from the financial crisis for the balance between state and market in developing countries elicited a lively discussion on this blog. Many of the comments responded to other comments, which gladdens the blogger’s heart (and eases his workload). More seriously, I recently came across two papers that significantly deepened the points I was making in that original post. On t
I attended a very interesting seminar today on the role of the media in governance and anti-corruption. Key speaker for the session was the first African-born winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Nigerian journalist Dele Olojede. Mr. Olojede talked about the information and communication revolution that has taken place in Africa in the last decade and how it has transformed the role of the media all across the continent.
At a recent videoconference with journalists, I was asked the question in the title of this post several times. Does the fact that private banks in the United States are going bankrupt mean that the free market system is a failure? Does the fact that the United States government is bailing out these banks and in some cases “nationalizing” them mean that state intervention is back?