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September 2005

Bank privatization and productivity

Two Brazilian researchers have examined the recent history of Brazil’s banking industry, evaluating the impact of privatizations and an increasing trend of mergers and foreign entry. Their conclusion:

Private participation in healthcare events

Two events next week for those of you in DC:

On October 4 the Center for Global Development will be having an event on Private Sector Responses to HIV/AIDS: The Case of Debswana, Botswana’s Diamond Company.

On October 5 the USAID funded 'Banking on Health' project will be having a discussion on Strengthening Contracting Out in the Private Sector in Nicaragua.

How to understand

Write something to explain what you see in simple language, says Robert Frank:

Over the years, my students have posed and answered literally thousands of fascinating questions. My favorite was submitted by Jennifer Dulski, who asked, "Why do brides often spend thousands of dollars on wedding dresses they will never wear again, while grooms often rent cheap tuxedos, even though they will attend many formal social events in the future?"

How to spend billions of dollars?

That is the welcome burden facing Roman Abramovich, Britain’s richest man and owner of the Chelsea football club, who yesterday essentially doubled his fortune – making $13.1 billion when he sold his share in Sibneft. The Financial Times asks its readers for suggestions on how he should spend this new bounty.

Private pension systems

When you consider that trillions of dollars are now managed by the private pensions industry, it’s extremely important to know how well they have performed in providing high rates of return, secure and reliable benefits and constraining costs.  These continue to be among the most hotly debated pension policy questions in virtually all countries worldwide.

2005-06 Global Competitiveness Report

The World Economic Forum has released their annual ranking of worldwide competitive conditions. Finland, the US and Sweden lead the way, with five Nordic countries placing in the top 10.  The WEF praised the solid public institutions and macro economic management of the Scandinavians:

Most expensive US states for doing business

The World Bank’s Doing Business report ranks the US 3rd out of 155 economies globally in terms of the ease-of-doing-business. However, if you want state-specific numbers on the cost-of-doing business, see the latest index from the Milken Institute. For state benchmarking beyond just business costs, see their other indexes.


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