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January 2010

Apply Now for Tech Awards

Tom Grubisich's picture

The Tech Awards, a signature program of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to address humanity’s most urgent challenges.

In partnership with Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, 15 Laureates are selected annually and $50,000 is awarded to one Laureate in each category: Environment, Economic Development, Education, Equality, and Health.

Individuals as well as nonprofit and commercial organizations are eligible. Anyone may submit a nomination. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged.

Deadline for nominations is March 31. Deadline for final applications is May 5.

This year’s Laureates will be honored during a week of activities in Silicon Valley leading up to The Tech Awards Tenth Annual Gala on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010.

GEP2010 on the road

Rebecca Ong's picture

The Global Economic Prospects 2010 dissemination mission continues this week to Berlin, Madrid, Beijing, Hanoi, and Jakarta. Next stops: New Delhi, Ankara, Warsaw, and Moscow.

As the report authors met with policy makers, economists, think tanks, and journalists discussing the state of the global economy and its impact on developing countries (especially how to deal with tight international financing that could limit growth), the ensuing news coverage mirror the particular concerns of each country.

Life After the Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt's picture

There are many who argue that the financial crisis proved that we have been wrong about most of our policy recommendations in the financial sector. I am not one of them. For example, consider the renewed fascination with development banks. Given the reluctance of private institutions to lend more during the crisis, many countries used their public banks to expand credit. (But others without such institutions used other innovative ways to do this – such as the US Federal Reserve.) Should we then conclude that government ownership of banks is desirable? Similarly, the crisis was so intense that many governments ended up as large shareholders in their banking systems (which is turning out to be temporary, as expected). Does this mean developing countries should abandon their bank privatization programs? Others interpret the crisis as a vivid example of market failure and wonder if much more aggressive regulation is a good idea.

You may have guessed already that my answer to these questions is no. Research is seldom conclusive, but in the area of state ownership of banking the evidence is as overwhelming as it gets. When it comes to lending, it appears that the state banks are the best at lending to cronies. Government officials face conflicts of interest that go against efficient allocation of resources – such as securing their political bases and rewarding supporters. Overall, greater state ownership of banking is associated with less financial sector development, lower growth, lower productivity and even less stability – and it is more damaging at lower per capita income levels where there are typically fewer checks and balances. So it is no wonder that many countries embarked on privatization programs and ought to continue with them. Surely this is a difficult process – but there is again plenty of evidence that well-designed privatization can significantly increase bank performance. 

Unlocking Nepal’s Future Through Entrepreneurship

Joe Qian's picture

Towering mountains, majestic temples, and colorful cityscapes are all characteristics that I had expected for Nepal. I wasn’t disappointed. Driving into Kathmandu, the myriad of exotic colors, shapes, and smells truly ignited my senses and the sense of respect for tradition and gracious hospitality unsurpassed.

Something I didn’t expect was the sense of liveliness on the streets and the industriousness of the people. This is especially evident amid challenges in infrastructure, connectivity, and constraints such as the lack of electricity for up to 9 hours a day and a noticeable lack of quality roads. In spite of this, there were numerous shops selling all kinds of goods and services dotted around the city creating a palpable sense of entrepreneurship and energy.

Should Malaysia's new growth model favor manufacturing or services?

Philip Schellekens's picture

As Malaysia redefines its growth strategy, the question of which sector to promote has been a subject of ongoing debate. Some have argued that the strategy should emphasize manufacturing – and preferably high-tech manufacturing – as innovation activity is most forthcoming in this sector. Others have countered that services are key, as the typical economic structure of an advanced economy is oriented towards services. Tradable services are also fast becoming an engine of growth.


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