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June 2013

At the UN Security Council on Fragility and Natural Resources

Caroline Anstey's picture

Imagine you are a leader of an African country and your entire government budget for the year is $1.2 billion.

That same year, an investor sells 51 percent of their stake in a huge iron ore mine in your country for $2.5 billion — more than double your annual government budget.

And imagine having ordered a review into mining licenses granted by previous regimes and knowing that the investor who made the $2.5 billion sale had been granted a mining license in your country for free.

It's what happened in Guinea. It's a story I heard Guinea's president, Alpha Condé tell the G8's trade, transparency and taxation conference in London. And it's a story I thought well worth sharing at the UN Security Council's meeting on fragile states and natural resources last week.

Friday round up: Tapering trouble, debating inequality, the greedy rich, waves of protests, and a view from the UN

LTD Editors's picture

John Makin of AEI has a piece on troubling taper talk from central banks. Read it here.

In "What if we're looking at inequality the wrong way?', Tom Edsall of NYT's Opinionator blog writes about the views of Richard V. Burkhauser of Cornell as well as those of his co-authors.

Robert Skidelsky advocates for a universal basic income, received by all citizens on an unconditional basis in his post, "Playing by the rules," in Project Syndicate. Read more.

Prospects Daily: Developing-country stocks bounce back…Japanese industrial production accelerates…Vietnam GDP growth up slightly

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture
Financial MarketsThe dollar gained against the yen but fell versus the euro on the last trading day of the quarter and the month as fears of an imminent scaling back of the U.S. stimulus program faded. The U.S. currency was up 0.6% to 98.94 yen today, but it has lost 1.4% to Japan’s currency this month. The euro gained 0.4% against the dollar to $1.3090, extending its quarterly gain to 2.1%.

Making Energy Efficiency Personal

Gary Stuggins's picture

As an economist dealing with energy efficiency on a daily basis, I have studied and written about its benefits for several countries. But it was not until recently that I got around to looking into it at home.

It all started with my work with the World Bank’s energy efficiency agenda, particularly after the G8 Forum asked the Bank in 2006 to prepare a “Clean Energy Investment Framework”.  Soon thereafter, we supported a series of low carbon country case studies in India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and China.  A number of clear messages were delivered to us, including: “our priority is economic growth and poverty reduction”.






















So how were we to get the best of both worlds – a reduction in the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions (like carbon dioxide) and continued economic growth?

The Fast Changing World of Information and Communications Technology

Buyant Erdene Khaltarkhuu's picture
Mobile phones and the Internet are increasingly seen as essential requirements for the exchange of information. Data from World Development Indicators 2013 illustrates the dramatic change in access across the world in the last decade.

Prospects Daily: China’s money market rates moderate, EU ministers agree on bank bailout rules, India’s current account deficit narrows

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture
Financial Markets… Developed-market government bonds remained steady on Thursday as an unexpectedly sharp downward adjustment to first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product calmed fears that Federal Reserve would soon scale back its stimulus program. An agreement among European Union ministers on how to manage failing banks also weighted positively on European bonds. The 10-year yield on U.S. Treasuries fell 2 basis points to 2.52% after sliding 7 bps yesterday, while the yields on similar-maturity German and U.K. debt slide 4 bps to 1.73% and 6 bps to 2.40%, respectively.

Weekly links June 27: badly managed Indian schools, evaluating peace-building, the perils of misunderstanding significance, new power calculations, and more…

David McKenzie's picture
  • In the LSE Centrepiece, Renata Lemos and Daniela Scur have a short piece summarizing new results from measuring management in retail, health, education and manufacturing in India: “In retail, the top 10% of Indian stores are better managed than 40% of US stores and 57% of UK stores. But in education, only 8% of US schools and 1% of UK schools are less well managed than the best 10% of Indian schools.”

Making Remittances Work for Africa

Soheyla Mahmoudi's picture

Remittances are the money that migrants send back to their home countries to sustain their families. In the case of Africa it is estimated that 120 million people benefited from the US$60 billion sent home by 30 million migrants in 2012. While most of these flows are used for consumption, they could have a greater development impact if a larger portion was saved in banks by recipients and channeled into productive investment such as microenterprise activities.

This link between remittances and financial inclusion was the main topic discussed in a Forum organized by the World Bank in Brussels on May 16th, bringing together representatives of francophone African countries and Diaspora communities with several development partners such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the African Union Commission (AUC), who with European Commission (EC) funding and World Bank implementation, are collaborating to address this issue with concrete action.

Privacy is so 20th Century

Sina Odugbemi's picture
Modern life is life on the grid: credit cards, smart phones, internet connections, social media presence and so on. And here is the truth: Life on the grid is life in a fishbowl erected on stilts in a bazaar. As a result, something that we once thought was important to us as citizens is not simply lost, it is irretrievably lost: it is the idea of privacy.

The concept of privacy itself is notoriously difficult to define. In reading around the subject, I found this description of it by Larry Peterman in a 1993 essay in The Review of Politics titled ‘Privacy’s Background’:

We look upon the private as that part of our lives insulated against the communal or public broadly constructed, protected from unwarranted intrusion by others, including political authorities, and the place where, in the last resort, we can clothe ourselves in anonymity.


I think that is exactly right. It is what Grant Mindle, in an earlier essay, calls ‘concealment and seclusion’ that protected place where we can have parts of our lives that will not leak into the public arena.

Can Transport Continue to Drive Development in the Face of Carbon and Resource Constraints?

Andreas Kopp's picture

 Shutterstock

Transport drives development: It leads agricultural producers out of subsistence by linking them to markets, enables regions and nations to become more competitive, and makes cities more productive.  But transport is also a big polluter, contributing 20 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions.  These emissions have grown by 1.7 percent annually since 2000, with 60 percent of the increase in non-OECD countries where economic growth has been accompanied by a surge in demand for individual motor vehicles.

Are attempts to change this trend bad for development? Recent historical experience tells us otherwise. Countries with the lowest emissions per passenger-km are the ‘development miracles’ of recent decades: Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong are all champions in transport fuel-efficiency.

So what would a low-emission future look like? Some see rapid improvements in engine technology as the path to de-carbonization. (Source: IEA) The IPCC, however, finds that technical breakthroughs such as mass affordability of fuel cell cars are unlikely to arrive soon. If so, emission reductions will have to be achieved by a modal change, emphasizing mass transit, railways, and inland water transport rather than individual motorization and aviation.


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