The process of financial globalization that accelerated in the 1990s has brought many changes to the financial sectors of developing countries.* Countries have opened up their stock markets to foreign investors, allowed domestic firms to cross-list and issue debt overseas, and welcomed foreign direct investment into their local financial sectors. When it comes to the banking sector, arguably no change has been as transformative as the increase in foreign bank participation in developing countries. On average, across developing countries, the share of bank assets held by foreign banks has risen from 22 percent in 1996 to 39 in 2005. At the same time, foreign bank claims on developing countries, which together with the loans extended by foreign bank branches and subsidiaries include cross-border loans, increased from 10 percent of GDP in 1996 to 26 percent in 2008 (see Figure 1).
How important is it to have competitive and well regulated markets?
In a few hours, world leaders and representatives from up to 192 countries will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the highly anticipated United Nations Climate Change Conference, which starts on Monday and lasts for two weeks.
Of the 450 submissions from journalists in over 100 countries who registered for the opportunity to win one of the Earth Journalism Awards (EJAs) to be given at Copenhagen next month, 15 winners have now been announced in categories such as adaptation, human voices, forests, energy, and so on.
But that’s not all. Here’s where “everyone” comes in. You can now help choose a final winner by reading the winning entries online and voting for the best story—the one, in your opinion, that most deserves to get the attention of negotiators from the 192 countries that will be at Copenhagen.
The EJAs are being put together by Internews, a global media assistance organization, in partnership with sponsors such as the World Bank—including with explicit support from the authors of this year’s World Development Report (WDR) 2010: Development and Climate Change.
For most of us, when a disaster happens in a far away place, we only get brief glimpses of the immediate aftermath and subsequent recovery efforts – often only through news media or occasionally close-by bloggers. During four years of reconstruction after the devastating tsunami that hit the Indonesian province of Aceh in 2004, few have seen the rebuilding process like those who are part of the recovery efforts.
The Multi-Donor Fund (MDF), which is managed by the World Bank with contributions and guidance from 15 other international donor partners, continues to work on the ground in Aceh and Nias. The reconstruction has been extremely successful, with more than 100,000 new houses constructed, more than 90,000 hectares of agricultural land restored and 2,500 kilometers of road built. In late 2008, the MDF held a photo competition for people involved with projects or agencies related to reconstruction. The resulting pictures are not professionally created, but they give a beautifully close and comprehensive view of the rebuilding of Aceh.
(Hover your mouse over "Notes" to see information about each photo)
The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management announces its 2008 Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Narrative Competition co-sponsored by USAID and Cornell’s BoP Learning Lab. This short-essay competition seeks to highlight the challenges of implementing business in underserved markets and identify innovative business initiatives or solutions to those challenges. Essays must be in English and submitted no later than midnight, October 5, 2008. The first place winner will receive $4000 USD. For more details visit www.bopnetwork.org
The World Food Programme launched a video competition a few months ago to raise awareness about hunger, and a jury has selected five out of the 70 submissions received. Now it's your turn to weigh in and help declare a winner for the first HungerBytes contest.