Eastern Europe and Central Asia
OAO United Aircraft Corp. will help its Finance Leasing Co. unit repay $250 million to bondholders after it became the first state-run Russian company in more than a decade to default on a foreign-currency coupon payment, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
If you have a question for World Bank President Robert Zoellick, now is your chance to ask. Reuters is collecting questions online, and Zoellick will be responding in a speech next Tuesday. Just follow this link and add your questions to the comments section. (For the Web 2.0 savvy, you can also use the #askwb tag on Twitter.)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has taken a real interest in private sector finance, releasing a publication earlier this year called Private Sector Finance: Catalyzing Private Investment in the Asia and Pacific Region. The ADB argues that a lot of their work revolves around building confidence:
This January the British medical journal the Lancet caused a kerfuffle with an article that claimed that privatization in post-communist countries was responsible for massive numbers of deaths. The authors of Mass Privatisation and the Post-communist Mortality Crisis argued that privatization resulted in massive layoffs, which in turn resulted in a staggering increase in mortality rates, particularly in Russia.
The Armenians have gotten creative. It's no secret that many post-communist countries suffer from high rates of tax evasion. How can a government promote tax compliance without being too heavy-handed with small businesses? The answer: print lottery numbers for a state-sponsored lottery on the back of store receipts. That way consumers demand receipts and merchants are obliged to print them (conveniently leaving a paper trail for the tax office).
First, America must remove trade barriers on exports from the poorest countries, regardless of trade policies in those countries. With global market access, poor countries would automatically attract private investment, despite their institutional weaknesses. These institutions would become stronger over time as businesses flourish. Private investments capitalizing on access to global markets would necessarily employ low-cost labor, thus creating jobs.
And Moldova becomes one of the world's most stable economies. That, at least, is the world according to The Banker magazine, which recently ranked countries based on how protected they are from the global slowdown:
“Salary progression”—the difference in salary between junior and senior professors—in general appears modest compared to the situation in the professions outside academe. According to our research, for most of the 15 countries in the study, salaries seldom doubled between entry level and senior ranks.
It looks like person-to-person (P2P) lending is no longer just for the developing world. Kiva, the originator of the P2P model, now has at least one imitator in an OECD country.