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How bad is inflation in Zimbabwe?

Very bad.

Toilet paper costs $417. No, not per roll. Four hundred seventeen Zimbabwean dollars is the value of a single two-ply sheet. A roll costs $145,750 — in American currency, about 69 cents...

By March [2006], inflation had touched 914 percent a year, at which rate prices would rise more than tenfold in 12 months. Experts agree that quadruple-digit inflation is now a certainty...

How to manage reforms?

Most people agree on what needs to be done to reform the investment climate but there is little consensus on how to manage these reforms. How should reforms be packaged and sequenced so that they are both credible and feasible? Should reforms be comprehensive or is an incremental approach best? Is consultation necessary or does this create new barriers and interest groups? Are new institutions needed or should the capacity of old ones be grown? How and when can pilot programs be useful? We need to improve monitoring, so why don't we do it?

Improving corporate governance in Mexico

A new securities law could help dramatically raise Mexico’s corporate governance standards, which ranked a dismal 125th in the world in Doing Business’ most recent index of investor protection and corporate governance standards.

Are China’s factories running out of workers?

One of the defining myths of modern China - that it has a bottomless well of unskilled, low-wage laborers - is coming apart at the seams. And hardest hit are the southern coastal cities that produce much of America's consumer bounty.

As migration trends and personal preferences shift, the employment and incentive policies of Chinese factories will have to adapt to new labor pools if they want to remain competitive.

Going the extra mile as a corporate citizen

Michael Jarvis's picture

Business Ethics magazine has just released its 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2006. Although limited to US firms, the list still makes fun reading. Companies that have suffered scandals in the past see efforts to restore the reputations paying off – note Nike rising to #13 in the list. Who was number one? Green Mountain Coffee Roaster of Vermont.

Incubating entrepreneurs

In Chile, a novel training program pairs business-school students with low-income entrepreneurs in a mutually enriching partnership. They have realized that beyond just financing, mentorship and training are sometimes needed for entrepreneurs to get started in the right direction.

Chicago microfinance conference

University of Chicago and Northwestern are teaming teamed up for a solid one day event on April 21st, Microfinance at the Crossroads. An impressive mix of public, private and NGO speakers, including Andre Laude from the IFC. Though I wish they hadn’t divided the breakout sessions into ‘finance’ and ‘impact’ tracks. One of my qualms with microfinance is that people divide it into this pro-poor vs. for-profit dichotomy.