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New privatization database launched

One of the most frequent requests we get is for privatization data. Accordingly, we have launched a new privatization database. Building upon the efforts of previous World Bank privatization databases -and with kind collaboration from colleagues at Privatization Barometer, OECD and the EBRD- the database provides information on more than 9,000 developing country privatization transactions from 1988 to 2003.

HSBC goes carbon neutral

And ahead of schedule, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development reports. HSBC did not actually go carbon neutral but paid for offsets at around $4.40 per tonne of CO2. I find this more helpful than trying to plant trees in the car parks of HSBC branches around the world... some businesses will inevitably emit carbon dioxide in an early 21st century economy, and the costs of try to eliminate emissions can be prohibitive. The trading approach is likely to be much more effective.

A bag to carry the future?

With the Little Big Bag, Mortemard de Boisse may have struck gold. If enough people share her view that her invention is an environmentally sound, healthful and inexpensive alternative, Mortemard de Boisse may prove to be the savior of an increasingly litter-ridden continent and a boon to overburdened shoppers, students, moms and athletes throughout the world.

Digital donations

In The Market for Aid Michael Klein and I write about the aid industry in 2020:

In 2020 citizens of rich countries could order a new well or power generator for delivery in Sudan as easily and with the same assurance as they could order flowers for delivery to their grandmother in 2005.

And by 2030:

Mainstream innovation in socially responsible investing

Rachel Kyte's picture

“Its not the 60s anymore.” This was the refrain heard in the corridors and bars at SRI in the Rockies, the annual bash for the socially responsible investing (SRI) crowd. Today SRI is being taken up, tinkered with and improved by mainstream investment houses.

Google.org, the new billion dollar charity

No, it’s nowhere near the $28bn of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but it’s a start. Google.org is the new umbrella portal for Google’s philanthropic efforts – many of which include social investment projects in the developing world. To highlight a few:

Zakaria on India's pragmatic private sector

In Outlook India Fareed Zakaria calls India's private sector "India's true face - open, pragmatic." When asked about the dark side of globalization and how we can soften its impact on develeoping countries, he responds:

Bed-time reading for trade delegates and poverty campaigners

Rachel Kyte's picture

Hot on the heels of the UN Millennium +5 Summit WTO Director General Pascal Lamy spoke to the World Bank Group Development Committee on September 25. His focus was the WTO poverty reduction agenda and the important pending issues for the Doha Round at the next ministerial conference in Hong Kong. The most pressing agenda item is that we need set a date for the elimination of export subsides and agree on figures for slashing trade distorting farm support.

More on Thomas Schelling and the Nobel Prize

“The most important event of the second half of the 20th century is one that didn't happen.” With those words, Thomas Schelling marked the "stunning achievement" of 50 years without a nuclear war. No one person can claim credit, but Mr Schelling has as much claim as anyone to helping prevent Armageddon.


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