East Asia and Pacific
The worldwide press is full of bad economic news about the financial crisis. You'll find plenty of graphs and figures of collapsing commodity prices, depreciating currencies, rising unemployment, and other economic horrors. But what about the impact on the ground? Here are some observable signs of the crisis in Mongolia that I've noticed in the last six months:
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:
"We drive cars the same way we ride horses," a Mongolian colleague once told me. It took me a while to process that thought. I can't say I see the grace and beauty of a Mongolian horseman reflected in Ulaanbaatar's traffic. But I don't think that's what he meant. I think he was referring to the freedom of movement that both drivers and riders on horseback enjoy.
If ever there were a moment to witness creative destruction in action, now is it. If I had to bet on a sector that would benefit most from this process in the current financial crisis, it's ICT.
I've run across two stories of bloggers being arrested (or threatened with arrest) in relation to the financial crisis.
One of the enterprises that IFC has been working with in Cambodia is WING, a subsidiary of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). In late January, WING launched a mobile payments business that targets unbanked
When people speak of patriotism, they tend to think of war and of deeds on the battlefield. But even in peacetime, patriotism can actually be found in every facet of life. More than simply an idea, patriotism is an action. Today, as China faces serious difficulties and challenges both domestic and international, active consumption is a form of patriotism...