East Asia and Pacific
Thomas Schelling, one of the fathers of game theory, would be proud. There are now websites that allow people to place bets with themselves over whether they will achieve certain weight loss goals:
China could very possibly be setting a record this year with the largest number of unemployed recent college graduates in the history of the world.
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.