The social media guru Clay Shirky gave a talk earlier this month at the TED@State conference. (Shirky came to the World Bank just over a year ago and had some sage advice for the development community that is still worth heeding.) According to Shirky, we're witnessing "the largest increase in expressive capability in human history." I'd say he's onto something h
The global economic crisis revealed large scale fraud in the financial sector (witness the Madoff scandal, among others). Unsurprisingly, it has prompted widespread decline in public trust in companies. The Financial Times / Harris Poll released last month suggests three-quarters of people in the US and Europe now have a worse opinion of business.
Prior to the 1980s, it was believed that natural resource abundance would enable developing countries to make the transition from underdevelopment to industrial “take off”, just as it had done for countries such as Australia and the U.S (Rostow, 1961; Stages of Economic Growth). This view now stands challenged by a number of studies that demonstrate the existence of a “resource curse” – slower growth and poorer economic performance in natural resource rich countries.
On 28 May 2005, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, son of the president of Republic of Congo, went shopping in Paris. He spent €2,375 in Dolce & Gabbana, followed by €6,700 in Aubercy Bottier, a high-end bootmaker. Less than three weeks later, on 14 June, he was back: another €4,250 on shoes at Aubercy and €1,450 at a designer handbag shop. A month later, on 15 July, he burned another €2,000 at Aubercy, apparently his favourite shoe shop at the time.
I once did an internship at Transparency International (TI-USA, to be exact), so I was pleased to see that their next Global Corruption Report will be on Corruption and the Private Sector. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until mid-2009 to find out more, since that's when it's slated to be published.
After 3 years in the making, the results of the research project that started as part of Doing Business and looks at transparency in government are out.
I just finished reading Economic Gangsters, an excellent little book that summarizes in popular form a lot of recent evaluation work on corruption and violence.