Writing in the Ethical Corporation newsletter, Rajesh Chhabara recently opined on the near-term prospects for microfinance in Asia. Their take? Things are just hunky-dory:
Having trouble flipping that property you bought before the subprime crisis hit? Perhaps you just need a more creative approach. You could try raffling it off, like this apparently unsellable 'eco-house' in the UK (Hat tip: Adam Smith Institute). Or if you're in the market to buy, you might consider paying for a £25 ticket for a chance to win the house.
Bill Gates seems to have expressed the sentiment the best in his speech at Davos when he discussed the need for something he called creative capitalism. He argued for "an approach where governments, businesses, and nonprofits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities." And this sentiment came from one of the most successful capitalists of all time.
The discussion over at Creative Capitalism continues, and the most recent offering is from Esther Duflo. (Duflo is well known because of her work promoting the use of randomized evaluations in development economics.) In part, she responds in her post to criticisms from Bill Easterly directed at the notion of creative capitalism.
Last year the World Bank's Doing Business team released its annual report in Second Life. For those of you without the appropriate level of nerd credentials, Second Life is an online virtual community that allows users to create avatars and interact in constructed virtual worlds. Doing Business took advantage of this platform to reach some 700 "residents" of Second Life and another 1,000 audio listeners.
As average Russians have seen steady improvements in their income for almost a decade, they have gotten a taste for luxury goods - you can see many in Moscow flaunting their Gucci and Prada, recently returned from a trip to Milan. But this is not the only thing their improved incomes are buying, at least according to a recent article in the Moscow News: