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The Girl in the Café

Lots of hype, started well, ended in disappointment – well maybe not officially, but at least that’s my view. Had heard great things about “The Girl in the Café” – the new HBO/BBC romantic comedy set in the upcoming G8 summit and packed with development economics and social commentary – and through the first 30 minutes everything was going fine. Then came the long unoriginal speeches and a focus on the lacking convictions of the delegates instead of the severity of the problem at hand.

Impacts of China’s “dangerous” energy strategy?

On the behalf of imagery, some words from Sebastian Mallaby:

“Some people fear the economic threat from China. Others fret about expensive oil. With the skill of an accomplished arsonist, China has now poured gas on the flames of these separate anxieties, turning two medium-size fires into a single inferno.”

US Supreme Court vs. Property Rights

Everyone is talking about today's US Supreme Court decision allowing the seizure of private property for development purposes, as long as the seizure serves a “public use.” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor's dissention was quite strong:

Red-tape makes UK restaurants better

Food2 In the latest issue of Forbes Richard Karlgaard lets us know that the word “entrepreneurs” comes from France. So perhaps fittingly the high levels of red-tape in France are to blame for the improved London dinning scene:

Enact PSD reforms, visit the White House

Vietnam’s PM met with Bush yesterday at the White House. The Wall Street Journal makes the point that this meeting would not have been possible if it weren’t for the success of Vietnam’s recent economic reforms. They praise the role of the private sector:

Can increased labor mobility unlock the potential of remittances?

In the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs an impressive trio of Nancy Birdsall, Dani Rodrik and Arvind Subramanian discuss “How to Help Poor Countries.” Their main point is that too great a focus is given to increasing aid and market access; this at the risk of ignoring some other very important issues. They discuss many of these issues and come to many conclusions (for example, that TRIPS should be abolished).

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