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.”
The current edition of the Economist describes how recent bloody clashes between peasants and thugs highlight the problems with China’s ambiguous property right laws and the corruption that they fuel:
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:
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:
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:
Microfinance Gateway has launched a great new resource center on regulating and supervising microfinance. This is a great resource and brings together tons of great information.
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).
As of June 19, the IFC-India documentary “Raising Up: Women of India” will be playing on PBS Television stations across the US. This documentary is part of a series which examines the role and status of women in Indian society, with a specific focus on poverty, gender and microfinance.
Leah Pinto blogs at NextBillion.net to say that she doesn't believe that increased competition between aid agencies will make them more efficient. Well, that's true, but I think she's missed the point - competition may not increase efficiency, but if aid agencies are properly evaluated, with the best ones expanded and the worst shut down, that would be another matter.
Leah also proposes that the private sector be strengthened and that sustainable microfinance institutions be established.