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  • alifarabia

    Africa infrastructure investments hinge on reforms

    TweetAfrica’s massive infrastructure needs present a huge opportunity for the private sector, but governments will need to improve the regulatory environment and strengthen regional markets to lure companies. CONTINUE READING ...more

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  • alifarabia

    GCC budget breakeven oil price creeps up

    TweetBudget breakeven oil prices in most Gulf Arab producers are creeping upwards, as governments continue to push through investment stimulus programs despite flatter production. CONTINUE READING ...more

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  • alifarabia

    Sharp downturn eclipses Ghana’s prospects

    TweetGhana’s minister for finance and economic planning Seth Terkper issued a clear warning earlier this month that the Ghanaian economy is suffering and may need help from the International Monetary Fund, underlining the scale of the country’s economic problems. CONTINUE READING Felix Krohn / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)     ...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Tiananmen Square 25 years later

    This week witnessed the 25th anniversary of the death of former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang, an event that ignited student demonstrations throughout China, but most famously in Beijing — we all know the story. It was only two days after his death that the students began flooding into Tiananmen Square. It is a futile exercise to look at the life of Hu Yaobang and ask, “What if…?” But it’s hard not to wonder. What if he had not been demoted in 1987 and if his program for political and economic reforms were put further into place? A touching interview with his son, Hu Dehua, looks at the opportunities China lost with Hu’s demotion. I enjoyed the part recounting how Hu spoke out against slavish devotion to Mao Zedong. Twenty-five y...more

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  • Private Sector Development - News and views on a competitive private sector and a resilient financial sector

    Toward Shared Prosperity, With an Urgent New Focus on Overcoming Inequality of Wealth and Income

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    The Future of the State Revisited: Reforming Public Expenditure

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    A New Kind of Test

    TIME has a brief piece on an interesting change in what the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) tests. “Students will no longer be rewarded for the rote memorization of semi-obscure definitions. Instead, the words that the SAT will highlight in vocabulary questions will be “high utility” words that students are likely to encounter in life and reading beyond those four hours in the testing location. Even the most studied students won’t be able to breeze through vocab sections, matching a word with definition B by reflex; they’ll have to read and gather from the passage exactly what a word means.” ...more

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  • Bankelele

    Understanding Low Cost Flights

    Though FastJet and JamboJet applied at about the same time for aviation licenses to fly in Kenya, FastJet started in Tanzania in November 2012, and a year and a half later,  JamboJet, a Kenya Airways subsidiary has launched flights in Kenya. As low cost carriers, there are some differences which passengers here, especially current Kenya Airways customers, may not be able to understand.Cost of tickets:  Going by the FastJet model, which JamboJet also has, there is the  unique pricing of tickets. While they advertise low prices of tickets e.g.Kshs 2,850 ($35) to Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu, not all seats on the flight cost that. The price applies to just a few and as soon as they are bought (preferably several days or weeks in advance of a fl...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Happy Bengali New Year

    The Bengali calendar is loosely tied with the Hindu Vedic solar calendar, based on the Surya Siddhanta. As with many other variants of the Hindu solar calendar, the Bengali calendar commences in mid-April of the Gregorian year. The first day of the Bengali year therefore coincides with the mid-April new year in Mithila, Assam, Burma, Cambodia, Kerala, Manipur, Nepal, Odisha, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. [Wiki.] The wiki also states that Poila Boishakh coincides with the New Years in many other Southern Asian calendars, including: Assamese New Year, or Rongali Bihu (India’s Assam state) Burmese New Year, or Thingyan (Burma) Khmer New Year, or Chol Chnam Thmey (Cambodia) Lao New Year, or Songkan / Pi Mai Lao (Laos) Malayali New Year, or Vishu (India’s...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Socrates & the Pope: Overheard at the IMF’s Spring Meetings

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  • Zambian Economist

    A waste of resources

    Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has called on the Government to bail out state media workers (e.g. Daily Mail, Times of Zambia). It draws its membership from the state media. ZUK president James Muyanwa says :Our members at Times Printpak Zambia Limited, have suffered for a long time now. The workers have been getting their salaries late for about four years now. For instance, currently they are in two-month salary arrears, and have literally been surviving by the grace of God.....Given this situation, we feel the Government should move from mere words to action on the matter to salvage the company from total collapse and also address the plight of our members. We feel that the company, as a public institution, deserves the same treatment as Nitrogen Chemicals of Zamb...more

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  • Private Sector Development - News and views on a competitive private sector and a resilient financial sector

    What would our world look like, if women and men had the same opportunities?

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Who Killed Indians at Jallianwala Bagh?

    Today is the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, was a seminal event in the British rule of India. On 13 April 1919, a crowd of non-violent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh garden in Amritsar, Punjab to protest the arrest of two leaders despite a curfew which had been recently declared. On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the army fired on the crowd for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The dead numbered between 370 and 1,000, or possibly more. [Wiki.] The picture on the left shows the narrow passage to Jallianwala Bagh Garden through which ...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Leadership of State agencies in India requires engineers and not drivers

    I recently wrote a column in the Economic Times titled Engineers, not drivers, about the problems of malfunctioning government agencies in India and the problem of constructing State capacity.  ...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Constitution limbo

    I would like to state here that if we are going to have a referendum as it seems to be the case, the legal process leading us to that cannot be completed before the year 2016. A referendum under our present law requires that we should first conduct a national consensus of all those citizens who are eligible to vote (above 18 years old)WYNTER KABIMBAThe justice minister is merely stating the obvious. Everyone knows that the draft constitution cannot be delivered before 2016. This is consistent with what I have said previously. It seems to me that the referendum won't be held in this parliament. I am glad he is finally being clear on this point. And people still need a clear road map not merely media statements.It seems to me the most sound way forward  would be to h...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Europe’s Economic Outlook

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  • Zambian Economist

    Energy Developments

    GRZ is currently importing expensive finished petroleum products through tankers hired by foreign suppliers Trafigura and Dalbit. According to Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma the arrangement is because Indeni Petroleum Refinery, Zambia’s sole crude oil refinery is obsolete. Yaluma says, “Indeni has outlived its usefulness and cannot meet the country’s demand. In fact, it is running obsolete and all we are doing is that we are pushing it along; otherwise its production capacity has fallen more than three fold" (Source: Daily Nation)Garry Nkombo MP has advised GRZ to liberalise the energy market and allow more people to supply fuel if the cost of the commodity is to reduce. He believes the solution to fuel challenges lies in government allowing anyone to bring in...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Time for the CCP to apologize for the Cultural Revolution?

    There is a moving essay in yesterday’s NY Times by author Yu Hua about growing up during the Cultural Revolution. It starts with the story of teenage man and his father turning over their mother/wife to the police for an anti-Mao remark she made. After being tortured, she was shot to death. Last year the Chinese media told the son’s story, and he related a dream he kept having of seeing his mother and begging for forgiveness, but she remains silent. Yu Hua comments, Why, in those dreams, does Ms. Fang never say a word to her son? It’s not, I think, that she wants to punish him, for she knows that the true blame lies with others — with those who were in power at the time. She — like the souls of all who perished during the Cultural Revolution — is awa...more

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  • Bankelele

    Visit a Huduma Centre

    Arguably, the President was probably wrong when he said during a TV interview on the one year anniversary of his government, that their biggest achievement was free maternal health care.A better answer was probably their introduction of Huduma (swahili for service) Centres in the country. Huduma Centres, which are at two post offices in downtown Nairobi, are offices where citizens can access a whole range of government services that they would previously have to visit a dozen different  offices over several days to complete.Services offered in one room include business registration, driving license renewals, national ID’s, birth certificates,  city parking permits, land rate payments, querying NSSF & NHIF, and they even act ...more

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  • Private Sector Development - News and views on a competitive private sector and a resilient financial sector

    More efficient ways to transfer remittances are emerging. Are migrants and their families ready to benefit from them?

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  • Bankelele

    Boeing 787 Dreamliner Arrives at Kenya Airways

    On April 5, Kenya Airways (KQ), received, The Great Rift Valley - their first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft in Nairobi.  KQ Managing Director, Titus Naikuni, said their aircraft were 3-4 years behind schedule and thanked the airline staff, passengers and sales people for putting up with older aircraft in the interim. He added that plans are still on course for KQ to get more Dreamliner planes every month between June till October 2014. ArrivalKQ Chairman, Evanson Mwaniki who was on-board the 16-hour non-stop flight from Paine Field, Washington to Nairobi, said they been assured at the highest levels of Boeing that the 787 program's teething problems had all been sorted. He said each Dreamliner...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Opportunities at Macro/Finance Group, NIPFP

    The Macro/Finance Group at NIPFP has openings in analytical economics and public policy work. Economists We require individuals with a Ph.D. in economics or finance, with an interest in original research in our fields. These would be contractual appointments for a period of two years. One or more publications in international journals would be helpful, as would be the ability to carry research from inception all the way to publication. Policy research associates We require people who can participate in large complex projects in the field of public policy, ranging from envisioning the future to implementing it. Policy work is highly inter-disciplinary, spanning the fields of public economics, finance, economics, law, and public administration. Deep finance practitione...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Ye Fu’s book of essays, Hard Road Home: China’s Golden Age of Liberation

    Before I discuss this touching, beautifully written book, I’d like to cite a quote from a book review I happened to read at the same time I was reading Hard Road Home. It was an excellent review of Frank Dikoetter’s new book on the Chinese revolution, The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1957. It offers this excerpt: By the beginning of 1948, when the pressure abated, some 160 million people were under communist control. On paper the party determined that at least 10 percent of the population were “landlords” or “rich peasants.”… The statistical evidence is woefully inadequate, but by a rough approximation between 500,000 and a million people were killed or driven to suicide…. By the end of 1951, close to two ...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Economic consequences of income inequality

    A lot of things have happened in China since my last entry – in the FX markets, in the banking system, in the announcements of default, and in the continuing lowering of growth expectations – but for all the turmoil, as I see it nothing has happened that was unexpected and that has not been discussed many times on this blog. For that reason I decided to post a rather long essay (sorry) on income inequality and on how I think we can best think about the impact of income inequality on the global economy. This is a loaded topic, and I suspect I am going to get a lot of responses claiming that my essay is totally brilliant or totally nonsensical based, mainly, on the political orientation of readers. This entry, however, is not intended to be political. Very few things ...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Financial reforms : What should the next government do?

    Think India Foundation is setting up a series of TV shows on various aspects of public policy. Percy Mistry, Rashesh Shah, Dhiraj Nayyar and I were on their Financial Policy show, which was shot in English and Hinglish. I was impressed at the quality of the show; I had not thought this possible on television. And, my new ambition is to speak in Hindi like Dhiraj does. It will air on the coming weekend (22 and 23 March, Saturday and Sunday), as follows: CNN IBN Sat – 12pm & 8pm Sun – 10pm IBN 7 Sat – 10am & 8pm Sun – 11am & 6pm CNBC AWAAZ Sat – 7:30pm Sun -1pm CNBC-TV18 Sat – 8:30pm Sun – 8pm ETV UP, ETV MP and ETV Bihar Sat – 6pm Sun – 5pm ETV Rajasthan and ETV Urdu Sat – 5pm Sun – 5pm ...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Will emerging markets come back?

    I don’t often make reference to these kinds of things in my blog, but Saturday’s terrorist attack in the Kunming train station – in which 29 innocent people were hacked to death (the toll was especially high among the elderly who were unable to run away quickly enough from the killers) – fills me with dread and dismay. This kind of brutal massacre is not about sending a message to Beijing or to the world but is rather aimed at getting the authorities to overreact so as to create hatred within the country. I truly hope it does not succeed. There is a great deal of anger here in China but so far, I am glad to say, excluding some over-the-top responses in the internet world the authorities and Chinese people generally seem not to be overreacting. I wish there w...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    What do bank share prices tell us about growth?

    Tom Holland had an interesting piece in the South China Morning Post three weeks ago in which he discusses the low valuations of Chinese banks. About a decade ago, if I remember correctly, Chinese banks were trading between three and four times book. Those valuations have dropped considerably since then: On Monday, the weighted average price-book value ratio for the 10 Chinese banks listed in Hong Kong fell to just 0.98. In other words, as an investor you would have been able to buy shares in Chinese banks for less than the cash you would have received – in theory – if the companies were wound up the following day and the residual value returned to shareholders. That’s a highly unusual state of affairs, especially in a rapidly developing economy like ...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    What Do China’s Millennials Want ?

    For a number of years, I had it pretty good.  I had a number of teams that were under me, were stable, and were producing.  It was at a time when a lot of questions were being asked about the post 80s generation in China, but for whatever reason I was immune. But, those days are over, and just yesterday I had another millennial go AWOL on me.  So, it was perhaps interesting timing that CNBC put up the article Millennials may be more like boomers than we realize highlighting how several studies point to a generation that is looking for meaning in their job, in their company, and for balance: A new study from Deloitte also found differences in workplace attitudes between millennials and older generations, saying that the former “want to work for organizations tha...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    What Would be the Impact if the Chinese Economy Tanked?

    One of the most interesting conversations I ever had was over drinks with a European central banker looking to learn about the reach of China. His core questions was “If China imploded, what could be the impact…. “, and for a couple of hours we worked through a few industries. How far their supply chains reached into China, regardless of where the products were sold, as well as what level of dependence those same firms/ industries had on China for top line growth. I’m sure it is a conversation many have had, but for me the big lesson was that few take the time to think about it enough, and regardless of what your feelings are on China’s potential for a “hard landing”, it is something I have always advocated creating scenarios f...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    The Year of the Horse is here! Bring on the Fireworks! Bring on the SMOG!

    LAst night, while enjoying a hot pot with friends and doing my best to ignore the CCTV New Year extravaganza, I was taking screen shots from my CN Air quality app to see if it would be possible to show the impact of fireworks on China’s air quality. As you can see, over the course of the night things got measurably worse.  Large areas of the country that started off the night in fairly good shape ( less than 100), quickly moved into 100-150 territory, and areas that were already in the orange ended up in purple (325+) and black (500+).  Which for us was striking given the fact that construction sites and factories have been idle for the last 7-10 days, and a large portion of the trucks have been taken off the road Which left us wondering what the source was.  ...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    On Cameron’s defeat in Parliament over Syria

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  • The Gulf blog

    The Consequences of Qatar’s Foreign Policy

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  • The Gulf blog

    Qatar’s Foreign Policy Adventurism

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  • Russia Blog

    Small Children Tortured at a Russian Government Orphanage

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  • Russia Blog

    Interview on Boris Berezovksy's Death

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  • Russia Blog

    Moscow Edging Away from Cyprus

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Twins!

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  • ChinaBizGov

    China's Green Car Sales in 2012

    Just a few years ago, pretty much everyone (except Chinese auto industry insiders whom I interviewed) thought China was about to take ownership of the global green car market. (Here's just one example from the excitable Tom Friedman of the New York Times.)In 2009 China's industrial planners announced plans to have 500,000 green cars ("New Energy Vehicles" or "新能源汽车" -- a combination of electrics and hybrids) on Chinese roads by the end of 2011. That obviously didn't happen, so last year, that same target of 500,000 was pushed out to 2015.So how did green car sales fare in 2012? Overall, hybrids plus electrics grew a respectable 52 percent.So while sales grew pretty well in percentage terms, it is clear that overall numbers are still inconsequential when you co...more

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    What Causes Revolutions?

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Enter the New Year

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  • ChinaBizGov

    Comparing Corruption in China and the US

    Today's WSJ China Realtime reports on a study by a George Mason University economist who attempts to compare corruption in the US and China.  His conclusion is that corruption in America's Gilded Age (1877-1893)* was worse than corruption in China today.Perhaps the conclusion is correct, but the methodology used by this professor is flawed.  US corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US newspapers 1870-1930.  China corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US (not Chinese!) newspapers 1990-2011.So he is measuring corruption in two countries by the number of times the newspapers of only one of the countries mentions the word.  Even if the researcher had used Chinese newspapers, the study still would have been flawed due to Commun...more

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  • ChinaBizGov

    GM and SAIC: Trouble in Paradise?

    General Motors (GM) and Shanghai Auto (SAIC) announced in December of 2009 that they were deepening their partnership beyond their joint venture in China.  Together they created a 50:50 joint venture, registered in Hong Kong, for expansion outside of China.  Now that partnership appears to be coming apart.Initially, the plan for the HK JV was for the two sides to work together in India and possibly elsewhere in the future.  (For further insight into this particular deal, please see Chapter 4 of Designated Drivers.) As for the India venture, GM would contribute two existing factories in India, along with its Chevrolet brand, and SAIC would contribute cash -- something that GM had been seriously lacking as it had emerged from bankruptcy earlier that same ye...more

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Blogger Spotlight

Dan Steinbock

Dr Dan Steinbock is a recognized expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies (G7) and large emerging economies (BRICS and beyond). In addition to his advisory activities (www.differencegroup.net), he is affiliated with major US universities as well as international think-tanks, such as India China and America Institute (USA), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and EU Center (Singapore).

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