EconoMonitor

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    Emerging Markets

  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Euro Area: An Unbalanced Rebalancing?

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  • Zambian Economist

    13 ideas to improve road safety

    Earlier this year we asked for ideas on reducing road traffic accidents on our very active Facebook page. Its taken a while to sort through the many detailed comments. Here are the best 13 ideas you came up with.  The ideas are over and above basic existing initiatives being undertaken by GRZ such as building more roads, more dual carriageways, increased road maintenance and mode switch. And of course all the ideas would require a proper cost benefit analysis before taking them forward.1# - Introduce restrictions on where drivers can drive depending on existing experience e.g. those with less than one year driving experience could be banned from driving on intercity roads.2# - Improve quality of training for driving instructors and close those schools that are...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Asia’s Seismic Shift: How Can the Financial Sector Serve Better?

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    What does socialism do to ethics

    Marginal Revolution has a post about the moral effects of socialism. In this, we are pointed to a fascinating new paper. Ariely, Garcia-Rada, Hornuf, Mann have a new paper where they analyse the natural experiment of one Germany that was arbitrarily sub-divided into communist GDR and capitalist FRG. They find that people with a greater exposure to socialism are more likely to cheat.And, a paper by Al-Ubaydli et al on PLOS One in March 2013 finds that the framework of markets and trade increases trust in strangers. I have heard similar concerns about low ethical standards in China as the outcome of many generations of communist rule. Was it just a matter of stamping out religion? Is the causal chain composed of destroying organised religion that leads to cheating...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Are some lives worth more than others?

    On 3rd January 2011, PF President Michael Sata wrote to President Banda following his wife's treatment in South Africa arranged by the Zambian government. He expressed "profound gratitude" to President Banda for "the consideration, compassion and care extended to [Christine Kaseba] during the period of her illness and stay at Milpark Hospital". Mr Sata was particularly "pleased to see that [Christine Kaseba's] life was saved due to the government’s prompt action to evacuate her".The action by President Banda to evacuate Christine Kaseba clearly created difficulties for Mr Sata because it meant Mr & Mrs Sata owed their lives to two separate taxpayer funded evacuations at expensive hospitals in South Africa. All down to the MMD government's policy of foreign evacuat...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Is Falung Gong a dangerous cult? Is it a cult at all?

    I’ll admit it right at the beginning: I’ve always found there to be something creepy about the Falun Gong. I remember seeing practitioners in Taipei sitting with their eyes closed meditating endlessly. I remember their anti-CCP literature. I remember meeting a group of practitioners at the local annual China celebration day in Phoenix and finding them generally icky. But just because I find them creepy doesn’t mean they are a cult, let alone a dangerous one. This excellent article presents the argument of one of the best informed China Hands I’ve ever read, Ian Johnson, who argues that the FG is not a cult. In “Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Modern China,” Ian Johnson writes that the “cult” label was designed to “[cl...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Fiscal Policy’s Evolving Role

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  • Bankelele

    Countdown to REIT’s in Kenya

    This week CFCLIfe and Stanlib managers held a media briefing on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT's) in Kenya and their possible impact on the local property scene.  REIT’s are common around the world, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria have had legislation for them, and finally, there's a Kenya law on REIT's in place (July 2013) after many years of formulation and review.Stanlib Kenya  plan to launch REIT's in Kenya in September 2014 - and the law allows for two kinds - Income REIT’s and Develoment REIT’s. Some unique features about REIT's (which will cost between Kshs 100 - 300 million to set up with a minimum of 7 promoters) include they must distribute about 80% of profits to investors, and investors can sign on to I-REIT's for a...more

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  • Bankelele

    Fin4Ag14

    All this week, Nairobi plays host to a conference called Fin4Aag14 which has the theme of Revolutionising Finance for Agri-Value Chains.It started with plug & play session in which 18 companies got to introduce their platforms linking agriculture to finance across Africa. This is the second edition of the session that was introduced at the conference in Kigali last year and proved to be quite popular.The 18 companies were: Tangaza Pesa: automates the value chain by doing KYC on farmers with bio data, crops produced,  and GPS  to build credit recordsEnsibuuko (Uganda) helps (via web & mobile) to manage rural SACCO’s that can reach many of the rural unbanked farmers FarmDrive (University of Nairobi) enables small farm...more

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  • Bankelele

    Lady Lori & FastJet?

    The latest round of airline license applications has a curious addition with Lady Lori previously known as a successful helicopter charter company applying for a variation of their current license.Lady Lori are seeking to introduce domestic flights between Nairobi and Mombasa as well as to obtain rights for international routes from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, Juba, Kigali, Entebbe, Maputo and Lusaka.Across the border is successful FastJet who have not been shy about their ambitions for Kenya. But their license to operate which they intended to obtain via an investment in Kenya's Fly540 airline has been stuck somewhere in the government red tape while their Tanzania business has thrived and they are now the leading airline there. Recently, FastJet came...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Mises on Bureaucracy

    “The characteristic feature of present-day policies is the trend toward a substitution of government control for free enterprise. Powerful political parties and pressure groups are fervently asking for public control of all economic activities, for thorough government planning, and for the nationalization of business. They aim at full government control of education and at the socialization of the medical profession. There is no sphere of human activity that they would not be prepared to subordinate to regimentation by the authorities. In their eyes, state control is the panacea for all ills.” Ludwig von Mises. “Bureaucracy”. Page 4. Yale University Press. New Haven. 1944. ...more

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

    Lessons learned from policymakers on how to establish a financial consumer protection supervision department

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Bad debt cannot simply be “socialized”

    Once again I am going to discuss debt, and my discussion will be mainly conceptual. I suspect that many of my regular readers might wonder why I keep returning to this subject – and, often enough, keep saying the same things. The reason is because while debt plays a key role in understanding the recent evolution of the Chinese economy and the timing and process of its upcoming adjustment (as it also does for all if not most major economies), there seems to be a remarkable amount of confusion as to why debt matters. In much classical economics debt, or more generally the structure of the liability side of an economic entity, doesn’t even fundamentally matter to the growth of that entity. The liability side of the balance sheet is treated mainly as the way in whi...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Fiscal Decentralisation in Zambia

    Editor's note: the article below is from  the recent Parliamentary Committee on Estimates report (July 2014) which covers wide range of areas. We have extracted the article on fiscal decentralisation for ease of access. Some minor edits have been made for ease of reading. The revised Decentralisation Policy was launched by His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata on 16th June, 2013. Fiscal Decentralisation is part of the broader framework of the revised Decentralisation Policy. It entails the devolution of some budgetary powers to the local authorities.The quick research by the Committee revealed that the Governments of Kenya and South Africa have been implementing fiscal decentralisation. The achievements made as a result of the implementation o...more

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

    Shaping the Debate on Promoting Jobs and Competitiveness in Small Island Developing States

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Economic Survey chapter 2

    Chapter 2 of the Economic Survey is worth reading.

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Raghuram Rajan's criticism of FSLRC

    I wrote a response in today's Indian Express.

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Foxconn Moving Direct to Consumer

    I remember having conversations years ago about what Foxconn would do going forward, and whether or not they would be happy as the manufacturer to brands.   The WSJ article, Amid Margin Squeeze, Foxconn Designs Its Own Fate, puts this question to rest. Recently, the $130-billion-a-year in revenue company has ventured into handset accessories under its own brand, and sales and distribution of mobile phones. It also plans to offer telecommunications services in Taiwan. For me, this has always been a bit of a no brainer.  Foxconn has an amazing amount of talent in the firm that is not just managing the supply chain and assembling gadgets for their customer, but have for years also been bringing designs to the brands that they feel would sell well in the market. Partner ...more

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

    Behind the Scenes of 'Startupland': A Documentary that Tells the True Stories of Entrepreneurs

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    PM Modi’s Letter on Completion of 1 Month in Office

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote “A few thoughts as we complete a month in office.” I came across it in QUARTZ. QZ requested annotations. Someone named Vincent Lee did a fine job of summarizing the letter. Here are the annotations: I’m your pal. I love that people love me. My job is hard. But I have confidence in myself. I like my new colleagues, here’s hoping we’ll get on. Here’s also hoping the state heads will get along with me. Did I mention my job is hard? I can use some slack… Let’s remember how bad the previous dynasty was. I’ll be using that memory as a mandate. Thanks again for loving me, you won’t be disappointed. If the first month sets the tone for the remaining, I am afraid that significant need...more

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  • Frontier Nations

    ANC seen pushing market-friendly economic policy

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  • Frontier Nations

    Ethiopia builds on economic momentum

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Indira Gandhi Imposed “Emergency” on June 25th, 1975

    Thirty-nine years have passed since that day when Indira Gandhi decided that Indians had enough of “democracy” and it was time that she dictated to them. Indians did what they have always been good at: they obeyed. Instead of resisting, they obeyed. Our problem, as Howard Zinn used to say, is not civil disobedience; our problem is civil obedience. Emergency ended on 23rd March, 1977. Did the people learn much? No. She won a landslide victory and once again became the prime minister in January 1980. She was right: the people did not deserve freedom. The people believed that they were free but in truth it was — and still is — an illusion. Frank Zappa said it best. “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue...more

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  • Frontier Nations

    North Africa walks job creation tightrope

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    The four stages of Chinese growth

    From the early 1980s until now China has grown at a pace not matched since the four decades Argentina enjoyed before the First World War. In spite of some fairly goofy attempts a few years ago, however, to characterize China during this period as having followed a set of policies called the “Beijing Consensus”, these decades did not involve a unified set of policies, or a set of related polices, that Beijing implemented consistently. It is far more useful, I would argue, to think about the past 3-4 decades as consisting of four very different periods, the last of which we are, with great difficulty, just starting. The idea of a Beijing Consensus has probably help to prevent or postpone an understanding of the vulnerabilities in the current growth model and the steps...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Bites of China. Finally a Show Worth Watching!

    A couple of weeks back, while riding the G train back from Nanjing, something caught my eye.  An advertisement by CCTV for what I believe could be one of the best produced shows China has put together.  At first, I had no idea what the advertisement for, but what was clear was that it was celebrating the various food flavors of China, and those who are tilling the fields and preparing the dishes. The show is called Bite of China, and I cannot recommend it enough. Sure, China is known for its fair share of food failures, including recycled oil, but watching this show has restored a bit of my love for the flavors here.  Flavors that were actually the basis for one of my earliest posts, and have provided a never ending hunt for me and my wife as we look to try new thin...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    Qatar 2022 teeters towards disaster

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  • The Peking Duck

    Twenty-five years later

    I never before saw all the raw video footage of “Tank Man’s” defiance against a column of army tanks until today. It is remarkable, how one nameless man entered all of our living rooms for just a moment and is remembered so vividly a quarter of a century later. And for good reason. Let’s keep the hundreds of murdered innocents in our thoughts today, and keep alive the fight to let the Chinese people know all who died during the crackdown. Let’s remember the Tiananmen Mothers, and let’s even hope for the day when the CCP admits the demonstrations were not an act of “counterrevolutionary” treachery inspired by foreign subversives, but an expression of the Chinese people’s yearning for a say in their government, for t...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Return of Liu Di, the “Stainless Steel Mouse”

    Those of you who have been reading this blog for ten years or more (if any such reader exists) might remember an array of posts I wrote in 2004 regarding a “cyberdissident221; Liu Di, who posted pro-democracy essays on the Internet under the moniker Stainless Steel Mouse. Posts like this or this, and several more. She also participated in study groups that discussed freedom and government reform, and saw herself and her colleagues arrested. I remember how angry I felt when another cyberdissident who lobbied for her release was himself arrested. Still, she has never been silenced. Even as recently as last month she was taken into custody for participating in a seminar about June 4th. A reader brought to my attention the availability of three of Liu Di’s n...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Some things to consider if Spain leaves the euro

    It might seem almost churlish to wonder what would happen if Spain were to leave the euro. The official European position is that the battle of the euro has been pretty much won, and anyone who argues otherwise will be accused of being a euro hater, an Anglo-Saxon or, even worse, a writer for the Financial Times. But there is more than one “battle” around the euro. While the battle of liquidity seems to have been won, the solvency and the unemployment battles (the latter of which is really a battle of unbalanced demand) have not even been addressed. Every sovereign debt crisis in modern history has been preceded by assurances that it was only a liquidity crisis, but as I see it there were three separate problems that erupted in the 2008-09 euro crisis: A liquidity ...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    British national interest in the Gulf: rediscovering a role?

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  • The Gulf blog

    Qatar tries (but fails) to enter the 20th century

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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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  • 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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Otaviano Canuto

Otaviano Canuto is Senior Advisor on BRICS Economies in the Development Economics Department, World Bank, a new position established by President Kim to bring a fresh research focus to this increasingly critical area. He also has an extensive academic background, serving as Professor of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.

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