EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Emerging Markets

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

    Six Financial Sector Challenges for Emerging and Developing Economies

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Understanding the Indian financial environment

    The big facts about the US financial environment Using very long time series in the US, three important facts are : (a) An inflation target of 2%, which is successfully delivered by the US Fed; (b) Bond return of 2.7% and (c) Equity premium of 3 percentage points. In the US, there is a fair understanding about these three numbers and confidence that these values will hold in the coming decades. The fact that these three things are known in the US with fair precision generates an environment of confidence. In the US, we know the probability distribution; the only thing not known is how future draws from the distribution will work out. All economic agents -- households and firms -- are able to look into the future and make plans knowing these foundations. This abil...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    An Open Letter to PM Shri Modi

    “Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” – Justice Louis Brandeis in Olmstead vs United States 1928 May 26th, 2015 Dear Prime Minister Shri Modi: I write this letter as a long-time supporter. I have had great expectations from you. Considering the importance of the matter I wish to address, this is very short; considering that you will probably not read anything longer than a powerpoint slide given your busy schedule, it is much too long. Therefore although ...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    IMF - Zambia Watch (May 2015)

    Editor's note: The latest IMF statement on Zambia paints a picture of a Zambian economic policy that has gone off the rails. This is the most negative assessment to be issued on Zambia during our seven year watch over IMF Zambia relations  This is not to say that all the IMF says makes sense, but it does seem, to any regular reader of this website, that Zambia is squandering opportunities to build a better country her people due to lack of basic understanding of economics.IMF Executive Board Concludes 2015 Article IV Consultation with ZambiaPress Release No. 15/233May 22, 2015On May, 20, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Zambia.Zambia has strong growth potential, but lingering vulnerabiliti...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    Palmyra and the logic of loss

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  • Zambian Economist

    Begging for Infrastructure

    President Lungu recently met FQM senior management officials as part of the tour of the open pit mine and copper smelter in Solwezi. He urged the mining company to partner with GRZ to “deliver local roads” and “light up Solwezi Airport” which is restricted to day flights due to inadequate infrastructure at the airport. President Lungu said, “we have to do 21kms of roads here in townships, come on board to help improve roads including the airport. Expand your corporate social responsibility to non-traditional areas. ..”The call for the private sector to contribute towards investment in local roads and airport infrastructure is certainly welcome. Government is spending significant sums on the current roads programme through borrowing, and that does not even in...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Zampost Rising

    Zampost Microfinance Limited (ZML), a subsidiary of the parastatal Zampost, is planning to issue its first tranche (K40 million) of the K100 million bond on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) by the end of this month to support expansion of its credit business. ZML provides salary-backed loans to the public. According to its parent company Zampost, there is increasing demand for loans. ZML’s loan book has grown to K10 million from mid-2013 to date.Zampost is certainly one of the more genuine success stories of the PF government. Prior to 2011, the company was plagued by inefficiency and corruption. A 2008 Parliamentary Committee Report observed that Zampost suffered from “serious operational problems….lack of innovation…it has failed to reposition itself in the hi...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Flash Crashes and Swiss Francs: Market Liquidity Takes a Holiday

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Ministry of Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy

    Government bureaucrats can hardly be accused of being the sharpest knives in the drawer. I have met many of them and have been uniformly underwhelmed by their understanding of the subject that they are charged with governing. Here’s an example. Most of us get by with using the words “power” and “energy” interchangeably in everyday speech. But I have met poorly educated engineers (around 80 percent of Indian engineers) who couldn’t precisely distinguish the two. They are anything but interchangeable. Although I cannot be sure, I am willing to bet that the bureaucrats and politicians in the ministry that deals with energy — one of the most critically important inputs in any economy — don’t know the distinction between ...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Prefer a Functioning Economy

    I would rather be the average person who lives in a functioning economy, than be the average person who lives in a “democracy” ruled by perhaps well-meaning but certainly intellectually challenged morons who make it impossible for people to adequately feed and educate their children. From “Was Nehru a Dictator?” ...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Act Local, Solve Global: The $5.3 Trillion Energy Subsidy Problem

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Global Energy Subsidies Are Big—About US$5 Trillion Big

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

    Why the supply chain is as important as the value chain

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Voluntary participation in the National Pension System: What does the evidence show?

    by Renuka Sane. Long-term saving is challenging in most parts of the world. Individuals are impatient, and old age is too far away. Rising life expectancy and potential poverty in old age have led countries to set up state funded pension programs or mandate contributions through the employer. Both these are difficult to implement in India. For example, the EPFO covers only about 8-10 percent of the workforce. This makes the voluntary build-up of savings important. Informal sector workers often do not have access to formal finance, and are unable to save large sums of money in one transaction. Poor people may also find it difficult to forgo current consumption and get invested in illiquid pension assets. There is a case for the State to facilitate a formal savings mech...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    The problems of financing and the elusive recovery in the Indian business cycle

    The pre-crisis credit boom and its consequences in the post-crisis period is a key feature of understanding what ails the economy today. The pre-crisis credit boom In Y. V. Reddy's period as governor (6/Sep/2003 to 5/Sep/2008), there was vigorous pursuit of exchange rate policy. In an attempt to defend the dollar, RBI purchased a lot of foreign assets and paid for this using rupees. These rupees distorted domestic monetary policy. At a time of the biggest ever business cycle expansion in India's history, RBI engaged in loose monetary policy. This gave the biggest ever bank credit boom: Year-on-year growth of bank credit ("non food credit") Central banks are supposed to take away the punch bowl when the party gets going. Instead, RBI laced the punch bowl when t...more

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  • The Gulf blog

    What does the summit between Barack Obama and Gulf leaders mean?

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

    Structured dialogue, value chain and competitiveness: A journey through implementation, from Copenhagen to Kabul

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  • The Gulf blog

    How far is Saudi-Iranian rivalry fuelling Yemen war?

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  • The Peking Duck

    Peter Hessler’s China Daily “article”: how low can they go?

    Now this is chutzpah: China Daily asked author Peter Hessler to participate in a Q & A with his friend and translator Li Xueshun comparing aspects of Egypt and China (both countries where Hessler has worked as a New Yorker correspondent). China Daily then had the nerve to take Hessler’s replies and shape them into what looks to the reader like a bylined article by Hessler. Li’s replies were totally removed. From Hessler’s Facebook page: [I]t omitted crucial parts, including the most important point: that I believe it’s harder to make a political change in China, where the system is deeper rooted than in Egypt, and thus the flaws are also more deeply rooted. I said that this is the reason why the current anti-corruption campaign will be a failure...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Is it a police state?

    The best post I ever wrote (and I realize that’s not saying very much) is this one. Its simple point is that underneath a veneer of happiness, prosperity and optimism there can lurk a much darker and more dangerous side. People can be content and appreciate their government while being oblivious — willfully or not — to what it is going on beneath the surface. There have been a rash of articles in recent months of a severe crackdown in China on civil rights lawyers, professors, journalists and activists. A story from yesterday drove this home: As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s ...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Shaun Rein wants your help marketing The End of Copycat China

    The End of Copycat China is the name of Shaun Rein’s new book that will be available come October 20. I am flattered that Shaun has included me on the mailing list he uses to blast information to his friends and colleagues, and I wanted to draw attention to how he wants his fans to do the marketing for his new book for him. Over the last three months Shaun has sent out two lengthy email blasts and I find their content to be intriguing, and to confirm some of my own thoughts about Mr. Rein. Perhaps most revealing was this paragraph: If you or a friend are looking for a keynote speaker, consider me. If organizations buy 1000 copies of my book to give to attendees between October and December, I will waive my standard speaking rates at my speaker’s bureau (my...more

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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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  • Frontier Nations

    ANC seen pushing market-friendly economic policy

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  • Frontier Nations

    Ethiopia builds on economic momentum

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  • Frontier Nations

    North Africa walks job creation tightrope

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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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  • 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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Aaron Menenberg Policies of Scale

Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at menenbergaaron@gmail.com.