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    Emerging Markets

  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Ganapati Vighana Haran Gajanana

    It’s that time of the year once again — the time of Ganesha’s visit and therefore this annual post which is a tradition on this blog. He is invoked at the beginnings of all endeavors. I recently bought a Chromebox. What better than having Ganesh grant his protection to the little computer? Last time I was in India, I had picked up a few small brass Ganeshas. So I placed one of them on the computer. Here’s the Vighana Haran, the Defeater of Obstacles, ensuring that the computer works fine. He looks quite comfortable, don’t you think? Ganesh is associated with the finer things of life. Learning, good food, wisdom, writing, knowledge. I approve of them all. So it is natural that he is one of my favorite gods. As part of Ganesha’s wor...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    More Jobs That Pay Decent Wages: How To Fight Poverty In The United States

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Consumer protection in Indian finance: Going from ideas to action

    by Renuka Sane and Ajay Shah. Financial regulation in India, at present, is oriented towards product regulation. While protecting the interest of customers is part of the mandate of all existing financial agencies, the present regulatory strategy is weak. The evidence on mis-selling is building up. The main focus of policy discussions has been prevention (e.g. ban on entry loads) with little work on enforcement (where orders are issued that impose penalties upon firms that have misbehaved). Many piecemeal changes of regulations are underway. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for example, has recently published a Draft Charter of Customer Rights, which include: the right to fair treatment, the right to transpa...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    Green Paper - MTEF 2015 - 2017 and Budget 2015

    The Government has released the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2015 - 2017 and the outline for the 2015 budget. This is essentially the PF plan for re-election as the MTEF runs to 2017.AUTHOR Chola Mukanga Economist | Consultant | Researcher Copyright © Zambian Economist 2014...more

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

    Where’s the Romance? Special Economic Zones and Cities

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  • The Gulf blog

    Can Qatar, Saudi Arabia ease tensions at Gulf Cooperation Council?

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  • Zambian Economist

    Intellectual Poverty (ZCTU)

    “We reject the continued artificial suffering of public service workers that comes with the imposition of the wage freeze while the cost of living continues to rise... In view of the escalating bank lending rates, Government should introduce fixed interest rates for public service employees whose incomes have remained static in the face of increasing interest rates and high cost of living...as the cost of accommodation keeps rising, government must consider providing social housing for public service workers because accommodation continues to take up a big share of workers incomes.”ROY MWABAZCTU General Secretary(Source: Lusaka Times)The ZCTU sharing  its proposals for the 2015 budget. These demands by the ZCTU are in addition to the proposal for an increase in...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Shutting down Uber in India was unwise

    by Suyash Rai and Ajay Shah. When you finish a taxi ride, between two to ten minutes are wasted in dealing with the payment. You could pay cash, he might fumble on change, you could swipe a credit card, after an interminable delay the device does not work, and so on. A few years ago, there was an important innovation in this business by a firm named Uber. Their process flow works like this. The customer goes to the Uber website and submits credit card details (as is done with any E-commerce website). Now he undertakes a ride in a taxi. At the destination, the customer steps out of the taxi and walks away without doing anything on the question of payment. The payment is effected using the pre-stored credit card details. A bill is sent to the customer by email. This sa...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    NPAs processed by asset reconstruction companies -- where did we go wrong?

    by Ajay Shah, Anjali Sharma, Susan Thomas. Background Asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in India came about after the SARFAESI Act of 2002 empowered banks and some financial institutions to seize collateral in secured loans, without the intervention of courts. This is about the in-sourcing vs. out-sourcing choice of banks. Some banks could choose to build internal distressed assets teams. Others could choose to sell distressed assets to specialised firms that have skills in dealing with distressed assets. This is a good thing because: (a) In general, specialisation is a good thing and (b) Processing distressed assets requires a certain kind of toughness that PSU banks are often unable to muster. So far, this approach has not worked. Stressed assets at banks ...more

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  • Zambian Economist

    On the Kindle

    We are currently kindling 'Journey toward Justice : Personal Encounters in the Global South' by Nicholas P. Wolterstorff. The greatest moral philosopher alive today. What he observes about injustice in Honduras is fascinating: "..It is commonly said that the failure of Honduran officials to deal with crime against the poor is due to corruption—graft and bribery...Though there are indeed corrupt officials, the fundamental problem is not corruption but fear and a pervasive lack of trust. Poor people do not trust the police, the judicial system, or the bureaucracy. The police do not trust the prosecutors; the prosecutors do not trust the police. The result is that the poor are afraid to take action when they are the victims of crime or illegal treatment; t...more

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

    The Triumph of Strategy: Germany's 2014 World Cup Victory Shows How Shrewd Planning Can Sharpen Competitiveness

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

    A Tale of Two Competitive Cities: What Patterns Are Emerging So Far?

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Can Pedro Sanchez save the PSOE?

    Last month Pedro Sánchez Castejón was chosen to be the new leader of Spain’s center-left Socialist Party (PSOE).  El Pais called his appointment a “renewal” of the PSOE, although Sánchez seems to have been chosen mainly because he is too young and unknown to suffer from the revulsion most Spaniards feel towards the political establishment. But as the PSOE’s new leader, and without much of the baggage carried around by the older generation of leaders, Sánchez has an important choice facing him. If he expects to lead Spain and his party out of its current crisis, he must recognize that the crisis is fundamentally a conflict between the interests of Europe’s bankers and of Europe’s workers, and he must reengineer PSOE’s policies in favor of the Spain’s...more

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    Structural Reforms Can Help Japan’s Post-Consumption Tax Blues

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  • iMFdirect - The IMF Blog

    U.S. Labor Force: Where Have All the Workers Gone?

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Whose money is it anyway?

    Milton Friedman used to elegantly distinguish between four ways of spending money. First, when you spend your own money on yourself, you are very careful to get the most benefit for your buck. After all, it is your money and you know what you want for yourself. Second, when you spend your own money on someone else. Here too you carefully economize to meet your objective but since you don’t know the other person’s needs as well as you do your own needs, your spending may not be as optimal for the other person. Third, you spend other people’s money on yourself. In this case, your incentive to economize is certainly blunted. You are much more concerned with getting the best and less with what it will cost. Finally, when you spend other people’s mone...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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Gulf blog

    British national interest in the Gulf: rediscovering a role?

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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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