Boot Camps to Kick-Start Public-Private Partnerships in the Caribbean

The concept of public-private partnerships is in vogue in the Caribbean. Some governments mistakenly believe that PPPs allow the private sector to build and maintain infrastructure like roads, and provide public services like wastewater treatment, with little cost to the public sector. This is not the case. However, in certain PPP projects, private-sector efficiencies can […]

Capital Flows, Credit Booms and Bank Crises

Studies of the impact of capital inflows have established that debt inflows can lead to bank crises (see here and here). Unlike equity, payments on debt are contractual and can not be cancelled if there is an economic downturn, which intensifies any shocks to the financial system. In the case of short-term debt, a foreign lender may decide […]

Top Down + Bottom up = Effective in Haiti

Five years after the cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, there are encouraging signs of economic activity. In construction, two international chains, Best Western and Marriott, have opened hotels in Port-au-Prince in the last two years. Both have committed to hiring and training Haitian staff at all levels and to sourcing goods and services locally. Haitians in the diaspora are investing in […]

Helicopter Money, Central Bank Independence and the Unlearned Lesson From the Crisis

Macro policy coordination post crisis[1] The Great Recession has offered an important opportunity to discuss if and under what circumstances central banks might be required to coordinate their acts with governments in view of achieving specific macroeconomic objectives, such as fighting deflation and overcoming economic depression. Yet central bank independence has become such a strong […]

Global Volatility, Domestic Markets

Unlike the global financial crisis of 2008-09, the current disruption in the financial markets of emerging market nations was anticipated. The “taper tantrum” of 2013 revealed the precarious position of many of these nations, particularly those dependent on commodity exports. The combination of a slowdown in Chinese growth, collapsing stock prices and a change in the […]

What Caused U.S.-Chinese Market Turmoil?

As the Fed is paving way for the first rate hike in a decade, the world economy prepares for the greatest shift of capital flows in half a decade. Recent market turmoil in the U.S. and China heralds the transition. According to the conventional wisdom, the U.S. economy is recovering significantly faster than other advanced […]

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Really The Impact of the Sanctions Against Russia

The sanctions against Russia are working; but not for Russia, Ukraine, the EU, or even the US. In the 2nd quarter, Russia’s GDP contracted 4.6 percent from a year earlier, following a 2.2 percent contraction in the 1st quarter. A severe contraction was expected after the selloff in oil, currency crisis and the consequent plunge of consumer […]

Small Is Beautiful… but Vulnerable!

Many small states are known for their pristine natural environments and are either tourism or commodity based. However, despite numerous challenges emanating from their specific vulnerabilities and small size, the issues faced by these countries have remained somewhat veiled and unaddressed.  Many of these countries are highly exposed to the most disastrous consequences of climate […]

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