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February 2007 Archives


Knowledge Bank-rupted: Evaluation says key World Bank research ‘not remotely reliable’
Bretton Woods Update No. 54 Jan/Feb 2007
Plus: Growth alone is not the answer: evaluation chides World Bank; Developing countries say World Bank trade research “misleading”; The IMF programme cycle; and IMF crisis prevention: running on the spot.

The Challenge of Global Health
Laurie Garrett (Foreign Affairs) Jan/Feb 2006
Help is finally flowing to the world's poor and sick -- but it may actually do more harm than good.

Has Globalization Passed Its Peak?
Rawi Abdelal and Adam Segal (Foreign Affairs) Jan/Feb 2006
The United States, Europe, and China need to market globalization to preserve open markets.

'Africa: Making Its Move' Recommended!
Finance and Development Dec/Feb 2006
Explores some of the obstacles facing sub-Saharan Africa as it attempts to capitalize on changes that offer fresh opportunities for growth and poverty reduction. The lead article describes the changes and suggests how Africa can build on them to progress further. Other articles focus on the aid situation, financial sector development, trade, the business environment, and political and policy reform on the continent. 'Country Focus' examines the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, and two guest contributors look at how the international community can help the most fragile states and how oil-producing countries can manage windfall revenues. 'People in Economics' profiles the European Central Bank's first chief economist, Otmar Issing; 'Picture This' examines the global housing slowdown; and 'Back to Basics,' explains current account deficits. Another article discusses the realities of health financing.

The coming global labor market
McKinsey Quarterly Feb 2007
Much as technological and economic change is integrating capital markets globally, it is creating a single global market for many jobs. To understand it, The McKinsey Global Institute assessed not only the raw numbers of university graduates in the developing world, but also their suitability for employment by multinationals.

The IMF Quota Formula: Linchpin of Fund Reform Recommended! Adobe Acrobat Required
Richard N. Cooper and Edwin M. Truman (IIE) Feb 2007
The current allocation of decision making in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), determined largely by the distribution of members’ quotas, has failed to keep up with the changing world economy. The situation undermines the Fund’s relevance and legitimacy in promoting global growth and economic and financial stability. A new simplified and transparent formula to guide the distribution of Fund quotas is key to IMF reform. The authors offer four recommendations to advance IMF quota reform: (1) The IMF executive board should complete its work on the new IMF quota formula by the 2007 annual meeting—rather than spring 2008—to ensure that the other necessary elements of a reform package can be completed by spring 2008 and ratified by the IMF governors at their annual meeting in fall 2008. (2) The new quota formula should follow the recommendations of the quota formula review group (QFRG), deleting an ”openness“ measure from the formula. The openness variable has no economic or financial justification, and the traditional measures are biased. (3) The traditional industrial countries should agree to a target of limiting their quota shares to 60 percent of their GDP shares to facilitate the further redistribution of quota shares toward the nonindustrial countries. (4) A reasonable benchmark would be an increase in the size of the Fund (total quotas) by at least 50 percent to implement the redistribution of quota and voting shares under the new quota formula.

India: Poverty Retreats with Globalization's Advance
Baldev Raj Nayar (YaleGlobal) Feb 1, 2007
Economic dynamism spurred by global connections helped an impoverished nation to overcome crises.

Adams's Resignation Deals a Blow to Efforts to Reshape IMF
William McQuillen (Bloomberg) Feb 2, 2007
resignation of U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Tim Adams deals a blow to efforts to refashion the International Monetary Fund, say economists and former Treasury officials.

Trade Boom
WP Feb 3, 2007
U.S. exports are growing fast; let's hope Congress doesn't slam on the brakes.

Science Panel Says Global Warming Is 'Unequivocal'
NYT Feb 3, 2007
The report said warming and its harmful consequences could be substantially blunted by prompt action.

Exports and Free Trade Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 5, 2007
The new "populists" have their facts wrong.

Don't Blame the Unit of Account Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Jonathan M. White (WSJ) Feb 5, 2007
Good advice for euro newcomers and veterans alike.

Globalization by the Book
Prakash Loungani (IMF) Feb 5, 2007
Globalization is a topic that every public speaker must approach with some trepidation given the mountain of material that has to be scaled before one can pontificate on it with any authority. The number of Google hits for the word "globalization" now exceeds 30 million. Having scaled this mountain, I can report to you that about 29 ½ million of those 'hits' are actually 'misses'. So I hope my talk helps you overcome, if not all your fears about globalization, at least your fear that it is too vast a subject to come to grips with.

America's China Worries - Part I
Joan Johnson-Freese (YaleGlobal) Feb 6, 2007
The Chinese anti-satellite weapon test is a challenge, but the US would be better off not overreacting.

Loan Sanctions: A New Tool for Diplomacy?
Seema Jayachandran and Michael Kremer (WP) Feb 7, 2007
As part of its efforts to sanction Iran, the US has recently been pressuring international banks and foreign governments to deny Iran loans for expansion of its oil production. Can and should "loan sanctions" be used more broadly as part of the toolkit of international diplomacy? If so, when and how?

As Inflation Soars, Zimbabwe Economy Plunges
NYT Feb 7, 2007
Hyperinflation has bankrupted the government, left 8 in 10 citizens destitute and decimated factories and farms.

Subsidy Square-Off Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 7, 2007
Will China abide by the WTO rules it signed?

What if Putin Ran OPEC?
Slate Feb 8, 2007
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent chills through Western Europe when he discussed the possibility of forming a gas-producers' association with countries like Libya and Iran. "A gas OPEC is an interesting idea. We will think about it," he said. "We are not going to set up a cartel. But it would be correct to co-ordinate our activities with an eye to the solution of the main goal of unconditionally and securely supplying the main consumers of energy resources."

America's China Worries - Part II
Bruce Stokes (YaleGlobal) Feb , 2007
Hobbled by a rising trade deficit and massive debt, Washington seeks some leverage with Beijing

China Says Rich Countries Should Take Lead on Global Warming
NYT Feb 9, 2007
China said Tuesday that wealthier countries must take the lead in curbing greenhouse gas emissions and refused to say whether it would agree to any mandatory emissions limits that might hamper its booming economy.

Asian Patent Wars
Roger Bate (TCS Daily) Feb 9, 2007
The largest drug company in the world, Pfizer, has been in a bit of trouble lately. It recently announced it would fire 10,000 staff, close two factories and 5 research facilities. And the stock market has beaten up its share price. At issue is the paucity of new drugs coming on line. Poor management and bad luck may be in part to blame, with high-potential drugs failing at the last clinical hurdle. But some of the problem is the inability of Pfizer, and other innovator firms, to charge efficient prices for their drugs around the world.

Entrepreneurial Culture
Edmund S. Phelps (WSJ) Feb 12, 2007
Why European economies lag behind the U.S.

G-7 recommends vigilance on hedge funds
IHT Feb 12, 2007
Finance ministers from the world's leading economies put the $1.4 trillion hedge fund industry firmly on the international policy agenda over the weekend, saying that they would scrutinize the sector closely with an eye toward encouraging more self-regulation.

Eminent persons report Adobe Acrobat Required
IMF Survey Feb 12, 2007
Plus: IMF income, IMF gold, Andrew Crockett, financial soundness indicators, European economy, Michael Deppler interview, Germany, France, European labor, European competitiveness, flat tax, Michael Keen.

Lift Liberia's Debt Burden Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf & Paul Wolfowitz (WSJ) Feb 13, 2007
Keeping the country from sliding back into conflict.

America's China Worries - Part III
Bertil Lintner (YaleGlobal) Feb 13, 2007
Growing Chinese presence in the Pacific islands unsettles locals and poses questions for the US.

Bird flu is linked to global trade in poultry
IHT Feb 14, 2007
Most of the scattered bird flu outbreaks so far this year probably can be traced to illegal or improper trade in poultry, scientists believe.

Who Was Milton Friedman?
Paul Krugman (NYRB) Feb 15, 2007
Milton Friedman played three roles in the intellectual life of the twentieth century. There was Friedman the economist's economist, who wrote technical, more or less apolitical analyses of consumer behavior and inflation. There was Friedman the policy entrepreneur, who spent decades campaigning on behalf of the policy known as monetarism - finally seeing the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England adopt his doctrine at the end of the 1970s, only to abandon it as unworkable a few years later. Finally, there was Friedman the ideologue, the great popularizer of free-market doctrine.

Help Not Wanted
Moises Naim (NYT) Feb 15, 2007
By pushing their alternative development model, wealthy nondemocratic regimes effectively price responsible aid programs out of the market exactly where they are needed most.

'Competitive Cooperation' Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Edward C. Prescott (WSJ) Feb 15, 2007
The greater glory of globalization.

Global trade talks face opposition in Congress, senior Democrat says
IHT Feb 15, 2007
Efforts by the White House to persuade Congress to renew so-called fast-track authority for President George W. Bush to negotiate trade- promoting international deals faced only a "slender" chance of passage, a senior Democratic lawmaker said Thursday.

Immigrants open new path to Europe
IHT Feb 16, 2007
As the weather improves, the first boats crowded with Africans have resumed their attempts to cross from West Africa to the Canary Islands of Spain. But the Africans are not the only migrants risking this route now. Asians are joining in. Photo, would-be immigrants at the Mauritanian port of Nouadhibou. Some had come from as far away as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Off the Charts: Good news about the U.S. trade deficit? Or is it?
IHT Feb 16, 2007
After years of deterioration, the U.S. trade deficit appears to have finally peaked and started to decline.

Matching Free Trade With Taxes
Sebastian Mallaby (WP) Feb 19, 2007
The last time a Democrat controlled the White House, he defended globalization. He understood that trade creates losers, and he sought to assist them with progressive tax and spending policies. But today's leading Democrats are flirting with the opposite approach. They are forthright in their complaints about trade. But, with the notable exception of John Edwards, they are surprisingly reluctant to propose tax hikes.

Trade barriers cost EU billions in lost business in China
IHT Feb 19, 2007
European Union firms are denied business opportunities in China worth at least €20 billion a year because of non-tariff trade barriers, a study published by the European Commission said Monday.

The Trade Quagmire
Robert Kuttner (American Prospect) Feb 19, 2007
Collisions are imminent over fast-track trade authority, labor standards, and tarrifs. It's the president vs. China vs. Democrats vs. Democrats.

Europe and the Mullahs
WSJ Feb 20, 2007
How the EU underwrites trade with Iran.

Chinese Takeout Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Lawrence Brainard & Jonathan Fenby (WSJ) Feb 20, 2007
Outward investment will overtake inflows as early as 2010.

Putting the cart before the horse
Bretton Woods Update Feb 20, 2007
Rightsizing the IMF’s budget.

Globalization as a cause of war and as fuel for war's bonfires
IHT Feb 21, 2007
Rapid growth of economies, aided by globalization, could also contribute to conflict if demand for raw materials increases faster than supply.

Brief TRIPS Council Gives Way to Informals
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 6 Feb 22, 2007
A brief session of the WTO Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council last week focused primarily on the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, and on enforcement. Members adjourned early, with informal talks to continue on issues including geographical indications.

World Inching Closer to Global Climate Collaboration?
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 6 Feb 22, 2007
More than a hundred legislators from key developed and developing countries recently reached a non-binding agreement on tackling climate change, looking to implement emissions targets for all. Following in the heels of this World Bank-sponsored event, a group of global private sector companies and organisations agreed on the need for a "bold" framework for tackling climate change in the near future.

Storm Cloud at the Global Bazaar?
Robert J. Samuelson (WP) Feb 21, 2007
Global finance is mysterious, exciting and sometimes reckless. A specter now haunts it -- the specter of excess "liquidity." Will this prove a passing anxiety or, as in 1997 and 1998 with the Asian financial crisis, will it threaten the stability of the entire global economy? Good question.

Calling (From) Manila Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Arie Y. Lewin & Vinay Couto (WSJ) Feb 22, 2007
Countries need to work hard to foster a healthy offshoring sector.

How to Keep America Competitive
Bill Gates (WP) Feb 25, 2007
For centuries people assumed that economic growth resulted from the interplay between capital and labor. Today we know that these elements are outweighed by a single critical factor: innovation.

With the dollar down, Budweiser tries its own 'currency'
IHT Feb 25, 2007
The dollar is near its lowest level in 15 years against the pound. But Anheuser-Busch, the American brewer, hopes a new currency called "Bud Bucks" can give its Budweiser brand a needed lift in Britain.

One Year After Cafta Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) Feb 26, 2007
Central America-U.S. trade goes up.

Reserve Relief Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan (WSJ) Feb 26, 2007
China's foreign exchange reserves cross $1 trillion.

Policy Support Instrument
IMF Survey Feb 26, 2007
Plus: Tanzania; quota reform; David Burton; basic votes; Andrew Tweedie; Abbas Mirakhor; Iqbal Zaidi; Rodrigo de Rato on Latin America; Brazil; sovereign debt; debt rigidity; financial sector regulation; health care; VAT fraud; pensions; Nicholas Stern; climate change.

Central banks cutting holdings of U.S. dollar
IHT Feb 26, 2007
Central banks around the world are continuing to diversify their reserves by cutting their dollar holdings, according to a survey sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

A Tale of Three Currencies
Desmond Lachman (AEI) Feb 26, 2007
Global payment imbalances between the United States and the Asian economies are now at their widest level in the past sixty years.

Semi-Truths Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 27, 2007
The Teamsters try to rewrite Nafta.

Chinese stock plunge sets off a worldwide sell-off
IHT Feb 28, 2007
Share indexes in China lost nearly 9 percent on Tuesday, a day after hitting a record high, and markets in Europe and the United States sold off, too. Left, a trader in Frankfurt reacting to stock price movements.

American Insourcing Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Feb 28, 2007
The virtues of foreign capital.

Breakthrough On WIPO Development Agenda
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 7 Feb 28, 2007
Delegates from 105 governments have made a breakthrough in negotiations on integrating development concerns into the functioning of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, by agreeing on a set of initial recommendations for reforms.

Ag Negotiators Twiddle Thumbs As Trading Powers Say No Progress Made In London
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 7 Feb 28, 2007
A series of bilateral talks between five major trading powers last week in London made no significant progress in the deadlocked Doha Round negotiations and were simply 'exploratory', according to officials from the participating countries. Negotiators from other countries appear to be growing impatient with the lack of movement.

NAMA Talks Blocked Due To Standstill On Agriculture: Chair
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 11, Number 7 Feb 28, 2007
The Doha Round negotiations on industrial tariffs are likely to remain at a standstill until there is progress on agriculture, the chair of the negotiating group told WTO Members on 26 February.

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