April 2010

The IMF pronounces on the Robin Hood Tax

admin - April 30, 2010

Yesterday, I discussed the IMF’s fascinating new proposals for two international taxes on the financial sector  – a ‘financial stability contribution’ (FSC) and a ‘financial activities tax’ (FAT). But the leaked interim report to the G20 also discussed the financial transactions tax (FTT), better known as the Robin Hood Tax. What did it say? First the good news: ‘The FTT should not be dismissed on …

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A global taxation system, as proposed by the IMF

admin - April 29, 2010

IMF suggests Global taxes on all banks History is made What have they put in the water supply at the IMF? First they see the light on capital controls, and now they’re putting out ground-breaking ideas on the international taxation of banks. I’ve been reading the supposedly confidential (but available on the BBC website – if you have problems with this URL, just search on …

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Free the data; the purpose of aid; a geopolitical beauty contest; China in Africa; the Backward Classes Bureau; Colonialists through African Eyes and the ultimate metaphor: links I liked

admin - April 28, 2010

Owen Barder celebrates the World Bank’s decision to set its data free (including World Development Indicators – formerly charged for) as part of the International Aid Transparency Initiative. More detail on Aid Watch. Owen also ponders the evidence for, and links between, the two big ubernarratives for aid and development: aid helps transform the institutions and structures of poor countries v aid as a form …

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The World Bank breaks its promises on Africa's voting power

admin - April 27, 2010

The World Bank went backwards in Washington last week, when it announced a set of reforms on ‘voice’ (the different countries’ share of voting power at the Bank) that reversed many of the gains for African countries from the previous voice reform, at the Bank’s last Annual Meeting in Istanbul in September 2009. In last week’s rejig, of 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa more than …

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Keynes v Hayek: the rap version. Priceless(?)

admin - April 26, 2010

The reader survey turned up a lot of people wanting more short posts and light relief, so to celebrate this blog’s 400th post, here’s a top youtube – Hayek v Keynes in a rather scholarly MC battle. Coincidentally, the number of people watching it on youtube is about equal to The Economist’s circulation – wonder how much overlap there was? Listen carefully to the lyrics …

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What is the impact of aid on overall health spending?

admin - April 23, 2010

Fungibility makes aid complicated. Where does the money go? The Lancet has put the cat among the aid pigeons with its recent piece on the arcane, but important issue of ‘aid fungibility’. This claims that for every $1 given in health aid, the recipient government shifts between 43 cents and $1.14 of their own spending to other priorities. (If the aid goes to NGOs, by …

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How will the UK election change the development sector?

admin - April 22, 2010

‘British elections’ and ‘exciting’ don’t usually make it into the same sentence, but the TV debates between the party leaders have changed all that. Tonight’s second debate will focus on foreign policy, so development may even get a mention. That would be good, because so far the media perception seems to be that so much consensus makes the issue too boring to cover. But underneath …

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Even volcanic clouds have silver linings

admin - April 21, 2010

[h/t Antonio Hill] Plus everyone in the office is in a really good mood because lots of meetings have been cancelled and we can all spend more time with our families, catch up with our emails, do the housework etc – whoopee! And it looks really pretty from space……… [h/t Global Dashboard]

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Ending energy poverty in India is part of tackling climate change

admin - April 20, 2010

Energy for all Is vital in India Can outsiders help? NGOs don’t often talk about energy poverty and they should. Electricity means kids are more likely to do their homework; dirty energy for cooking fills the houses of the poor with smoke and does terrible damage to health. Two recent items in my inbox brought this to mind. Firstly a post on the the excellent …

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Will aid collapse?; best blogs; China demystified; green flying toilets; good news on maternal mortality; telly not twitter; new film competition; Coca Colla and revenge of the pixels: links I liked

admin - April 19, 2010

Owen Barder ponders ‘the coming collapse of the aid system’ and gives his league table of the best development blogs (and yep, he likes this one, so his judgement is clearly impeccable). Try and find half an hour to browse – well worth it. Justin Lin, chief economist at the World Bank, demystifies the Chinese miracle. Ever read about Kibera’s ‘flying toilets’ (no latrines, lots …

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