Obama in Africa; Easterly v Collier; Justin Lin on the joy of small banks and a Fox News journo bottles it on Rupert Murdoch: links I liked (and see you in two weeks)

Before I head off for two blog-free weeks in Italy, here is some final reading material.

In Ghana on his first presidential visit to Sub-Saharan Africa, Barrack Obama hands out some tough love – colonial legacies are no longer an excuse for corruption. Chris Blattman analyses the speech para by para (and gives it an overall A-). Plus, will oil destroy Ghana’s record of success?

Is football the future of globalization? Watch a ‘soccer economist’ suck the joy out of the beautiful game.

Bill Easterly picks another fight, this time with Paul Collier, first in a feature on ‘democracy in dangerous places’ in the Boston Review (which features a number of other big development beasts) and then ‘taking it outside’ onto Easterly’s Aid Watch blog

Is the potato the real driver of urbanization?

Confessions and self doubts of an Afghan aid worker (and an intriguing factoid in the comments about marmite – if you hit it with a spoon it turns white……).

‘The size and sophistication of financial institutions and markets in the developed world are not appropriate in low-income markets… Japan, South Korea and China managed to avoid financial crises for long stretches of their development. It helped greatly that they adhered to simple banking systems (rather than rushing to develop their stockmarkets and integrate into international financial networks) and did not liberalise their capital accounts until they became more advanced.’ World Bank chief economist Justin Lin is doing his heretical thing again, this time in the pages of The Economist

Finally, want to see a truly servile journalist inaction? Try watching Fox News ‘grill’ Rupert Murdoch.

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