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Why this economist thinks government intervention is a good thing - The Globe and Mail
PAUL WALDIE
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

Many governments are moving away from austerity and toward stimulating economic growth by spending on infrastructure projects. Is that the right approach?

This is not about the panacea of infrastructure. It’s ridiculous if you think about it. All these smart, smart people in the IMF—once they finally admit that austerity was shit and it was very damaging, what’s their solution? Infrastructure. (3) These people have PhDs. Can they not come up with something more interesting than spend a bunch on bridges and roads?

What do you think about Brexit?

A massive, massive disaster. I just can’t believe that the people who engineered it haven’t been put in prison. It’s so obvious now that they were lying. Think of it: If Coca-Cola lied with advertising campaigns like that, they’d be in prison. All these civil servants are going to be spending decades unravelling something that was not the problem. The real problem in the U.K. is low productivity, very high inequality and a lack of serious planning around industrial and innovation policy. That had nothing to do with Europe. Brexit is just going to take away huge amounts of government resources that could have been spent thinking about what it really means to increase productivity. As well, it just really makes things complicated.
Paul_Waldie  economists  Brexit  industrial_policies  innovation_policies  innovation  iPhone  Mariana_Mazzucato  infrastructure  austerity  government_intervention  PhDs  IMF  productivity  income_inequality 
december 2016 by jerryking
Brics Agree to Base Development Bank in Shanghai - WSJ
By JEFFREY T. LEWIS and PAULO TREVISANI CONNECT
Updated July 15, 2014

The Brics and other emerging-market countries have vast needs for financing of infrastructure projects, according to the chief executive of Brazilian development bank BNDES, who estimated the need for long-term project finance at about $800 billion.

The new institution, whose first chief executive will be from India, will start out with capital of $50 billion, to be paid in equally by all five Brics countries. Capital is planned to grow eventually to $100 billion, according to the memorandum released after the meeting in Brazil of the heads of government of the five countries.

The Brics have been trying for years to reform the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the backbone of the world's global financial structure, to give emerging markets more influence over those institutions, but with little success.

"In the IMF and the World Bank, the U.S. and a handful of allies really do make almost all the decisions, and the vast majority of the world…doesn't really have a voice," said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. "The fund has lost most of its influence on the middle-income country in the last 15 years. This is part of the process of change in these international institutions."

The Brics countries on Tuesday called on the members of the IMF to implement reforms to the organization that were agreed on in 2010, and for members to agree to a new formula for voting rights at the IMF.

The World Bank finances development projects around the world, and the IMF is the lender of last resort to countries that don't have the dollars to pay their foreign debt. The IMF in particular is widely disliked among countries that need its help, because of the stringent budget control conditions it usually places on governments in return for its help.
economic_development  BRIC  Vladimir_Putin  IMF  World_Bank  infrastructure 
july 2014 by jerryking
A New U.S. International Economic Strategy - WSJ.com
February 5, 2013 | WSJ | by Robert Zoellick.

A New U.S. International Economic Strategy
Taking the lead on trade and open markets can enhance global security, opportunity and the prospects for liberty.

(1) First, this country should strengthen its continental base by building on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
(2) the extraordinary monetary policies of late, led by the Federal Reserve's continued near-zero interest-rate policy, are taking us into uncharted territory.
(3)the U.S. needs to break the logjam on opening markets.
(4)Fourth, gender equality is not only fair and right—it is smart economics.
(5) Finally, the U.S. needs to match growth priorities of developing economies.
globalization  international_trade  Robert_Zoellick  NAFTA  IMF  WTO  economic_policy  gender_gap  entrepreneurship  Junior_Achievement  infrastructure 
february 2013 by jerryking
The ‘new cold war’ is an information war -
Aug. 25 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Anne-Marie Slaughter.
In the many manifestations of the ongoing and growing information war(s), the pro-freedom-of-information forces need a new weapon. A government’s banning of journalists or blocking of news and social-media sites that were previously allowed should be regarded as an early warning sign of a crisis meriting international scrutiny. The presumption should be that governments with nothing to hide have nothing to lose by allowing their citizens and internationally recognized media to report on their actions.

To give this presumption teeth, it should be included in international trade and investment agreements. Imagine if the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and regional development banks suspended financing as soon as a government pulled down an information curtain. Suppose foreign investors wrote contracts providing that the expulsion and banning of foreign journalists or widespread blocking of access to international news sources and social media constituted a sign of political risk sufficient to suspend investor obligations.

Americans say that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Citizens’ access to information is an essential tool to hold governments accountable. Government efforts to manipulate or block information should be presumed to be an abuse of power – one intended to mask many other abuses.
accountability  information_flows  information  journalists  censorship  political_risk  warning_signs  freedom_of_information  information_warfare  IMF  World_Bank  Anne-Marie_Slaughter  presumptions  transparency 
august 2012 by jerryking
Liberate Africa From Its Political Elites - WSJ.com
July 5, 2005 | WSJ | By MOELETSI MBEKI.

African political elites have systematically exploited their positions in order to line their own pockets. They have given favors and won influence through the funding of huge loss-making industrialization projects. They have exploited the natural resources of their countries and then transferred profits, taxes, and aid funds into their own foreign bank accounts at the same time that they ran up enormous debts to finance their governments' operations.

What were the results of those predatory policies? According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have become Africa's fairy godparents, Africans are poor and getting poorer.
Africa  political_elites  crony_capitalism  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  corruption  poor_governance  IMF  World_Bank  poverty 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africa's Poverty Trap - WSJ.com
March 23, 2007 | WSJ |By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY.

Economists involved in Africa then and now undervalued free markets, instead coming up with one of the worst ideas ever: state direction by the states least able to direct.

African governments are not the only ones that are bad, but they have ranked low for decades on most international comparisons of corruption, state failure, red tape, lawlessness and dictatorship. Nor is recognizing such bad government "racist" -- this would be an insult to the many Africans who risk their lives to protest their own bad governments. Instead, corrupt and mismanaged governments on the continent reflect the unhappy way in which colonizers artificially created most nations, often combining antagonistic ethnicities. Anyway, the results of statist economics by bad states was a near-zero rise in GDP per capita for Ghana, and the same for the average African nation, over the last 50 years....The cowed IMF and the World Bank never mention the words "free market" in thousands of pages devoted to ending poverty. Even the World Bank's 2005 World Development Report "A Better Investment Climate for Everyone" doesn't mention the forbidden words.World Bank economists are so scared of offending anyone on Africa that they recite tautologies.
William_Easterly  Africa  economists  IMF  World_Bank  foreign_aid  free_markets  failed_states  lawlessness  corruption  poverty  mismanagement  misrule  governance  poor_governance  misgovernance 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Hazards of Throwing Money at the Problem - WSJ.com
JULY 18, 2001

By BRUCE BARTLETT
"The Elusive Quest for Growth" (MIT, 342 pages, $29.95) by the economist William Easterly.....Easterly works at the World Bank. But his real concern is not with his employer or with the International Monetary Fund, although he is critical of both institutions. Rather, he wants to address the whole question of economic growth: Where does it come from? What encourages it? What discourages it? How important is luck? How important is policy? The answers he gives, in certain respects, apply as much to advanced economies like the U.S., Germany and Japan as to the developing nations of Africa and Asia....
Simply giving capital to those without it -- i.e., foreign aid -- is unlikely to stimulate growth. What is really essential is knowledge, and that cannot be transmitted by writing a check. Nor can it be gained just by sending people to school. In fact, critical knowledge, the kind those Bangladeshi textile workers seized upon, is not easily identifiable in the abstract. First entrepreneurs must perceive an opportunity for profit; then a few opportunistic people will see what knowledge is required. And then more will.

Without a proper understanding of such things, a good deal of damage can be done.
World_Bank  foreign_aid  book_reviews  entrepreneurship  IMF  policy  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
Meaning of 'success'
20 Jan 2004 | The Globe and Mail pg.16| Tom Malleson.
ProQuest  success  IMF  debt  letters_to_the_editor 
october 2011 by jerryking
Where Argentina goes from here
22 Dec 2001 |The Globe and Mail pg.22 | editorial
ProQuest  Argentina  IMF  editorials 
october 2011 by jerryking
IMF Appoints Lagarde to Top Post - WSJ.com
JUNE 29, 2011 | WSJ | By SUDEEP REDDY, NATHALIE BOSCHAT and
WILLIAM HOROBIN. France's Lagarde Named IMF Chief Fund's First Female
Managing Director Faces Euro Turmoil, Shifting Institution
IMF  Christine_Lagarde  agendas  priorities  diversity  Greece  crisis  women 
june 2011 by jerryking
Strauss-Kahn Case Forces French-Americans to Examine Loyalties - NYTimes.com
By JOSEPH BERGER
May 29, 2011
The Strauss-Kahn case has gripped the city’s French-American community
of roughly 70,000 as few other recent events have. It is the talk of
restaurant workers, academics, wine importers and the Frenchmen in
Bryant Park who daily play the horseshoes-like game of pétanque.
The episode has forced many native French people to tease out what part
of them has evolved into an American and what part has never left
France, which coined the word “chauvinism” in the patriotic sense.
(Nicolas Chauvin was a soldier fanatically loyal to Napoleon.)
Dominique_Strauss-Kahn  New_York_City  IMF 
may 2011 by jerryking
IMF head's NYC hearing delayed in sex assault case - The Globe and Mail
COLLEEN LONG
NEW YORK— The Associated Press
Published Sunday, May. 15, 2011
IMF  Dominique_Strauss-Kahn  sexual_assault 
may 2011 by jerryking
The European Union rescues Greece and Portugal
May 24, 2010 | The New Yorker | by James Surowiecki. "...The
fact is, this kind of volatility isn’t going away, because we now live
in an environment dominated by what economists call “political risk”—the
uncertainty that businesses face as a result of government actions. Of
course, government actions always affect the economy, but usually in an
undramatic way: an interest-rate cut here, a new regulation there. The
economic downturn and the debt crisis have given us instead a world
where governments are among the most important players in
markets—injecting money into economies on a colossal scale and routinely
propping up, or even nationalizing, troubled companies."
Angela_Merkel  bailouts  central_banks  debt_crisis  economic_downturn  EU  Germany  geopolitical-risk  Greece  IMF  instability  James_Surowiecki  political_risk  Portugal  sovereign-risk  uncertainty  volatility 
may 2010 by jerryking
The Quiet Coup
May 2009 |The Atlantic Online | | Simon Johnson
economics  economic_downturn  crisis  IMF  government  U.S. 
july 2009 by jerryking

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