March 13, 2012
Jeffrey Sachs gets plenty of criticism for his MDGs, but maybe Meatloaf was right, 2 out of 3 (ok 1 out of 3) ain't bad

Just in time for Sachs unsolicited World Bank job application, CSM recounts some rare successes in the Millennium Development Goals.  I’m sure Bill Easterly and others would love to split hairs about the definition of success, the cost, and the causality though.

March 13, 2012
North Korea's new Economic Development Bureau

Designer sunglasses manufacturing?  KJL Action Figures?  Let the sarcastic, snarky comments begin.

March 13, 2012
Chinese gain influence in World Bank voting

How will this play out?  My guess is to keep an eye on areas with abundant natural resources, Latin America and Africa.

March 13, 2012
WSJ article on training Africans in mining skills

Africa, like Australia during the last decade, is expected be a huge source for scarce mining products, which will contribute to their exports and growth.  With that in mind, they are beginning to get training in mining.  Keep an eye on how the resource-hungry Chinese economy reacts.

March 13, 2012
More World Bank Gossip

March 10, 2012
More opinion on Jeffrey Sachs' World Bank campaign

The development expert is the one on the left.  I mean, Bono’s left.

March 3, 2012
New Book and New Blog - Why Nations Fail

Co-written by and economist and a political scientist, this should be a good contribution to the economic development and political economy fields (specifically Africa & Sierra Leone).

March 2, 2012
Jeff Sachs wants to be your World Bank President

Would Sachs be the best choice?  Maybe or maybe not, but he would certainly be the first true academic to be president.  He’s done a lot of policy advising to foreign governments and the UN Secretary general, in addition to other work outside of academia, but this position typically goes to a politically well-connected American, who has frequently served at a cabinet-level, appointed position.  Good luck Dr. Sachs, you would be a huge departure from the status quo.

March 1, 2012
Microlending gone wild.

A good, albeit brief, overview of the very important discussion going on about potential dangers of micro loans.  Social enterprise is always at that delicate balance between serving a need and turning a profit.  There will never be complete resolution to every situation, though it’s important to constantly ask the question knowing that the environment in which these efforts take place is always a delicate one. 

March 1, 2012
Good article about a microfinance critic's research findings. Balance his opinion with Bhanerjeet's message below.

There is no silver bullet in development (in most things really).  And like many other fields it has trends.  So is it really that micro finance “doesn’t work” or that the hope built up for it was too big?  Why do we throw out common sense when analyzing a development strategy’s implementation in the developing world?  Does it have to be all or nothing?  Maybe just a prudent perspective is helpful.  Some people in the West use financial services and lending to their advantage, others do not.  Many use the same products for completely different things.  Why would it be any different in another part of the world?  Easterly’s categorization of ‘planners’ vs. ‘searchers’ is an apt one here.  The analysis and research is crucial, yes, but let’s not remove the human element from each of these things.

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