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One of the ways that rich and powerful countries can affect development is by doing more to prevent illicit financial flows. Last year I said that CGD in Europe would start work on this because:
these flows are potentially harmful to development in many ways. They can prevent developing countries from receiving the full value of their assets and economic production; they can deprive developing countries of government revenues which could be used to pay for basic services; they can entrench elites in positions of power and hamper the emergence of a developmental state; they can distort the allocation of spending and provision of services; and they can reduce the stock of national savings
I am thrilled that Alex Cobham is joining CGD in Europe as a Research Fellow to work on illicit financial flows. For a taste of Alex's work in this area, read his chapter on tax havens and illicit flows in the World Bank book, "Draining Development" (edited by Peter Reuter); or watch him in the recent "Why Poverty?" TV programme which looked at illicit flows (he is on from about the 39th minute).
Alex will be joining us in March from Save the Children UK, where he is Head of Research and runs the Uncounted blog. He has previously been at Christian Aid, and before that was a researcher at Queen Elizabeth House (the Department of International Development at Oxford University) and a junior economics fellow at St Anne’s College, Oxford.
There are two good reasons to harness the market power of iconic brands. First, policymakers and researchers with evidence-based arguments on migration are struggling to combat the hateful rhetoric of the tabloids. Second, the private sector has an important role to play in ensuring global economic prosperity. Among other things, it should use its power to fight the misinformation, ignorance, and hate directed towards the world’s most vulnerable people.
Rory Stewart MP gave a wise speech about how Britain can play a role in global peace and stability. In my brief response to the Minister, I suggested twelve policies which are within our control which would help create conditions for stronger, more peaceful, more prosperous countries to thrive, and so reduce the risks of future conflict and instability. Here they are.
Emerging market currencies have seen a lot of action over the last few months. India’s rupee has fallen 20% against the dollar, the Indonesian rupiah and the Brazilian real are floundering after falling 15%, and Turkey’s lire has slipped 10%. I invited CGD senior fellows Liliana Rojas-Suarez and Arvind Subramanian to explain what’s driving the fluctuations. Since these economies have mosty been performing pretty well—consistently growing faster than the rich countries—to the untrained eye, the currency slides seem dramatic and unexpected.