Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

A Cautionary Note on AIG Bonus Clawback: Is the United States Turning into Argentina?

A friend who works in Wall Street was livid upon learning about the U.S. House of Representatives’ move to tax the controversial AIG bonuses at 90 percent. My friend—who is from Latin America and does not work at AIG—said that it looks like the United States is turning into Argentina. He was referring to last year when, in the midst of the commodity boom, the Argentine government attempted to raise the tax rate on the additional profits to around 90 percent and to increase its access to resources it nationalized the private pension plans.

Regional Investment Agreement: An Idea for the 2009 Summit of the Americas

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a lively and useful discussion of Nancy Lee's idea for improving economic integration in the Americas -- via a focus now on investment rather than trade. Joining the discussion were economists and regional experts from the public and private sectors, some with a good nose for the politics as well as the economics. (Nancy Lee's proposal is a good example of a "practical idea" grounded in independent research, to invoke the Center's tag line.

President Bush in Latin America: Democracy, Social Justice and a Dollop of Aid

President Bush is going to Latin America, and that has inspired a round of commentary in the mainstream press. A New York Times editorial urges the President to focus on democracy, human rights and social justice, and applauds the recent doubling of U.S. aid to the region. Democracy and social justice and a dollop of aid (the current budget of $1.6 billion is barely 1 percent of spending by Latin governments on health and education) are good things.

María and José Know How to Spend Their Remittances

Nearly every time there is a news story about the billions of dollars flowing to poor countries as remittances, someone worries that not “enough” of that money is being saved and invested. A case in point is today’s piece in the Washington Post. Latin American workers in the US will send home $45 billion this year, but “only a small portion … has gone to economic development.”

Oil Nationalization? Why Chad is No Bolivia

Idriss Deby, President of ChadChad has expelled oil giants Chevron and Petronas from the country for allegedly failing to pay taxes. The press seems to be suggesting that the move is either another Bolivia-style nationalization or simply the government moving the American and Malaysian companies out of the way for another investor:

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