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Just a week after Fitch Ratings issued Nigeria’s first sovereign credit rating, Standard & Poor's followed suit this past Monday announcing its own rating for Africa’s most populous country. Both agencies assigned Nigeria a long-term foreign currency rating of ‘BB-‘.
President Bush yesterday released his budget request for fiscal year 2007, seeking a sizable increase in defense spending (mainly for equipment and weapons systems) while cutting the budgets of two-thirds of federal agencies. The picture for spending on development is a mixed one.
What a difference a year can make! Davos 2005 had Bono and Sharon Stone among other glitterati talking about global poverty and global health, and featured at least three crowded plenary sessions on Africa, aid, AIDs, malaria and more -- with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Bill Gates and Jeffrey Sachs. It was 2005: the year of development announcements and commitments.
Dozens of people packed a previously undisclosed location (The Diner in Adams Morgan) last night for our third annual State of the Union BINGO game. Joining CGD staff was an avowedly wonkish crowd that included people from such organizations as the U.S.
In my first dispatch from Davos, I observed that the atmosphere was upbeat. The business community is not worrying much about the dark predictions of the past year. There is, after all, still no collapse of the dollar despite the U.S. trade deficit; interest rates and inflation worldwide are low, and oil price increases are being easily absorbed. India and China are emerging as the new engines of growth and symbols of why market economies work.