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Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at the newly re-named Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this week at a gala in New York City. The celebration brought together a Who's Who of the world's global glitterati (of international economics, that is).
PBS TV aired The World According to Sesame Street last night, a fascinating documentary about Sesame Street and how it has gone global, not just as "American" entertainment for children, but as a catalyst for social and economic development by targeting the youngest citizens around the world.
Talking about religion, or faith to use a more general term, is about as popular a thing to do as overpaying your taxes, especially in the policy world. We shy away from the topic because of the personal, sometimes intense, reaction it elicits and, I suspect, because faith feels a little soft, emotional, even anti-intellectual when compared with hard political and economic realities. But since faith impacts U.S. policy, it is a conversation we ought to be having.
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.”
The development world was electrified today by the news that Muhammad Yunus and the institution he founded, the Grameen Bank, will share the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." As an economics professor at Chittagong University in Bangladesh in 1976, Yunus led his students in an innovative experiment: making tiny, short-term loans to people in the nearby village of Jobra.