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Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz spoke to a standing-room-only crowd this morning at a CGD event about his new book Making Globalization Work and his ideas for bringing stability to the international economic system.
I arrived in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in February, 1994 to begin what was to be an almost 5 year tenure in the Office of the U.S. Executive Director to the African Development Bank. It was a tenure that would see the Bank, under President Babacar Ndiaye, driven to the brink of collapse and a Bank, under President Omar Kabbaj, reestablish its financial standing and regain some (though not much) program and institutional credibility.
There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release:
President Chirac's proposal for a global air travel ticket tax to fund development appeared to be gaining momentum last week, with an announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York that four countries had joined the French-led initiative. One important question--how the money will be used--has been answered. Ninety percent will go to buy AIDS drugs. But plans for administering the funds are unlikely to persuade American taxpayers--or the U.S. government--to support the plan.
When New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-poverty commission recommended this week that the city pay poor people to send their kids to school and keep up-to-date on immunizations, the idea had an oddly familiar ring to it.
Today began the 2nd annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York, the annual “ideas fest” sponsored by the former President and brining together a massive list of opinion-makers, business and political leaders, and of course plenty o’celebrities.