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With short term U.S. treasury paper paying zero percent, where in the world can you get 14.7%? Cote d’Ivoire. The yield on Ivorian Eurobonds spiked on fears of a resumption of civil war and prospects of a default on a payment due December 31st. Bondholders are right to worry.
“Many of those displaced still haven't returned home. Funds for rebuilding remain scarce… a lack of basic services, troubles with contractors and skilled-labor shortages complicate the situation” --that was New Orleans a year after Katrina, according to NPR.
USAID Administrator Shah has taken another step in his ambitious program of making USAID not only a premier development agency (as Hillary Clinton promised it would be back in her January 2010 development speech) but premier in economic analysis, and in macro as well as micro. Shah could not have been smarter than to recruit Steve Radelet from his job as a senior advisor on development to Secretary Clinton.
A few days ago, Google put online a tool designed as a time-suck for the holiday season (HT to Marginal Revolution for the link). Google N-gram viewer allows you to type in some search terms and it spits out how often those terms appear in Google Books by year of publication. Google books now contains 5,195,769 digitized books –or about 4% of all books ever published—so that it’s a pretty powerful tool to monitor cultural trends.
I’ve been mulling over this problem ever since I finished this paper with Arvind Subramanian. We conclude that to deal with the climate change threat to human well-being and livelhoods as we know them today requires an extraordinary technological revolution – not just reducing carbon content but completely eliminating it, i.e. completely severing the link between burning fossil fuel and generating energy.
What do college students and baby boomers have in common? Well this year they both have the opportunity to win the chance to accompany New York Times’ journalist Nicholas Kristof on a reporting trip to the developing world.
Less than a month until the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital, 1.3 million still live in tents, clean water remains an issue with cholera rapidly spreading, and millions of cubic meters of debris litter the streets, hampering rebuilding efforts. But Haiti was hardly in great shape before the earthquake. Despite years of assistance, 80% of its population was living under the poverty line, 2 out of 3 Haitians did not have a formal job, and infrastructure was minimal.
The 2010 Humanitarian Response Index released by DARA last week assesses the effectiveness of donor practice in humanitarian aid. Like the QuODA assessment that we published with Brookings, HRI attempts to measure the quality of aid donors provide based on international standards of what makes aid effective.
Here we are in the final days of a congressional session, so it must be time to extend whichever trade preference programs are set to expire. This year, the 111th Congress must act (soon!) to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Important parts of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, which provides benefits and services to American workers who lose their jobs due to trade, is also set to expire at the end of 2010.