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Views from the Center

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Templeton Foundation's Next Big Question Should Be: "How Can the Rich World Do Better?"

The Templeton Foundation's ad in Sunday's NYTimes, and the associated postings on the foundation's Web site asked "Will Money Solve Africa's Development Problems?" A quick glance at the distribution of answers is bound to cause some chagrin in the development aid world. Of the eight men asked, two said "yes," five said "no" or "no way" or "I thought so" (which I took as a 'no") and one hedged his bet with "only if."

China's ExIm Bank Discloses its Environmental Policy

China's Export-Import Bank is a large and growing instrument of China's strategy in boosting trade and investment (and influence) abroad. As Todd Moss and I noted, it is now among the largest export credit agencies in the world, with primary commercial operations in 2005 exceeding those of the U.S., Japan and the UK.

The World Bank and the Triennial Tin Cup: The Donors Will Give, But What Will They Ask?

The FT notes that talks have begun for the IDA-15 replenishment round. This is the latest set of negotiations that take place every three years where the World Bank asks its shareholders for cash to provide grants or to buy down the interest rates for its lending to poor countries--and when the donors typically load up the Bank with new conditions. Although these talks are often tough, the donors almost always increase their contributions.

Picturing Global Inequality: Some Preliminary Figures

Thanks to our friend Nick Seaver for posting on the Huffington Post one of the figures we created after playing around with some of the available stats on global income inequality. The idea was to get a very rough sense of what global income distribution looks like: Is it a bell curve? Where might an average American fit?