Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

A Smart $100 Million Investment in Girls

It looks like Peter Buffett has acquired his father Warren's knack for finding the highest-yield investments. The younger Buffett, along with his wife Jennifer, just announced a collaboration with the Nike Foundation to put $100 million into programs that will benefit adolescent girls in the developing world. Like the cleverest stock pick, this venture is almost guaranteed to bring impressive short-term returns and will steadily increase in value over generations.

Let's Do the Numbers: CGD Launches Commission on Migration Data for Development Research

What is the biggest distortion in the world economy? A forty-percent price gap for identical widgets traded in two different markets is considered large these days. In capital markets, investors would be shocked by a price difference of one percent for the same security in two different exchanges. But in the global labor market, wage gaps for equivalent workers differ between countries by one thousand percent or more in some cases.

Climate Change in Nashville: A Gathering Storm for the World Bank?

I spent last Thursday with Al Gore and dozens of colleagues at the Climate Change Solutions Summit, near Gore's home in Nashville, Tennessee. Gore led several jam-packed sessions, whose common theme was the search for ways out of the impasse on climate change. Some sessions took the long view, searching for clues in the history of the industrial revolution and successful social reform movements. Others, like my own session, focused on concrete steps that can be taken now.

Kudos to Tokyo and Washington on Rice Sales -- Et Tu, Thailand and India?

This post is joint with Tom Slayton, a rice trade expert and former editor of The Rice Trader

Today in Tokyo, Japan's Vice Minister for Agriculture, Toshirou Shirasu, told reporters that Japan plans to export 200,000 tons of rice to the Philippines "as fast as possible." This confirmed sale comes on top of 50,000 tons of Japanese rice previously under discussion. Even the anticipation of these sales had done much to take the speculative steam out of over-heated global rice markets, as we reported towards the end of last week (see "Rice Prices Fall After Congressional Hearings But Crisis Not Over Yet"), so with some sales now officially confirmed we can hope to see further easing of speculative pressures.

Rice Prices Fall After Congressional Hearings But Crisis Not Over Yet

This post is joint with Tom Slayton, a rice trade expert and former editor of The Rice Trader
It has been a busy week in the rice markets following CGD's release on Monday of our note about how to puncture a speculative price bubble that threatens millions of people with malnutrition and worse (see Unwanted Rice in Japan Can Solve the Rice Crisis--If Washington and Tokyo Act ). On Wednesday our proposal was discussed at hearings on the world food crisis in both the House and Senate.

InterAction Forum Brings a Dose of Political Realism (and Optimism) to 21st Century Foreign Assistance Efforts

Hundreds of development advocates gathered in Crystal City last week for the annual InterAction Forum urged a fresh effort to bring U.S. foreign assistance efforts into the 21st century.
At a luncheon plenary session during the conference, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) summarized:

Foreign assistance is more important to America's national security and foreign policy than ever before. But our Cold-War mechanisms aren't up to the challenge.

Lost in Translation: How to Transform Good Intentions into Poor Policy and Ensure a Climate Crisis (A Primer by the World Bank)

Three months ago, the finance ministers of the U.S., UK, and Japan introduced a Clean Technology Fund to be administered by the World Bank in an effort to "help developing countries bridge the gap between dirty and clean technology."1 Smart and strategic use of limited clean technology financing is absolutely critical if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

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