Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

 

The ALMOST Feedback Loop

Mike is in a hurry to get home from work – eager to see his family and put his feet up after a long shift.

It’s 5pm on a chilly winter day in Detroit and he’s waiting for his bus to come. Thanks to TextMyBus.com and the Detroit Department of Transportation, he is able to use his cell phone to discover that the next bus is due in just 10 minutes. A few minutes go by and he heads outside right before it’s scheduled to stop. But after 10 minutes, no bus. After 30 minutes, his bus finally shows, but spending an extra 20 minutes in below freezing weather and snow means that Mike gets a nasty cold and misses a few days of work.

In my recent blog post, "Make a Consumer Reports for Aid," I detailed four questions that are important to answer in the quest for fully realizing the benefits of feedback loops. In this post, we focus on framing question #4:

Learning History

As an analyst, I like to get to the roots of things, be they mathematical or historical. That’s why one chapter of my book delves into the history of financial services for the masses up to about 1950, and another trace the threads thereafter.

Flailing IMF? Who Is Really to Blame?

Last week our CGD and Peterson Institute colleague Arvind Subramanian called on the IMF to speak truth to power, in an elegant cri de coeur in the Financial Times. The IMF, he notes: “has not provided independent intellectual leadership, most evidently on the eurozone crisis. And it is unprepared to provide stability for the next big global crisis.”

Can You Legislate Moderation?

Folks, this is an important post for the book-writing. Can you help me think this through?

Years ago an editor of mine observed that most writing blocks are caused by tangled thoughts. People think they're just having trouble figuring out how to say what they're thinking when in fact the problem is in their confused thinking.

In chapter 9 right now I'm trying to... Well, what I mean is... See, the thing with microcredit...