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February 27 2012

02mydafsoup-01

[...]

American officials have traditionally viewed the World Bank as an extension of United States foreign policy and commercial interests. With the Bank just two blocks away from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, it has been all too easy for the US to dominate the institution. Now many members, including Brazil, China, India, and several African countries, are raising their voices in support of more collegial leadership and an improved strategy that works for all.

From the Bank’s establishment until today, the unwritten rule has been that the US government simply designates each new president: all 11 have been Americans, and not a single one has been an expert in economic development, the Bank’s core responsibility, or had a career in fighting poverty or promoting environmental sustainability. Instead, the US has selected Wall Street bankers and politicians, presumably to ensure that the Bank’s policies are suitably friendly to US commercial and political interests.

Yet the policy is backfiring on the US and badly hurting the world. Because of a long-standing lack of strategic expertise at the top, the Bank has lacked a clear direction. Many projects have catered to US corporate interests rather than to sustainable development. The Bank has cut a lot of ribbons on development projects, but has solved far too few global problems.

For too long, the Bank’s leadership has imposed US concepts that are often utterly inappropriate for the poorest countries and their poorest people. For example, the Bank completely fumbled the exploding pandemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria during the 1990’s, failing to get help to where it was needed to curb these outbreaks and save millions of lives.

Even worse, the Bank advocated user fees and “cost recovery” for health services, thereby putting life-saving health care beyond the reach of the poorest of the poor – precisely those most in need of it. In 2000, at the Durban AIDS Summit, I recommended a new “Global Fund” to fight these diseases, precisely on the grounds that the World Bank was not doing its job. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria emerged, and has since saved millions of lives, with malaria deaths in Africa alone falling by at least 30%.

The Bank similarly missed crucial opportunities to support smallholder subsistence farmers and to promote integrated rural development more generally in impoverished rural communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For around 20 years, roughly from 1985 to 2005, the Bank resisted the well-proven use of targeted support for small landholders to enable impoverished subsistence farmers to improve yields and break out of poverty. More recently, the Bank has increased its support for smallholders, but there is still far more that it can and should do.

[...]

A World Bank for a New World | social-europe.eu - Jeffrey D. Sachs 20120227 
Reposted bydatenwolfmihaicontinuum

April 28 2010

Do Our Financial Models Still Work?

[via Mark Thoma's permalink in the title line you'll find the video with the discussion panel - oanth]


Do Our Financial Models Still Work?

  • Aaron Brown, Risk Manager, AQR Capital Management; Author, The Poker Face of Wall Street and A World of Chance
  • Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics, California Institute of Technology
  • Stacy-Marie Ishmael, Reporter, Financial Times
  • Myron Scholes, Nobel Laureate, 1997; Chairman, Platinum Grove Asset Management
  • Bruce Tuckman, Director of Financial Markets Research, Center for Financial Stability

Moderator: Glenn Yago, Executive Director, Financial Research, Milken Institute

Update: See also:

What's Wrong with Risk Models, by John Cassidy: First up, sincere apologies to the organizers and attendees of the Milken Global Forum, in Los Angeles, where I was due to appear this afternoon at a session about economic models of risk. I was looking forward to engaging the other panelists, who included Nobel laureate Myron Scholes, of “Black Scholes” fame; Colin Camerer, a Cal-Tech behavioral economist I’ve written about in the past; and Aaron Brown, a former Wall Street risk modeler. Unfortunately, my early morning flight from Ottawa, Canada, where I had another speaking engagement last night, was canceled...

Anyway, here is roughly what I would have said ...

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

April 25 2010

02mydafsoup-01

Faviki - Social bookmarking tool using smart semantic Wikipedia (DBpedia) tags

Faviki is a tool that brings together social bookmarking and Wikipedia. It lets you bookmark web pages using Wikipedia's terms. In Faviki, everybody uses the same names for tags from the world's largest collection of knowledge!

Thanks to DBpedia, which extracts structured information from Wikipedia and represents it in a flexible data model, these tags are references to objects which are categorized automatically, keeping your and your friends' bookmarks and interests well organized.

About the author

Vuk Milicic is a founder of Faviki. He is a web developer and designer from Belgrade, Serbia.

Vuk has experience developing websites for various clients from Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Germany, France, Canada and USA.

He believes that semantic tags can change today's messy web, and make the foundation of the universal language that could connect people and the Internet in new and exciting ways.

Reposted fromSigalon02 Sigalon02
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