Category Archives: development

Malaria: Easterly vs Gates

Bill Easterly is on the warpath, accusing Bill and Melinda Gates of using "phony numbers" when they claim small victories in the war on malaria: False victories can mislead and distract critical malaria efforts. Alas, Mr. and Mrs. Gates are … Continue reading

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Disaster Datapoint of the Day

From Charles Kenny’s paper, "Why Do People Die in Earthquakes?": There is absolutely no overlap between the top twenty most costly insured disasters worldwide 1970-2005 and the top twenty worst catastrophes in terms of lives lost. All of the most … Continue reading

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Zimbabwe Photo of the Day

This quadrillion-dollar check was written back in July. Just as well the amount was rounded off to the nearest million dollars, or the written-out part might not have fit in the space available. (Via Prieur du Plessis, via Humble Money)

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Creditor Rights, Risk Aversion, and Justice

A paper from Viral Acharya, Yakov Amihud, and Lubomir Litov shows something which makes a lot of intuitive sense: if you beef up creditor rights, you beef up corporate risk-aversion — and that can be bad for growth. They conclude: … Continue reading

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Rant of the Day: Daniel Davies on Afrobollocks

Poor Edmund Sanders. He writes a perfectly well-intentioned article about Ethiopia’s famine, complete with interview with prime minister Meles Zenawi, only to run into the acid pen of Dsquared: Bonus points for the mention of "the Chinese model" in a … Continue reading

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Mobile Banking for the Poor

At a press conference this morning in Mumbai, mobile-banking company Obopay announced an alliance with Grameen Solutions — an alliance with an extraordinarily ambitious goal. In ten years’ time, the companies said, they would like to see 1 billion of … Continue reading

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The Problems With For-Profit Microlending

After posting about the spat between Muhammad Yunus and Compartamos yesterday, I found a recent Economist editorial in favor of the Mexican for-profit lender. Since it’s one of the more lucid arguments in favor of the for-profit model, it’s worth … Continue reading

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Muhammad Yunus vs Microlending “Loan Sharks”

BusinessWeek’s Steve Hamm has a good overview of the latest dust-up in the world of microfinance, where industry Top Dog Muhammad Yunus has started lashing out at for-profit microlenders like Mexico’s Compartamos, accusing them of "moving into the same mental … Continue reading

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Zimbabwe Datapoints of the Day

Comparing Old Mutual’s share price in London and Harare, Josh Giersch concludes that there are now 35 billion Zimbabwean dollars to one US dollar – up from a mere 17 billion on Friday. Which would put annualized inflation, he says … Continue reading

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Putting Vulture Funds in Perspective

Daniel Davies has a spirited and intelligent attack on vulture funds, explaining why I’m misguided in my attempts to defend them. He makes some good points, which I’ll come to in a second. And I do feel a little bit … Continue reading

Posted in bonds and loans, development, hedge funds | 4 Comments