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Wealth and International Politics

Renationalization is about Politics and Not Economics

Friday, 20 February 2015
If there’s a reversal of privatization, why? There are several reasons for a country to renationalize or stop privatization. In some cases, following the prescriptions of the IMF and the World Bank, developing countries privatized industries that were under state control and opened their borders to foreign direct investment.

The Rise of Nationalist Sentiment

Tuesday, 10 February 2015
In our previous posts we talked about how it has become common wisdom that neoliberalist transformations are taking developing countries by storm – irreversibly changing intra-state dynamics, boosting productive capacities, reducing inequality, and enhancing welfare. Instead, recent years have seen a pattern of an increase in state activity in the domestic economy. In some cases, there’s privatization and in others a populist surge of sentiment in favour of greater government involvement in the economy.

The Spread of Privatization

Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Since the 1970s, neoliberalism or the Washington Consensus belief in the virtues of free markets offered us a tantalizing premise: that the accumulation regime of neoliberalism has provided consumers with more for less. The engine of economic growth was no longer the state, but the individual. It was the role of the entrepreneur and consumer, not the government that could produce economic wealth for a society. This was matched with cheap energy, food, raw materials, and labour, otherwise known as the cornerstones of the capitalist bloom, and instrumental inputs into the laissez-faire golden age.

On Renationalization and Sector Incentives

Friday, 30 January 2015
What does nationalization or renationalization mean? How far does a state have to go in buying private shares or assets before it is considered to be renationalized? The term can be ambiguous because it can mean something different to each country. Analysts, pundits, and think tanks are nowhere near a consensus for what is considered renationalization, let alone whether this strategy is useful or helpful to the development of emerging market economies and developing countries.

The dirtiest word in international politics

Tuesday, 27 January 2015
For the next few months, I will be writing a number of blog entries with two CIGI Junior Fellows, Jonathan Diab and Anna Klimbovskaia. Our goal? To unpack the dirtiest word in international politics and wealth, “nationalization” – a taboo subject that is happening all around us. Why, where and how will be our focus.

A Commitment to Corporate Taxation?

Sunday, 16 November 2014
The G20 meetings in Brisbane included discussions on strengthening the tax systems and the final communique included the commitment that "profits should be taxed where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created".

G20 all talk, no action on growth

Saturday, 15 November 2014
If the G20 Summit this weekend had a buzz phrase, it was growing the world economy by an additional 2 per cent of collective GDP. The Australian presidency of the G20 focussed on this target as its hallmark diplomatic success. With the objective backed by two studies – from the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – the Australians want the G20 summit to feature this goal at the expense of all other issues, like climate change, combatting Ebola, conflict in Ukraine or the war on ISIS.

The Value of the G20 Kodak Moment

Thursday, 13 November 2014
What is the G20 meeting and is it useful? Since its creation, the key impetus of the meetings has been to get the most important leaders of the G20 in a room to decide on ways to promote economic growth and help solve the economic, political, and social issues of the time.

IMF and World Bank Reform: A dead deal?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Like so many issues before the G20, the hope and optimism for global coordination seemed limitless in 2008 when the finance ministers' club was upgraded to the leaders' level. After the cusp of the global financial crisis, the G20 meetings promised to fix many of the structural flaws of the global system. One of the most striking shortcomings of the global financial architecture was the relative weakness of emerging market economies' voice and votes at the leading global financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank.

Despite its 70 year history IMF still has a lot of growing to do

Tuesday, 8 April 2014
"In some ways, the International Monetary Fund prefers to see itself as a preventative tool and not a financing tool," writes CIGI Senior Fellow Bessma Momani in her summary of CIGI's co-sponsored event The IMF: What Is It Good For?

Trends and challenges in philanthropy and development

Tuesday, 12 November 2013
I had the opportunity to attend the Emirates Foundation Annual Philanthropy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where panellists discussed a number of trends and challenges in the field of philanthropy and development. One issue that was not discussed, but stands out to me, is how the number of actors in the field of development is increasingly dispersed and diffused.

What's up (not down) with commodities?

Thursday, 31 October 2013
There are two trends that in the commodities sector, particularly on energy, worth noting include the rapid consumption of a middle class in emerging market economies like China and the exploration of oil and gas rising in the global marketplace.

The Kettle Calling the Pot Black: Regulators and Supervisors from North to South

Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Bessma Momani and David Kempthorne
On the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings, the Toronto Centre- that is mandated with training regulators and supervisors from over 170 countries- had hosted an enlightening conversation on whether regulatory and supervisory best practices can be taught.

Coordinating Global Economic Governance

Thursday, 10 October 2013
Listening to Daniel Tarullo, Governor of the Federal Reserve system of the United States at the Bretton Woods Committee discuss the state of global financial reforms was a fascinating insight into the careful work before policymakers. What are the reflections of individuals in the rooms and corridors of vital regulatory organizations?

Obama is losing the hearts and minds of the Arab world

Monday, 9 September 2013
Bessma Momani and Claire Schachter
The world has little patience for the regime of Bashar al-Assad at this point. With hundreds of thousands of dead, two million refugees – half of which are children – and four million internally displaced throughout the Syrian territory, there are no shortage of victims and witnesses to Mr. Assad’s brutality. His attempt to counter Mr. Obama’s media offensive with a live interview will not redeem his image.

Is Syria a Terminal Case?

Friday, 30 August 2013
The world has watched Syria being destroyed from within for more than two years. The death toll has mounted steadily, month after month, and refugees continue to pour into neighbouring countries. The country’s infrastructure is being obliterated. With 100,000 dead and likely more to come, millions internally and externally displaced, and thousands imprisoned, injured, maimed, and psychologically scarred, it is getting worse everyday.

Do country officials trust the IMF?

Thursday, 29 August 2013
Earlier this year, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) released a valuable report on the 'The IMF's Role as a Trusted Advisor.' Known for its candour and independent assessment of the IMF, the IEO held little back in assessing how the IMF has fared in carrying out this important role.

The Arab Spring Can Bring a Demographic Dividend

Tuesday, 6 August 2013
With so many terrible realities dominating the headlines in the Middle East, it is easy to be pessimistic about the region. In my new study in Global Policy, I make the case that the Middle East is actually a region to watch as an up and coming economic market that will be ripe for business opportunities, investment and economic growth.

From Coup to Chaos

Thursday, 25 July 2013
Egypt’s military leadership is playing with fire. During a televised cadet graduation ceremony on Wednesday, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for Egyptians to return to the streets to show that they back the military and its mandate to confront “violence and potential terrorism.”

Where do good development ideas come from?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Where do good development ideas come from? This is an important question for the health of the global economy. As a former student of international development studies, my colleagues and I spent a great deal of time trying to understand how to formulate good development policies, the pitfalls to avoid and the unintended consequences of not knowing the local conditions and circumstances that lead to policy failure.
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