October 21, 2017

PPPs Can Close Infrastructure Expense Gap

If one wants to feel dizzy she may walk over the Grand Canyon’s suspension bridge, climb to the top of the Three Gorges Dam hydroelectric power station in China or just picture the Mecca’s high speed rail crossing the desert. Perhaps one only may need to feel dizzy having a look to the breach of global spending on basic infrastructures: ... Read More »

End of the Lime

My first inkling of the Great American Lime Crisis of 2014 came when I ordered a vodka tonic in Washington, D.C., recently. I didn’t think much about it when my server told me the restaurant was out of limes and offered to garnish my drink with a lemon instead (pass). But when the same thing happened at a bar in ... Read More »

US Dreams of Energy Independence

When Americans talk about ‘energy independence’ they are talking about oil and the Middle East. Forecasts that the US may become close to energy self-sufficient in net terms by 2035 have once again made this verbal icon of US energy policy a popular ‘sound bite’. But its use is both inaccurate and misleading, and without a seismic shift in American’s attitude towards ... Read More »

How America’s CEOs Are Getting Rich

It’s proxy season again, and we will soon be deluged with news profiles of CEOs living in high style as our ongoing debate on CEO pay ramps up. Last week, the floodgates opened when the New York Times released its annual survey of the 100 top-earning CEOs. Lawrence Ellison from Oracle Corporation led the list again with over $78 million in mostly stock options ... Read More »

Can the World Really End Poverty by 2030?

The slogan “make poverty history” has been used by development pundits and pop star philanthropists for years. Now, in a bid to turn words into deeds, it is being discussed as a universal global target to be met within a generation.   The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight poverty-reduction targets that were signed during a world summit in 2000, will ... Read More »

World Bank Accused of Facilitating Africa Land Grab

A new research report accuses the World Bank of favoring the interests of financial markets over food security and following such policies that facilitate land grab in Africa. “While nearly 80 percent of food consumed in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is produced by smallholder farmers, the Bank negates the importance of small-scale farming for sustainable rural development and food security,” ... Read More »

Lifting Asia Out of Poverty

Developing-Asia’s impressive growth continues but faces a new challenge — inequality is on the rise. Over the last few decades, the region has lifted people out of poverty at an unprecedented rate. But more recent experience contrasts with the ‘growth with equity’ story that characterized the newly industrialized economies’ transformation in the 1960s and 1970s.   Treating developing Asia as ... Read More »

Mining in Africa No Longer a Curse?

The Hollywood blockbuster movie, Blood Diamond, tells a gripping story of how diamonds fueled Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war, which erupted in 1991. It depicts kidnappings, use of child soldiers, amputations, rape, killings and destruction of bridges and hospitals, among other atrocities.   The movie, starring American actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou, brought world attention to the campaign ... Read More »

World’s Top Ten Billionaire Skyscraper Homes

  When it comes to the most luxurious apartments in top city centers, the only way is up.   At least that is the opinion of a number of property developers who are wooing the ultra wealthy with lavishly-appointed skyscrapers in the most prestigious of neighborhoods, where large-scale lateral square footage is nearly impossible to find.   As well as ... Read More »

Ukraine Crisis Reigniting Europe’s Energy Security Dilemma

International relations is witnessing the revival of oil and gas geopolitics as a decisive issue on the global political agenda. Rising demand, swelling energy costs and the ever-growing scarcity of resources has ushered in a new wave of competition for raw materials and energy reserves.   Consequently, the European Union (EU) is attempting to systematically incorporate energy security into its ... Read More »