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emerging and frontier markets:

the unofficial field guide

Site Owner / Publisher:  Sta. Romana, Leonardo L.
 Based in:  Manila, Philippines; and Southeast Asia

Posted on Wed, 21 Apr 2021:

Greta Thunberg contributes 100,000 euros to covid-19 vaccine equity initiative, UN News, 19 Apr 21:
The teenage climate activist has donated 100,000 euros from her foundation to boost global efforts by the UN-backed Covax program to deliver vaccines to anyone, anywhere, who needs them, the World Health Org announced on Mon (19 Apr). She urged the intl community to address the "tragedy" of vaccine inequity

Gaspar, Keen, Klemm and Mauro: A covid-19 recovery contribution, IMF (blog), 16 Apr 21:
Policy makers could consider introducing covid-19 recovery contributions to raise the resources needed for an inclusive recovery. The basic idea would be that those who can afford to pay more -- individuals with high incomes or businesses with extraordinary profits -- should make a greater contribution from their earnings

John Williamson, economist who devised 'Washington Consensus' model of reform, dies at 83, WashPost, 15 Apr 21 [via The Nation/Thailand]:
Williamson began his career as a univ prof and had stints working for the British govt, IMF and the World Bank. In 1989, after consulting economists at the IMF, World Bank, Treas Dept and the Fed, he suggested a list of 10 ideas to spur and safeguard econ development, which became known as the 'Washington Consensus

Posted on Sat, 10 Apr 2021:

WHO says poor countries have received just 0.2% of world's vaccine supply, CNBC, 09 Apr 21:
Out of more than 700 million covid-19 vaccine doses administered globally, more than 87% have gone to wealthier countries. On average, 1 in 4 people in high-income countries have received a coronavirus vaccine, compared with just 1 in more than 500 in low-income countries

Editorial: It's time to consider a patent reprieve for covid vaccines, Nature, 31 Mar 21:
This idea needs to be considered seriously because a temporary intellectual-property waiver could have a role in accelerating the end of the pandemic. It would also send a powerful message from richer countries and pharmaceutical companies that they are willing to forgo some profit for the greater good

New IMF reserves could fund vaccinations for low and middle-income countries -- report, Reuters, 06 Apr:
Moves to bolster the IMF's emergency reserves could provide the $44 billion needed to vaccinate 70% of the population in lower- and middle-income countries by the end of 2022, at no added cost to rich countries, a new Rockefeller Foundation report finds

Robert Mundell, Canadian-born Nobel laureate who inspired the euro, dies at 88, Bloomberg News, 05 Apr 21 [via Financial Post/ Can]:
In the early '60s, Mundell laid out independently, with the late Marcus Fleming, a model that asserts a country can't simultaneously pursue a fixed exchange rate, free capital flows and an independent monetary policy -- the "impossible trinity". The most relevant aspect of his work was the theoretical cornerstone for the euro

Posted on Wed, 31 Mar 2021:

UN chief criticizes countries for vaccine hoarding, export restrictions, CBC News, 29 Mar 21:
Developed countries hoarding covid-19 vaccines is not only unfair and unjust, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says, it is also a matter of enlightened self-interest. "It's in the interest of everybody to make sure that as soon as possible and in a fair way, everybody gets vaccinated everywhere"

Nobel Prize economists call for vaccine equity and debt relief, Al Jazeera, 11 Mar 21:
Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Michael Spence are spearheading calls for urgent action to help poorer countries recover from the economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, including measures to advance vaccine equity, debt relief, and bolstering fiscal resources for cash-strapped nations

White House leaves vaccine "passports" to private sector, CBS News, 30 Mar 21:
As more and more countries like Japan, China and Denmark plan to introduce vaccine "passports" for their citizens, Americans are beginning to wonder if they, too, will have to show some sort of proof of vaccination or similar ID to travel, attend events, work or generally participate in society

Posted on Mon, 22 Mar 2021:

Explainer: Activists, drug groups in waiver war over covid-19 shot patents, Reuters, 11 Mar 21:
A World Trade Org council is discussing a proposal by India and S.Africa that covid-19 vaccine patents be suspended to speed up tech transfers to manufacturers with spare production capacity. The idea to potentially increase supplies of vaccines seems simple. But some experts say its benefits are not so clear

Covax -- The largest vaccination rollout ever, UN Country Teams, 17 Mar 21:
The Global Covax Facility is the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation ever. It will provide 190 countries worldwide with equal access to 2 billion doses of the covid-19 vaccine and 1 billion syringes, all delivered by the end of 2021. The initial deployments of vaccines have commenced globally

Spence and Leipziger: The pandemic public-debt dilemma, Project Syndicate, 14 Dec 20 [via Jordan Times]:
With today's low interest rates, it is often said that as long as borrowing costs are below the rate of growth, additional debt-financed spending makes sense. While this is defensible in rich nations, it poses dangers for emerging/ developing nations, write Nobel Laureate / fmr chair and vice-chair, Commission on Growth and Devt

Coffers: Jim O'Neill -- The bitcoin lottery, Project Syndicate, 09 Mar 21 [via EJ Insight/ HK]:
The standard econ textbook view is that for a currency to be credible, it must serve as a means of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. It is hard to see how a cryptocurrency could meet all three of these conditions all of the time, writes Chatham House chair / fmr chair, Goldman Sachs Asset Mgmt

Posted on Thu, 11 Mar 2021:

Countries urge drug companies to share vaccine know-how, AP, 01 Mar 21:
Across Africa and Southeast Asia, govts and aid groups are calling on pharmaceutical firms to share their patent info more broadly to meet a yawning global shortfall. Pharmaceutical firms that took taxpayer money from the US or Europe say they are negotiating because they need to protect their intellectual property and ensure safety

The case for issuing covid-19 vaccine passports, CNN, by D Andelman, 09 Mar 21:
There was a time when intl travelers had to carry a small yellow booklet called an "Intl Vaccination Certificate". But in 1980 the World Health Assembly declared that the world was free of smallpox and the need for the certificates has largely faded. Now, there's a big debate erupting about whether to bring them back

Frost, Gambacorta and Shin: From financial innovation to inclusion, Finance and Development, Mar/May '21:
Fintech and Big Tech companies now compete with banks and other incumbents across a range of markets. Meanwhile, digital currencies promise to transform the heart of finance: money itself. But just how much has tech advanced financial inclusion?, ask senior economists at the Bank for International Settlements

Nook & Cranny: In Amartya Sen vs Jagdish Bhagwati debate, was Sen right after all?, Money Control/India, 29 May 20:
The dispute was whether social welfare and health and education were best served by rapid econ growth (
Bhagwati), or whether social equity and health and education lay the groundwork for rapid growth (Sen). In the context of the 2014 elections, the pundits said Modi stood for rapid growth, while the UPA was all about social welfare

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