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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, 30 June 2021:

Living normally, with Covid-19: Task force ministers on how S'pore is drawing road map for new normal, Straits Times, 24 June 21:
The ministers of trade/industry, finance and health -- co-chairs of the multi-ministry task force -- explain how, with vaccination, testing, treatment and social responsibility, in the near future, when someone gets Covid-19, Singapore's response can be very different from now. They are drawing up a road map to transit to this new normal

What next for emerging markets? -- Miles to go, Finance and Development, by Duttagupta and Pazarbasioglu, Jun/Aug 21:
Emerging markets must balance overcoming the pandemic, returning to more normal policies, and rebuilding their economies. As the Covid-19 pandemic enters a second year, concerns are rising about how well emerging markets will fare.
What can policy makers do to  overcome adverse shocks and rebuild economic resilience?

Tracing Amartya Sen's journey from colonial India to Nobel Prize and beyond, Harvard Gazette, 03 June 21:
From an early age, Sen was struck by the stark econ inequities he saw under the British raj. Many economists focus on explaining and predicting what is happening in the world. But Sen, considered the key figure at the convergence of economics and philosophy, turned his attention instead to what the reality should be and why we fall short

Posted on Sun, 20 June 2021:

Djankov and Hufbauer: In reforming global taxes, don't forget small countries' interests, Peterson Inst (blog), 15 June 21:
The long-running debate over how to prevent big multinational corporations from parking money in low-tax countries like Ireland and Bermuda has so far taken place among the world's wealthiest democracies. Dozens of small countries are lining up to have their say about the new rules, write Inst senior fellows

Pandemic-support programs -- How to spend $12 trillion, Project Syndicate, by Madgavkar & White, Mar '21 [courtesy McKinsey]:
Although some govt programs have combined ambitious design with effective delivery, many fall short in one or both areas. Those that designed programs optimally and delivered them quickly have infrastructure that includes three key features, write McKinsey partners

Eswar Prasad: Five myths about cryptocurrency, WashPost, 20 May 21 [PDF, courtesy Cornell Univ]:
Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, was launched in 2009. Cryptocurrencies might turn out to be a massive speculative bubble that ends up hurting many naive investors. Whatever their ultimate fate, the ingenious tech innovations underpinning them will transform the nature of money and finance, writes Cornell U economist

  • Bitcoin has 3 flaws -- and that could set the stage for other alternatives, says Cornell economist, CNBC, 17 June

McKinsey advises Korean firms to embrace net-zero economy, Korea Times, by J Woetzel, 20 May 21 [courtesy McKinsey]:
Coal still accounts for about 40 percent of Korea's electricity generation. Korea has significant decarbonization opportunities in transitioning its power sector to renewables, and decarbonizing industrial operations. But there are also risks which may need to be managed, writes director of the McKinsey Global Inst

Shahid Yusuf: Bangladesh -- growth miracle or mirage?, Ctr Global Devt (blog), 16 June 21:
A fmr World Bank chief econ says that its remarkable econ transformation -- the WB now classifies it as a lower-middle-income econ -- deserves praise and can offer important lessons for today's low-income countries. But is the praise entirely justified?, asks Ctr fellow / chief econ of The Growth Dialogue, G Washington U

Posted on Mon, 07 June 2021:

Tech giants and tax havens targeted by historic G7 deal, Reuters, 05 June 21:
The Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies reached a landmark deal on Sat (05 June) to squeeze more money out of multinational companies such as Amazon and Google and reduce their incentive to shift profits to low-tax offshore havens, when they agreed to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%

Kenneth Rogoff: A curse worse than cash, Project Syndicate, 06 June 21 [via Jordan Times]:
Ransomware – a type of malicious software that restricts access to a computer system until a ransom is paid – is not a good look for cryptocurrencies. Recent ransomware attacks, and cryptocurrencies' central role in enabling them, are a public relations disaster, writes Harvard economist / author of The Curse of Cash (2016)

Ride a green swan -- central banks grapple with climate risk, Reuters, by M John, 04 June 21:
A three-day "Green Swan" conference - its name a twist on the "black swan" theory on major systemic shocks - brought together heads of the world's top central banks, policy makers, academics and business. The central bankers agreed on Fri (04 June) they had a clear role to play in tackling climate change

The rare earth industry is drawing supply chain lessons from the semiconductor shortage, Quartz, 07 June 21:
Both microchips and rare earths form critical supply chains that power the high-tech economy, and are the subject of intense scrutiny by governments looking to shore up supplies as a matter of national security. Rare earths are a group of 17 metals crucial to the manufacturing of high-tech products

Posted on Wed, 26 May 2021:

Georgieva, Gopinath and Agarwal: A proposal to end the Covid-19 pandemic, IMF (blog), 21 May 21:
There can be no lasting end to the econ crisis without an end to the health crisis. Pandemic policy is thus econ policy. It is critical for global macroecon and financial stability, which makes it of fundamental importance to the IMF and other econ institutions, write IMF head; chief economist; and staff economist

Microchip shortage -- Democrats, GOP team up on bill targeting China, CNBC, 25 May 21:
The US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 challenges Beijing's growing technological power by supporting US chipmakers and science research. The bill reflects the urgency of a global semiconductor shortage
. It would appropriate $52 bil. to US chipmaking efforts and $81 bil. to overhauling the National Science Foundation

Book Value: Joseph Stiglitz -- A call to arms to change capitalism, The Lancet, 15 May 21 [via Columbia Univ, pdf]:
In Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism, Mariana   Mazzucato captures the post-pandemic zeitgeist: science  has  hopefully  conquered covid-19, and government had  a  central  role  in  the  victory, writes 2001 Nobel Laureate

Posted on Thu, 13 May 2021:

Covid-19 cases double in Seychelles, the world's most-vaccinated nation, Bloomberg, 11 May 21 [via Straits Times / S'pore]:
The Seychelles, a group of palm-fringed tropical islands in the Indian Ocean off Africa's east coast, which has vaccinated more of its population against covid-19 than any other country, saw active cases more than double last week, raising concerns that inoculation is not helping turn the tide in some places

How will a waiver on Covid-19 vaccine patents affect global supply?, BMJ (British Medical Journal), 10 May 21:
The Biden admin made the surprise announcement
last week that the US would support a proposal to waive patents on covid-19 vaccines. The World Trade Org has yet to approve the waiver, but if it did experts believe that it would be 2022 at the earliest before the world could expect to see additional capacity

How will Covid-19 ultimately impact climate change?, MIT News, 29 Jan 21:
Biz closures. Travel restrictions. Working / learning from home. These dramatic responses to covid-19 have caused sharp reductions in econ activity -- and associated fossil fuel consumption -- around the world. As a result, many nations are reporting significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2020

Digitizing supply chains to lift farmers out of poverty, MIT News, Sep '20:
Millions of poor cocoa farmers across western Africa have been forced to contend with geopolitical instability, predatory loan practices, and a general lack of info that hampers their ability to maximize yields and sell crops at fair prices.  For the last five years, however, their cocoa supply chains have been transformed

Posted on Sat, 01 May 2021:

Experts criticize India's complacency over covid-19, Lancet, 01 May 21:
India is battling a second wave, which has rapidly surpassed its first wave in 2020. Mass gatherings have been permitted as cases soar and patients die, while experts criticize a lack of planning and flexibility in the pandemic response. The most palpable crisis in the country currently is a shortage of oxygen in hospitals

Book Value: Jean Drze -- Foreword to How To Read Amartya Sen, by Lawrence Hamilton, Scroll.in, 25 Oct 20:
Amartya Sen is known not only as a great mind but also as someone who is keen to bring about practical change in the world. Indeed, he is, ultimately, a man of action, even if his preferred tool of action is not climbing barricades or shooting petitions but public reasoning -- "arguments for a better world", writes Delhi Sch Econ honorary prof

Top economists warn covid-19 impacts will be severe and long-lasting for developing countries, UN News, 26 Apr 21:
The multilateral system has to fundamentally change in the spirit of intl solidarity to confront the severe impacts of covid-19, according to members of the UN high-level advisory board. They explored various approaches to confront the crisis, with inequalities, climate change and lack of access to covid vaccines topping the priority list

Jeffrey Frankel: What three economists taught us about currency arrangements, Harvard Univ (blog), 24 Apr 21:
A generation of great international economists is passing from the scene. Richard Cooper was teaching his classes at Harvard until the very end. Robert Mundell was a Nobel laureate. And John Williamson had been the first scholar hired by the Peterson Inst. As a personal note, I was fortunate to know all three, writes Harvard economist

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