Commentary

Earth Calling the Financial Sector

NEW YORK – Financial markets serve two crucial purposes: to channel savings toward productive investments, and to enable individuals and businesses to manage risks through diversification and insurance. As a result, the sector is essential to sustainable development, which represents unprecedented global-scale investment opportunities and risk-management challenges.

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New Frontiers in Development Finance

WASHINGTON, DC – When the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire at the end of this year, the world will have made significant progress on poverty reduction, the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation, and other important objectives.

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Africa’s Path from Poverty

BEIJING – All low-income countries have the potential for dynamic economic growth. We know this because we have seen it happen repeatedly: a poor, agrarian economy transforms itself into a middle- or even high-income urban economy in one or two generations.

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Fiscal austerity versus European society

Over the last five years, the eurozone has, without explicit popular consent, maintained a strict policy focus on fiscal austerity and structural reforms – despite serious social repercussions, not only in the Mediterranean periphery and Ireland, but even in a “core" European Union country like France.

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Can Yemen be saved?

Yemen is no stranger to crisis. Exposed to a regional proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, plagued by an entrenched Al Qaeda affiliate, and divided by tribal disputes and a secession movement, the country has become a poster child for everything that can go wrong in the Arab world.

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Central Banks and the Bottom Line

MUNICH – Around the world, central banks' balance sheets are becoming an increasingly serious concern – most notably for monetary policymakers themselves. When the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoned its exchange-rate peg last month, causing the franc to soar by a nosebleed-inducing 20%, it seemed to be acting out of fear that it would suffer balance-sheet losses if it kept purchasing euros and other foreign currencies.

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An Accidental Currency War?

LAGUNA BEACH – Six and a half years after the global financial crisis, central banks in emerging and developed economies alike are continuing to pursue unprecedentedly activist – and unpredictable – monetary policy. How much road remains in this extraordinary journey?

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Obama Versus Obamacare

NEW YORK – The US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health-care reform, has succeeded in extending insurance coverage to millions of Americans who would not otherwise have it.

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Europe’s Two Futures

PARIS – Once again, Europe seems to have reached a fork in the road. In one direction lies the future as described by pessimists, who argue that rising populist movements and the plunge of the euro are evidence of the continent’s coming slide into geopolitical and economic oblivion.

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The Year of Resilience

NEW YORK – Ten years ago this month, representatives from 168 United Nations member states met in Kobe, the capital of Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, to decide how to manage risk better in the wake of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed more than 227,000 lives.

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