September 14th, 2011
In college we studied the so-called “resource curse:” the tragic observation that countries well-endowed with natural resources tend to have slower economic growth and poorer development than those without. I remember, very clearly, that we studied this concept as though it were a truism—a common and (mostly) irreversible reality that just was. This theory has, in fact, been demonstrated very strongly in quantitative terms. According to an analysis of developing countries by Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner, the more an economy relies on mineral wealth, the lower its growth rate.
Of course, in my classes, we also studied the drivers...
July 19th, 2011
UK Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech in Lagos, Nigeria, where he encouraged the European Union to adopt "Publish What You Pay" rules for the mining, oil, and gas industries. According to GFI estimates, Nigeria loses over $14 billion each year to illicit financial flows, far more than any other African nation, with its energy sector being by far the most prominent contributor.
Task Force member Christian Aid was quick to praise the development, in particular these comments from his speech:
July 15th, 2011
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Section 1504 of the Act requires oil, gas, and mineral producers who report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose any payments made to foreign governments in the process of developing and extracting materials. Section 1504, or the Cardin-Lugar amendment as it is known, promotes much-needed transparency in the extractive industries sector. It represents the first time a country-by-country reporting policy has been introduced into US law, albeit on a limited scale.
The cost of corruption in the extractive...
May 27th, 2011
Publish What You Pay and Eurodad have launched a briefing paper
(PDF) calling on the EU to propose legally binding measures to require natural resource companies to publish key financial information for each country and project in which they operate.
In recent months, civil society groups working on financial transparency and on tax and development have actively engaged the European Commission and other European institutions responsible for drafting key legislative and non-legislative proposals that will potentially reform European financial reporting standards.
This paper aims to contribute to the current debate...