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The Forces Behind Famine
August 12th, 2011
There is a lot about the world that defies explanation. But if we do know one thing it’s that the world is a complicated place. That answers aren’t always obvious. That you have to look at short-run and long-run dynamics, with the full inter-play of all the forces, to truly begin to understand why things in our world happen as they do. The tragic famine that struck Somalia this summer is no exception to this rule, which occurred as East Africa faced one its worst droughts in 60 years, precipitated by dangerously low rainfall, depleting food supplies, and rising...
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Solving the Pirate Problem: Let’s Start with the Banks
June 17th, 2011
Pirates are a problem. Every year they cost the world between $7 and $12 billion in ransoms, insurance premiums, security equipment, naval forces, prosecutions, anti-piracy organizations, and economic losses to regional economies. And these economic costs don’t include the human ones, which are also sizeable. Every year seafarers are attacked with automatic gunfire and RPGs, beaten, and held in extended confinement as hostages. Pirates sometimes use these hostages as human shields against naval vessels and often abuse their captives, both physically and psychologically. Paul and Rachel Chandler, a retired British couple who were on the “trip of their lifetime,”...
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The Cost of Corruption
October 26th, 2010
WASHINGTON—Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development (Task Force) member Transparency International released its 15th annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) today. The Index is based on different assessments and business opinion surveys concerning the administrative and political aspects of corruption such as bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts. Two of the Index’s biggest losers were Russia and the U.S.—both of which were perceived to have become more corrupt over the past year—while Denmark, New Zealand, and Singapore were considered the least...
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