"The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible."

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Held Your Own or Lost Ground?

Friday, September 24, 2010

United Nations holds summit to discuss Millenium Development Goals

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals concluded with the adoption of a global action plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015 target date and the announcement of major new commitments for women's and children's health and other initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease. 
  • In 1990, 62% of the world’s poor people lived in just two countries, China and India
  • A dramatic fall in China’s poverty rate, from 60% to 16%, has therefore had a big impact on global poverty, which seems set to meet its 2015 target. But that is small comfort to the poor in many other countries where poverty has barely budged
  • Goals such as those involving primary enrollment and reductions in child mortality are unlikely to be met, though some, such as access to clean drinking water, are likely to be exceeded.


Why net neutrality is a distraction

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What about the risk that operators will fragment the internet by erecting new road-blocks or toll booths? In theory, competition between providers of internet access should prevent this from happening. Any broadband provider that tries to block particular sites or services, for example, will quickly lose customers to rival firms—provided there are plenty of them.

But that is not the case in America. Its vitriolic net-neutrality debate is a reflection of the lack of competition in broadband access. The best solution would be to require telecoms operators to open their high-speed networks to rivals on a wholesale basis, as is the case almost everywhere in the industrialised world.

America’s big network operators have long argued that being forced to share their networks would undermine their incentives to invest in new infrastructure, and thus hamper the roll-out of broadband. But that has not happened in other countries that have mandated such “open access”, and enjoy faster and cheaper broadband than America. Net neutrality is difficult to define and enforce, and efforts to do so merely address the symptom (concern about discrimination) rather than the underlying cause (lack of competition). Rivalry between access providers offers the best protection against the erection of new barriers to the flow of information online.

This newspaper has always championed free trade, open markets and vigorous competition in the physical world. The same principles should be applied on the internet as well. 

Bernanke: "If the crisis has a single lesson, it is that the too-big-to-fail problem must be solved"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke stressed the need for banks to hold more cash in reserve and face stricter regulations and told a panel investigating the causes of the economic crisis that the central bank's policies did not spur the collapse.

He cited ongoing negotiations on the amount of reserves banks must keep to cover their operations and recently passed US legislation as the key tools to tackle the risks posed by big banks.

"Monetary policy is a blunt tool; raising the general level of interest rates to manage a single asset price would undoubtedly have had large side effects on other assets and sectors of the economy."


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