As Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and the United States, leveling homes, crippling energy and water systems, and putting ports and airports out of commission, government officials looked ahead to the immense relief challenges that lay in store. First, they had to take stock: What sectors of the economy were most devastated? And where should relief aid go to satisfy … [Read more...] about Big Data and the Pursuit of Better Disaster Relief
The lashing rains and 185-mile-per-hour winds pounding the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma; the toppled homes and flooded streets in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey, with its tens of thousands of people made homeless and billions of dollars in property losses: it's hard to imagine things getting much worse. Unfortunately, they almost surely will. If scientists agree … [Read more...] about Bracing for Impact: Preparing Nations for Natural Disasters
They are like exhibits in a gallery of dread: the Tequila Crisis of 1994; the Asian and Russian crises of 1997 and 1998, and the global financial crisis of 2008. They represent moments when foreign investors pulled away from Latin America and the Caribbean; when foreign credit and investment were withdrawn and the region suffered. They instill fear to this day. With a low … [Read more...] about Financial Integration: Friend or Foe of Low-Saving Countries?
Over the last three months, tens of thousands of demonstrators have poured into the streets of Brazil's major cities, blocking roads, clashing with police, and bringing public transport to a halt in protests in which pensions loom large. But Brazil's pension crisis, which has the government trying to raise the minimum retirement age and workers angrily pushing back, will not be … [Read more...] about When Poorly Designed Pensions Threaten the Future
Taxation and savings are inextricably linked. While taxation puts more money in the government’s hands, it also decreases private savings by leaving people and firms with less income to save, invest, and grow the economy. Despite this clear relationship, the negative impact of taxation on private savings is often the blind spot when policymakers tackle tax reform in Latin … [Read more...] about Rethinking Taxation to Protect Savings