Commodity prices are very persistent. During booms we seem to forget that they have always (yes, always) been followed by busts (see Figure 1). And during a slump we forget that a boom is surely going to come along— we just have to wait long enough. What determines such booms and busts? Was the last boom exceptional? Where are prices today relative to long-run trends? And the … [Read more...] about Commodity Prices: over 100 Years of Booms and Busts…
The US state of California is passing through a very serious drought, which has resulted in serious problems of water availability. Experts have not been able to agree on the reasons for the extreme situation and why preventive measures were not taken, nor have they been able to agree on the best possible solutions. Nevertheless, it seems that the measures they have taken up … [Read more...] about Faced with a Water Shortage, a Flood of Ideas.
The destruction was colossal, the after-shocks harrowing. Nepal's April 25th earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, leveled large parts of the country, reduced ancient city centers and mud-brick villages to rubble, and left much of the nation in chaos. More than 5,000 people died, more than 10,000 were injured, and tens of thousands lost their homes. Nations from … [Read more...] about Foreign Aid for Disasters: Never Enough
Financial inclusion is necessary for healthy societies The financial inclusion strategies that several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are adopting and incorporating into their national development policies aim at increasing access to and use of financial services for segments of the population that have been excluded or underserved by financial systems. … [Read more...] about What Good Is Capital Without Customers?
The word “adjustment” in Latin America means different things to different people. The term “painless” adjustment may strike some as populist while others may perceive it as naive. But the fact is that, as shown in the IDB’s recently published Latin American and Caribbean Macroeconomic Report, in many countries making a fiscal adjustment is a good idea. Exploring ways to make … [Read more...] about Four Ways to Adjust Painlessly