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A proven identity offers a path to many freedoms
August 11, 2017 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

Most of us in the west take it for granted that we have an official identity, both in digital life and real life. We usually only think about it if we are worried that somebody is trying to steal it, or that governments are threatening to breach our privacy.

But in the developing world, the idea of having an identity — be that digital or in any other form — is a luxury. It is estimated that some two billion adults around the world do not have a bank account. In emerging markets, some women in particular have no way to independently identify themselves, making it difficult for them to protect their rights, access services or lift themselves out of poverty.

“Large numbers of women are unable to take control of their finances because they lack the basic documentation to open a bank account,” Okonjo-Iweala pointed out, noting that around 42 per cent of adult women in developing countries lack a bank account partly because they have no way to show a bank teller (or anyone else) who they are. 

According to research carried out by ID2020, a public-private project that’s trying to promote digital identifier systems: “Experts estimate that 1.5 ­billion people lack any form of officially recognised identification, and that’s one-fifth of the planet.” These tend to be “women and children from the poorest areas of the world”. The United Nations, meanwhile, has declared that one of its sustainable development goals is to provide everybody on the planet with a legal identity by 2030. 

The good news is that all manner of organisations and groups are now getting involved in the cause. The World Bank, for example, is working with private-sector bodies including MasterCard to create digital identities using credit platforms. Ajay Banga, MasterCard CEO, is a vocal champion of this campaign, particularly for women (partly, a cynic might suggest, because he hopes this will create a future market).

ID2020 is spearheading another non-government initiative, in conjunction with groups such as Accenture and Microsoft. Refugee bodies, including the United Nations Development Programme, are trying to create digital identities for people in camps.
digital_identity  identity  Gillian_Tett  emerging_markets  women  children  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  low-income  developing_countries 
august 2017 by jerryking
Emerging markets offer clue for investors in 2017
December 31/January 1 2017 | Financial Times | by Gillian Tett.

Now (people = politicians = capriciousness/alternatively, unpredictable waves of populism) are shaping events, not established party platforms or policy programmes....the pricing of political uncertainty has moved from being an emerging market phenomenon to an emerged market issue....Is there any way for investors to adapt to this new world? ....(1) Start by abandoning the idea that asset values can be predicted by using neat economic models alone. ...investors urgently need to think about the difference between "risk" (i.e. events that can be predicted with a certain probability) and "uncertainty" (i.e. unknown future shocks). Until now, investors in developed markets have tended to focus primarily on risks and assume that these can be priced (and hedged against). But 2017 is likely to produce uncertainty. That cannot be easily priced or hedge--and investors should recognize this. (2) Investor should also embrace "optionality": the only way to prepare for a world of uncertainty is to stay as flexible and diversified as possible. Now is not the time for investors to put all their eggs in one basket, or bet on just one asset class. Nor is it time for businesses to be locked into rigid business plans: political and geopolitical upheaval could strike almost anywhere. (3) If 2017 does deliver more risk and uncertainty, expect financial markets to be "skittish" about "news" of all types, and not just economic....Bad news for those who despise market volatility (expectation: we're in for volatility like we've never seen before)....Uncertainty can deliver huge opportunity alongside risks..."good" surprises....Surviving 2017 in the developed economies requires that investors use tools beyond those found in the realm of economics: psychology, sociology and political science. Also, talk to successful emerging market investors to find out how they practice their craft.
concentration_risk  Gillian_Tett  emerging_markets  political_risk  unpredictability  Brexit  investors  Donald_Trump  uncertainty  risks  optionality  geopolitics  financial_markets  politicians  volatility  tools  economics  psychology  sociology  political_science  FT  institutions  rule_of_law  Gary_Cohn  populism  indicators  human_factor  assets  asset_values  asset_classes  diversification  dislocations  bad_news 
january 2017 by jerryking
Ricardo J. Caballero, Alp Simsek - A Model of Fickle Capital Flows and Retrenchment: Global Liquidity Creation and Reach for Safety and Yield - NBER - October 2016
Gross capital flows are very large and highly cyclical. They are a central aspect of global liquidity creation and destruction. They also exhibit rich internal dynamics that shape fluctuations in domestic liquidity, such as the fickleness of foreign capital inflows and the retrenchment of domestic capital outflows during crises. In this paper we provide a model that builds on these observations to address some of the main questions and concerns in the capital flows literature. Within this model, we find that for symmetric economies, the liquidity provision aspect of capital flows vastly outweighs their fickleness cost, so that taxing capital flows, while could prove useful for a country in isolation, backfires as a global equilibrium outcome. However, if the system is heterogeneous and includes economies with abundant (DM) and with limited (EM) natural domestic liquidity, there can be scenarios when global liquidity uncertainty is high and EM's reach for safety can destabilize DMs, as well as risk-on scenarios in which DM's reach for yield can destabilize EMs.
paper  paywall  NBER  capital_flows  capital_markets  yield  liquidity  emerging_markets  capital_controls  financial_stability  international_finance 
october 2016 by dunnettreader
Joseph Joyce - Capital Flows and Financial Crises | Capital Ebbs and Flows - Oct 2016
Prof at Wellesley. The impact of capital flows on the incidence of financial crises has been recognized since the Asian crisis of 1997-98. Inflows before the crisis contributed to…
Pretty much my position re Chile's controls in 1990s - FDI good, portfolio vulnerable to hot money, bad, especially foreign-denominated debt, but also bank deposits attracted by interest rates but easily reversed. But they're finding that it's not just the flows that are destabilizing -- exchange rate appreciation comes with foreign capital buying debt assets as well. So much for developing local bond markets? -- See links to papers, tracking not just macro level but B-schools looking at firm-level incentives, who goes in for leverage, etc.
economic_history  financial_crisis  financialization  emerging_markets  capital_flows  FDI  capital_markets  sovereign_debt  FX-misalignment  FX  economic_policy  from instapaper
october 2016 by dunnettreader
Brad Setser » Splitting out Emerging Economies Changes the Picture on Global Trade | Follow the Money - Oct 2016
The Financial Times’ Big Read feature on hidden trade barriers included a chart showing the growth in trade relative to the growth of the world economy. The…
trade  trade-policy  global_economy  emerging_markets  free_trade  OECD_economies  from instapaper
october 2016 by dunnettreader

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