Articles in Economics News
In recent weeks, Paris City Council intensified its efforts to enforce an old—and long-overlooked—law that forbids short term apartment rentals in the City of Light, as well as in other French cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants. According to this law, residential properties may be let for a minimum of a year; an exception is made for student-tenants who are allowed to rent apartments for nine months. Because of this law, the short term rental market has remained partially clandestine for many years.
International efforts to isolate Iran and force it to halt its uranium enrichment program have seriously damaged the country’s economy: entire industries have been paralyzed, food and fuel prices are skyrocketing, and the local currency is collapsing. But by causing a plunge of the rial, the sanctions have had an unintended and, for Iran, very welcome consequence: a jump in tourism.
The world’s next hyperinflation episode appears to be underway in Iran, with potentially far-reaching political consequences. Officially, Iran pegs its currency—the rial—at 12,260 to the dollar. In early 2012, black market exchange rates began to diverge sharply from the 12,260 peg, eventually hovering at nearly double the official rate.
To most development economists, the key to economic success lies in the creation of good institutions, be they schools, corruption-free agencies, or the like. In 2010, the New York University Business School economist Paul Romer made quite a splash in the field by arguing that in countries where good institutions are lacking, new “charter cities” should be built and run by outside entities under their own laws as semi-sovereign entities.
Economic pressures and uncertainties are again mounting in Argentina. Moody’s recently downgraded the country’s credit rating, and on September 24 the International Monetary Fund threatened it with sanctions if it does not produce “acceptable” economic data by December. The Argentine government has been accused for the past year of manipulating its economic reports to hide its true rate of inflation.
The drought in the U.S. farm-belt is having major repercussions in South America, as farmers in the region seek to take advantage of high commodity prices. As reported in BloombergBusinessweek, Argentine farmers hope to harvest as much as 31 million tons of corn (maize) in early 2013, which would smash their previous record of 22 million tons.
Today Berbera is a city of about 100,000 located on the coast of Somaliland, an unrecognized state occupying the northern portion of Somalia. As the only sheltered seaport on the South shore of the Gulf of Aden, Berbera’s economic fate is thoroughly entwined with that of Somaliland.
The far northern Canadian territory Nunavut has recently instituted health and social services reforms in response to high rates of child abuse and mortality.
In recent years, the crippling traffic congestion around Nairobi has prompted calls for higher capacity roadways to knit the region together. Kenya’s first superhighway, which links Nariobi to the city of Thika 42 kilometers to the Northeast, was recently completed to much fanfare.
As traffic through the Panama Canal rises, Nicaragua and Costa Rica examine alternatives in a charged political atmosphere.
Yukon, Canada’s westernmost territory, has few people but generates much mining revenue.
Paiche, an increasingly rare fish native to the Amazon, is attracting much attention in Brazil and abroad, with new plans to develop commercial farming and processing facilities in the Brazilian state of Rondônia for domestic consumption and export to world-wide markets.
Unsatisfied with the current arrangement, Gabon is again in the process of renegotiating with its Chinese partner. Rumor has it, however, that it would like to drop China altogether and instead turn the project over to a major international mining firm, most likely the Anglo-Australian leviathan BHP Billiton. Brazil’s Vale and France’s Eramet are also mentioned as possibilities, but it is significant that Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba visited BHP Billiton iron-ore facilities in Australia this April
Iceland is by far the world richest country in terms of per capita renewable energy. 81 percent of Iceland’s total energy needs are derived from renewable sources, mostly geothermal and hydroelectric, as is 100 percent of its electricity. As a result of its abundant resources, electrical power in Iceland is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe.
Stabroek News recently reported that Russia would write-off $50 million in debt to the government of Guyana. Debt write-offs for the impoverished South American country are nothing new. In 1999 alone, Guyana successfully negotiated $256 million in debt forgiveness.