About my Work

Blogs and Webs of the Week

Blogs I Follow

Brief Articles

Datalinks on Governance

Governance Maps

Selected Papers

Selected Presentations

Some Presentations

Some Sites I Like

financial crisis

« Previous Entries

SEC Passes Natural Resource Transparency and Conflict Minerals Rules: The Glass is Fuller than Expected

Friday, August 31st, 2012

 Over two years ago, Congress adopted Sections 1502 and 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Financial Reform Act, which focuses on conflict minerals and natural resource transparency. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was tardy in issuing the implementing regulations, but it passed both rules this past Thursday— more than 450 days past its […]

SEC’s Day of Reckoning on Transparency: Dodd-Frank Section 1504 on Disclosure of Natural Resource Revenues

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

   Following a very lengthy delay, tomorrow, August 22nd, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will finally issue the detailed implementing rules on natural resource transparency in Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act adopted by Congress in July 2010.   Specifically, Section 1504 stipulated that companies in extractive industries listed […]

Job Transition: heading (to) the Revenue Watch Institute

Friday, June 15th, 2012

     I wanted to quickly share the news with fellow bloggers and readers on my upcoming job transition, to take place in the early fall.   At that point I will head the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and will cease being a resident fellow at Brookings. I am mindful that nowadays improved governance of oil, gas and minerals is […]

Transparency, Conflict Minerals and Natural Resources: Debating Sections 1502 and 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

With a focus on conflict minerals and natural resource transparency, Sections 1504 and 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Financial Reform Act are unrelated to the U.S. banking system. Yet they have stirred up controversy. As is often the case with provisions that aim at changing the rules of the game, Sections 1502 and 1504 […]

Judge Rakoff Challenge to the S.E.C.: Can Regulatory Capture be Reversed?

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

  Last Monday, Federal Judge Jed Rakoff issued a potentially precedent-setting challenge to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) when he rejected the $285 million settlement between the agency and Citigroup. The bank is charged with negligence related to its misleading sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities, which ultimately cost investors nearly $700 million but earned the […]

Unexpected Earthquake in U.S. East Coast Spurs a Stock Market Rally?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

 A rare earthquake of magnitude 5.8 shook the East Coast of the US earlier today, affecting Washington, D.C., New York, their environs some environs, and Virginia.  While an earthquake of this magnitude carries a minimal fraction of the force of the mega-earthquakes experienced by countries like Chile, Japan, Indonesia and Haiti in recent years, it did rattle buildings and nerves.  And it raised […]

Congress’ Dismal Performance Need Not Be the Case: A Governance Perspective

Friday, July 29th, 2011

  According to a Gallup nationwide poll ten years ago, 55 percent of citizens approved of the way Congress was handling its job. That was in March 2001, before the surge in solidarity that resulted in Congressional approval ratings of 70-80 percent following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By mid-2002, the approval ratings were back to pre-9/11 levels, […]

Preventing Nuclear Meltdown: Assessing Regulatory Failure in Japan and the United States

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

   Many wonder whether Japan’s nuclear disaster could have been averted. The embattled operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has borne the brunt of criticism; its numerous failures over the years are certainly well known.  However, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), responsible for regulating the nuclear industry, also […]

Amid Global Crises, Can Obama Make a Real Impact in Latin America?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

President Obama’s tour of Latin America, including visits to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, is starting this weekend.  This visit is unlikely to constitute a historical watershed.  It comes at a time when Obama faces three major crises— Libya’s ongoing civil conflict, Japan’s unfolding triple disaster, and the United States’ congressional impasse over the federal […]

Financial Regulatory Capture Symposium at Fordham Law School

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

The global financial crisis that started in Wall Street a few years ago brought to the forefront the notion of ‘capture’ in the financial sector.  Policy-makers, experts and academics still disagree whether regulatory capture was a major determinant of the crisis.  Nonetheless, the problem of capture has at least become an important part of the […]

Governance improves, goes into reverse, and fails: WGI and Governance Matters released

Friday, September 24th, 2010

We are releasing the new version of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), covering 213 countries over the 1996-2009 period.  All the data and resources ca be found at www.govindicators.org.  It is accompanied by a new analytical report on the WGI, to be found here. prepared with my co-authors in this project, A. Kraay and M. Mastruzzi.  And a synthesis […]

On the state of Governance and the governance of States around the World: what will the WGI scorecard tell us?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

In past writings we have emphasized the neglected link between good governance by wealthy and developing countries and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Lately such link is getting a bit more attention in the media, as it is being emphasized by stars like U2′s Bono and his own NGO, named ONE.  Of course, […]

Casting Light on the MDGs through better Governance and Less Corruption

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

The lofty events of the 2010 United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are already underway in New York.  A gala is taking place tomorrow evening, Sunday the 19th of September, at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria for the rich and famous to celebrate the MDG achievements and give awards in a celebrity-laden event.  One […]

Wall Street Financial Reform: Less than meets the eye on Financial Institutions, More than meets the eye on Oil Companies

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The 2,500 page long Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform Bill has passed through the United States Senate. The bill will now be signed into law by President Barack Obama.  It signals a halt to the deregulatory process that the U.S. financial system has experienced for almost fifteen years.  The bill promises to strengthen consumer protection. In principle, […]

Greece and Volcanoes, BP Oil and Hurricanes

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

The earth’s wrath is ubiquitous these days, as vividly witnessed by the fiery eruptions of the Eyjafjallajokull, Turrialba and Arenal, Pacahua, and Tungurahua, the active volcanoes in Iceland, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Ecuador, respectively. In ancient Greece, a volcano eruption was a sign of divine disapproval.  It is unclear whether modern Greece has taken notice…

« Previous Entries