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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 […]

Transparency in Natural Resources and Conflict Minerals: What We May Not Know About Dodd-Frank

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is the very well known piece of legislation that intends to regulate the U.S. financial market. The debate over the act and its implementation continues and I have contributed to that discussion in previous postings. Yet, what is not so well known is how the Dodd-Frank […]

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 […]

Open Government Partnership: First Steps and the Road Ahead

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

    “When a government hides its work from public view, hands out jobs and money to political cronies, administers unequal justice, looks away as corrupt bureaucrats and businessmen enrich themselves at the people’s expense, that government is failing its citizens,” stated U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the opening of the multi-country Open Government […]

On the Triple Disaster in Japan: Governance and the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crises

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

In light of the unprecedented triple disaster that has struck Japan, I contributed this Opinion article at Brookings with Veronika Penciakova (here).   We discuss the governance failures in Japan that have exacerbated its nuclear crisis.  Of particular concern is the extent of regulatory capture and failure in the nuclear industry, and the country’s lack of […]

Tunisia, Egypt and Beyond: Fewer Predictions, More Data and Aid Reform Needed

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Nobody predicted that the desperate act of a young Tunisian who set himself on fire in protest of government policies that had left him jobless and disenfranchised would ignite protests for democratic and economic reforms across the Middle East. Since this incident, Tunisia’s government has fallen and demonstrations have spread to Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan […]

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, […]

Blowing the Vuvuzela on FIFA: Governance Reforms for Development

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Sixty-two games have been played at the 2010 World Cup, which has been marvelously hosted by South Africa.  Only two games remain; one tomorrow for third place, and then Sunday’s much awaited World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands.  In a couple of days, we will have a brand new world soccer champion.  But […]

Apology Letter to Maradona, or to the Soccer World?: Don’t cry for me Argentina

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

The Letter, entitled ‘An Apology to Maradona, a Rolicking Genius’, was published just before yesterday’s World Cup game between Argentina and Germany.  Excerpted, it reads:…

Will June 27 become ‘Instant Replay in Soccer’ Day?

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

 This day, June 27th, is important for both Britain and Argentina.  Over 200 years ago, on this day in 1806, the British captured Buenos Aires.  Today, June 27th, 2010, fortunes were reversed.  Two crucial soccer games took place in the knockout stage of the World Cup. In the first, Germany sent England home 4-1, while […]

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