September 28, 2017Doug Hadden
Interesting development and PFM news found by the FreeBalance Strategy & Innovation Group.
INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION OF CANADA: It is heartening for Canadian companies focused on international business to hear of the IPSOS poll that found our country leading in perceived positive global influence. Keith Breene reported on the poll in the World Economic Forum blog that found that “Canada is seen as setting the best example with 81% of respondents saying it has a positive influence on world affairs. Australia and Germany complete the top three.”
REFORM NEEDED IN INTERNATIONAL AID? That’s what Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, thinks. As reported in The Spectrum, Onyeama “demanded the reform of the Bretton Wood Institutions to make them responsive to the needs of developing countries and also reflect the realities of the 21st century.” It’s not just about the IMF and the World Bank as reported in the Economist: “Every presidential administration since the 1970s has initiated efforts to reorganize foreign aid. But calls for more significant reform are growing, with good reason.” Meanwhile, US Senator Bernie Sanders rejected the entire “Washington Consensus” in a recent speech reported by Branko Marcetic in the Jocobin Magazine.
63 TRILLION REASONS FOR CONCERN: Abby Budiman and Drew Desliver of the PEW Research Center provided some scary facts about public debt: “Public debt has increased sharply in many countries in recent years, particularly during and after the Great Recession. Globally, the total amount of government debt now exceeds $63.1 trillion.” The United States is the leader in public debt, and many countries have witnessed increased public debt since 2006.
ILLEGAL CENTRAL BANK FUNDING OF NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT: Abdulaziz Abdulaziz reported on “a massive and clearly illegal multi-source funding of the federal government by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).” in the Premium Times. This “could drag the Nigerian economy to its knees, experts familiar with domestic monetary conditions and current happenings at the CBN have warned. The central bank had, in the last one year, pumped trillions of naira in illegally financing the federal government under different guises: from mass purchase of treasury bills to humongous direct financing of the government through the ‘window account‘.” Movement of funds among central banks, State-Owned Enterprises, and government ministries is often used to generate the incorrect impression of public sector fiscal stability.
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