Archive for January 15th, 2013

Do we need a multilateral investment agreement?

January 15, 2013

Anders Aslund of PIIE thinks so.

He says a new multilateral investment agreement shd be brought under WTO to help facilitate FDI:

A gaping hole in the current global economic architecture is the absence of a multilateral agreement on foreign direct investment (FDI). A multilateral investment agreement (MIA) was discussed extensively from 1970 to 1998 but never concluded. However, the need for such an agreement has increased in the last decade. FDI has grown substantially and now flows in both directions between developed and developing countries, with multinational corporations (MNCs) hailing from all parts of the world. The numerous bilateral investment treaties warrant an international standardized set of rules for FDI. With investment now clearly identified with MNCs and integrated with trade, the World Trade Organization has emerged as a natural home of an MIA.

Interesting bit. In an earlier post, I had pointed to a piece by Richard Baldwin. He said to reform WTO to include supply chains in the governance of trade. And now this one on including FDI within WTO…

May be these new agreements could lead to some recovery of WTO as an institution…It has lost its relevance in a big way..

Yesterday’s buyer is today’s tenant…

January 15, 2013

A nice short article on whether one should buy or rent a house in US. An earlier post looked at the same decision in NY (Manhattan) housing market. The analysis showed renting makes more sense in Manhattan. THough one wonders how many can buy a home in Manhattan!

Anyways, this short piece looks at the US housing market as a whole. Instead of figuring whether to buy or rent, it says people are looking more at renting these days:

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Why do Americans prefer cockroaches to Congress?..

January 15, 2013

A nice question posed by Steven Mazie at bigthink.com. A public poll by an agency shows people ranking Congree even worse than cockroaches, traffic jams etc.

Mazie wonders why:

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