Thursday, October 15, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Bradley Dubbelman.
Outgoing South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni says that he will miss the good-natured disagreements he had with former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on financial sector regulation.
Speaking at the Reuters Economist of the Year event yesterday, Mboweni singled out differences with Manuel as some of his low points at the bank. Mboweni specifically mentioned Manuel's call for a single financial regulator, which would have been bad for South Africa when the global financial crisis hit, he said.
One of the governor's high points was when inflation was within the Central Bank's target band of between 3% and 6%. Mboweni said that he felt a sense of popularity at this time, until inflation pressures built up and monetary policy had to be tightened again. That was when it became clear that a popular central banker is a contradiction in terms, said Mboweni.
World trade negotiations, although slow moving, offer the best hope of expanding global markets for finance, shipping and other big service sectors, said World Trade Organisation DG Pascal Lamy yesterday.
Speaking at the Global Services Summit in Washington, Lamy said that it would be disingenuous to believe that services liberalisation would be easier outside the Doha Round. Services such as banking, shipping and telecommunications, account for upward of 75% of rich economies and a majority and growing share of many developing countries. But they still account for less than 20% of world trade.
The slow pace of the Doha Round, and the intense focus on agriculture and manufacturing issues in those talks, has recently prompted US service companies to look at other initiatives for expanding international trade.
Preventing the destruction of marine life, from plankton to sea grasses and mangrove forests, could help offset between 3% and 7% of current fossil fuel emissions, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
The Blue Carbon report finds that of all the biological carbon captured in the world, slightly more than one-half is absorbed by marine-living organisms.
UNEP head Achim Steiner said at the launch of the report, that while marine ecosystems are multitrillion dollar assets linked to sectors such as tourism, coastal defence, fisheries and water purification services, it is emerging that they are natural allies against climate change.
Also making headlines:
A top suspect for the 1994 Rwanda genocide pleads not guilty at the United Nations-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Legal organisation Freedom Under Law files court papers against the Judicial Service Commission on the Judge John Hlophe matter.
Côte d'Ivoire presidential hopeful Alassane Ouattara promises to revamp the country's cocoa industry if elected.
And, Botswana's President Seretse Ian Khama is expected to win tomorrow's election, despite rising discontent over the state of the country's economy.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.