The Economies You Didn’t Know About

The Economies You Didn’t Know About

Why you should care

Because money makes the world go ’round. But it doesn’t always start with traditional means.

New Generation of “Shadow Banks”

The real reason the subprime crisis was so big and so bad has to do with a larger, wilder group of entities collectively (and pejoratively) known as “shadow banks” — companies that offer bank-like functions, such as loaning money, but aren’t subject to standard regulations regarding risk, leverage and depositor insurance. The system collapsed thanks to shady, inscrutable players and opaque processes. Meet Shadow Banking 2.0: Since the crisis, a new (and arguably much more respectable) class of shadow banks has grown up — in both senses of the term. A range of entities, run by smart veterans from traditional banks who favor a downright conservative approach, are providing the financial services the banks are no longer able to offer. But there are still unknown risks.
Read the story here.

The Street-Market Evangelist

Slum, squatter, informal economy: For many, these words summon images of squalid cityscapes, grinding poverty and criminal activity. When journalist Robert Neuwirth learned that the world’s squatter population comprised more than one in 10 of the total global population, he saw a story that needed to be told. Immersing himself in research convinced Neuwirth that the dominant narratives about slums and street markets need changing. “People get pinned with labels based on their material conditions, rather than who they are and what they’re trying to do,” he says. He developed a deep respect for the ingenuity and sheer pluck he’s encountered in the world’s slums and street markets, and he paints a decidedly different portrait of the workers he has met and the system in which they operate.
Read the story here.

The Crime-Fighting Philosopher

Like a modern Sherlock Holmes, Eduardo Salcedo uses unconventional techniques to unravel the mysteries of corruption, kidnapping and drug trafficking in Colombia. His methods — a mix of neuroscience, artificial intelligence and social network analysis — may be controversial, but they are trusted by institutions like Transparency International, Global Integrity and Colombia’s government. Salcedo has connected the dots between hundreds of apparently unrelated incidents and come up with an extensive list of suspected dirty politicians and narco-paramilitary members, and uncovered rampant corruption at even the highest levels in Colombia’s intelligence agency. And while many applaud Salcedo’s efforts, not everyone is a fan of his extravagant methods.
Read the story here.

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