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10 Must-read economics stories of the week, 07 February 2020


Africa delivers largest profits on British investment; the Pope drops in on a global economy conference and – as swamps of locusts devastate crops in Africa and Asia – a fascinating look at how one locust can become a plague. Here’s your list of this week’s most interesting stories, curated by Bank Vice President Dr. Jennifer Blanke.


1. People in emerging markets are more open to using digital money than those in advanced economies. Why central bank-issued digital currency is most likely to command public confidence. (Financial Times)


2. SARS stung the global economy. The coronavirus might be a greater menace. (New York Times)

3. World Bank chief economist announces resignation. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg will return to teaching at Yale University. (France 24)

4. Can data build a truer picture of the gender gap in food insecurity? Research found a gender gap in food security in every part of the world, with varying degrees of severity. (Devex)

5. Industries without smokestacks – agroindustry, horticulture, tourism and ICT have a lot more in common with manufacturing than most people think. Firm characteristics and constraints to growth. (Brookings Institution)

6. Pope gives big finance chiefs a talking to, in last-minute appearance. The Pontiff dropped in at a Vatican conference on the global economy. (Yahoo Finance)

7. Study: 70% chance that a U.S. recession will occur in the next six months. Researchers used an approach initially developed to measure human skulls to determine how current market conditions compare to prior recessions. (CNBC)

8. Lagarde says European Central Bank running out of room to fight global threats. Global risks could undermine recent economic stabilization. (Bloomberg)

9. Swarms of locusts are tearing through the parts of Africa and Asia, devouring crops and threatening food supplies and livelihoods. Fascinating multimedia look at how a single locust becomes a plague. (BBC News)

10. Report: Africa delivers largest profits on British investment. The pro-Africa investment Overseas Development Institute report was published as Britain formally left the European Union. (Voice of America)


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