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Monday, January 14, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"InThe Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa's Economic Revolution, we and our co-authors endeavor to show that sub-Saharan Africa -- or at least a great many of its 48 countries -- will make impressive advances in living standards, economic performance, health, education, and governance over the next thirty years ... Three key things have changed that suggest sub-Saharan Africa will start to industrialize at a faster pace.
  • First, labor costs are rising in China, thanks to its shrinking young labor force (the number of 15-24 year olds will fall 20-30 percent this decade). Per capita GDP was similar to sub-Saharan Africa in 2000, but is now three to five times higher.
  • Second, education levels in sub-Saharan Africa are now (2005 data) on par with Turkey and Mexico in 1975, suggesting that sub-Saharan Africa in the coming decades can emulate the industrialization of Turkey and Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s. This began with textiles and light manufacturing, and got heavier and more value-added as time progressed.
  • Third, African governments are prioritizing business-friendly policies. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business reforms show steady progress among sub-Saharan African countries, as they do in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.
"... The focus on industrialization may not be necessary for the next 20 years. But it would be useful. Justin Lin's book emphasizes that governments should adopt industrial policies. We richly agree, and we have counseled officials in Africa whenever we have an opportunity to do just that.In Kenya, which will soon be the largest of Africa's economies, officials have such a plan. Called, Vision 2030, it spells out an industrial policy that will take effect after a major infrastructure investment and construction program is completed.Kenya is not unique -- many governments now have 10-20 year development plans -- and we agree that nothing in them guarantees they will be effectively implemented, or implemented at all. We'd like to see more targeted policies, which aim to capture the textile and light manufacturing business which China is losing as its wages rise. We argue that education and demographics both suggest Africa is well placed to capture this over the next 10-20 years.But the fact is, sub-Saharan Africa's leaders are conscious of the precedents and acutely aware they are walking two to three decades behind in the same footsteps as emerging market powers like Malaysia, Indonesia, India, South Korea and Brazil.oreignPolicy)



" The two comedians were gentle — up to a point. In their opening, Ms. Fey and Ms. Poehler pointed out Kathryn Bigelow and made a joke about the controversy over her film 'Zero Dark Thirty.'  Ms. Poehler said, 'When it comes to torture, I trust a lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.' The camera panned to stars looking a little shocked as they laughed.   It wasn’t the only Girl Power moment. Former President Bill Clinton was met with a standing ovation when he arrived to introduce the Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln.” But it was Ms. Poehler who got the biggest laugh when she returned to the stage and said rapturously, 'That was Hillary Clinton’s husband.'  Female wunderkinds of every age seemed to dominate the night, including Jodie Foster, a former child star who was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, and the newcomer Lena Dunham, the creator and star of 'Girls.'  Ms. Foster, long reticent about her personal life, gave a brilliant, somewhat incomprehensible soliloquy that was almost a coming-out speech, but then veered away. (It was like Garbo talks, then Garbo is garbled.) Ms. Dunham accepted for best actress in a TV comedy by saying somewhat tremulously that other, more senior nominees for the award, like Ms. Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, were the comfort of her youth. Ms. Fey underlined the slight by saying sarcastically, 'Congratulations, Lena, I’m glad we got you through middle school.'" (Alessandra Stanley)


"Teddy was what Tom Wolfe described as a Master of the Universe, a pioneer of the private-equity industry, a legend in the buyout trade. Over the course of his career, he became one of the richest men in America.The first time I met Teddy, in the spring of 2010, he said he wanted to dedicate the upcoming year to “the three B’s: Business, Book, Body.” That was at Cipriani on Fifth Avenue between 59th and 60th, across from Central Park ... for the rest of lunch, ( Teddy Forstmann) told stories about his life, which he strung together like a teaser reel, meant to lure me back for the feature. He talked about his years at Yale, where, misunderstood and underestimated, he made himself into a hockey star, named as goalie on the All-East team. He believed his personality was characteristic of the position: the goalie, solitary and tense, enclosed in his face mask, is the last line of defense, forsaken in failure, unappreciated even in success. Teddy said he wanted to call his memoir The Goalie. (I advised against it.) He talked about his romantic life. Though never married, Teddy had a long list of former paramours: Elizabeth Hurley, Princess Diana, and other starlets and celebrities he collected—it’s a cliché but true—in the way of so many Picassos and Boteros. When we met, he was dating Padma Lakshmi. It was a stormy, up-and-down, junior-high-school kind of deal. I knew all about it from the gossip columns. They’d broken up for a time, a window in which Padma had an affair with Adam Dell, a venture capitalist and the brother of Michael Dell, the founder of Dell computers. News of Padma’s pregnancy broke soon after. A tabloid whodunit: is it Teddy’s or Dell’s? Teddy, who had no other biological children, wanted to raise the baby as his own, but Padma had a DNA test. It was Dell’s. Teddy told friends he offered to act as if the baby were his as long as the secret was kept, but Padma told Dell. Teddy was heartbroken. After a while, he said, it’s hard not to take these things personally. He pressed his fingers into his temples and groaned. 'I get these headaches,'he said." (VanityFair)

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