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February 2018

February 26, 2018

Statebuilding, Fiscal Governance and the Game of Thrones

Posted by Bryn Welham and Mark Miller [1]

ODI’s recent publication on ‘Fiscal Governance and Statebuilding’ summarises why the creation of the modern state is closely tied to its ability to effectively raise revenue. 

While typically less gripping than an ODI research publication, the latest series of the HBO television series ‘Game of Thrones’ provides a good example of how this process works in practice.  Cersei Lannister, one of the pretenders to the throne, has just seen her financial reserves destroyed in a surprise attack. With few peasants left to squeeze, she turns to a shadowy foreign bank for a usurious loan to hire mercenaries from overseas. But her arch-rival, Daenerys Targaryen, appears to have no fiscal problems despite moving several huge armies around the map like chess pieces. Daenerys is generally popular with her subjects; although not afraid to use her dragons to make an example of the unwilling when necessary. 

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February 21, 2018

Managing Fishing Revenues

Posted by Richard Neves and Iris Claus[1]

In 2015 2.7 million tonnes of tuna (a catch valued at around USD 2.2 billion) were caught in the largest tuna fishery in the world (the Western Pacific fishery), accounting for around 57 per cent of the global catch. The 1.8 million tonnes of Skipjack tuna (the smallest and most abundant of the major commercial tuna) species represented around 67 per cent of the catch and were caught mostly by “purse seining”, namely the use of a large net to catch schools of fish.  

Skipjack tuna are not considered an endangered species. They end up mostly as canned tuna which is consumed globally. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) scientific committee recently outlined that the stock of skipjack tuna in the Pacific is moderately exploited, fishing mortality levels are sustainable, and the spawning biomass can be maintained near the target reference point of fifty per cent (basically, the combined weight of all the fish stock that are able to reproduce).

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February 13, 2018

Who Watches over the European Banking Supervisor? No-one Really!


Posted by Peter van Roozendaal and Jochen Wenz[1]

Banks and other financial institutions have a crucial role to play in society, and are of great importance for a country’s financial and economic health. The global financial crisis ten years ago showed that if big banks fail, countries are in trouble.

In response to the crisis, the EU Member States transferred the supervision of the largest banks from national supervisors to the European Central Bank (ECB). After the so-called Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) took effect in November 2014, the ECB became responsible for early detection of emerging threats to the financial system, so as to be ready to respond swiftly and decisively, if necessary.

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February 08, 2018

Building Bridges: The Open Budget Survey 2017 Results

Posted by Jason Lakin[1]

Good public financial management practice is increasingly understood to require the free flow of information, robust oversight institutions (legislatures, auditors, etc.), and a role for the broader public to engage at each step of the budget process, from formulation through oversight and audit. These are the core practices and institutions that underpin representative democracy, and they are as critical for democratic policymaking as they are for managing the budget.  

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February 05, 2018

What We Can Learn from Tolstoy about FMIS


Posted by Moritz Piatti-Fünfkirchen and Ali Hashim[1]

When Leo Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina about 150 years ago, he inspired generations. His novel begins

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Now, what does this have to do with Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS)? What Tolstoy perhaps meant was that a deficiency in any one of a host of factors dooms an endeavor to failure. Consequently, to make an endeavor successful it is necessary to mitigate against deficiencies and risks in multiple areas.

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