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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Taxing Kenya’s M-Pesa Picks the Pockets of the Poor

Kenya has instituted a new tax that affects users of M-Pesa -- a widely popular phone-based money transfer service used by more than half of Kenya’s adult population. The new 10 percent excise duty on fees charged for money transfer services applies to mobile phone providers, banks, and other money transfer agencies. Operated by Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya, M-Pesa accounts for the largest share of users of money transfer services. Users of M-Pesa products will therefore bear most of the impact of the tax.

A Banking System Is More Than a Bunch of Banks

For so long I was focused on the important but narrow question of what microfinance does to human beings. It was a good question to probe because a lot of people are interested in it, and various researchers and practitioners have contended over the answer.

Rethinking Monetary, Regulatory, and Financial Policies in the Midst of the Global Crisis – Liliana Rojas-Suarez

On May 22nd, members of the Latin American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF) convened at CGD to discuss some of the most pressing fiscal and monetary issues affecting Latin American economies. The result of the committee’s two-and-a-half-day-long discussion was a four page statement and several clear recommendations for rethinking financial policies in the midst of a global crisis.

Finance Lessons from Emerging Markets for Europe and the United States

Last week I was one of a handful of speakers at the annual meeting of the Bretton Woods Committee, a non-partisan group that works to promote international economic cooperation and to foster strong, effective Bretton Woods institutions (i.e. the IMF and World Bank). Other speakers at the meeting, which was titled “From Vicious to Virtuous: The Cycle of Debt, Stability, and Growth” included U.S. Rep.