2007 Index of Economic Freedom

The 2007 Index of Economic Freedom measures and ranks 161 countries across 10 specific freedoms, things like tax rates and property rights.

The 2007 methodology has been revised to provide an even clearer picture of economic freedom by using data-driven equations rather than performance brackets which allows countries to be graded using a percent score rather than a 1.5 rating. In addition, labor freedom has been added as a variable. We continue the tradition of blending “Ten Freedoms” equally to produce a simple, unbiased overall score for each country.

The new methodology (probably) helped US to climb back in the Top 10 after 2 years of absence.

The 10th criteria the top is based on are:

  • Business Freedom
  • Trade Freedom
  • FiscalFreedom
  • Freedom from Gov’t
  • Monetary Freedom
  • Investment Freedom
  • Financial Freedom
  • Property Rights
  • Freedom from Corruption
  • Labour Freedom

Romania managed to get to the 67th place in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, climbing from 125th position in 2005 and 92nd in 2006.

Out of these Romania scored below world average on Monetary Freedom, Property Rights and Freedom from Corruption.

Here is the top 10:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. USA
  5. New Zealand
  6. UK
  7. Ireland
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Canada

Read more about it here.

Related posts

2006 Index of Economic Freedom
2005 Index of Economic Freedom

2006 Corruption Perception Index

cpi2006 mapAs the 2006 Corruption Perception Index is out, Romania is just one place up from the last year survey and still behind countries like Bulgaria and Moldova.

The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.

Also, the top 10 remains virtually unchanged from last year:

1 Finland 9,6
1 Iceland 9,6
1 New Zealand 9,6
4 Denmark 9,5
5 Singapore 9,4
6 Sweden 9,2
7 Switzerland 9,1
8 Norway 8,8
9 Australia 8,7
9 Netherlands 8,7

Noteworthy examples of countries whose scores suffered biggest deteriorations from CPI 2005 to CPI 2006 are Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and the United States. In these cases, actual changes in perceptions occurred during the last two years. On the other hand improvements can be observed from 2005 to 2006 for Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.

Get Yourself (and Your Computer) World Cup Ready

World Cup is coming, and even if Romania is not there, again, I am preparing for it, so here is an interesting list of resources:

FIFA World Cup Official Website, in partnership with Yahoo!, for the second time (if I’m not wrong) is the place to start and to explore all official information for the tournament, games, the venues, etc etc.

WC Offficial Song – This time, the official song for the World Cup, “Time of our lives,” will be in charge of the opera-pop band Il Divo (who have mixed the bel canto and pop music), and six-time-Grammy-winner Tony Braxton.

World Cup Blog – We live in the 21st century so such an event couldn’t exist without several blogs around it. The worldcupblog.org seems to be the most complex one, and is dedicated to covering all aspects of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The site features 32 country-specific blogs, a referees blog and a blog covering general tournament news. Worth a mention the BBC WC blog and the NYTimes WC Blog.

World Cup Wallpapers – getting to your computer now, here is a list of great WC themed wallpapers for your desktop.

Microsoft’s Soccer Scoreboard – even though there are two words I kinda hate in this title (and scoreboard is not one of them 😉 ) this fun program allows you to access all the latest tournament news and information with the click of a button! Live game data allow you to monitor your favorite teams progress in real-time.

World Cup Firefox Extension – for those who, like me, are lazier, they can get all the information and results straight in their favorite browser.(the page is in german, but I have no doubt you’ll manage to install the extension)

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Romanian Blogging is Going Mainstream

Besides some long discussed and not that good articles in which romanian mainstream media talked about the growing blogosphere there are some good things happening lately.

hot news bloggingI’ll start with the last that I personally noticed: Hotnews.ro, my favorite news source, started blogging at blog.hotnews.ro. Excellent news and I hope the blog will be at least as good as the site itself. This blogging initiative is basically following the, probably better known, one of Evenimentul Zilei. And more than that there is another blogging attempt: Blogul lui Dinescu, which I was actually expected for a while now. It is a beginning and I’m still looking for some of the big names to jump in.

RoBlogFest 2005More than that, Dragos is hosting the RoBlogFest 2005 2006 . Check it out and go find out more about romanian blogs, read, make up your mind and vote, as you can do it until next thursday, March 9th.

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Danish Cartoons (part 2)

Even if I had the feeling from the very beginning that the whole wave of protests in the arab world was orchestrated I didn’t have any solid proof on this. Meanwhile, this post just gets me closer to this belief:

Egyptian newspaper, Al Fager (as pronounced in Egyptian Arabic) has published the controversial Danish Mohammed Cartoons five month ago on Oct 17, 2005. Any ideas why it might have taken the Muslim community so long to react?

See scans of the egyptian newspaper here.
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Weirdest CEO Moments of 2005

Well, it seems the CEO’s have their moments too. Here is a rather funny Fortune article, about some of the weird/funny/sutpid moments some of US CEO’s had to pass through during 2005. I am sure that there were more. Here’s one:

American Express filed suit against Savvis Inc. and its CEO, Robert McCormick, in October for failing to pay McCormick’s $241,000 one-night tab at Manhattan topless club Scores. AmEx claims McCormick said he rang up only $20,000 in charges (and blamed the rest on fraud), but Scores provided AmEx with signed receipts for the full sum. Savvis placed the CEO on unpaid leave in October.

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Super Size Me

I finnaly got the chance last night to see the Super Size Me documentary by Morgan Spurlock. For those who haven’t seen it yet it’s basically a 30 days experiment of a McDonald’s exclusive diet. I have to admit the movie is scaring, even if I don’t use to eat junk food more than couple of times a year, I sill got stomach ache only seeing it and thinking about it.

Well the movie basically is self explanatory about why more than 60% of american adults are overweighted. Even more weird the “funny”-ugly stuff is the detail about the Cheesburger Bill which would make illegal for people to sue food companies for making them obese. Huh, nice. Well most of all is a debate about the limits between personal and corporate responsability. But considering the cigarettes precedent, I don’t see too much of a debate actually.

2005 worldwide cost of living survey

Surprisingly, I would say, Bucharest is the least expensive European city in 103rd place in the 2005 worldwide cost of living survey released a couple of days ago by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Mercer’s survey covers 144 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

Tokyo remains the world’s most expensive city, followed by Osaka, according to the study. London moves down one position in the rankings to take third place, followed by Moscow which also drops a place this year. Asuncion in Paraguay is the least expensive city in the survey. New York remains the most expensive city in North America, at 13th position in the rankings .

Commitment to Development Index 2005

Center for Global Development released the 2005 Commitment to Development Index. The Index reminds the world that reducing poverty in developing countries is about far more than giving money.

Now in its third year, the CDI ranks 21 of the richest nations trying to give us the big picture on their performance in each of the following policy areas:

  • aid
  • trade
  • investment
  • migration
  • security
  • environment
  • technology policies

View the rankings in charts, learn what the Index rewards and penalizes, compare country report cards, and post comments or suggestions. Or see an interactive (flash) version here.

Via World Bank’s Private Sector Development Blog.

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