Day: March 1, 2021

Why Bankers Must Be Climate Activists:
Q&A With Joaquim Levy

“The dilemma between being sustainable and making a profit has ceased to exist in many cases,” says Joaquim Levy. “And those who do not exploit this will take losses.”   Levy has spent a life at the top, jumping between the key roles in the public and private sector. Having just turned 60, he is …

Why Bankers Must Be Climate Activists:
Q&A With Joaquim Levy
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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: AMERICA’S CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

While slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, as the Civil War ended, many African-Americans continued to be treated as second-class citizens. Protests and acts of civil disobedience led by the likes of the Reverend Martin Luther King brought about many significant changes, of which the most comprehensive, in that it addressed not …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: CHILE’S COMPULSORY PENSIONS

All over the world, people tend not to save enough for their retirement. That is why the state pension, pioneered by Prussian Chancellor von Bismarck in the late 19th Century, was one of the great public policy innovations of all time. Yet the state pension in most countries has tended to be well below the …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: AMERICA’S EQUAL PAY ACT

Signed into law by President John F Kennedy as part of his New Frontier programme in 1963, America’s Equal Pay Act was aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on gender. In passing the bill, Congress stated that sex discrimination depresses wages and living standards, prevents labour resources being fully utilised, leads to labor disputes, obstructs …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: BRAZIL’S MARIA DA PENHA LAW

Maria da Penha is the woman who changed Brazil’s domestic violence laws after being shot and almost killed by her husband in 1983. Lodging in her spine, the bullet paralysed her from the waist down, but her husband told police that intruders were responsible and no arrests were made or charges laid. Da Penha discovered …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: KENYA’S M-PESA

The launch of M-Pesa in 2007 by telecom firms Safaricom and Vodafone made Kenya a leader in expanding the financial inclusion of poorer people as the global pioneer of phone-based banking: a cheaper, more efficient, and accessible alternative to traditional payments services. By 2012, around 17m M-Pesa accounts had been opened in Kenya, allowing users …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: BRAZIL’S BOLSA FAMILIA

Introduced by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2003, the Bolsa Familia (Family Allowance) scheme provides financial aid to poor Brazilian families in return for assessed societal gains. If families claiming the benefits have children, they must attend school and be vaccinated or the benefit is stopped.   This policy was one of the …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: ABOLITION OF COSTA RICA’S MILITARY

Costa Rica’s military was abolished in 1948 after a revolution that lasted 40 days and claimed 2,000 lives. The National Liberation Army led by Jose Figueres Ferrer prevailed over government forces in April of that year. Eight months later President Figueres declared the end of the nation’s military. Its abolition and the redistribution of its …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: JAPAN’S FIREARMS BAN

Japan’s gun eradication policy began in 1945, when the US government of occupation, concerned about potential resistance, instigated laws to remove all firearms. Millions of guns were removed from households, with the only exceptions being hunting rifles. In 1958, it was written into Japan’s constitution that “no person shall possess a firearm”. The law has …

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75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: PORTUGUESE DECRIMINALIZATION

For many years, governments waged war on drugs, by making their use, production and distribution subject too often to severe criminal punishment. Increasingly policymakers have recognized that this approach has not worked well, and there has been a new focus on viewing the drug crisis as best tackled not in the courts but as a …

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