Week of May 12, 2014

1. Bank Transparency: Wal-Mart is known as a low-cost retailer, but customers  of the independent banks inside its outlets are among America's highest payers of bank fees. The 5 banks with the most Wal-Mart branches ranked among the top 10 in fee income as a percentage of deposits in 2013. The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

2. Financial Sector Investment: A new report finds that the financial sector is now the largest beneficiary of World Bank Group investment, receiving $36 billion between July 2009 and June 2013 the IFC. Over the same period the World Bank’s public sector arms committed $22.1 billion to health and $12.4 billion to education. Bretton Woods Project 

3. Credit:  "There are two housing markets in America. It's not one for student debtors and one for non-student-debtors. Rather, it's one market for healthy corporations, who are buying at a historic rate; and one market for families, which is still quite sick." The Atlantic

4. Research Methodology: A newly revised working paper from Hunt Alcott explores the challenges of generalizing data from a single site to a larger context using data from an energy conservation program in the US and analyzing  impact evaluations involving MFIs. The World Bank - Development Impact Blog

5. Regulatory Reform:  Richard J. Parsons, a former Bank of America executive vice president, proposes public policy changes to help give smaller community banks the opportunity to survive independently. American Banker

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