1. State of Economics Laureates: Video from the World Bank's "State of Economics, State of the World" conference is now available. Here's Ken Arrow on equilibrium and welfare, Amartya Sen on social choice, and Joe Stiglitz on information economics. And here's Clark laureate Esther Duflo on the influence RCTs are having on the world. Bonus: blog post from David McKenzie based on his comments on Duflo's presentation examining whether RCTs have taken over development economics. Oh, and the rest of the talks are here.
2. Mobile Money: An in-depth discussion of why little progress has been made on merchant acceptance of mobile money/digital payments and what to do about it. And here's a pretty thorough debunking of the long-lived "fishermen use mobile phones to get market prices" story that helped jumpstart enthusiasm for mobile phones as a poverty-fighting tool.
3. The Way We Bank Now (in the US): Starbucks is a bank (or a prepaid card company) that happens to serve coffee. Meanwhile, the actual banks are earning more from overdraft fees again. The preference for storing money with Starbucks is starting to make more sense.
4. Client Protection: MFIN, the Indian microfinance industry association, in collaboration with the Smart Campaign, has created a standardized process for its members to address client grievances. It has "17 performance standards bucketed into 9 categories." Given how little microfinance clients typically know about how to complain, I'm not sure 17 standards are the best approach.
5. A Syndicate of Laureates: Angus Deaton thinks that we're not paying enough attention to the negative effects of globalization on poor households in rich countries. Edmund Phelps suggests that one way to help those folks is job subsidies. In case that was too subtle those are both links from Project Syndicate.