public policy



A possible start would be to search: privatization, in the site search or publications pages of organizations such as the International Monetary Fund. IMF gets 16 hits, including State-Owned Banks, Stability, Privatization, and Growth. But the World Bank gets 100,000+ hits for the site search: privatization; 19,000+ for: privatization banks statistics; and 201 even for: "privatizing banks" statistics. An easily compiled figure for worldwide public vs. privately owned banks seems to be very elusive, based on many searches I have tried. But I hope there are some RadRef librarians that have a bit more experience than I do - with both statistics and with public documents. Possibly, might help, because it includes state as well as federal websites, reports, studies, etc. and gets "about 225 results" for the search: "financial sector" privatization worldwide statistics.

Related Question

QUESTION: Which national banks are state-owned?

question / pregunta: 

I know that the majority of the world's national banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. and the Bank of England are privately owned central banks that borrow money from international banking corporations. But a few countries, like Libya and China, have banks that are wholly owned by the state, which prints its own national currency. Other than these two, are there any other countries that follow this model? Where do I start looking to find out what percentage of ownership a state has in its national bank?

Mercury preservatives in vaccines and autism


This definitely cuts to the heart of scientific method, documentation of research, and brings up the issue of political and social attitudes toward technological and scientific "experts".

There is as yet no way to "prove a negative" - to absolutely prove without any question that the mercury containing additives in these vaccines never caused harmful effects. What the researchers report in the medical and science literature is often based on statistics of test and control groups. Thus, in the 285 hits, going back to 1998, in Science Citation Index for the search: Topic=(autis* and vaccine*), the titles very often say something to the effect that "evidence does not support" a link, or "no conclusive evidence of a link has been found", etc.

But short of investigating - on our own - every report, and combing it for inconsistent or careless documentation, false or careless reasoning, mis-statements of other people's claims or research, etc., there will be no way to know who is telling the truth.

The best we can reasonably do is examine samples of the scientific literature, follow the money trail to see who is funding the research, be on the lookout for inflammatory or other opinion based statements, and in general resolve not to just take someone's word - even if they are a Nobel prize winner.

The same would go for the people who accept a link - How do they know? How many people did they study out of how many total cases, and how did they select their sample(s)? Do they clearly state their credentials, or otherwise prove - maybe by brilliant and well-documented arguments - that they know what they are talking about? We librarians will always need to ask "who says so?", because we have too often had experts (including ourselves!) tell us stuff that turned out later not to be 100% accurate.

If a website doesn't give references or even say where its author is working, I tend to assume the information is suspect.

Related Question

QUESTION: globalization of U.S. communities

question / pregunta: 

The focus of our project is identifying the effects of globalization at the community level. We are trying to identify data and information resources that demonstrates trends in the internationalization (i.e. migration - including migrant sending and receiving countries/communities - and international trade patterns) and then tying those to a generation (last 15-20 years) of primarily neoliberal foreign and economic policy choices. The goal is identify 12 communities for further study on local impacts and the ways communities respond to the positive and negative aspects of these trends.

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