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We continue to suffer profound institutional gaps on the local, national and international levels – especially in the areas of property rights, access to credit and effective governance. I attended the CIPE Democracy that Delivers for Entrepreneurs conference in Chicago on April 9-10 and shared views with thought leaders from Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Philippines and Venezuela. While it may seem that citizens in such developing economies suffer more from institutional paralysis, the pain felt by the local start-up dealing with banks, bureaucracy and back room deals is just as real and just as prevalent on the south and west sides of Chicago.
I am 38,000 feet over Hartford, CT on my way home from St. Petersburg, Russia and the FIABCI World Congress. This time of year everyone is asking, "Did you catch the game last night?” Depending on your city and allegiances this can be a tricky question. Are we talking about hockey, basketball or baseball (soccer anyone)? At the many bars that rely on the income of sports fans during these times of year, everyone wants to know the score. Conversation, catching the bar tender’s eye and other distractions can be resolved with a quick glance at one of the many screens to check the score.
Who’s ahead in stabilizing their real estate and capital markets after the global financial crisis? Who’s attracting more foreign investment as the European markets continue to struggle. Which countries will be the next BRICS? Who’s keeping score?
I first traveled to China in 2001 not long after the real estate reforms of 1999 to help build professional real estate services there. China was committed to moving to more privatization of its real estate markets and there was a great desire to replicate – often uncritically – the success of U.S. property markets. It was quite a different world on my recent trip to China to attend an expert roundtable held earlier this month by the Unirule Institute of Economics at Renmin University in Beijing on the findings of the International Property Markets Scorecard.