"Later today the World Bank will be hosting an online discussion on a topic of great importance in the Middle East which rarely attracts enough attention: crony capitalism.
The problem began in the 1970s and 1980s when Arab states started to liberalise their economies and open them up to the private sector. But, as a blog on the World Bank website explains, this was not what it seemed:
"To stay in control, autocratic rulers relied on loyal private entrepreneurs who would do their bidding – what we now call crony capitalists.
"Cronies grew fast and took over the liberalised markets all over the region, especially in the late 1990s and 2000s. But they were not particularly efficient. And they stifled competition and innovation, allowing unfettered competition to flourish only in informal markets where authority could not penetrate
"This regime did not deliver the jobs needed by the increasingly educated and larger waves of entrants in the labour market. Moreover, it generated rising inequalities, increased the grievances of the poor that could not advance socially, and exacerbated frustration among the educated youth with high expectations for a better future.""
'via Blog this'