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CGD in the News

Letters to the editor (The Economist)

February 14, 2019

From the article:

We want a proper contest

You are right that Donald Trump could have picked a less-qualified American than David Malpass to lead the World Bank, but you are wrong in thinking that the rest of the world should sigh with relief, hold its nose and accept him (“A qualified pass”, February 9th). Nominations for the job are open for another month. Until then, the shareholders, and The Economist, should keep an open mind. When all the candidates are known, the bank’s board can assess them against the qualifications it has agreed on, which does not include being the candidate nominated by America.

In the 21st century the World Bank will have a useful future only if it can evolve into a club of countries with the resources and legitimacy to tackle a growing list of shared challenges such as climate change, financial instability, the refugee crisis, pandemics and boosting investment to build prosperity. The informal bargain that lets America decide who should lead the bank was an anachronism even when it was struck more than 70 years ago. It should now be consigned to history, especially as the bank no longer depends on American financing. The Europeans may worry that they will therefore lose the right to nominate the head of the imf: good. Both institutions deserve better.

Owen Barder
Centre for Global Development
London