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Old World Bank

An interesting if somehow obvious and subdued debate today on the BBC World Service’s “World Business Review” about reforming the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Finance Corporation and the International Development Association.

I do not have much faith in any reform at any of those institutions. Just as the UN’s Security Council, they are still stuck in the 1950’s and will keep themselves that way unless some major international crisis changes the lot.

Fact is the whole system has been managed (if not designed) in order to keep the international Order firmly in the hands of Americans and Europeans.

After all it is not far-fetched to say that the whole ideas of “Third World” and “Development” were not with us until the end of World War II, the start of the Cold War and most of all the end of Colonialism.

Why would the Old Boys want to relinquish their control right now? It’s just much simpler to leave things as they stand. “Development” in this respect is a side show, as demonstrated by the absence, after six decades, of any idea on what actually can push a country out of abject poverty (apart from luck, location, and luck of location).

2 replies on “Old World Bank”

“the absence, after six decades, of any idea on what actually can push a country out of abject poverty”


In fact, the World Bank should be just shut down. A letter to FT at (ask enzomich %at% for a copy if you can’t access it) offers interesting data on that cozy nest of bureaucrats:

“When the bank undertakes 112 loan projects a year (118 in 2005), disbursing $11.8bn, why does it need 8,600 employees and $954m in administration expenses? That is a run-rate of nearly 80 people and more than $8m per new
“project”. […] (tax-free staff salaries that can approach $300,000) and perks (a pension plan funded with more than $1m per staff member) […]”

Triple cheers for the kick in Wolfie’s ass, but now it’s time to give the boot to the rest of them.

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