People hoping for a long-overdue breath of fresh air to blow through the World Bank’s musty halls in Washington in the wake of President Trump’s selection of a new director appear to be in for a disappointment.
The World Bank’s new chief, former Treasury and State Department official David Malpass, is showing every indication that he’s prepared to rubber-stamp the bank’s lending policies, many of which promise to harm the very people they are supposed to help.
Malpass and his colleagues at the bank oversee the disbursement of $65 billion a year in loans to an assortment of development projects in poorer countries, which, it is worth noting, includes rising global power China. In keeping with political fashion, the World Bank in December 2018 launched its own Climate Change Action Plan, pledging to dole out $200 billion in loans by 2025 to help countries battle global warming. As the bank’s website explains:
Climate change is an acute threat to global development and efforts to end poverty. Without urgent action, climate change impacts could push an addition 100 million people into poverty by 2030.
Helping the Poor?
The bank got the climate-change ball rolling when, in July 2015, it announced it would no longer provide financing for coal-fired power plants in developing countries. And if that means leaving hundreds of millions of people who currently have no access to electricity to the tender mercies of expensive, intermittent, but World Bank-approved wind and solar power to cover their future energy needs, so be it.
None of this seems to bother Malpass, including the $200 billion earmarked for the bank’s Climate Change Action Plan.
“We are committed to the Climate Change Action Plan,” Malpass told the Washington Post (June 30) “That’s a good number. That’s a beneficial number.”
Even though the Trump administration is trying to revitalize the struggling U.S. coal industry by promoting the export of American coal and clean-coal technologies, Malpass has no plans revise to World Bank lending policies accordingly. “There aren’t any plans to change policy in that area,” he assured the Post.
What’s more, the bank’s notoriously bloated, and well-paid bureaucracy will remain in place under Malpass. Needless to say, the preservation of the status quo has sent a sigh of relief through the global “development community.”
A Global Empire
Created in 1944, the World Bank is one of several globalist institutions like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and scores of other agencies that have “withstood the test of time” while creating lucrative jobs and enticing contracts to hordes of bureaucrats and development “experts” – all at taxpayers’ expense. The bank has 130 offices worldwide, and its posh Washington headquarters, a couple of blocks from the White House, is a monument to excess and waste.
In many respects, Malpass should feel right at home in the bank’s extravagance and recklessness with other people’s money. He was chief economist for Bear Stearns from 1993 to 2008. As a result of the global financial crisis and at the prodding of the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Treasury Department, collapsing Bear Stearns was sold to JP Morgan Chase in March 2008 for 6% of its market value twelve months prior to the sale.