Treasury official, global institution critic nominated to lead World Bank

President Trump announced Wednesday the nomination of David Malpass to lead the World Bank, replacing Jim Yong Kim, who abruptly resigned in January.

The World Bank was founded from the ashes of World War II for the purpose of restarting the economic engines of nations left in ruins by five years of conflict in Europe.  Its prime directive today is assisting developing countries, largely African and South American nations.

Malpass currently serves as the Treasury Department’s under secretary for international affairs and is believed to have edged out Ray Washburne, who leads the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to lead the organization.

An economist who often sides with Trump’s views on multilateralism and globalism, Malpass was a strong supporter of the president’s deregulation policy and backed the White House’s tax cuts in 2017.  A budget hawk, Malpass has often sounded the alarm on massive deficits and national debt.

A known skeptic of multilateral institutions, Malpass has been a sharp critic of the World Bank, often criticizing the World Trade Organization and the International Criminal Court.

Similarly, Malpass is also know to level sharp criticism at the institution he seeks to lead, criticizing the World Bank’s lending to larger developing nations such as China and Brazil.

Despite his reputation, it is believed Malpass could emerge as a reformer of the bank, particularly it’s practices and culture, without dismantling the structure altogether.

A Michigan native, Malpass, 62, graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  He is a certified public accountant who worked with Arthur Anderson Consulting, served in both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and eventually became the chief economist at Bear Stearns.


[ABC News] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy EPA via The Economist]

Leave a Reply