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Troubled World Bank president resigns

Manfanatical malpas The World Bank president’s term has begun and ended amidst controversy. When Donald Trump picked the former investment bank economist and Treasury Department official in 2019, Mr Malpass was seen as someone who didn’t believe in multilateralism and could break the bank. When he announced his intention to resign in June on Feb. 15, he was dogged by comments that seemed to question climate change — a major concern for lenders. Yet between these clouds, Mr Malpass was a surprisingly effective leader. He helped stabilize a faltering institution and presided over a massive expansion of its lending business.

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Mr Malpass is set to step down almost a year before his term expires, signaling a rift between him and the bank’s major shareholders, including notably his own country. Earlier this month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the bank needed to overhaul its business more quickly: changing, for example, how it analyzes global challenges such as climate change and expanding its balance sheet to pay more. Ms Yellen’s comments set out an ambitious new agenda for the bank – and, more importantly, justify appointing a new governor for a five-year term with strong support from member states, rather than in his final year Be a lame duck. Mr Malpass described his early departure as an “opportunity for a smooth leadership transition”.

Critics celebrated his exit. “This has to be the first step towards real reform that puts the climate crisis at the center of what the banks do,” said former US vice president Al Gore. Mr Malpass was met with scorn last year when he dodged questions about whether burning fossil fuels caused global warming, saying he was “not a scientist”. His response revived earlier concerns that Trump’s appointees were not credible.

But his record is better than pessimists fear. His predecessor, Jim Yong Kim, had been working to reshape the bank, bringing in consultants, cutting costs and centralizing its structure. Mr Malpass inherited a demoralized and disorganized institution. Calls for new reforms will involve more accountability, reflecting the fact that he has helped steer the bank back to its pre-Kim identity.

In 2022, the World Bank’s commitment – a broad measure of the financing it provides – stands at $115bn, almost double what it was in 2019 when Mr Malpass took over. The expansion reflects the bank’s role in helping poor countries overcome the COVID-19-induced recession and the energy-plus-food crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Notably, the bank also doubled its climate finance, to nearly $32 billion last year. Despite these apparent strides, Mr Malpass is still struggling to shake off the impression that his heart is not in it. “I think this is more of a missed opportunity than a period of major upheaval or institutions failing to achieve their goals,” said Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development think tank in Washington.

U.S. chooses World Bank president as part of understanding with European governments, European governments choose World Bank president International Monetary Fund. Possible candidates are believed to include Samantha Power, who heads USAIDyou say) and Raj Shah, former head of you say. Whoever succeeds Mr. Malpass will do well to learn the lesson that poor wording can undermine good work.

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