It’s often the fate of the World Bank to be overshadowed at the spring meetings, since its sibling, the IMF, is generally in the thick of a faster-moving story (Greece, currencies, bank taxes, etc).
But in a weekend when the IMF basically avoided discussing all the big questions, the bank actually made some real concrete progress: it secured the $5.1bn capital increase that its president Robert Zoellick has been seeking for the best part of a year. So, like the IMF with its tripled firepower, the bank is having a shot at keeping up with the growth in the global economy.
We have moved “way beyond a North-South world” and the World Bank is moving with it.
The message, from Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, came as he called for shareholders to expand developing countries votes at the institution at the opening of the WB/IMF spring meetings.
I am at a so-so lunch discussing the prospects for long-term economic growth and have just heard the best comment on global imbalances and the worst suggestion for international organisations. Both came from Angel Gurria, secretary general of the OECD.
The words of truth: “I don’t think anything of substance has been done during the crisis to correct global imbalances. It was the crisis itself that reduced imbalances”. Depressing but true.
Oil trades may be denominated in a basket of currencies, rather than the US dollar. Brazil is having a good week, and there are growing calls for IMF reform to go further than that agreed at the G20 Pittsburgh meeting