World Bank destined to extinction (again)

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World_bank_extinction What do dinosaurs and the World Bank have in common? According to Jeffrey Hooke, a former IFC employee and now the author of a new book, the global development organization will share the fate of the once powerful vertebrates.

Cinnamon Dornsife moderated the book launch yesterday at which Vanay Bhargava, also an author and a bank insider, praised the topic choice but pointed to the book's "sweeping generalizations." Here's a little taste from chapter one:

Despite the imagery, making loans, not solving development problems, is the name of the game.

Besides, most Bank managers, frustrated at their clients' lack of progress, believe the problems of poor countries are too intractable to be solved with simple finance packages. This sentiment, born out of 15 or 20 years at the institution, is well founded, but it creates a large class of careerists, who have given up any youthful pretension of 'making a difference.'

So is it all over for the bank? Maybe not. Mr. Hooke suggests a couple of solutions: cut off loans to the middle-income countries, limit bank's projects to a handful of sectors, and put a hedge fund manager at the helm.

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