President Donald Trump says Treasury Department official David Malpass is his choice to lead the World Bank. Malpass, a sharp critic of the 189-nation lending institution, was described by Trump as the “right person” for the job. (Feb. 6)
WASHINGTON – A top Treasury official who has been a frequent critic of the World Bank is President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the international finance agency.
Trump announced Wednesday he has chosen David Malpass, Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, to lead the World Bank, an international agency that provides loans to countries around the world for infrastructure and other projects.
“I am certain there could be no better candidate to lead the World Bank than David,” Trump said from the White House Roosevelt Room. “He’s going to do very well.”
The United States traditionally chooses the bank’s president, but the agency’s board of directors must approve the nomination.
Malpass’s nomination could draw objections from other world leaders because of his criticism of the 72-year-old agency he has now been tapped to lead.
Malpass has criticized both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, arguing that improvements are needed in the bank’s lending programs and that a process must be in put in place “to focus, prune and streamline” such multilateral organizations.
But he also supported a $13 billion increase in the World Bank’s capital last year. The hike was tied to other reforms intended to improve monitoring and evaluation of the agency’s lending and boost living standards in poor countries.
At Wednesday’s announcement, Malpass predicted the reforms would lead to faster growth and greater prosperity in the developing world. One of his key goals, he said, will be to ensure that women play a role in developing economies.
“I’m very optimistic that we can achieve breakthroughs to create growth abroad that will help us combat extreme poverty and increase economic opportunities in the developing world,” he said.
If confirmed, Malpass would succeed Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American physician who has led the bank for more than six years. Kim announced last month that he would step down before the end of his five-year presidency of the World Bank to take a job in the private sector. His resignation was effective Feb. 1.
At the White House, the search for Kim’s successor was led by a team that included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and one of his senior advisers. Ivanka Trump’s involvement prompted speculation that she was in line for the post, but the White House said last month she was not under consideration for the job.
In his post at Treasury, Malpass, 62, has served as the principal adviser to Mnuchin on international economic issues. He also has been involved in ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China and will be part of a delegation that will travel to Beijing next week to continue the talks.
Before his was named to his current post, Malpass worked on Wall Street for 15 years as the chief economist for Bear Stearns, a now-defunct investment bank and brokerage firm, until its collapse in 2008. He also was a member of Trump’s transition team following the 2016 presidential election and served as deputy assistant secretary in the Treasury and State deparrments during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
In 2010, he unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in New York.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/06/world-bank-donald-trump-nominates-critic-head-finance-agency/2786695002/