Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Economy | By

Trump nominates 'happy warrior' to lead World Bank

Trump nominates 'happy warrior' to lead World Bank

Trump called Malpass "an extraordinary man" who is the "right person" to lead the World Bank as its next president.

MSNBC's Ali Velshi on Wednesday distilled the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to nominate David Malpass, a harsh critic of the World Bank as well as multilateralism, to lead the worldwide financial institution, saying it represented another step backward for the United States.

If confirmed, Malpass would fill a spot opened by Jim Yong Kim, who announced his resignation last month.

The nomination of Malpass signals that the Trump administration wants a firmer grip on the World Bank.

David Malpass, Treasury undersecretary for worldwide affairs, has criticized the World Bank and other multilateral institutions for growing larger, more "intrusive" and "entrenched", and targeted the bank for its continued lending to China, a country he sees as too wealthy for such aid. He has argued that the bank, a lending institution with a focus on emerging countries, has concerned itself too much with its own expansion and not enough with its core missions, like fighting poverty.

Trump has lambasted multilateral institutions since taking office, and Malpass himself has been an outspoken critic of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, its sister lending institution. And in a nod to the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, Malpass said he would focus on improving the status of women.

One official called Malpass a "happy warrior and champion of pro-growth policies" who is dedicated to "bringing economic growth to low income countries".

"Mr. President, I'm very optimistic that we can achieve breakthroughs to create growth overseas that will help us combat extreme poverty and increase economic opportunity in the developing world", said Malpass, who thanked the president for the "great honor".

After Bear Stearns failed, Malpass unsuccessfully sought the 2010 Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Senate from NY. A final decision on a new president will be up to the bank's board. The U.S. gives the bank more than $1 billion annually, Trump said Wednesday.

Malpass, like Trump, views China critically in terms of economic practices.

An American has led the World Bank since its start in the 1940s, when it was created to help rebuild Europe in the aftermath of World War II.

Morris said that includes the global lender's role in climate finance and "the need for constructive engagement with China".

His nomination has stirred debate, as some worry that Mr Malpass, a critic of the bank, will seek to reduce its role. On Wednesday a senior administration official said Malpass would aim to direct loans to "those countries that are the poorest and most in need of financial resources".

Mr Kim, who joined private equity fund Global Infrastructure Partners, differed with the Trump administration over climate change and development resources.

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