Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 15:19 | SYDNEY
Monday 20 Aug 2018 | 15:19 | SYDNEY

World Bank ramblings: President should stick to his knitting


Stephen Grenville

18 November 2010 13:30

World Bank President Robert Zoellick certainly ranges widely. He will attend the International Forum for Tiger Conservation in St Petersburg this week. Last week he was pontificating on the need for international currency reform, setting various hares running by suggesting that a reformed international currency regime might use gold as a reference standard. He subsequently denied that he had in mind any return to the gold standard, but gave no further details of just what he did mean. Commentators observed that, without specific convertibility requirements, gold would be a strange and policy–disruptive reference standard.

Between–times, the man who did his best last year to torpedo the G20 by advocating the alternative path of augmenting the old G7 (to become G14 or some-such) was eager to bask in the limelight at the G20 Leaders' Meeting in Seoul. Just who he was representing was not clear.

All this seems a serious case of Mission Creep. The Australian Executive Director at the World Bank, Jim Hagan, might usefully urge Mr Zoellick to narrow his focus on the demanding job of running the World Bank. One wonders whether the World Bank board has been consulted on the Bank's pro–tiger policies, and what the views of Executive Directors from countries such as China and India about such priorities are.

Photo by Flickr user notanartist, used under a Creative Commons licence.