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David Malpass, US nominee for World Bank president and long-time China hawk, ‘will continue to take part in trade talks’ (South China Morning Post)

February 7, 2019

From the article:

David Malpass, a China hawk who is US President Donald Trump’s nominee to become the World Bank’s new president, will continue to play a “very important part” in trade negotiations with Beijing, senior US administration officials said on Wednesday.

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Despite the continuity between the administration’s and Malpass’s positions on the World Bank, his nomination has elicited strong opposition from some observers, who view him as a threat to multilateralism.

“An incorrigible arsonist will now be our fire chief,” tweeted W. Gyude Moore, Liberia’s former minister of public works. “Man spends his adult life denigrating multilateralism and now has the ‘pleasure’ of running one of its pillars.”

“David Malpass is a Trump loyalist who has committed economic malpractice on a wide range of topics, from dismissing the first signs of the 2008 global financial crisis to flirting with the abolition of the IMF,” Justin Sandefur, senior fellow at the Centre for Global Development, said in a statement.

Malpass also served as chief economist at the now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns, which collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis. Seven months previously, he had written a commentary for The Wall Street Journal titled “Don't Panic About the Credit Market” that played down indications of the looming financial disaster.

“There is no case for Malpass on merit,” Sandefur said. “The question now is whether other nations represented on the World Bank’s board of governors will let the Trump administration undermine a key global institution.”

 

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