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World Bank top job: Trump’s David Malpass sailing through unchallenged

Unchallenged for presidency. Donald Trump loyalist David Malpass is expected to become the next World Bank president without challengers. (BLOOMBERG PHOTO)

WASHINGTON – The tradition of the US choosing the World Bank president is likely to continue following President Donald Trump’s pick that has received no challengers.

The nomination deadline for the development lender’s chief has passed.

According to Reuters, Mr. David Malpass, the US Treasury’s under-secretary for international affairs, will interview with the World Bank’s executive directors in the coming days.

The directors concluded their selection process Thursday, March 14.

Mr. Malpass has travelled to Europe and Asia in recent weeks to lobby for support from major World Bank shareholders. His nomination was prompted by the departure in January of Jim Yong Kim, who left the bank after more than six years at its helm to join a private equity infrastructure fund.

US role at World Bank

The US is the largest shareholder with 16 per cent of its voting power and has chosen its leaders since it began operation in 1946. Kim faced off against candidates from Nigeria and Colombia in 2012 under a then-newly-open nominations process, but bank board members have said there was little appetite to challenge Washington’s nominee this time around.

Reuters say a spokesman for the US Treasury, which oversees the US shareholding in the World Bank, could not immediately be reached for comment on Malpass’ lone candidacy.

Mr. Malpass, a Trump loyalist and former campaign adviser, has raised some concerns that he will use the bank to further Trump’s controversial “America First” agenda.

While Malpass, a former Bear Stearns chief economist, has been critical of the World Bank’s growth and ample lending to China, in recent weeks he has adopted a more conciliatory tone, emphasizing his past experience in emerging market finance and goals for poverty reduction.

One of Malpass’ first issues to handle at the bank would be dealing with the aftermath of a US Supreme Court ruling that opens the door to lawsuits against the International Finance Corp, part of the World Bank Group, in American courts over projects it finances.

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