March 19, 2005


'The World Bank will be hated': Joseph Stiglitz tells Liam Halligan why he opposes the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz (Sunday Telegraph, 20/03/2005)

Joseph Stiglitz holds a Nobel Prize in economics. He is a professor at New York's Columbia University and a former chairman of the US government's Council of Economic Advisors. Now 62, he remains one of the very best - and most widely-respected - economists in the world.

But ask him about George Bush's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz, a Pentagon hardliner, as next World Bank President, and Stiglitz's language is harsh.

"This is either an act of provocation by America, or an act so insensitive as to look like provocation," he says. "The World Bank will once again become a hate figure. This could bring street protests and violence across the developing world."

Who outside of Mr. Stiglitz's circles even knows who Paul Wolfowitz is?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2005 10:15 PM

I didn't realise that a Nobel prize in economics signalled that you were genuis-grade in diplomacy or conflict.

Posted by: ray at March 19, 2005 10:49 PM

"The World Bank will once again become a hate figure. This could bring street protests and violence across the developing world."

OH, NO!! Maybe they'll refuse to borrow from it!

(I use the word "borrow" loosely, as not all bother repaying their loans, awaiting their forgiveness.)

Posted by: Oswald Booth Czolgosz at March 19, 2005 11:08 PM

I'm having a hard time recalling when the last protests and violence over the World Bank were. Can anyone help me?

Posted by: jd watson at March 19, 2005 11:46 PM

Nothing has been quite so entertaining since the election than have Bush's nominations of Bolton and now Wolfowitz and the very predictable gnashing of teeth from some very predictable folks.

Posted by: MB at March 20, 2005 12:55 AM

Obviously, the good professor doesn't get out much. Otherwise he would be well aware that anti-World Bank protests are the stuff of Third World demagogues and Nihilist lefties for decades. There isn't a halfway decent sized anarchist protest without at least one good-sized banner decrying it.

Posted by: bart at March 20, 2005 6:29 AM

The Left is good at mobilizing against a phantom monster of the day, but they can only manage one phantom monster at a time. If their energies get diverted into protesting the World Bank, that opens space for conservative progress on other fronts.

Posted by: pj at March 20, 2005 6:12 PM