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World Bank Revamp: 'we're Not Cutting Jobs Out Of Spite,' Insists President

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When an organisation with more than 10,000 workers spread across 120 offices worldwide decides to streamline its operations to meet tough new targets and head off threats from rivals, it is bound to cause pain.

But when it is the World Bank, a multilateral institution owned by 188 governments that aims to help the poorest in society, that is unveiling drastic reforms to fight off threats from cash-rich philanthropists, it risks becoming a political quagmire.

Jim Yong Kim, the Korean-born doctor who took over the Bank's presidency in 2012, wants to cut $400m (£250m) from its budget over three years – equivalent to a swingeing 8% cut. "That causes alarm at first, but I have no doubt in my mind that we can find efficiencies," he says, sitting in the Bank's ornate headquarters in Washington. It is clear that will include job cuts. "There will be staff reductions – there's no question. But we are going to do everything we can to keep our best people.

"We are here for a purpose, and everyone who is contributing to that purpose will stay. And for those who are doing less to contribute to that purpose, we are going to have find ways to exit them. Yes, there will be a lot of people who will be very unhappy with me but we are doing this because of the mission. We are not doing this out of spite; we are not doing this just to cut numbers."

This reorganisation has led to high-profile casualties. Two long-standing executives, managing director Caroline Anstey and vice-president Pamela Cox, stepped down after the Bank's annual meetings last month, after a combined 51 years of service.


Kim says there will be no more management cuts and insists it is vital the Bank trims expenses at a time of austerity. "The Bank has no choice but to be smaller," agrees Ngaire Woods (pdf), professor of global economic governance at Oxford University. "The lending that the Bank makes money from is drying up."

I was getting worried then, but no more management cuts. Just the grunts then to face the axe.

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Poverty stricken countries forced into selling their national assets to the WB below market value in return for crappy debt deals rejoice. A little.

Wonder if felt they had to morally justify sacking concentration camp guards after WW2 too?

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  • 406 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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