UPDATE: Martin Wolf on Zoellick’s gold standard proposal (see end of post)
World Bank President Robert Zoellick has recently been able to work on things normally considered outside his job description. Last month, he informed academics of his new plan for reinventing economic development research. On Monday in the Financial Times, Zoellick tackled virtually all G20 international economic cooperation issues, including reducing US government budget deficits, international agreement on currency intervention, infrastructure investment in emerging markets, and a new Bretton Woods international monetary system based on a return to the gold standard.
According to unconfirmed sources, Mr. Zoellick asked his staff to next work on eliminating penalty kicks in deciding major soccer championships.
UPDATE: Martin Wolf in today’s FT:
Yes, it may be reasonable to call for a reconsideration of the global monetary system, as Robert Zoellick, the World Bank president, has done. But gold? Does anyone expect politicians to put placating the world’s most speculative commodity market before worrying about a slump? Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
Calling the World Bank President “mad” is kind of strong language by FT standards. Maybe Mr. Zoellick should go back to global poverty after all.