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World Bank President is running out of things to do

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.

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3 Comments

  1. xyz wrote:

    Eliminating penalty kicks? Your fantasy is too limited for reality. The pet project of the World Bank President is saving tigers!

    Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:44 am | Permalink
  2. Rod wrote:

    Zoellick has been on quite the roll since he threw the Ring of Power into the fires of Mount Mordor.

    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink
  3. Matt Eldridge wrote:

    By way of defense, Zoellick was not calling for a return to the gold standard. He suggested the growing need for a “new international monetary system involving multiple reserve currencies and including a role for gold as a reference point for market expectations of inflation and future currency values.”
    “Gold is now being viewed as an alternative monetary asset. This is not the same as a gold standard,” said Mr Zoellick. “Gold has become a reference point because holders of money see weak or uncertain growth prospects in all currencies other than the renminbi, and the renminbi is not free for exchange.
    “So, in relative terms, gold is appealing to people who ask where should I put my money. It is a hedge against uncertainty.”

    (Source: FT http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/eda8f512-eaae-11df-b28d-00144feab49a.html)

    Posted November 11, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

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