Zoellick’s excerpts

By Felix Salmon
September 27, 2009

Bob Zoellick will say in a speech tomorrow that central banks have proved that they can’t be trusted with regulatory authority, and that in the US Treasury, rather than the Fed, should be the main risk regulator.

It’s an interesting idea, and I’d love to read his argument; weirdly, however, the World Bank has released only excerpts from the speech, rather than the speech itself.

I can understand why the Bank might not want to release the speech until after it’s been delivered. But in that case, why release the excerpts now? It smacks of trying to artificially manipulate the news cycle in a manner unbecoming to a major multilateral institution. On the other hand, Zoellick clearly doesn’t think the Bank’s present form is sustainable:

Bretton Woods is being overhauled before our eyes. This time, it will take longer than three weeks in New Hampshire. It will have more participants. But it is just as necessary. The next upheaval, whatever it may be, is taking form now. Shape it or be shaped by it.

Maybe trying to manipulate news coverage is part of Zoellick’s attempt to shape the new World Bank?

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