Ask the World Bank President

March 20, 2009

Robert ZoellickRobert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, and a man who believes that 2009 will be a “dangerous year”, will be speaking on March 31st and has agreed to take questions from Reuters readers.

Zoellick has been outspoken during the current economic crisis predicting the first shrinking of the economy since the ’30s, warning that increased government spending will simply create a ‘sugar high‘ until banks’ toxic assets are dealt with properly, and urging a tougher stand against protectionism.

But the World Bank’s primary focus is on helping developing nations and alleviating  poverty. Earlier this month it published research showing that the spreading crisis will push 46 million more people into poverty in 2009 on top of 130-155 million pushed into poverty in 2008.

With the London summit of the Group of 20 nations on April 2nd fast approaching what do you want to know about the World Bank’s role in shoring up the world economy and helping poorer nations? Use the comments section below, or use the #askwb tag on Twitter, and I’ll get as many of your questions to Robert Zoeliick as possible.

UPDATE: This event has now taken place and you can view the questions we put to Robert Zoellick in the player below. We have no means to pass on any further questions to the World Bank but you are welcome to add your comments on the discussion thread below.


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We don’t understand the economic rationale of global recession, lower inflation while we are paying higher prices on food prices, consumer goods, products and services, electricity prices etc. Now the gold prices are going higher and higher. We see only stock market and oil prices coming down. While the manipulators and cartels ensure that they make big profit in other areas. In all democracies, they are playing with number and statistics by fooling us. How you can calculating whole price index and other things in calculating inflation? Whether the existing system need a revamp, replaced with most modern techniques? Why separate statistics not used on each and every area? How data accuracy ensured? When crude prices at International market is much lower, while in India, we the consumers are paying higher prices on all energy products? Why so? We are paying higher prices on our electricity due to state and corporate monopoly? Can World Bank play a major role to put an end on state and corporate monopoly?

Posted by common man | Report as abusive

WB needs gold plating with USD,Pounds or with Euros and they are the best to predicting agency for Global Early Financial Alerts.WB is also in disguise to be blamed of, for this financial crisis and instead of alleviating poverty, they are the hefty pay earners behind the curtains.World’s 70% employment lies in micro industry and how much WB has done to cater the problems of this industry before the crisis? If you writes email to the WB, you the end user will never be replied because the WB officials seeks media attentions or else your mail is diverted to UNDP.Developing countries like India is sitting under the Poverty atom bomb and how much WB has done to persuade the corrupt Indian officials to improve the basic needs of the poor man? Let us arm the WB officials now with lots of amount for gaining self fame and name.

Posted by Peter Vaz | Report as abusive

every nation that aspires to the status of first world,
deems that it’s right of passage involves the skyward projection of its’ building construction.

the early twentieth century engulfed the worlds’ nations in a race to the North Pole and then the South Pole in a
quest to harness the most valuable commodities of the time; the wind(fast winds were needed to drive the trade routes’) and whale oil (commercial need to power oil lamps & candles[thank God for the invention of the light bulb] source Ramsay, The Age, Aug 13 2007.

the early twenty-first century has seen the world swept up in a quest to reach ever skyward with a race to the stratosphere. the folly being that there is no sense of purpose or coordination of positioning of these omnipresent manmade structures.

my question to the World Bank is: should we not try to atleast balance these absurd structures as they are projected towards the stars so as not to throw the rotation of the planet off in a tangent.

surely common sense dictates that if one were to (over a relatively short timeframe) add a trillion tonnes of concrete, steel and glass to one region, the spinning of the planet must find a new equilibrium and possibly a new path around the sun.

man has made too many monumental blunders over millenium to allow the whims of a few well-heeled bankers and over-zealous gentlemen in fashionable ensembles(architects are definitely the best-dressed professionals) to dictate where we as inhabitants of planet earth should end up in the cosmic soup.

Posted by brett kenneth sweeny | Report as abusive

Biblical Nimrod’s quest to reach the skies proved alteration of “language” and current accounting century miscalculated “numerology” code.World Bank-What is your instant solutions to this crisis? Feels Nostradamus was advanced to this subject!May be reverse migration…

Posted by Peter Vaz | Report as abusive

I understand that cartels and monopolies are primarily the concern of watch dogs within countries, and that banks have their equivalents. What main duties is the World bank responsible for? I presume it is not a watchdog because there has been much talk of late of a lack of universal banking rules. Is it at all connected with the IMF, or is that a completely separate entity?

Posted by Kimberley Ford | Report as abusive

what’s your favourite police academy movie?

Britney or Christina?

The IMF is often accused of pandering to G20 nations at the expense of developing states, do you this that the current crisis is only going to exasperate this bias? What is the WB going to do to ensure that the developing world do not foot the bill, in terms of their own development – as appears to be the case with Eastern Europe?

Posted by dan fraser | Report as abusive

World Bank, please sleep in deep deep caves and watch fun of this recession or else buy those toxic assets to protect your skin.Why should WB be so much preoccupied with such jobless catastrophe? Are they going to loose jobs or salary cut? Just keep narrating GDP,Inflation and deflation percentages by watching the bleeding worldwide stock exchanges indexes.Why is the WB not building confidence in alleviating poverty,micro financing schemes at 0% in developing/poor countries? Why is the WB pumping money in huge banks or in government coffers? Is the end user benefiting from the WB? I never saw those millionth of a dollar reaching the budding entrepreneur or farmers.Why the WB cannot visit the small enterprises around the world and see how the entrepreneurs are squeezed by the same banks which WB deposits the money for micro enterprises.Why is the WB barking and preaching Global Warming sermons on TV Channels while thousands of farming families in India COMMIT SUICIDE for non payment of loans to the banks.

Posted by Peter Vaz | Report as abusive

Now wordwide banks have a temporary stabilization period should this not be the time to remove the majority of senior banking officials?, the very people that have been awarding themselves bonuses for a job badly done; these are the very people that pose possibly the greatest threat to any permanent recovery, with the continued threat of greed over sound banking.
Why is short selling not made illegal ?, the practice is by its very activities to make money by manipulating the markets and has nothing to do with finding a true company value.
Surely the time has come for governments to stop throwing money over a cliff whilst everything is in free-fall, is it not better to now wait for all to hit bottom, then set the recovery in motion ?
Recessions come as a matter of financial correction, you can no more stop them in their tracks than stop the tide coming in.

Posted by Jones | Report as abusive

I know what their “role” is and I don’t trust them for one moment.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

In your opinion what should Central -European countries
do ( like Hungary )? Should they just go bankrupt?
When is WB planning to sell their gold?

Thank you,


Posted by anna laszlo | Report as abusive

As the recession is overthere what are the implements may be taken out by the world bank to improve on it as there are a number of credit default swaps. Who is to blame & why? Are the rules & regulations by the banking system are so mild? How the world bank plays a major role to cope up with these sort of problems?

Posted by Istuti | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick, the interdependency of national economies has proven the chain is only as strong as the weakest link. I believe there will be popular support in many countries to become less reliant upon foreign investment and trade. History is fairly clear that economic protectionism served to extend if not deepen the Great Depression. Hugo advises us to learn from the past. Are we in a similar enough situation to indicate the lessons of history should apply?

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

how do you sleep at night ,

Posted by ruth hill | Report as abusive

Mr Zoellick,
Why have the separate and vitally different world of banking and venture capitalism been combined? Banking, by definition, makes loans based on ACTUAL collateral, and makes money on fees and interest. These banks have been making loans and buying/selling derivatives with no collateral because of the potential gains. Gambling with other people’s money, without informing the real investors of the risk profile.

Why are banks or any company allowed to become ‘too big to fail’? If the system cannot deal with a inherent part of its structure, the failure of companies, then regulation should restrict the size of these to a point where it can.
Look forward to not recieving your reply,

Posted by Paul Bassett | Report as abusive

Why should anyone be so silly as to believe that the bankster people who have stripped the US bare should be given a second chance. The same Wall St bunch who have demonstrated nothing but greed arrogance and sheer incompetence are getting to do the bailout.

If they caused the problem how for goodness sake can they be expected to solve it?

Posted by Pancho Ramirez | Report as abusive

What is being done to:
Eliminate faud of every kind
Ensure each local can provide the majority of their needs
That money is passed within each community for their biggest needs (jobs, resources, skills)
Ensure all people are drinking clean water breathing clean air eating pristine food
To put the healthcare back in medical practice
Eliminate middlemen siphoing funds that should be going directly to services performed.

Stop people from having children just to get a paycheck
To truely bring up each being to their full potential not just what money or class can or can’t provide.
Give every working person 6 weeks a year of vacation to enjoy their life, family, travel and be happy and healthy.
Stop the war on drugs that is causing more damage then if the drugs were legal and sold like cigs and alchol.
Realize the persuit of happiness is not for the rich, powerful, corrupt to suck from everyone else.

Excellent Water, food, Air, shelter, health, education, a meaningful exsistance is what we all want, everthing else is icing on the cake.

Posted by Sharla | Report as abusive

To Robert Zoellick: The global currency sounds like an excellent idea to improve the global economy and international trade. Can you still implement the new currency if the United States decides not to be part of the solution by being one of the first nations to replace their old dollar currency?

Posted by Michael Johnson | Report as abusive

If Rich to Poor , Poor to Rich is a cycle. Why should rich nations get bailed out, while poorer nations starve. It looks like there is one set of rules for the Rich G7 and another set for all other countries. All this injustice will ultimately have to come out in a massive world war.

Posted by J Fernandes | Report as abusive

My biggest question: outside of legislation and federal restrictions, what measures are the World Banks willing to make to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Many of us believe self-governing is ideal, but there needs to be some real structure and checks and balances as to to how things are done. Also, transparency is a must, and a trend in today’s society. Is this a goal for your organization?

Posted by Chip | Report as abusive

What does the WB plan to do to improve monitoring and action on systemic risk in international markets?

One of the critical systemic risks is OTC derivatives which now stands at approximately 688 Trillion (accoding to the BIS) to one quadrillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000,000). And yes, that a quadrillion is a real number. What, if anything, will the WB do to understand and address the enormous perils of the OTC derviatives market?

Thank you.

Posted by Jon Aikman | Report as abusive

What does the World Bank think of the idea to create a new type of currency to facilitate the already booming corporate international barter market (e.g. Frequent Flyer Miles for Hotel Rooms), such as the “Terra”, proposed by Euro architect Bernard Lietaer? Would not such a non-interest-bearing currency help take inflationary pressure off national positive-interest currencies, and therefore help reduce the instabilities in the world’s economies?
Similarly, since money is a tool to be used to benefit humankind, should we not start introducing complementary currencies that have either no-interest, or negative-interest, to be used alongside positive-interest national currencies, as a way to encourage pro-social behaviours, as well as put our economic eggs into multiple baskets, reducing the damaging effects of economic crisis exemplified by our current recession, and the Great Depression, etc.
Thank you.

Posted by Holmgang Cortak | Report as abusive

Given the wide ranging financial challenges is it pertinent (to a degree) whilst avoiding the dangers of protectionism to encourage countries to buy selected home produce / service, therefore encouraging local and national stimulus. Carefully managed, trade would be accelerated, currencies strengthened etc. Ultimately leading to an improved international position? By encourging locally managed (micro) success will not macro success follow? This would also benefit the countries who are making a serious effort to commit to a correction. Would it not also be a notion to encourage tax breaks for national production / purchases. Without a stake in the ground like this, sheep will always look for someone to follow / blame and I would suggest it a near impossibility to provide a global solution to local lives. Without well managed local goals, global greed, self seeking and opportunism will again be the problem.

Posted by pete davros | Report as abusive

I am wondering how the World Bank kept silent while the developed nations, of course they themselves are busy with their own internal problems; forget Africa in their rescue plan that followed the financial meltdown worldwide.
I still wonder how the value that Africa has been considered much less that one of the Banks in Europe or the United States. The money these two economic blocks have put to bail out their financial institutions is considerably higher than the money needed to alleviate poverty in Africa meaningfully. But it all remains a surprise that while the US allocated over 10 trillion dollars to fix its economy, it can’t allocate about 50 billion dollars to the over 900 million population of Africa. This little money, the developed could allocate to Africa could save millions of lives and ensure the continuation of children in Africa stay in their education.
Perhaps the World Bank kept silent about the development of these situations as it is the simply there to entertain the interest of the US and her allies, several scholars argue about this, actually this is an open secret. Nothing can justify then Africa’s situation.
In fact the World Bank has time and again failed to ensure fair trade in the world, whose presence would have enabled Africa reduce its poverty beyond figures. The elimination of Agricultural Subsidy by the developed countries means the spread of free trade, but that has not been the case.
I want president Zolek to tell us about the possible remedies about the crisis that has already besieged the global economy in general and hat of the least developed countries in particular.
I want the president to speak to us about the damages the financial and economic crisis can create in terms of disabling countries f such as Ethiopia from achieving the Millennium Development Goals and how it can assist them

Amanyehun R. Sisay
The African Youth Leadership

Posted by Amanyehun R. Sisay | Report as abusive

My Question is How can you expect anybody to take the World Bank seriously when it is your stated mission to alleviate poverty, yet you have your agents flying all over the World first class, you pay some of the highest salaries and benefits tax free. The World bank has a serious image problem, seems to me the World Bank is working for the World Bank how do you hope to address these issues.

Posted by Rober Burton | Report as abusive

In technology we always try to be innovative and so do our competitors and then we often all fail badly. Only then do we strive for a ‘standard’ that all companies developing that technology can rely upon for speed, flexibility and STABILITY.

Now that we’ve had massive failures in the banking system more than once can we develop new WORLD standards and NATION standards for lending? One usurping standard for all does not work. What ‘levels’ of lending can be given that will allow companies to balance risk without putting countries in jeopardy?

Posted by Don Goddard | Report as abusive

Why does the IB not support a global commodity standard that makes problems like trade imbalances, inflation and deficit spending by governments harder to happen? Why does the IB not support a global currency that does not permit fractional reserve banking?

Posted by Louis | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick,

The core concept behind money is the honest representation of work via a paper medium. The accentual aspect of that paper is the trust in what it should truly represent. Work and trust must go hand in hand, simply, cleanly and with equal representation.

The world of those that deal in that paper have moved away from that very basic meaning and subverted it into the addition of secondary layer, numbers that do not behave in the same manner.

What was created , then lost, in the world, was that secondary creation. The economy this false work created, can not be said to have vanished because it never really existed. The some of all real work did not equal the sum of all those numbers.

The chaos of the world is not caused by money. Work is both needed and evenly provide-able. However, because emotion is always attached to that secondary layer, neither is quantifiable… thus the chaos.

No one on earth has changed. What has, is the addition and retraction of valueless numbers and emotion.

Why should those that do work and exchange its true value, rescue those that do not? How is that even possible? How can the world replace what never really existed?

Posted by Mark Kline | Report as abusive

what makes you so smart? THE WORLD BANKING SYSTEM IS IN TROUBLE AND YOU CAN’T MAKE IT RIGHT. SO WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE TO REALLY MAKE IT RIGHT? i am a small business person and can’t get money to keep my employees. where does the world banking system help?

Posted by Dave, Engineer | Report as abusive


I was wondering what you think of the Democratic U.S. government buying stock in and now trying to assert themselves even further into the everyday pratices of banks and other financial institutions in America? What would you suggest the government do to try and curb the economic downturn in ways that maintain the capatalist ideals of this country?

Posted by Wyatt | Report as abusive

Daydreaming about new World currency.

How is this different from what we have today, where US is world financial engine and USD is world currency?

Does US need China and the rest of the World on Federal Reserve Board?

But think again,
Why do YOU need China on Federal Reserve Board?

Today US is bailing out own economy also bails out the rest of the World that tend to price 70% of international deals in USD.

Compare with US gov that provides liquidity to private companies (AIG, CitiBank, BofA, Fannie Mae etc) and still honors ALL (including foreign) contracts.

Next biggest currency EUR dragging feet because EU already overspend on social programs.

China doesn’t let own currenecy free float but pushes for World reserve currency. Today it under constant pressure from US to reevaluate yuan. For China it just simple shield from US pressure.

We have mini example:
EUR zone where Germany is the main economical engine and has no incentive to bail out other EUR countries that have outdated economies.

US will have every incentive to walk away from World Reserve Currency rather than carry whole load and let China and 3rd world drive FED (Federal Reserve Department).

Posted by Sergey | Report as abusive

Apart from the current crises that are destroying the wealth of the world, does the world Bank have a blueprint for each developing country for the proper utilization of their Natural resources like Land, Water, Minerals, Oil and Natural gas and Human Capital, Technology etc to first feed their own population and then to better the standard of living of their citizens. Thank you.

Posted by Ram Dharwad | Report as abusive

as a 29 year old professional male with low investments to date, what type of path should I be looking to follow? what are good investments or avenues to go down to build the most successfull future for myself, and my family? I see these times as opportunistic since I have little investments, little responsibilities, and a good stable career in the tech industry. How can I best take advantage of these times? Would it be through real-estate investements? stocks / bonds? long term or short term investments? or by starting a business?

Posted by ramon | Report as abusive

WHERE has all the money “lost” by failed banks, automakers and hedge funds “gone”?

Why aren’t you warning of the Weimaresque dangers of hyper inflation risked by the U.S. printing trillions of dollars for new debt?

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick, you are a known “dual” citizen of Israel and supposedly of the US. Could you explain the numerous disasters that your fellow Israeli duals have brought upon the US, from Wolfowitz & Perle starting the wars (and thereby destroying our economy) to Madoff whose scam may destabilize certain European banks?

Posted by Mary O’Brien | Report as abusive

Good day.

Because you have access to the palace of the Queen,perhaps you might share this concept with your peers, if for no other reason, than for a good laugh at a non-banker.

My suggestion is that all countries should forgive, erase, neutralize 2nd, 3rd, and above-level abstractions of the unquantifiable, abstract, synthetic derivatives, rather than “buy them with real dollars” because they are “toxic assets” If all contries forgave, then all countries would be even.

The only losers would be those to whom the debts are owed (the sellers of debt – the perceived villians, yes?)

It is large thinking, so you would have to “walk through” the process. If successful, with enough bright minds, you may save the world trillions. God luck, and thank you for receiving input (which all good managers do…..)

Posted by Robert D. Callahan | Report as abusive

Now that the United States has seen the destruction of its manufacturing base and we have see the destruction of the largest consumer nation in the world. Please explain the benefits of NAFTA and the WTO in which you loved very much and help pass.

Posted by savetheusa | Report as abusive

Why does the Bank not pursue a more rights-based approach to development? Given the failures of earlier Bank strategies (before your appointment) and the new failure of the financial system to promote economic and social sustainable development, using tools and instrument provided by legal processes and negotiation would assure individuals protection of their rights and enable them to participate in domestic political processes more. If the Bank assisted in this social development, it would also be following a more attractive economic strategy with a broader array of instruments.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Good day, again.

How exciting that my comments tie in very nicely with those of Mark Cline’s at 2:44 GMT, presented earlier.

Even the most casual of observers must agree that our right and left-brain comments arise mutually, and express the same thought………… “Why spend our tangible labor dollars on imaginary, intangible concepts?

Forgive me, Mike, I have taken a liberty.

Posted by Robert Callahan | Report as abusive

Given that Islamic banks have done considerably better than conventional ones in this crisis, do you think Islamic banking and finance can help the global economy recover? If yes, how can the World Bank support such an emerging yet very lucrative sector?

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive

Mr. President,

How can anyone expect to have confidence in a system that has shown itself to create the very problems it intends to fix? Free trade has drastically altered the landscape of world finance, but where are the results?
I do not believe the vast majority of people have benefited. What I see is those that have – owe. Those who don’t have are (it appears) destined not to be benefiting either. The not haves are barely able to keep from slipping to subsistence level existences. Debt-based systems seem to only serve a very few. The resources of the third world are being extracted and little improvement is noted in the populations there.

Posted by Rick Wilson | Report as abusive

When will you quite printing money out of thin air?
Can we have our Gold and Silver back?

Posted by Joey | Report as abusive

I am a Jamaican-Canadian, a graduate of Concordia University, and a former official of the Canadian Government. I have had an involvement covering decades with Africa from Cape Town and J’burg in the south to Somaliland in the north. I have observed that the World Bank, its agencies — primarily IFC and other international financing bodies overwhelmingly provides money for large projects; millions of dollars for mines and natural gas operations to corporations from European countries, Canada and America, in total dwarfing the pittance ((you might disagree with this description, but I’m making a relative comparison)) given to locals of the target poor countries. For example, I am aware of support given to mining companies from Canada, the country that for decades had earned reputation as the home of crooked stock promoters working out of the Vancouver Stack Exchange. Money to establish diamond mines in Africa and gold mines in South America. I am aware of one Canadian company, for example, that paid its Congolese diamond miners with running shoes. I could go on and on with complaints and example, but I do not think you need more of this to get my point. Will you institute a major policy shift to make providing funds directly to the indigenous people and local companies in your target countries, a priority? And if yes, will you set out timelines, benchmarks and targets?

Posted by C. Alexander Brown | Report as abusive

Mr Zoellik – are you concerned about the financial rescue plan implemented in the USA? If so why? If not, why not?

Posted by jp | Report as abusive

Given that you were the US Trade Representative at the time that China was admitted into the WTO… Do you think it was a good idea to admit China into the WTO in 2001 considering its human rights record and protectionist economic policies? Has the US benefitted from China’s admission to the WTO given the increasing trade deficit with China during that time? Hasn’t the outsourcing of US manufacturing to China cost US jobs and been generally harmful to the US economy?

Posted by Frank Hope | Report as abusive


During Japans lost decade, they propped up banks and corporations and had “zombie banks”, they passed multiple stimulus plans and spent on infrastructure, and their stock market is still not half of what is was before their crisis. Why is it that the USA is doing the same thing now and expecting different results ?

Posted by Steve Johnson | Report as abusive

Start the solar revolution now kick start the world economy.Every house world wide is a solar power station waiting to happen.Make solar affordable to the people of the population now for the future of the planet.Coal is a dinosoar fuel and belongs back in history,GO GREEN.

Posted by Rob&Lisa | Report as abusive

check out “The Obama Deception” Lw

a new documentary about America’s take over by the international banksters

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick,
Would increasing the jobs pool stimulate the economy? My gut tells me if it is profitable (via tax breaks) corporations would grow. I would like to see the minmum wage increased 20% with overtime kicking in at 32 hours with a tax break to balance higher wage against employees with over two years. Aim it so it’s a tax incentive to report wages.

Thank you for your consideration.

Posted by Byron Smith | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellik,
in the first years of 2000, your bank issued new strategies concerning the water, the forest, and non-renewable resources like minerals and oil. In the same years, you financed with millions of taxpayers’ money the realization of huge dams, pipelines, big mines, and the deforestation of the world’s green lungs. Not satisfacted, until 2005 you increased the number of conditionalities in your loans, and now you have replaced them with “more neutral” benchmarks. If all these policies represented the right path toward a better world, the number of people eating less than 2000 calories would have disminished, and the same should have happened to the number of children that die every year, to the people that don’t have access to clean water, health or instruction. But the numbers don’t say that, and the current crisis is only going to worsen the picture. And talking about the current catastrophe, saying that your institution really wants to go back to its original mission and help the poorest, don’t you think that the fact that the first global power is going to spend nearly $7 trillion to save their banks, buy toxic assets issued by irresponsible institutions, and save the investments of global elìte, is unacceptable and immoral? Don’t you think that the World Bank should help the world to restart beginning from the bottom, from the people that are starving, from those that have not contributed to the current drama but will suffer the hardest consequences because cannot count on a omnipotent State that will save them? Shouldn’t the World Bank fight against everything that is happening inside its first contributor?

Posted by tomaso | Report as abusive

You claim to reduce world poverty, in the last 30 years it has increased. You claim to provide better standards, in the last 30 years they have worsened. The World Bank and the IMF are only a euphemistic description for Economic Hit Men, organisations that in the name of reducing world poverty, assist the developed world to profiteer.

When will your conscience speak to you, when will the US government and the few individuals and companies controlling it, stop this looting and criminal behaviour?

We dont need a World Bank, we dont need a bank, in fact we dont need money to live in a society that has no power base, no profiteering and hence no poverty. Can you comment on this?

Posted by Kris | Report as abusive

Will America’s high-consumption, low-savings economy, overprinting of money, the Troubled Assets Relief Program, and overall gross manipulations of economics bring about apocalyptic times?

I know the world bank is concerned with poverty levels, but how much would poverty increase if the dollar collapsed?

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Mr. President the world bank funds much of the third world in its effort to increase health, economies, and education. As the 1st world powers sink into deflactionary statues with currancies becomeing ever more unstable, my question would be, were does the world bank find adaquate funding for such projects. The U.S.A. is one of the largest funders of the world bank and its currancy is droping in value with each passing day. America plans on taxation and the printing of money that will insure further decline of the USD. Would WB consider looking at India, China, Brazil, the EU or are they to either resist WB support or are they too unstable as donors. Thank you for your time and may your efforts this week be sound and causous.

Posted by Michael Curran | Report as abusive

It has never been fair to the U.S. who has propped up the entire global economy for how many years?…. even though we spend more than we should, including our government and regular citizens to try to provide a good life for everyone else in developing nations but not limited to countries like China who depends heavily on our purchase of their goods. Why would you consider switching from the dollar to a basket of currencies when we all know who will pull this global recession out? It’s here in the U.S. that the problems need to be addressed and solved, which we are in the progress of, but why would you want to abandon our currency? It’s not a wise move, once we get it under control and it will be under control soon, you will be sorry if you make that move. Why would you listen to China, who if it were not for the U.S. consumption of their goods would not be in the financial status they are in now, yet they are the first to question the value of our financial and economic situation because they are “lending” us money by buying treasuries. Do you really think after such a strong path of growth, that a sharp decline from a bubble means that we are done and let’s just abandon America and what she has done for the entire world for the last century or more is a good idea?

It’s crazy that people think that we are the bad guys because we faltered and made bad business decisions and that no longer qualifies us for being the major superpower among the global elite but does that mean that we are incapable of pulling out of this recession and proving to the rest of the world that we are in fact the global superpower. We get a bad rep for helping other countries and getting in everyone’s business but what if we didn’t? Where would the world be like right now if the U.S. didn’t step into other people’s business? What if we just said to hell with the rest of the world, we have a missile defense shield, let em all burn when superpowers like China want to rule the world. Do you really think that’s a good idea?

Posted by Damian Palmares | Report as abusive

i feel the game is over the system cannot be revamp. however a transition is necessary until the new system becomes operative. i believe a bank based on energy materials such as oil and so forth can balance the declining paper of the occidental currencies as oil( + energy resources) is the fulcrum of industry.
them later the new system can be put in place.
how is not that complicated, as this change will as well induce a change of reasoning, we can call it evolution.
open to any suggestions! of the new logic and mathematics!

Posted by bremont A | Report as abusive

Deep down inside, do you suspect that capitalism is an untenable system?

Posted by randall ballard | Report as abusive

Mr Zoellick,
when you are guys going to COME CLEAN and OWN UP to the world that you are running a FRAUDULENT MONETARY SYSTEM ? Einstein counsels “you cannot solve the problem with the Mindset that created it” – so why are you defying this Truth ? Do you dispute that Money is issued as ‘debt’, out of thin air, and is backed by nothing ? Given you cannot argue this, how on God’s earth do you expect debt to ‘bail out’ debt ?
It defies the Law of Gravity ! I suggest you wakey wakey and cut the crap, do the decent thing and admit that your Era of Stealth is OVER.

Posted by OneVoiceGroup | Report as abusive

You are opposed to protectionism. Failure to address the money supply stagnation isn’t an option. Given the money supply issues in many countries, protectionism can increase the circulation rate within the country in a far less harmful manner than flooding the country with money that will result in inflation. A controlled depression is far better than rampant 20% plus inflation that is the probable result of failing to protect a country’s own economy. Why should a country act against the interests of its own citizen?

Posted by Rusty Wallace | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

In studying prior financial crises back to the South Sea Bubble and beyond, it seems like someone in a leadership role always has an epiphany about how to fix the crisis that has been overlooked in the past, always resulting in failure.

Economists seem to choose a manner of speaking that is aimed on one hand at legitimizing them, and the field of economics as a hard science, and on the other hand crafting statements that can later be regarded as accurate in a wide range of outcomes. I would like to suggest that economists should be clear and forthright about the kinds of questions to which they can provide useful answers and the limitations of their soft-science craft.

I believe that the world would benefit from economic policy that does not require secrecy in order to be successful. Further, so called bailouts are required to secure the future of institutions important to the continued functioning of critical human activity. A significant amount of inequity and other forms of unfairness are probably necessary in pursuit of this activity. Severe dislocations and redistribution of wealth is already under way. I believe that recovery plans should be clear about their goals, that the goals should be not only stated but should include metrics that measure the effectiveness and the criteria for success. Even the best of us is navigating this situation for the first time, openness could go a long way towards buy-in by the person on the street.

So here is my question:

Do you believe that it is possible to conceive, draft, and implement an evolving economic recovery plan whose details are completely transparent to the public or would exposing all of the details of such ongoing plans require constraints that would reduce the chances of success?

Posted by Bruce Hoffman | Report as abusive

Giventhird world governments’ scathing attacks on World Bank policies requiring recipients to satisfy stringent conditions which often bankrupt the countries, cause massive defaults, and penalize their citizens, can you both explain the World Bank’s rationale for imposing these pre-conditions and justify these policies in the face of apparent negative results for clients?

Whose interests are being served by the WB? The first world or the third world nations?

Posted by Gary Pighetti | Report as abusive

Given the overall ineffectiveness of US dollar as currency of trade and instrument of valuation, as suggested by Chinese and Russian we should all move towards a world currency agreed by G20. Gold and silver are generally good but not without shortcomings. Learning from the emergence of Euro, we could copy the same mechanism but on a larger scale. In fact, it will be simplier than Euro because every country does not need to abandon its own currency. An independent organization which has the capacity to research and calculate the world currency should be good enough. It’s about time the rest of the world’s business community to come to terms with what they need are not US dollars. US dollars have been abused by an authority which has no right to do so. I am looking forward to 2 Apr to see the change.

Posted by William | Report as abusive

Why don’t the world’s central banks move back to some proxy of the gold standard to discipline monetary and fiscal policy and replace the current highly arbitrary and highly abused US dollar-centric system?

Posted by Patrick Slater | Report as abusive

with first the bailouts, then trying to buyback our own debt, it seems to me, that we would be in a much better position if we would have let these companies go down and file chapter 11 and start all over. yes, it may have pushed us into a depression but i fear that we are going to be worse off in the long run; a depression,and the total colapse of our dollar.. your comments please!!

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

The USA could look back on its own history to solve its problems.First of all the Private bank that runs the country the Federal Reserve should have its original charter revoked to print the countries money.The government should then print its own money and lend it out for public work at zero% interest.This could be done as before with the reintroduction of the Greenbacks that that turned the US around in the past(run alongside current US money) .Private banks should be made to trade over a period of time at 100% equity, not to trade on made up fractional funds.The boom and bust cycles and world wide national debts created by private banks must be stopped.Why borrow private money at interest raised and paid for by your tax, when world governments have the power to print their own at zero% ?

Posted by B George | Report as abusive

Mr Zoellick,

Thanks for making yourself available to answer peoples questions. With Government intervention now occuring on a regular basis to bail out the ‘haves’ outside of any pretense that they are being rewarded for their hard work or being paid at the going market rate what realistic and practical steps can the World Bank take to ensure the ‘have nots ‘ in developing and industrialised countries also get a capital stake in society ?

Posted by desik | Report as abusive

How much is your salary, and if over six figures, don’t you think this is excessive?

Posted by R.A. Salazar | Report as abusive

What do you think of stupid people who dont take the time to learn how economics and fiat money works, who have the audacity to question you with their simple minded questions that are already answered on the internet with a 1 second search?

Posted by BobB | Report as abusive

How long is the world going to keep pumping money into an insolvent midget Citibank? Many people have said Citibank is beyond help and should be broken up and sold in pieces to other banks. Citibank should be closed before this banking crisis will be solved.

Posted by sam gold | Report as abusive

Why should US taxpayers be expected to approve stimulus money that’s directly or indirectly destined for
over-sea’s banks, institutions, and/or investors?

Posted by Duane Steil | Report as abusive

In hearings called by Senator Richard Lugar on July 12, 2008, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Mr. Lowery said in his testimony the following: “A goal of the Multilateral Development Banks is to drive themselves out of business” from aid recipient countries. So my question for you is, for how many countries does the World Bank have such an explicit goal and a plan to accomplish that goal? What is the World Bank’s plan for phasing out of countries with strong democratic institutions and vibrant economies? Thank you.

Prof. Patil

Posted by Shekhar Patil | Report as abusive

You say you are against Protectionism. Then explain, in detail, how the United States will reopen its closed factories without it. How are we going to reverse the imbalance in trade without reopening our factories? How will we stop printing more money and creating more debt without it.

Since the United States cannot compete with the much lower labor rates of China, Taiwan, Korea, etc., most of our factories have closed, or are closing. Those factories will remain closed without protectionism, in the form of stiff tariffs and incentives to get those factories reopened and our people re-employed. The jobs and the resultant tax revenue are sorely needed to restore this country’s economy. In addition, the products coming from China are often inferior, or defective. And some have been life threatening and even caused death.

We used to manufacture everything that was needed in this country and exported our superior products. Then greed to make use of the cheaper labor markets elsewhere, began closing our factories. That same greed is what got the Banking Industry and Wall Street in trouble.

There is no single legitimate reason to oppose rewriting the “Buy American Act” to protect our workforce from the unfair Trade Agreements that are currently in place. Those unfair Trade Agreements made a number of people rich, but only hurt the American Worker.

Our current President and Congress appear to be trying to clean-up their acts. The President has already told the Political Action Committees and other special interest groups who are doing the bidding of those greedy businessmen and bankers that he’s ready to do battle with them. Congress is in the process of doing the same thing. It appears that many of them are not so worried about political contributions that they won’t try to do the right thing. And isn’t it wonderful that the press is identifying some of those who are still unduly influenced by those greedy businessmen and bankers.

After the Great Depression hit the United States, the Government, especially after Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, created many temporary jobs to get people working, but they also began focusing on getting the factories reopened. And since they didn’t have super low labor rates of foreign competition to contend with, the goal was achieved. That problem exists now and Protectionist Laws is the only way to deal with it.

Posted by William Jones | Report as abusive

Question for the Banking Industry:

Do you think the Banking Industry could have solved its difficulties without government intervention?

Posted by John Davis | Report as abusive


The global trade system put in place during the last 2 decades has roven to be an efficient tools for both developping countries and developped countries, however as suggested by Mr henry Kissinger a months ago, this economic crisis is the result of a lack of global supervision on global trade, and the over-use of teh usd as a global currency.
Everybody can see the discrupancies here, we’re using the usd as a global currency, while its fluctuation and overall value is largely dependant and local action in the usa.
Therefore we have a global trade that is dependant on the evolution of one country, while not being supervised properly by a global economic supervisory body.
-We need to de-index global trade from the usd, and second we need to have a global economic council, with proper regulation and not restrain only to developed countries but to developping countries as well, who have largely contributed to the economic boom of teh last decades.
We need a global economic council and a paln to pahse out a new global currency.
Both action will be salutary to the USA, since the economic crisis wouldn’t be so deep in the usa if the dollards wasn’t overused as a global currency.
I’m wondering though since teh USA will never mendate both solution how can the rest of the world set up a economic council of its own, and if Asia and the EU will have the strenght and determination to act to stop the dependance on usd and to set up an economic council that will not acts solely on USA interest.

Posted by jean | Report as abusive

Can you bring any pressure to have the SEC reinstate the “Uptick Rule” which was removed by the SEC in 2007, after being in effect since 1938. There is movement in the Congress to have this done, but Congress moves very slowly. The short position in Citigroup,Inc.(as of 3/13/09)increased to 998,753,223 shs. from 203,334,316 shs (as of 2/27/09). Bank of America and Wells Fargo also
had major increases in their short position. These stocks would obviously rise; thereby restoring confidence in them. The mere suggestion of restoring the “Uptick Rule” a week ago, sent the market higher by over 300 points. I do not own any of the above stocks!

Thank You

Posted by Richard Cummings | Report as abusive

“To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” So says the ancient prophet Jeremiah. The present crisis of the economy stems from a decades-long decay of morals and ignorance as to anything resembling ethics by the majority of banking and business establishments. The only solution is to admit that “man has dominated man to his injury” (Solomon in Ecclesiastes 8.9) and look to a higher source for the standards that are so lacking. To that end I have pulled all my business from the too big to be allowed to fail and will deal only with local concerns for my banking, food, clothes, etc. I don’t need man made statutes to protect my family from the impending disaster. My world may be a little smaller but goodbye to debt and usury and gambling by the likes of the kings of the global economy. The WB has failed in its charter and should be dissolved along with any and all of the other corrupt and degenerate institutions that thought nothing of burning the bridges out from under us. When that happens, will the president of the WB be prepared? Would he consider a thorough study of the Bible a good starting point for the moral and ethical decay that must be routed from our lives?

Posted by cleudaly | Report as abusive

people all around the world are suffering from the economic crisis. why isnt the world bank considering the problem areas that are actually promoting this recession? for all that we know , even if we do come out of this recession , we will not know it for sure because we are not narrowing it down to the problem sectors causing this problem in the first place.

Posted by himanshu rapur | Report as abusive

It is perhaps a naive question but waht has happened to the money given to the banks because so far no one seems to have benefited from it except the banks.

Posted by Edward | Report as abusive

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US? I know what the BIS is, and its function. I and others have been talking a lot about that. It’s clear that you are CREATING this. I don’t think I am all in agreement for your vision of the future.

Why are you doing this. Be honest for just a fraction of an instant and deny it later, but tell us why.

I think you are going to find a great deal more resistance than you want.

Posted by Danae | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick,
Thank you for your archived commitment to nations’ sovereignty over natural resources, global environmental laws, and universal human rights. Do you feel more pressured than usual, and how is the WB coping with its own toxic debt?

Posted by Golda Solaci | Report as abusive

Hello, Mr. Zoellick,

The American System over the past 200 years has taken the
Hamiltonian path, largely copying the British monarchy’s
mercantilist system, with central banking that causes
most of the US banks to inflate or deflate in unison.
These fractional reserve banks are inherently insolvent
and have been subject to financial system panics many
times over the past 200 years. Statist creations like
national centralized banking, such as the US Federal
Reserve System, work together with the US Treasury
and the politicians to load the country with debt, so
politicians can spend money the country doesn’t have
in order to buy votes from a stupid populace. The
World Bank gets its funds from governments like the U.S.,
does it not? Why are you presiding over funds that
represent, in essence, money stolen from citizens
through taxation or inflation? Isn’t the World Bank
something that should be destroyed, along with the
U.S.’s Federal Reserve System?

Posted by Norman Andrews | Report as abusive

Why is it that there is no CRISIS FUNDING available with WB to uplift from the current recessionary situation? Why not WB run the stimulus/bailout package directly to distressed banks in order to rev up the financial sector? I think its high time to reckon the powers, duties and responsibilities of World Bank during recessionary times.

Posted by maheshmg | Report as abusive

Robert Zoellick,
Does it make sense to you that the key to our economic crisis was due to SPECULSTION? Here’s my thinking.
1. Borrowers and lenders speculated that house prices would rise forever, leading to excess risk by borrowers and lenders.
2. Mortgage insurance companies and ratings companies miscalculated the risk.
3. High energy prices accelerated by speculation in commodity markets was the trigger that started the downfall. People now had to decide between paying their debt obligation (credit card and home mortgage) and driving to work (to pay the bills).
What can be done to reduce the middleman speculators from inflating prices far above and beyond the real price dictated by supply/demand?

Posted by Kerry B | Report as abusive

What functions should the banking system be restricted to perform in the future, and in what ways should governments constrain the banks?

Posted by tony kline | Report as abusive

The fatal flaw in capitalism is that it aggregates wealth at the top over time without recirculating it. The more efficiently corporate structures work the more they are able to aggregate wealth.

Surely, the most effective way to combat this is to periodically (perhaps once every generation or even every century) have a general cancellation of all debt and reconfigure lending systems to accomodate this.

With so many bank failures and the collpase of the shadown banking system this would have been a golden opportunity to do this rather than endlessly bailing out banks in a way that does not tackle to root problem in any significant manner.

Historically such a strategy in ancient history has given rise to a golden age.

Posted by Philip White | Report as abusive

To some extent greedy people are cause of this collapse. What do you think. All the bakers taking all the bonuses. For whom. themselves. What do you think of the idea that we should create a central banking stem and move all the people money to these central banks owned by the government. Then if the other banks fail let them collapse as no ones money will be in their accounts as we we will have a central system regulated and owned by the government. Then these banks can do what they want. Why ruin the world for greedy people in private banks.

Posted by nirav | Report as abusive

Sir,with all termoil in recent months,Should now be the time to have a sovergin wealth bank for all european
pensions independent of any goverment to dip his/her fingers if bad desisions are taken. naturally the usa and
african countries can have their own and promote peace and prevent unrest in a number of good democracies.

Posted by robert buhagiar | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

Thank you for taking questions. I realize this is a complex multipart question, but so is the subject.

I understand the concentrated impact of toxic assets on essential financial infrastructure like large banks must be relieved to restart the flow of credit. Most plans make the initial assumption that those assets must be removed from bank ownership to accomplish that goal. Outright purchase has valuation problems and requires large amounts of cash upfront. It doesn’t address the foreclosure and real estate market part of the problem. It addresses ownership but not toxicity.

Why must government or private investors actually purchase toxic assets like sub-prime securitized mortgages to address their problems? Couldn’t they simply be left in place, insured against default losses like “agency” mortgages in exchange for modification agreements that would reduce the risks of default by reducing debt service? (For example: 4 1/2% fixed interest, 40 year term, assumability, etc.)

Would banks and other holders agree to such an arrangement? Would a ~200+ basis point spread over 10 year US T-bills be adequate return on those default protected assets? Would securitization and servicing agreements permit such modification?

Since the assets would be technically default free, could they be carried on banks’ books at par (~5% yield like “agency” mortgages) thus reversing write-downs and rebuilding the bank balance sheets? Would the default protected status avoid triggering credit default swap liability, removing a further source of instability?

A back of the envelope calculation suggests such default cost protection would require less than $100 to $150 billion. The cost would be spread over time, not entirely upfront like purchase. The benefit would be upfront. It would avoid valuation and takings problems. The more such a program reduced defaults by decreasing debt service the fewer default losses would have to be paid. Insurance-like payments could also be made to foreclosed homeowners in exchange for returning properties to lenders undamaged and in good faith, reducing foreclosure-related damage risk.

Is there any major reason such a system would not work to detoxify the problem assets to their holders and reduce the drag of foreclosures on the real estate market?

Posted by Russ May | Report as abusive

Dear Mr Zoellick:
Thank you for answering my questions.
1 There’re lots of economic rescue plans lay out by countries,What’s your opinion about them?Take one or two as example
2 What about Chinese government’s economic rescue plan?

Posted by Shelly Yang | Report as abusive

Dear IMF

A Broad Insurance Policy would be an excellent idea, suggested by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

What I would also suggest in each country is their own manufacturing. For example, here in the U.S.A. Levi Straus at one time made their first “jeans” here out of masts of old sails from ships. There was a time here in America where industry was very innovative and capitalism worked very well. The heart of a healthy economy wherever the country is located on the planet is innovation.

There needs to be local “work/think” hubs to get out to the masses jobs that are needed in their local communities. What is missing nowadays, I think are the original companies like Levi Straus that made “jeans” and manufactured these clothes locally.

What’s wrong with giving people out there some sewing machines and teaching them how to make clothes for themselves. You want to see the economies pick-up quickly this will do the trick.


Posted by Michele Dawn Sanderson | Report as abusive

A quote from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:

“The first step must be to decide upon a single entity that will have responsibility for ensuring systemic stability over major institutions and over critical payments and settlement systems, Geithner said.

I have a simple question. If the “Federal Reserve” is decided upon as the “single entity” as referenced by Treasury Secretary Geithner, who exactly will be accountable in the “Federal Reserve” for such broad new powers?

Or said differently, given that the Federal Reserve is a private banking institution, who will Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke answer to? And to whom is Mr. Bernanke accountable?

Last, how will this decision to appoint a “single entity be decided upon? What person or regulatory bodies will be directly involved in this decision?

Posted by bustedpopsicle | Report as abusive

HSBC has closed my account and I had to make dozens of call o indian call centres too get it re opened..can I litigate against them for over exposure to ID thieft.I GAVE MY PASSPORT NUMBER ECT TO HSBC CALL CENTRES IN INDIA

Posted by michael nelson | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,

Where does the “World Bank” offices reside,what regulations (country) do they operate under, and how do their officers come into being/control? Also, what is the currency used and is it backed by gold?

Posted by Allen | Report as abusive

In regard to the political coup in Madagascar, does the World Bank recognize Andry Pajoelina as the country’s new president? If so, what type of aid will they offer the new government in order to bring stablization to the island.

Posted by P. L. Frasier | Report as abusive

What does the World Bank see as some of the unintended long-term consequenses of the Sugar-High? Are the consequenses (if any) Global or Regional?

What is the proper way of dealing with Toxic Assets?

What are the top three (3) critical elements that the World Bank sees as primary importance to regulation of the banking industry going foreward?

Does the World Bank consider the absence of Glass-Stegal as a component of the financial crisis?

What recommendations has the World Bank made to US Treasury Secretary Geithner about the above?

How can individuals protect themselves from an increase in international poverty, what individual measures can be taken to protect oneself from a Regulatory Failure? How does an increase in International Poverty effect World Security?

What measures is the World Bank taking to prevent expanding world poverty as fallout from the financial crisis?

On a scale of 1 through 10 how would World Bank rate the United States Treasury, SEC and Federal Reserves response to the Systemic Event?

Where does World Bank see room for improvement in protection of People from Systemic Event.

What Role is World Bank prepared to play in the future in protecting the Global Financial Platform from Systemic Events.

What are the three (3) weakest areas of the World Financial System?

What is the process of replacing Counter-Party Trust in the World Financial System.

What is the World Bank’s estimate of the Totality of Cost to the World Economy of the Systemic Event?

Can World Banks estimate of Total Cost of the Systemic Event grow or is it Contained?

What role do Hedge Funds power in the Electronic Trading Marketplace play in destabilizing the world financial system? What role do Hedge Funds (if any) play in adding stability to the World Financial System?

Thank you Sir.

Posted by James Reginald Harris, Jr. | Report as abusive



Posted by Pradeep | Report as abusive

What is your advice to an adult teen looking to survive in today’s toxic economy?

Posted by Cody C | Report as abusive

Mr Zoellick,
Would the world bank & other central banks within the banking system ever consider the possibility of making credit availible to their respective areas of charge (i.e. governments & other public institutes and organisations) without the application of interest for the private parties that own such banks, given that such interest is technicaly impossible to fully repay within such an ursury system?

Posted by Jonathan Yates | Report as abusive

What about inflation and the dollar in the years to come? What good will the dollar be if it can’t buy anything? Real wages will lag far behind inflation if it takes grip of the dollar. Personally my investments are in self sustainability, community, and commodities – not in the U.S. monetary policy. They may have the best intentions but it is the end result that I am worried about.

Posted by Matt Holton | Report as abusive

What do you think of the heavy borrowing the US is undertaking. Do you think the money will be used wisely? Do you think the programs will create jobs and stimulate the economy?

Posted by Jeffrey Fisher | Report as abusive

What do you think the effect of Pres. Obama’s stimulus plans will be on global economy in general and developing country in special?

Posted by Ashraf Abusada | Report as abusive

What ever happened to practicing business with Ethically? Is the financial industry incapable of self regulation?

Posted by Diane | Report as abusive

Dear Mr President
Could you please set an example for the rest of the world by holding the next big Climate Change and Globa Warming Conference in Bangladesh.Because this will be one of the first countries to be submerged.Let everyone take a look at what the developed economies have done to a country which uses natural gas for transortation,natural gas for creating power,natural gas for cooking etc.
What I am seeing is that all Conferences are held either in London,Washington,Cologne and other bright lights to which the hapless officials of the less developed economies are invited and are only too glad to attend.Having a Conference in the victims areana would also probaby jar the nerves of the bureaucrats and politicians of the developed world to realise what actually is going on.
I am a retired Environment Secretary of the Bangladesh Government.I will help you organize it without a hitch.We should organize this regularly every two years to show the world how things are inexorably moving from bad to worse.

Posted by Syed Tanveer Hussain | Report as abusive

Was it an inevitability that the world economy would end up in the present situation no matter what world governments did? Are we really only able to affect how bad or deep the cycle goes and when?

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,
People intimate that the governments of the world cannot continue quantitative easing, as that would devalue their currencies. However, as this problem of huge deficits is a worldwide phenomenon and the need is great -does that not protect all the currencies from devaluing too much against each other as they try to combat deflation?

In that vein would it not be better to work on ways to coordinate the banks and currencies in a tighter range so that speculators will not be able to ruin the system one country at a time to most everyone’s detriment such as with the Asian Currencies in 1997, the run on the pound in 1992 or the recent destruction of Iceland’s currency? Just like the financial stocks have been ravaged by short-sellers with no uptick rule, cannot we close more loopholes to protect the international system cooperatively for the greater good? I realize there is moral hazard in allowing governments to endlessly print money, as with Zimbabwe, but is there not a lesson to be drawn from the unregulated world we are emerging from that led to the worldwide crisis we are now in? I feel that if bank interventions are more formally pre-coordinated, currencies cannot be shot down one at a time by speculators.

Posted by Matt Boynton | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,
I’ve written to you before, and sent you a copy of my book, “The Single Global Currency – Common Cents for the World.”
Even though monetary reform is not specifically in the Charter of the World Bank, the work of the World Bank is still affected considerably by the costs and risks of the existing multi-currency world.
Will you add your voice to that of China, Russia and the U.N. Task Force for Financial Reform to ask that planning begin for a Single Global Currency managed by a Global Central Bank within a Global Monetary Union?
Please consider how much more effective you could be if there were no currency risk in the countries where your loans are at work. Please consider the increased effectiveness of your money if you didn’t have to buy and sell foreign exchange. Please consider the benefits of your client countries if the wealthy people in those countries didn’t have to send their wealth outside of the country in order to avoid currency risk.
Thank you for this opportunity to ask questions. Please support the planning for a Single Global Currency.

Morrison Bonpasse
Single Global Currency Assn.
P.O. Box 390
Newcastle, ME 04553

Posted by Morrison Bonpasse | Report as abusive

Mr. President,

1. What is economical advantage for West to see manufacturing reallocating to developing countries? Do we have numbers to show that overall Weest doing better.

2. What are benefits of ‘World Reserve Currency’?
Today USD is effectively is World Currency while US has full control/responsibility over it. While saving US economy US also saving world financial system. ‘World Reserve Currency’ will still rest on US shoulders while US gov will loose control. It will repeat EU situation when Germany refuse to bankroll other EU countries.
What are benefits for US?

Posted by Sergey | Report as abusive

1. These subprime loans that caused all this are still not even being addressed. Fannie Mae and Freddie MAC received almost 500 billion dollars for loans they did NOT originate and have no intention to “fix”. Everyone with a high interest adjustable rate mortgage by even large Chartered Banks to Investment Groups such as New Century Mortgage which have failed have NOT received any help.

2. The problem was easy to fix. All saw it who were in the Mortage business. Raising interest rates to stop “inflation” as our Secratary of Treasary did with out address the real core issue of demanding all lenders stop this practice and give them 3 years to “clean it up” would have prevented ALL of this!
3. Rewarding AIG by paying bail out monies to AIG who insured many of these “Mortgage Securities” and the Vegas style gambling schemes they insured on Mortgages and whatever scheme these Wall Street Gambles could dream of with any over site wasa waste of Money and did not help even 1 homeowner.
4. 99% of these subprime loans were divided into 80/20 loans. The lender in the 1st position(80%) was the one who foreclosed. That centainly would not make that loan “Toxic”. The lender of the 2nd Mortgage was the true loser and all these banks with these “Toxic Foreclosed Properties” arenot in as bad a shape as we’re to believe. So, What happened to all the money, almost 200 BILLION paid to AIG who insured the so called Toxic Mortgages. Have theselenders been paid twice? How much towards these properties have Private Mortage Insurance PMI paid these lenders?
5. There is just somethings no one wants to talk about $$$ Where’d the go?. In the mean time people are losing thier homes because of the high interest rates the Fed’s imposed and with all this money they could have lowered interest rates, Set all loans to “Fixed” 30 yr loans and pay or split the difference with the banks of the new lower interest rate, put the 4 payments or so on the “back” of the loan and No One would have lost a DIME.

I hope some one gets it.

Posted by Ric Allen | Report as abusive

Mr President,

Please give an example from your experience showing how good engineers have helped alleviate extreme poverty.

Thanking you in advance for sharing this with us.

Posted by Fabrice Penissard | Report as abusive

Dear Sir

Would it be correct to state that trying to control systemic inflation caused by the oil spike by increasing interest rates failed to do so and the “game change” lost the trust of citizens in the managers of our economic system such that the consumers response of ‘total shutdown’ whiplashed the general system which had not the capacity to adjust so quickly and triggered cds and similar instrument so that such losses killed t1 capital causing widespread gov liquidity issues. By the way, the simplest way to get over this is put the consumer first. forgive all mortgages by 30% and your done.

Posted by JohnD | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,

Can you digress shortly on the possible effects of “Bank of the South”, proposed by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Thank you

Posted by Ricardo Montes | Report as abusive

As President of the World Bank, why didn’t you see any of this coming?

And as such, why should we listen to your suggestions about what needs to be done?

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

My understanding is that the European countries are in worse shape than the U.S., if this is true how are those same countries able to submit their Christmas orders to China already, when the U.S. comparable companies have not and cannot?
We are seeing very different therms from the Chinese in regards to these orders, more up front, less selection, etc.

Posted by KD Baldwin | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,

Is anything John Perkins says in his books, interviews, etc. credible?

(Confessions of an Economic Hit Man in particular)

Posted by B. Crave | Report as abusive

Rather than a stimulus, why not just reduce every individual’s taxes across the board by the same amount? Some individuals will spend and that will create jobs, while others will save which will create capital to lend to entrepreneurs and will create jobs.

Posted by Laci Golos | Report as abusive

Since the United States is relentlessly pursuing a tax and spend policy, thus headed toward its own demise, is there anything the World Bank can do to negate this?

Posted by DAVY D HOBSON | Report as abusive

Mr.President,do you implie that 2009 will be a dangerous year because of the recent talk at the UN about one World currency?

Posted by WEB | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick,
Are you sold on the idea that global warming is caused by man, contrary to historical data and numerous scientific discoveries linking temps on earth to solar activity?
What is your take on the proposed carbon credit scheme?

Posted by chris | Report as abusive

Dear Sir:

As one who has worked 25 years in international development my comments are as follows:

1. Need for strengthening institutional development which is last activity considered by the Bank projects as opposed to bricks and mortar projects where building roads, buildings is the emphasis.

2. Evaluation at the country level. Evaluation is the last ITEM the Bank considers in project development and implementation. After thought.

Measuring project success is less than 25% of bank projects. I was VERY short term consultant and the final reports were really poor based on the projects mission etc. SHOOT THE MESSENGER!

No rigor in project evaluation on bank loans.

3. Lack of using new technology. I am involved in mobile applications and yet Bank is 3-5 years behind. No interest its all economist driven.

Just a few thoughts.

Lawrence Maryland

Posted by Dr Lawrence | Report as abusive

Dear sir,

Do you believe that most projects financed by the WB in this world are need based or are implemented in the interests of some influencing governments and countries interests,epecially the west? please comment.
Did your bank believe in diversity,even staffing at your bank? what is done in this regard?

Posted by Belete | Report as abusive

The possible steps can be taken to reveal several persons black money which are been deposited in the Swiss Bank.The figures that are been credited to individual accounts are so hign in terms of thousands in crores.Can a World Bank pass a resolution and enact orders to take the huge black money in the Swiss Bank ? which will be more helpful for the respective nations.

Posted by Sabarinath | Report as abusive

What criteria does the World Bank use when determining which kinds of burdensome strings it will attach to assistance given to poorer countries?

And, wouldn’t it be better for the world economy and the environment if the World Bank and IMF made it POSSIBLE for the recipients of aid to pay off their debts asap?

Posted by Jade | Report as abusive

Will you kindly bring your influence to bear on our great and august federal reserve to supply foreign & domestic demand for US currency/money? The fed needs to buy property, securities, even foreign currency, anything and everything to get American dollars circulating again. Everybody’s hoarding dollars because they’re the best investment in a deflation. Illiquid assets take a double whammy, both with the increasing dollar and market shunning. The imbeciles at the fed are killing us with their incompetence.

Posted by Ross Nicholson | Report as abusive

How closer have we come to eliminating world poverty and creating financial equality among humans on our planet according to the goals of your institution?

What steps are you taking to correct the errors and to improve this necessary vision?

Quantitative and qualitative speaking according to factual statistics what have you really done to increase the per person income and not the average or GDP of countries since the insertion of your organization?

How come there is more and more poverty and more and more people making less and less and a few ones getting richer?

What is not working with your old proposed model and what are you going to do about it now?

Posted by Mille | Report as abusive

I read some articles that Islamic banking changes situation in the world, it maybe coming as dominate banking system. What do you think about it?
Thank for your answer.

Posted by Nozigul M. Latipova | Report as abusive

Why, if I make a really serious mistake at work, do I get the sack and yet if a high ranking bank manager makes a serious mistake at work he gets a massive payment as a reward? If it’s written into his contract then why can’t it be written into mine? I’ll tell you why, because ANY employer with half a brain wouldn’t accept it that’s why. So what does that say about the banking ‘profession’?

Posted by Glen | Report as abusive


All about models.

It occurs to me that there should be some fairly advanced models for projects, and for nation state processes.
Presumably, analysing and defining risk metrics, and developing financial models that suitably incorporate these metrics should have reached a good level of standardisation by now.

My Questions are:

Do you model just the financials?
Are all your models bespoke for each project, that is developed without reference to a standard model?
Do you use bespoke models for nation state financials?
Do you analyse how idealised outcomes compare to real outcomes?
Do you use risk metrics, that is do you analyse and quantify the effect of risk events upon future financial outcomes?


I am a long time critic of politicians who fail to think through the economic consequences of their decisions, and note with interest the disinclination to think through in adequate detail is not a purely public sector phenomenon. When I was involved with PFI projects there was a clear lack of enthusiasm for risk metrics by private sector consortia members.
I have significant experience of developing models of all kinds especially financial, and would be fascinated by any answer.

Posted by Terence | Report as abusive

My questions concetrns the WB’s evaluation of the quality of its work. Project funding must satisfy a minimal criterai of economic rate of return to be approved by the board and that is done with a model. Reasonable. Why does the bank not demand projects be monitored using model and evaluate its project completion against the same model?

Posted by Dr. Jay Wysocki | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. President,

my question is simple and short. Which is the next country-ies you are planning to go there with your sister globalized IMF-jackals in order to destabilize, privatize everything and in general contribute as much as you can to poverty, misery and hunger just for you to get another Nobel or at least an 12-digit pension?

I hope you sleep happy in your 2000$ sheets while millions are dying due to your agenda and policies…

Best regards,

Another of your global slaves…

Posted by One more slave | Report as abusive

World Bank has had some recent challenges with their own financials in the last 12 months, how does this deepening financial crisis impact what WB plans to do in 2009? What programs are the most impacted?

Posted by Matthew Bohne | Report as abusive


By whose authority do you operate? And further, who authorized them the authority to delegate it to the World Bank. Centralization of power has helped to foster corruption, and further consolidation seems to be more of the same. How would you propose dismantling the World Bank?

Posted by Layne Buck | Report as abusive

Is it true that the world bank/IMF/FOCM is owned by 4 persons of jewish heritage? also is Count Luic Padelia who runs the Cathlic church financial empire on your board????

Posted by gregge johnson | Report as abusive

This crisis has been caused partly by banks exploiting (already exploited) working people by expanding debt (credit) to increase, largely wasteful, consumerism, and to allow people to own homes that the system would otherwise deny them – because of excessive profiteering by the financial sector, lawyers, local politicians, etc, in the housing sector. Our rulers are afraid that people might become self-sufficient, which would be detrimental to ‘economic growth’, so ‘African Hut Tax’ type measures have to be devised to prevent this happening.

For similar reasons, they have also massively expanded the oily-military-industrial-complex, the prison-industrial-complex, the ‘Security Services’ and the PFI sector. These are all ways of transferring taxpayer’s money to private corporations and unnacountable government agencies, whilst fuelling wars, repression and environmental degradation. It is another mode of forced consumption. This has been another cause of the present crisis. A lot of this activity has been debt financed.

The only workable and sustainable, long term, solution would be to try to build a sustainable economy as suggested by Andre Gorz (‘Critique of Economic Reason’ – 1989).

Posted by Clive Fudge | Report as abusive

Are you in favor of the one world currency scenario as previously suggested by the Chinese, and if so, would you comment as to whether your organization would be in favor of a single government representing the 20 nations in order to control future economic downturns in a responsible way.

Posted by Dan Elliott | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. President,

Given that the US banking crisis is one of solvency not liquidity, why is it that all proposed solutions stubbornly refuse to deal with the crisis effectively?

There is no trust or confidence in the US financial services industry, not here or abroad. Throwing trillions of dollars at them will not change this, because neither anyone inside or outside the industry knows the extent of their liabilities. The common, and probably accurate, wisdom is that they are bankrupt.

Given that, why doesn’t the federal government charter new banks, and then capitalise them. With the full faith and credit of the US behind them these banks would rapidly attract private eqity capital, most of which is presently residing in Treasury bonds and low interest bearing accounts. Like many investors I am not going to buy shares or lend to CITI, BOA, or any US bank, after they have brought the world economies to their knees through their greed, duplicity, poor management and short termism. They no longer have any credibility.

Why then are taxpayers being forced to bail them out?

It is a given that the US must borrow to salvage the situation. If it would create new “good” banks, and let the “bad” banks go under, then the “good” banks would attract capital which could be lent to revive business and the housing market.

Is the US so predjudiced against direct government intervention that it willing to sacrifice it’s future for political dogmatism?

Posted by John Peddicord | Report as abusive

Is it possible second World currency ?
(The next Russian brainless idea.)
Thanks for the answer.

Posted by Mikhail | Report as abusive

The World Bank’s main purpose seems to be redistribution of money to achieve world socialism, and in the process of that, doing a very poor job of it, with bloated administrative costs and often disastrous results.

A lot of money has been wasted over the years and worse lead to worldwide corruption or outright theft by dictators and crooks throughout the world. I doubt that the World Bank itself has ever made a legitimate profit as a business, and I question that it is a sustainable economic enterprise!

My questions are:

1) Will you ever be able to turn the World Bank into a profitable business with the objective of developing and sustaining competitive and economically sound private enterprise in a free and open world marketplace?

(2) If not, why continue on a loosing cause. Why not shut it down and return the money to the taxpayers (mostly Americans), who have funded the bank for all these years for no good reason?

Posted by Ib Steinmetz | Report as abusive

1. Can the world bank take decisions on its own without getting approvals from certain lobbies or/and few influential world political leaders who seek to maximize their own countries’ benefits before seeking the overall benefits?

2. Why can’t the world bank interfere in the United States massive financial mess, and its global influence?

3. Can the world bank realistically achieve any of its objectives set for the coming 3 years?

Posted by Jamal Nassar | Report as abusive


Will the World Bank strive to achieve a process similiar to that of the past where currency was tied to a tangible asset? In the past currency was a representitive of an ounce of Gold.
As you are aware, the Governments of today do not have to restrict their printing of money – the US is calling it Helicopter money!
Soon everyone will need a wheelbarrow of paper money to buy a loaf of bread.

Posted by Delvin Blackstock | Report as abusive

Why can’t all of you just leave the private sector alone?
Be honest with your lending practices and stop playing your numbers game. Do you think it is people or institutions that are generous?

Posted by Helen | Report as abusive

Does socialism work?

Define socialism. What socialistic programs work for the individual, the community, the business community, the state, the country and most importantly the economy? What is the worst example where it does not work? Do you have any example where it does work? How can the IMF stop socialism’s reach?

Posted by Henry T. | Report as abusive

In the future, will the World Bank increase the percentage of its budget devoted to microcredit/microfinance? Seems like a good idea because the success statistics look pretty darn good.

Posted by Douglas J. Trainor | Report as abusive

Let’s cut the bull, you guys.
Your little 40 year foray into the land of “monopoly” money has ended, predictably, in disaster. Admit it. You created a govt-military-industrial-oil-banking complex, which can only be described as a kleptocracy.
Economic prosperity will not return until SOME form of gold/silver backed currency is resurrected. You and your bankster pals have shown the world, once again, that you are not responsible enough to manage a fiat currency.
How to accomplish this – be it a gold reserve ratio under govt auspices, or a revaluation, etc., – a should be the only topic at the G20. It is unlikely that this topic is even on their agenda.
Of course, abolishing the Federal Reserve is the no brainer solution, but will they do that? Hah!!!

Posted by Ben Gedalecia | Report as abusive

Sir, Do world bank have any new ideas to raise standards in developing country, because recession is hitting developed countries today, but it will give severe hurt to poor persons in coming years.

Posted by Gyandeep Mittal | Report as abusive

Conceivably, the federal bank will print more dollars and inflation in its value may ensue if countries sell off their dollar stacks (for example in exchange for Euros). How would the WB react in the case of a precipitous (i.e. 20% per month) dollar-value implosion? Do you employ empirical or logical algorithms to model the response?

Posted by Reto Muller | Report as abusive

Would a universal cut in pay from all the financial people help along with scrapping the bonus schemes. As you are aware public resentment is running high in many countries around the world and I would suggest the time has come to call it a day.

Posted by John Finningham | Report as abusive

The World Bank is in a unique position to bring positive change to the developing world. Why is it that big pharma and its connections are allowed to run amok with expensive, ineffective programs, while small biotechs with public health solutions such as GenoMed, Inc. of Missouri are being turned a blind eye? Solutions to renal dialysis, diabetes, many cancers and most important, AIDS/HIV already exist. What are you doing to give the small, innovative biotechs a chance and save badly needed funds for more economical purposes?

Posted by Vincent Vanderbent | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,

The World Bank should always be independent and autonomous. I say this because there should have been greater due dilligence as to the conduct of fiscal and monetary policies within many nation states.
The Financial Sectors of these economies have become the main problem to why we are in a Global Recessionary cycle as well as some nation states entering an economic depressionary cycle.
It would be such that it is not just a matter of printing new money or borrowing new money when the same business models within the derivative markets apply.
In some of these economies International Monetary Funds were borrowed and exhausted and they kept going to the International Monetary Fund for more.
Thus, there has to be new standards to how economies are governed and as stated by the United Nations all nation states are sovereign. There is no such thing as a Federalise Economic Model to purchase Debt that no one was prepared to buy. Under the same consideration it would be such that economic policies and management of nation’s economies are equally sovereign.
Where the World Bank has gone wrong was the promotion of a Federalised Economy which in my considered opinion would have reservations because what you are asking nation states to do is borrow money and print money not for the interest of investment to their respective economies but for the purchase of Debt within their financial sectors.
This is why there has been no economic growth and in particular why many of these nation states that seek fiscal aid often run out of money to the detriment of economic well being and interest of the people of their nation states.
This economic imbalance indeed exist within the United States where the very same funds to which we call the troubled asset relief program which their respective Congress voted upon were being used for Political Campaign Funding as well as the appointment to oversee the economic management from the same recipients that recieved fiscal aid.
In short what exists within the financial markets is systemic corruption as well as hypocracy. The fiscal aid is redistributed to purchase the assets that no one wanted to buy in the first place.
In this sort of economic and Financial modelling the debt liabilities actually increases over time and no new wealth is generated in the economic modelling sense because money is being recycled be that through the purchase of existing debt.
Thus what exists are differences to economic management between nation states in Europe as well as other parts of the world.
It is to this effect why I think that the time has come for the World Bank to be more Independent as well as Autonomous without being run by Washington.
Without this what would exist is a false premise as well as false economic modelling which is not helpful given that the world economies are sliding from the recessionary cycle to the economic depression, Is this in your considered opinion something that you agree with or not?

Posted by Sohail Khan | Report as abusive

When are all of you world leaders going to make all speculative predation, which is a destructive force whose strength has been seen many times in the past few decades, illegal? Big unbridled entities trying to corner the market in commodities, driving prices up and down, regardless of the true supply and demand by producers and consumers, are a cause of the wide spread between the rich and powerful and the poor and weak which could lead to revolution and war. All trading in all the markets of the world should be between actual owners of products and actual users—the former required to be in possession and the latter prepared to actually buy and use that which is being traded.
All selling of shares of stock, on amy stock market, by any entity other than those which have previously bought and own those shares at the time they are put up for sale should be declared fraudulent and illegal, punishable by permanent banishment from trading in any market. Contrary to what those professionals who engage in short selling claim, that the practice contributes to liquidity in the market, the primary demonstrated contribution to liquidity has been in the rapid destruction of stock companies which we have just witnessed. The Options Market should be the locus of all speculation in stocks if it is to be continued,where all participants are playing on a level field.
The stock markets of the world could then live up to the ordinary investors trust that these markets are indeed, “fair, open and honest” as they are advertised to be, and with no market-maker, specialist or trader granted any advantage over the individual investor.

Posted by george vlahos | Report as abusive

Let’s see stimulous $$ + big corp bail out: $$ for nutin’.
Now if I got a million $ of stimulous money I could invest or re-invest in the big corps hence, goods and services, hence stimulation of business and $$ generation.
Ok, too simple…remember when, We gotta hurry and get this stimulous pkg thru before we ‘crash’. Well they did and nothing happened, I mean the stimulous did nothing for noone except for AIG I guess.
We need to clean out congress/senators just like big corporates do every so often. Need new blood in those positions. But the sheeple just stand there and do nothing.:(

Dallas, wave

Posted by Dallas Covington | Report as abusive

I have seen this collapse coming for well over two years. I was in position to purchase a house at that time and I realized even back then, that income levels had been exceeded by home prices. That with the stock market inflated beyond reasonable valuations of the underlying securities scared me from taking any type of leveraged position in either the sock market or the housing market.

So I’ve waited, and my aversion to the market risks of two years ago have saved me thousands of dollars both in the money not lost in the home or stock market, and the money not spent on mortgage rates that have since toppled. This has more than made up for money spent on two years of rent.

What gets me is…

I’m a 29 year old, I have a BSBA in Finance from a high quality private university. However… If I saw this collapse coming two years ago, how did those with more experience, more education, more resources not see the writing on the wall and do something about it before it was too late?

Posted by Charlie | Report as abusive

The World Bank’s agenda seems to be diametrically opposed to America’s Constitution in that “protectionism” of American jobs and industry is what made this nation great. The World Bank’s agenda has compromised America’s sovereignty to a degree now that we are in a similar economic crisis as we were in the 1930’s? Socialism of the world’s economy was not something our founders agreed was in this country’s best interests.

So how can the World Bank foster it’s agenda without bankruptcing this nation in the process?

Posted by Betsy Ross | Report as abusive

It’s imperative for the world to come together on a “Green and Global New Deal” so that one day when I’m 80 year old grandfather my children will have the good fortune of living in an environment that was as privileged as the one i have endured in my 25 years.

More importantly, United States and China should agree on equal terms and be the front-runner of such compromise. Traditional resources are likley to decline for each year we move forward. It is important that China emerges with an internal consumption model, yet it would be wise for the growth to be aligned with environmental standards agreed upon by international eco-friendly regulation.

I am curious if the World Bank agrees to this position and would encourage nations to bolster global funds for a global eco-friendly world?

Best, jesper

Posted by jesper | Report as abusive

What do being President of the World Bank and being President of NCHS have in common?

Posted by John Hoffman | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. President,

we are totally aware of your morbid plan to enslave humanity with debt an reduce global population. You will never get your New World Order.

John D.

Posted by John D | Report as abusive

the world would be much better off if all banks were closed and banned and outlawed. seriously!

Posted by canadguy | Report as abusive

Why are the home owners not being bailed out?. What does the bank do with the bail out money, does it relax the loan terms for the home owners?

Posted by tharun | Report as abusive

If China Sells US bonds , what will the world look like ?

Posted by t john | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick,

The year 2009 promises to be a “danger” for whom – the ruling global elite such as yourself? You and your ilk have already pigged out at the trough thanks to depleting the United States of its manufacturing sector and replacing it with Chinese slave labor. How much more money can the Davos and Wall St. crowd squeeze out of the average working person than it already has?

Will the year 2009 continue to see you mislabel the lopsided “trade” arrangement between the United States and China as “free trade”? And why should individuals such as yourself and the organizations you work for be allowed to have such an out-sized influence – or rather ANY influence at all – over the affairs of others?

Thanks in advance,

Henry Blankett
Ridgewood, NJ

Posted by Henry Blankett | Report as abusive

I was just wondering if any one has a concept what our economy will look like when this depression ends. and will the federal reserve be disbanded as needs to be done and a gold/silver economy take it’s place.

Posted by larry towne | Report as abusive

Will this administration stop the one sided law known as HAFTA and let it expire and re-negotiate it on a level field?

Posted by re-negotiate nafta | Report as abusive

Beadie eyed little jew. He’s obviously smiling because
he’s got it good, and when he’s got it good, do you think he gives half a shit how the world is doing ?

Posted by PiRACY | Report as abusive

I have lost faith in our financial institutions when OTS has shown fraudulent misconduct and the President just hands out billions without recourse and does not ask what bankers are doing with all that money. Why have the bank President’s allowed their employees to outright lie to the depositors enticing them to deposit more of their hard earned cash without FDIC protection and lose millions of their savings and retirement and children’s school funds as in the case of IndyMac Bank? Other banks are doing the same thing, I have heard the same lie at 2 other banks in addition to IndyMac. The depositors need their money back!

Posted by Linda Fox | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

What are the World Bank estimates of GDP with regard to GCC countries? Could you enlighten us on the size of Soverign Wealth Funds as of 2009? Am working on a Project and was looking for a table normally published on the largest Sovereign wealth Funds.

Appreciate your help.

Thank you.

Posted by Pam | Report as abusive

Hello, Mr. Zoellick,

In 2005, in NBR Analysis, you advocated that China become a
responsible stakeholder in the “international system”, a
system in which you’ve worked over the years, at tasks sponsored,
financially and politically, by the U.S. government. Given your
experience at the Department of the Treasury, and at the Department
of State, and in finance, what are the flaws of the “international
system”, qua system, and what flaws do you see in the U.S.’s
approaches to being a “responsible stakeholder” in that system?

I look at how the American System over the past 220 years has
followed the policies of George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury,

Hamilton, and has exported Hamilton’s recycling of the British

monarchy’s mercantilist system all over the world. I see that the
large number of financial panics that occured over the last 200
years have all had at their root fractional reserve banking,
and I see that the establishment of centralized banking systems
by statists have not solved the problems. I see a World bank
which gets its funds from governments like the U.S., and I see
that the monies funding the IMF and the World Bank represent, in
essence, money stolen from citizens through current or future
taxation or through current or future inflation. Isn’t the World Bank
something that should be destroyed, along with the U.S.’s Federal
Reserve System?
Why do you participate in an evil international system?

Posted by Norm Andrews | Report as abusive

It seems to me the main goal of the World Bank is to bring down the U.S. dollar as the main currency in the world. When this happens, leftest governments all over the world will spring up and freedom will be lost!

Posted by steve hanson | Report as abusive

Since the beginning of this financial crisis created by greedy banker and other financiers, we have not seen a thorough and meaningful assessment on the part of the WB and IMF concerning the failed economic policies in the developing world (Structural adjustments). How ironic that for years, entire countries were forced to privatize their economies while today the US and other are nationalizing their banks and companies. Today we see no sense of responsibility on correcting past criminal mistakes and the west is doing exactly what poor countries were told not to do. Isn’t your institution still xeroxing outdated formula?

Posted by Simon Handy | Report as abusive

Hello, Mr. Zoellick,

I thought that you are a Bush man, are you trying to change your colour?

Posted by Bush | Report as abusive

Hi, Mr. Zoellick,

What is your qualifications apart of being a political apointee of “Bush” ,to talk on the Global Economic crisis. This is because the world will think , act and take note of your comment. Are you trying to cover up your former “Boss the Bush”

Posted by Rationalist | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

I am a naturalized US citizen from the former Soviet Union where I held eight Certificates of Invention from their equivalent of our Department of Patents. I consider myself an intelligent and very resourceful individual and take pride in my ability to analyze a problem from many different directions, feeling that a fresh perspective is frequently the source of a simple and efficient resolution. I have four business ideas that I believe are substantial and will create auxiliary infrastructures with an additional numbers of jobs when implemented.

The first idea will boost production of solar batteries in near future by creating a variety of new, different from already well known, installation applications that are being used by the government and corporations. This project will help to boost production of clean electricity. Mass production of solar batteries will generate a condition when their price will drop to a level more affordable for an average household. Improvement of the power network security (as an opposition to technological misuse and accidents as well as to terrorist’s threats and acts of sabotage) will take place due to deployment of dispersed, grid-connected solar batteries, which will contribute to strengthening the reliability of the U.S. power grid. Economic advantages are the creation of auxiliary infrastructure with an additional number of jobs, lowering energy costs, which affect all markets; not as much maintenance expense as compared with other sources of electricity. Environmental advantages include – no additional land is needed, consumption of the solar energy will create an effect, similar to the effect that created by the natural vegetation, diminishing the outcome of the global warming. One of the political advantages would be less dependence on foreign sources of energy.
The second idea will reduce airline expenses, significantly increase airport productivity, have positive impact on the security as well as provide growth for a related market. Unsolicited proposal with description of this project was accepted and taken in consideration by TSA at April 2003, before its transfer to DHS. It could be a positive factor in the project development
The third idea that came up as a logical continuation of the second one will introduce a new concept in cargo transportation.
The fourth idea will solve the solid waste problem. This project will eliminate landfills that contribute to the global warming, bring profit, and make the environment cleaner at the same time.

My goal is to create new ventures. It is very hard for an independent inventor to develop a business plan. My innovations while beneficial cannot be protected by patent law and are too costly to be developed by individual investment. Accordingly, they might be brought to fruition by the government, or a corporation. I am looking for help to gain access to decision making corporate or government official. Therefore, I will be able to bring my proposals to their attention. If they will find that my projects have merit, I will proceed with my endeavor to create auxiliary infrastructures with an additional numbers of jobs.

Posted by Alexander Faynshtayn | Report as abusive

is it true? books/Folder1/The%20Federal%20Reserve%20 is%20PRIVATELY%20OWNED%20by%20Thomas%20D %20Schauf.pdf

Posted by madmilker | Report as abusive

The current problem in world markets can only be resolved by forming an IPA (International Prudential Authority) with headquarters in Basel in Switzerland. The Bank of International Settlements was formed in Basel in 1929 to fulfil a similar role. Now the G-20 nations need to set up the Authority in order for all G-20 nations to operate off the same uniform platform and adopt the same borrowing and lending standards for all institutions. This should be based on the Australian model, which is Basel II compliant. SIV (Structured Investment Vehicles) should be strictly controlled as should Derivatives and both should be licensed by the IPA in Basel. The objective behind this is so that G-20 nations can create stability for the rest of the world so poverty can be addressed worldwide. The IPA would operate like the OECD in Paris making each nation responsible for the implementation of IPA policies worldwide and not the IPA!
Richard H. Gellie

Posted by Richard. H. Gellie | Report as abusive

Is pr. Obama able to prevent a new world currency as he is against this $ Y € Gbp mix?

Posted by Bou Kesselring | Report as abusive

How do I stop a bank branch manager from confiscating my personal funds. tactics such as closing my atm card have been used.

it is apparent there is a major shift away from democracy in the u.s. and the financial crisis is the
final straw.

Posted by ted | Report as abusive

The global monetary system lend itself to multiple PONZI
schemes and heists.
It needs to be changed to a system where strict
controls are possible and applicated.
I don’t see anyone expressing a blueprint on how a new system could look/work.
jasmine in florida

Posted by jasmine labe | Report as abusive

Soon as the financial crisis broke out, the first cry was for a new set of rules for financial markets to avoid new occurrences of such losses.
So far, though, there seems to be no such new set of rules.

Posted by Franco | Report as abusive

What steps will bankers take if the world’s citizens (especially Americans) choose to dramaticly decrease spending and increase savings? Won’t that impact the world’s economy as much as the current economic crisis?

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick:

the World Bank’s goal of reducing the number of
desperately poor people in the world may be achieved
by the Bank’s emphasis on development aid and economic
growth, but this would be helped a lot by the
complement: fewer babies born to desperately poor parents.

Since the world has some maximum carrying capacity,
over the long run (not decades but centuries) it seems
obvious that some kind of population policy should be at
the basis of any attempt to reduce poverty.

Could you please address this issue? I realize that various
US Governments (and other actors, including the Catholic Church)
are very reluctant to acknowledge
the world’s population increase as a dominant factor in the
world’s ills, but it seems high time that this pre-scientific
reluctance is overcome.

Posted by Nino Pereira | Report as abusive

hello mr.zoellick,sir i wounder why the world bank is helping the corrupt nations,who’s politicians did not keep their promise towards own citizens,which they often make during elections.all the money the world bank lends to such nations didnot reach the intented use and target people.nearly 60 to 75 % is lost in transit from world bank to target area or people.what measures the world bank take ,to ensure that money do not land in the corrupt hands.

Posted by dr.avinash manwatkar | Report as abusive

So here we are facing the end of this fun period called globalization. This is where developed countries received goods made with cheap labor from around the world. So now this cheap labor can make and supply any manufactured product cheaper and sometimes better than that of this developed world. Production effiences are known to all and therefor labor is labor anywhere. What makes you think that wages will rise in these 3rd world countries rather than wages falling in 1st world countries? Without some protectionism 1st world wages will fall or disappear. What is the answer?

Posted by jared lake | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,
If the poverty striken individual from the poorest country like Nepal is allowed to ask any questions regarding reform and remedies?

Posted by Shiva G | Report as abusive

With leveraged derivatives of an estimated notional value of $400 Trillion US (debatable) floating around the global financial system, is there enough money in the world to solve the problem as this cascading systemic failure unfolds?

Posted by Mike P. Phila., PA USA | Report as abusive

Hello Mr. Zoellick,
Please comment the three points below:

1)I agree with you about the magnitude of this crisis.What s coming looks more like a cataclysm.Given leverage being employed damage will be tremendous.

2)A good process would be to radically clean the Bads from the System.

3)Though your mission is not to save the world Kindly Tell the truth without any fear:Gold exchange is the only solution to bring back financial&monetary discipline.No way to escape.
Have a great day,

Posted by SIMON christian | Report as abusive

Concept – Goverments send money directly to consumers thus by-passing the greedy banks. Consumers spend, economy recovers, healthy banks remain, unhealthy banks fail, problem solved.

Why won’t this happen? Simple – greedy bankers buy greedy politicians, they all get richer, every one else pays.

Posted by cj simmons | Report as abusive

These days thousands of citizens are gathering in London to protest against a bankers. The occasion if the April 2nd G-20 meeting.
Hopefully, the G-20 representatives will not dismiss the claims coming from those who have lost their jobs, their savings, their homes, and their future.

Posted by franz | Report as abusive

Hello Mr. Zoellick,

Dear sir:

In my humble opinion, the job of a “bank” is simple. It is to deliver trust between business parties when trust is not adequate to get the business transactions going active.

Banks were never meant to change the world. They are simply a conduit for two sides to brush off the suspicious feelings and put them on the shoulder of the bank, which usually has leverage with both sides.

Simply put, the more both parties need to trust each other, the stronger the bank, and vice versa.

From this concept, which I hope you share with me, the simple basis to build a successful relationship with the third world is to practice reliable, stable, and predictable activities. Low interests, micro loans, supporting local markets first, national markets as a second expansion step, regional markets as the third largest step, with complete ignorance to International massive transactions.

I beg to differ with your stand against what you called “protectionism”. Innovation dies when it is bombarded with moral killing “cookie-cutter” mass production, with flooding as the basis for the “world bank” wish list for its third world suppliers and customers.

I think that you need to promote the “boutique” style production and services. This is the only way to push the third world to increase the quality production and services. This boutique style can be the launching vehicle to further quality, that promotes larger mass production via specialized vendors, mainly in the first world or at least under its business umbrella.

Now you see my question coming: Isn’t it better to encourage third world countries to specialize in their production and services, and deliver first to their local markets, while “World Bank” builds a direct relationship with recipients of micro loans, instead of treating them as an inferior branch of an first-world-serving-enterprise? Don’t you think that the current “Globalism” module,the way it is now, benefits only conveyor-belt tycoons?

Let me remind you that being poor doesn’t mean a loss of dignity or lack of talent, or even shortage of innovation.

Bottom line,Can you convince me that you are right in your module? because I think you are not on the right track.

Posted by Sam, Wisconsin | Report as abusive

Granting China’s request for a international reserve currency that is not dependant on any one countries economics, will we again find the Gold Standard?

Posted by Carl Scholten | Report as abusive

How did Wolfowitz ever become a World Bank head for even a moment? Can someone do an analysis of that? Yes, we know George W Bush selected him but how does that kind of insider unfair play get to operate in the World Bank? Every working person on this planet knows that GWB and Wolfowitz and that whole ilk were irresponsible, theiving, lying, murderous, pillaging, corrupt losers for everyone except themselves. How can anyone have any faith in the World Bank knowing that Wolfowitz was the former head?

Posted by wdylan | Report as abusive

A ps: to my above comment: look at the propagandistic wording of the WBank’s biography (online at this site) of Mr. Wolfowitz:

“In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed Mr. Wolfowitz to the post of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he played a role in planning for the successful liberation of Kuwait, including organizing the fundraising effort that raised $50 billion in multilateral support.”

The WBank just made me type in the word “ikea” as a security word. what kind of blatant advertising is that? The global scamming looked bad at GATT back in the mid 80s, but there’s no comparison to what is happening today. What we are looking at is the development of a privatized global government, in which the red and green zones will become a way of life – poor people in the red and rich in the green. The template and codes started in Iraq. See Naomi Klein’s Disaster Capitalism in Harpers Magazine, also the Shock Doctrine. I admire the protesters at WTO and G20. I hope Obama walks his talk. So far he is just propping up the old order at alarming expense to the US deficit.

Posted by wdylan | Report as abusive

Why do you bankers continue to resist the only possibility that can save the world from this collapse (federal receivership and freezing of derivatives?) Your system is the cancer and your arrogance to survive and cling to your dead system is destroying us. Your solution is the save the cancer even if it kills the patient. Speculators can go to hell. God help us all.

Posted by nate powell | Report as abusive

Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, and Barclays benefited at U.S. taxpayers expense from the AIG bailout. The Bank for Internationale Settlements plays a behind the scenes role since the Basel I and II Accords. It appears European banks are hemorrhaging U.S. Banks. This seems the tip of the iceberg given that under Wolfowitz the World Bank supported Turkey during the period that they were known to be manufacturing heroin with the Russian Mafiya for distribution to Europe and the U.S. Is the World Bank willing to become transparent?

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Cancel the third world debt, I hope this is a phrase that will come often in your dream at night when you sleep, until one day you might consider that indeed it would take off a tremendous weight off the shoulders of some countries and give them a chance to carry on and try to flourish instead of keeping them out of breath like an hamster on a running wheel

Posted by salina | Report as abusive

It appears clear to many that the 2007 accounting rules change, specific to level III assets laid bare the derivative induced over-extension of the fractional-reserve-banking system. What is your stance on any changes to current accounting rules?

Posted by Rich Krueger | Report as abusive

Do you still stood around the poverty as a working concept?

Posted by Mario Enrique | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick,

I believe that the United States Federal Reserve (FED) should not have the ability to print currency. The FED purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds (debt) is a bad practice, that can only erode confidence money supply. What are your thoughts?

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Can you describe the two main attitudes you see in this economic crisis battle, as the attitude that is leading us all into a deeper crisis, and the one which is leading us out of it to a better future?

Posted by Adrian | Report as abusive

Should President Obama’s administration’s policy of diplomacy with the Iranian regime not work, and should new sanctions bar purchase of Iranian oil, what would the consequences be on the world economy?

Posted by S G Logan | Report as abusive

If the United States and the European Union stops interfering with Africa’s economic development it could be a lot better. Africa has been blessed with 85% of the world’s natural resources such as gas and oil, coal, Uranium Gold Silver Platinum Palladium Rhodium Chromium Vanadium Cobalt Manganese and other industrial metals. Africa has been blessed with 65% of the world’s agricultural land with the richest red volcanic soil on earth but poor water distribution and transportation. If Africa was ever allowed to collateralize its natural resources they would never need any food aid at all but will become a major food exporter.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

I thought we were asking questions…?

Capitalism’s fallacy is that it’s based on growth. But, we cannot grow forever! Thus, we should be thinking of something that might substitute, in a positive way! What might that be? We need less of the old thinking and more of the metanoic!

Posted by Magic Dragon | Report as abusive

Dear sir,
May I know the eligibility requirements for asking questions with Mr president and displayed and answers from him? For what reason the questions are not displayed or removed ?

Posted by Guna Pathak | Report as abusive

Does World Bank “really” believes in reducing poverty?

Posted by Syed Khizar Mohsin Shah | Report as abusive

About 30 years ago, when China began economic reform, the country had no money, no modern technologies, no allies, Chinese lived under very poor conditions, food was on ration, meat was on ration, cloth was on ration;

Today, the US is still the best country on earth, has money, has technologies, has friends around world, Americans live under superior conditions than most countries on earth;

So, the question is, given 30 years, can the US achieve what the Chinese has done in past 30 years? Why and how?

Posted by Tom Freeman | Report as abusive

Isn’t it true that your bank is funded by the drug lords and thieves of the world? That these people are using your bank to hide vast amounts of money.
Also, you lend money to third world countries, which ends up being spent by whoever is in charge at the time and the poor country becomes even poorer by having to pay back money it received no benefit from.
I think you should use all of your funds to help out whoever you have cheated prior to this.

Posted by Sandra Wilson | Report as abusive

Dear Zoellick,

Once the banking class completely take over the “one world” and all American sovereignty and individual rights are but a court room away from violation…

can I be your juggler?

Maybe a story teller for your grand children, like the fools of old’n times?

I need a job.

Posted by max ferris | Report as abusive

I see this as a crisis of integrity and ethics as much as it is a financial crisis. We must find a way to restore in our culture a sense of right and wrong and of “doing the right thing.” My question, is this,”What can we begin to do, tomorrow, to instill ethics in our children? That’s the only way we will change society.

Posted by Lorah Steiner | Report as abusive

Is the “economic crisis” just a reaction to some poor financial and banking decisions or is really a signal of a major shift in the world economy? If it is a shift in the economy where is the economy going?

Posted by Glen Bartholomew | Report as abusive

I’m a 17-year-old young citizen from a Brazilian inner town, and how will my future be? When – and how – we, the mankind, will live and prosper as a part of – and not apart from, as it has been – the Earth’s environment? When – and how – will we really understand that our growth relies on our development, and that we’ve been growing, but not developing? When – and how – will we really comprehend that the current crisis of confidence in the global financial system has been caused by management practices which favors short-term giant gains derived from risky, speculative investments on financial markets themselves and their complex instruments over long-term tangible and intangible earnings, sustained growth and development based on direct, solid investments on what really makes a nation works: infrastructure, industry, agriculture, commerce, and, mostly, people? What are you doing about it? What can I do about it, since I don’t need to be a politician to make policy?

Posted by Willian Rosa | Report as abusive

My question is: “When your organization lends a Nation money under a certain premise, how does your organization verify that it is used for the premise it was lent under?”

Follow up: “Is it possible for your organization to lose all ties to America, and become completely neutral and bound to the UN?”

Posted by Tyrone Lamoureux | Report as abusive

1. When do you think that the USA financial system and the US$ will finally collapse?
2. When will you finally accept that the Ruble will be the intrnational currency?
3. As you well know, America is bankrupt, printing money to suit, who is paying for the war’s generated by the USA?
4.Is the World Bank, United Nations, NATO and the WTO controled by the USA?
5. As is evident, the answer to item 4 above is yes, what do you intend doing about the situation?
6. As you also are aware, the organisations listed in 4 above are considered untrustworthy, how do you feel to be included in this group?
7. Remember the French Revolution – would you say that the situation is similar and that the final outcome is close?

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

What is your connection with the Bilderberg group and if so what are their plan’s to implode the economies through the world’s central banks?

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

Please remember the fate of the world’s interconnected ecomonies rest upon the shoulders of the world and financial leaders who will attend the G-20 summit in Britain.

If there is anything I hope and pray for it is the ability of those in attendance to cooperate with each, consider each other’s ideas in an attempt to solve the greatest ecomonic problem of all times.

Too often individual group’s established agendas to not leave room for true discussions.

Posted by Vivian Rankin-Scales | Report as abusive

Dear Mr Z,

How were the caviar and champagne dinners with Wall street buddies?

Did they share some real funny pictures of the latest 10 million “slumdogs” they created in 2008 by their raw genius and financial wizardry during the opera, your highness ?

– Zach.

Posted by Zach Meuller | Report as abusive

Dear Mr Zoellick,

How does one apply for food and other aid from a third world country?

Sir, I live in a third world country – the United States of America, which somehow has not made it to your food aid list.

You see, both my parents have lost their jobs and my dad is very sick. My mom no longer can wait tables at the resturant as fast as she once did so I have quit my college and taken up her job. Both my parents were robbed of their 401k retirement funds by 2 theives, Wall st and their enablers, the US government. My parents used the remaining few dollars from their retirement to save our house, which we have now lost to the sheriff because no one is buying right now. We are living separatley with relatives whom we can’t thank enough for their kindness and support. Our next move will be on the streets because the homeless shelters are full.

Sir, I am sure my dad and mom has paid your bank enough taxes all their lives and this is all we have left of our American dream.

Sir, do you have some aid for people like me?

Love Zach.

Posted by Meuller Zach | Report as abusive

The World Bank is a misnomer. To be a true WORLD BANK, there would be only
one true currency to represent the financial status of every world economy, and it would be gold.
Then to help the poorest world economies, gold would be advanced to them, by a true Central World Bank according to new rules agreed to, and governed by all of the joint participants, under this banking format.
The Greeks and Romans had the right idea with the issuance of gold coinage, but in their time, there were at the most four economic states, with very little, if no contact
between these said states.
The word WORLD implies all economies on the globe. Not the bigs or smalls, but
all. United we win, disunited, and isolated we fall…..

Posted by John Rainey | Report as abusive

Slovak populist-nationalist party SNS is claiming that the World Bank finances the campaign of Ms. Radicova, conservative presidental candidate for this weekend’s Slovak presidential elections. Can you please comment/confirm the WB financing? Thank you

Posted by kristian | Report as abusive

sir, as per my knoledge it is not a bad financial period and not like recession , because everything was running imbalancely since last 100 years and this is the actual starting period towards unlimited devolopment with good strategy , people must know how to servive .how to earn money and how to save and how to help other so finally we all the people of world must think about future devolopment rather fear about recession .

Posted by surajit rout | Report as abusive

what will happen to the developing countries, financial crisis will extend to them 0of course they don’t have enough fund to inject .in egypt public sector dominate on every thing and consumers suffer from prices going up.poor countries what can they do. can IMF&W.B.give hand to them . is there any clear plan what is your strategy to face this crisis, do you have enough fund to help poor countries.

Posted by mostafa mabrouk | Report as abusive

Remittance accounts about 10 per cent of GDP in Bangladesh. Indeed, many argue that the country receives another 40 to 45 per cent remittances through the illegal channel which are unaccounted. About 13 per cent of the labor force are working abroad. But in the current economic crisis the number of returnees are increasing because of job loss. The WB also argue that remittances are playing a vital role of poverty reduction in Bangladesh, which is 40 per cent as 2005 estimate. In this crisis scenario whats the prospect of Bangladesh as a developing member.

Posted by Tapas Kumar Paul | Report as abusive

In short: Have the Rothschild group of gangster bankers taken over the world financial system completely. I would like to know because they will tax you for breathing the air you breathe! What is your connection to the many control freak groups out there like the CFR, Bilderberg Group, Club of Rome?

Posted by dug | Report as abusive

How is a world financial banking system based on fiat money and corrupt “loans” to 3rd world dictators, superior to gold-backed, nationally owned and managed economies?

Posted by Tom Hackney | Report as abusive

The deeply flawed science of economics needs revision. It fails to take into account both environmental impacts and non-monetized sectors such as caring in the home and volunteering – both of which are essential to economic survival.

Riane Eisler’s book, The Real Wealth of Nations, lays it all out in very clear terms. Quality of life indicators are starting to be used worldwide, and in this, the US looks rather pitiful considering its capability. Developed countries prosperity does not depend on old-style measures that treat child care and learning enrichment as expenses rather than as investments, for example. Developing countries, if relieved of the harshness of what is all-too-well described in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, might well help lead the world out of its present quandry.

The Chicago school approach is only the excess of old economics. We desperately need a more balanced approach that takes into account real costs and real values.
What is the World Bank doing on this front?

Thank you.

Posted by Barb Phillips | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

The Problem:
One of the main reasons we have a global recession/depression is that there are too many people making and doing the same thing. Globally we also allow cartels and monopolies to exist. Too many Governments spend on the wrong things, instead of INVEST in the right things. The same is true of huge companies whose failure ot innovate and prepare for the future usually results in economic bailouts, all the while squeezing out people’s jobs. Large industries first consolidate smaller companies laying people off the whole time… then they get huge and make stupid mistakes an lay more people off…. they they expect government to bail them out.

The Solution:

The World Bank, Governments and Banks in general need to focus on ECONOMIC DIVERSITY, SMALL BUSINESS, INNOVATION, EDUCATION, and reverse policies(like TAXES) that favor GIANT companies, Monopolies, Cartels, or squelch innovation. Creating Economic Diversity is one of the most important things the world needs right now!!
Economic Diversity and Small Businesses CREATE JOBS, DEMAND, AND CAPITAL. Huge industries, cut jobs, create an over supply, and ultimately destroy capital because after they mature they fail. There should be no income taxes on micro-businesses, tax them when they get larger. The larger the company the more the tax, because, it’s also more risky if it fails, but it creates the least innovation and the fewest jobs. Small Businesses leads with innovation and Universities lead with research. Huge business leads with negative impacts to any economy. The only exceptions are that some industries have to be large in terms of capital in order to function, like a Steel Mill. Such industries are also fundamental and strategic to a country’s self-interests and as such should be government subsidized to prevent a monopoly, and foreign dependence. Any economic model that is based on dependence of Monopolistic commodities like OIL is doomed. It’s like a serf trying to work their way out of debt to a King… its an illusion and will never happen. Policies that INVEST in and DONT TAX the Individual or very small business will generate the most diversity, jobs and economic activity. At the same time, HUGE infrastructure projects like Dams, Bridges, High Speed rail, need the backing of NON-CORRUPT governments. They key to those projects success is checks and balances that prevent corruption and monopolistic practices.

Economists Zeal for “FREE MARKETS” has been blindsided by human nature, that someone will always seek to create a monopoly, that innovation will be squelched by policy and corrpution, and economic diversity killed by destructive taxation that places too heavy a burden on those that work and create.

The world economy collapsed because the GREEDY killed the cow and weren’t satisfied with just some of the milk. Let people have their cows and their milk. Take a few cows and some milk from the one who has 1,000 not the people who only have 1 or even 10!
REWARD people who think of something NEW. INNOVATION also drives economic growth. INNOVATION requires INVESTMENT AND EDUCATION. Governments (like mine) that spend Trillions on WAR and pennies on education are harming ourselves and everyone else. This tilt towards destructive spending, instead of INVESTMENT, INNOVATION and CULTIVATION of economic diversity and small business, is taking a serious toll. When combined with monopolies, cartels, corruption and favoritism of the huge companies, you get the results we have. We need to do the opposite, immediately, to avert a horrible dark age.

I am a consultant for a global company, entreprenuer for my entire life, publisher and futurist.

Posted by Curt Hawley | Report as abusive

What about the test case of development — Bangladesh? How do you at this development paradox? Do you claim any credit? Or what goes wrong in your efforts to alleviate poverty and protect interests of the poor and vulnerable? Do you admit that YOU, in the World Bank, have failed to give proper guidelines to the world on how to escape the recession, which is the result of collapse of fundamentalism of the free market economy? And the minnows like Bangladsh are being victim unnecessarily and without any role in the whole affair! Will you correct your position and say sorry to the world? Do you believe, such an approach make you credible?

Posted by Khawaza Main Uddin | Report as abusive

Money is not an industry.
What could you possibly do that would merit even one million dollars a year?
What could you possibly do to improve economies that pretend to free market principles only when the cash flow reads “accumulate”?
Money is not an industry.

Posted by mike webber | Report as abusive

We are seeing ever increasing levels of volatility in all markets. This is making it hard for businesses and individuals to take decisions about the viability of fixed investments, effectively raising the hurdle rate required for these investments.
Likewise, the cost of hedging currency and interest rate exposures is becoming punitive.

Question :
At what point will the cost of floating exchange rates become so prohibitive as to force the world back onto fixed or semi-fixed exchange rates?

Posted by Adam Tas | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Robert Zoellick President of World Bank: Hello Mr. Zoellick: Ask God how can you and your staff can come with a plan that will work. Things are a bit constipated because we as people forgot about each other turned into other things like profits at the expense of others and very important, actually the most important “forgot about God”. The question is how can we share our resources using the rules and not giving comletely into profit but rather equal distribution and still make something to eat, cloth, shelter and more important make it on sunday saturday or the designated day to talk to God in His House! As a world leader, you need God more than ever, see, people at an impass, the juices of prosperity are not flowing. So consult with God, He listen 24hrs, he dosent miss a comment or a detail. Visa is everywhere you want to be, God is everywhere, He is into details. He has all the books of everything and has the info handy and available. He has the capacity to look into the future. Just one more observation “At the begining there was GOD” He KNOWS!

Posted by juan seijo-felix | Report as abusive

What is the world banks role in the economic recovery and reducing the world nations economic dependencies on United States? Why cant world bank bring in some rules for the world nations investment strategies by not allowing to invest the entire money or funds in One nation’s economy so that some collapse happens to that economy it wont spread to all.

Posted by ashwin | Report as abusive

How much of the world’s economic crisis is due to the Democrays (Barney Frank & Chris Dodd) blocking regulation reform of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac mortgage lending practices during the Bush Administration.

Posted by John Bryan | Report as abusive

Sir: I believe that private sector development has the potential to be an engine of economic development. In that connection, can you tell us what is happening with your Sovereign Funds Initiative, which you proposed in a speech on 2 April 2008? You mentioned a “One Percent Solution for Equity Investment in Africa.” Has this initiative begun to invest?

Thank you.

Posted by Patrick Keenan | Report as abusive

What is the World Bank doing to help alleviate the suffering and poverty of the besieged Palestinian nation, babies, children, woman and other senior helpless Palestinians?

Is the World Bank prevented from providing effective assistance by the US, European Union, Quartet sanctioned Israeli military and financial blockade?

What can we as American citizens do to help bring much needed relief to the Palestinians, especially in Gaza?

Posted by Ely K | Report as abusive

Dear Mr President of the World Bank,

Do you have any plans to end the present fraudulent banking system – namely the Fractional Reserve Banking System – whereby banks lend us money they do not have and then charge interest on it?

Posted by John Thomas | Report as abusive

Sir, if you’d give me $5 million, I’d move back to South Dakota a contribute greatly to humanity and the arts. :)

Posted by Al Norton | Report as abusive

Dear Sir,

1) Could you please advise whether wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had adverse affect on the US and world economy and promoted the crisis? If not, then did these wars help above economies?

2) Do you see light at the end of the tunnel? If yes, could you please advise of the distance in years to pass?

3) Do you work on the sustainable measures to prevent such crisis in future?

Anyway I wish you success!

Thank you!

Kind regards,

Arzu Kasimov
Translation and Business Services
Baku, Azerbaijan
Tel (direct): 994-55-7966092

Posted by Arzu Kasimov | Report as abusive

what do you think of the Nigerian stock exchange?

Posted by Abiola Olowolagba | Report as abusive

If some US banks are refusing the bail out money because they don’t like the strings attached, such as limits to executive pay, then how badly do they really need the money? Apparently they can make due without. What I would like to know is, supposedly the American people have a certain amount of control over the government but how can we have a say over our privately owned banks who wield such power over our congress?

Posted by amber | Report as abusive

Any attempt to replace the us dollar with a one world currency will be met with a revolution like you have never dreamed.

Posted by william | Report as abusive

Sir: Being the head of the World Bank and one of the controllers of the entire global banking cabal my question is : How long before the entire U.S.Economy is taken down and the global bank has total control?

Posted by Erin Dakins | Report as abusive

It seems to me that a ” reset” by all credit reporting agencies is what is needed to kick start the world economies. Every country, bank, company and most importantly every human must have their credit reset to perfect or near perfect condition so as to facilitate LOANS, most of which are collateralized anyway. The average man on the street must have unrestricted ( by credit scores ) access to loans in order to restart the world economy. All countries, banks and companies firmly stand on the shoulders of the little man, the consumer whom has been left out of the equation long enough. Most consumers do not qualify for loans any longer, without access to funds the average Joe will not spend his last few dollars on new or existing products as he has been forced into ” survival mode” A reset would be far less expensive in monetary terms also, and it would put money into circulation the fastest.

Posted by THOMAS S JONES | Report as abusive

What will you do for students who are in repayment of high interest loans. How will you help them to get lower rates.

Posted by michael | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick,
-How can men on mars be in the near future while billions do not have food or water?
-How much will low-interest loans and interest-free credits end poverty?
-What can the World Bank do to make the world a better place?
-When will people of developed countries accept that most of the world is in poverty?
-When will humans care about the human race?
And Lastly:
-Are you listening to us, are your ears focused on the world?

Posted by The Anonymous Person | Report as abusive

Dear Sir. How could a bank fail. When we get a loan we have to have collateral. Pay late fees and interest. Where does all the money go. This is my Question if the banks are failing. How come they are still building them on every corner in America, Four or Five on each corner. If a bank foreclosed on a house the house is still worth the loan value. How can you lose.

Posted by JohnLingberg | Report as abusive

Have you any thoughts you might wish to share regarding the psychological underpinings for the Kondratiev long wave theory’s periodical economic deleveraging?

Posted by TheOldHand | Report as abusive

Banking institutions around the world are falling apart at the same time that many developing nations lack any functioning banking system at all. Is this an opportunity for the World Bank to create a global standard that breaks down barriers and plays fair?

Posted by James Santucci | Report as abusive

I like the idea of moving toward a world central bank with a new global reserve currency in the years ahead, provided that the developing countries have an equal say on the board of the reformed international institutions. In truth, this type of reform is long overdue, on both moral and practical grounds. It’s not acceptable for at least half of the world’s population to continue living in poverty, struggling for even the basic necessities of life like adequate food, water, sanitation, health care, housing and education.

New international institutions should be dedicated to reducing this gap between the Global North and South, alleviating poverty, and reducing the heavy debt burden.
I have no way of knowing what final shape these new global organizations will take, but I do know this should be one of the most important reforms in our generation–at least making a start on it.

Posted by Michael C. McHugh | Report as abusive

what can the World Bank do to get global oversite of all, all financial trades.
I, E, stop the traders from owning the markets???

Posted by bill boris | Report as abusive

Dear Sir

Do you believe that the world will not get a crisis again?

So many political didn’t care about war, and still have war, it will make a bad situation in the world and many person will die.

How is the impact in economy if it will happen?

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. President, what is the right balance of responsibility for a) the cause of this crisis and b) the solution, between governments, banks, industry and individuals? If you had a magic wand, how would you use it to solve the problem?

Posted by john | Report as abusive

Is there a plan B if indeed it turns out that those peole steering the ideology of global warming (which is only a theory) have miscalculated and indeed those 30,000 or so opposing scientists turn out to be correct? From a purely mathematical perspective, the likelihood of a global cooling phase is indeed greater than one of global warming, as well as from a historical view. Currently, 100 year old plus records are being broken for snow and low temperatures globally, but especially in the Americas as blizzards have marched across six states…

Is there any allowance in the plans for global cooling–and are any preparations being made if leaders such as yourself have been mistaken and have listened to the words of politicians and scientists jumping on the bandwagon for financial profit?

I am a skeptic having witnessed first hand weather phenomena that can not be explained by a global warming theory based purely upon computer modeling when indeed sunspot activity has been at its lowest levels (in about one hundred years) for months on end.

Posted by Eunice Farmilant | Report as abusive

Why can not the world use a universal unit of measure as the reserve currency? In my opinion the Mega Joule would be best to use whereby every currecy has their own appropriate exchange rate. All currencies could maintain a constant utility value over time and everyone could talk the same reference.

Posted by Wayne Prentice | Report as abusive

Today everybody, everywhere talks about Financial Crisis. Everybody(mean all governments) talks about shortage of money. OKAY, where has money gone? Is there any country trading with other galaxies? Thanks previously…

Posted by Elgun Gurbanov | Report as abusive

Dear Robert,

How long is going to take for this crisis to finish? another year? or more??

Posted by Renas | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Zoellick:
The basic premise for establishing the World Bank in 1944 at Bretton Woods, was to help developing countries with financial aid, and among it´s main objectives was the stated goal of reducing poverty…

Why has the World Bank failed in this respect, as poverty seems more widespread than ever?

In my humble opinion, issuing unsustainable loans to 3rd world countries in exchange for access to natural resources (given to multinational corporations) is nothing short of modern day exploitation and low-income and debt slavery. Well, for the money-men in the West it´s a “win-win” situation for sure, as issuing impressive looking paper in exchange for something of real, tangible value might seem like a stroke of genius for those at the receiving end of the cash flow.

Is John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”, to be believed in this regard?

Posted by Jan | Report as abusive

Do you think it is time for an approach that intertwines people and planet metrics in the bottom line so that we can further integrate Social Responsibility in the business decision making process?

Posted by Barbara Horne | Report as abusive

Are there any specific economic measures that the World Bank is proposing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to enable them to resurface after the workd financial crisis?

Posted by Sunil Gopal | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellick, thank you for being here. What kind of austerity measures, or other actions, would you typically recommend for a hypothetical country undergoing debt and solvency crises similar to those now occurring in the United States?

Posted by Ralph Dratman | Report as abusive

When can we expect to see an end to worldwide monetary use, the international monetary fund, and the world bank? If economies are based on, and, or fueled by monetary, and economies keep crashing throughout history, then why isn’t it obvious that monetary is a failed system? How many times must great economies suffer and fail for no reason. since the introduction of the monetary system, the value of monetary has continued to decrease over time to th point where it is worth less than dirt. The value of the U.S. dollar alone has decrased 60 cents just in the past 20 years alone, let alone since it’s insertion to the U.S. . So I ask again, when will the world bank shut down and set forth a good example and healthy start for economies world wide? Money creates inequality, and inequality is what creates catastrophe on any level.

Posted by Daniel W. | Report as abusive

A relative of mine was on the Board of the World Bank. He has HARDLY paid any taxes in his life and is now busy setting up a foundation in Luxembourg to glorify himself as he’s near to meeting with his creator and has no children – well none that the family know of in any case….
What has he done to contribute to make the world a better place??? What has the World Bank done to make the world a better place other than foster corruption and destruction of the environment??? But very soon the super rich (and super thoughtless) will find out that they have only bought themselves the priviledge of being the last to starve. My relative was just lucky enough to have lived the “best” years Humanity has known or at least the “developped” world. Unfortunately we are outbreeding the planet and we comprises the developped world as each child born here consumes more resources than the others who are just racing to catch up!! The conundrum is we all want to live long, healthy lives, have large tribes and a lot on our plates and mathematically it just is not feasible. They should teach about Malthus in economic schools, the market doesn’t regulate the most basic human instinct: procreation!

Posted by Esther Phillips | Report as abusive

Mr.robert ,

I would ask you just how long it takes to prevent the crisis of poverty from world means devolping countries those are under devlop or in initial phase of devlopment?

Posted by TIKARAM | Report as abusive

Mr. Zoellik, I am work in the world of finance. I am considering shifting my entrepeneurial energies and experience into the field of microfinance for the poor. I am intrigued at the policy and social implications for microlending as a force for improving opportunities for greater autonomy. What can you tell me about the position the World Bank is currently taking on this matter and specific departments/agencies engaging in this activity?

Posted by John Doerfer | Report as abusive

What is the use of having World Banks and IMFs if we cannot protect ourselves from such crisis? What is your answer to the trillions of poor people in the world who cannot even dare to dream now of a better future? So-called economists, nobel laureats, experts could not predict the arrival of crisis of such magnitude? I think it’s time we stop preaching and start working.

Posted by Nayanima | Report as abusive

It seems as if this economic crisis has been too focused in the developed world and the plight of those in the developing world has been forgotten. This is just symptomatic of the problem of global order wherein many hypocrisies are much evident. How can so much money be mobilized to save the failures of capitalism and the casino-like nature of the financial companies and at the same time we complain that relatively small amounts of aid is “wasted” in developing countries. At the end of this, will institutions like the World Bank, who has a say in both developing and developed countries be reformed in such a way that future prosperity will occur more equitably. This economic crisis is a period in time where we can all reflect on how globalization has affected different countries in different ways and consider measures to change this evidently wrong path we are heading on. Will we be able to realize that future prosperity will only occur when we seriously take into consideration problems such as climate change, resource depletion, social injustice, poverty and the growing income gap and not only the “bailouts” that may just waste massive amounts of money and focus on ineffective short term policies.

Posted by Zhe Lee | Report as abusive

Before becoming President of the World Bank, in the last decade you have been a US Trade Representative, a Deputy Secretary of State, and a managing director of Goldman Sachs.
My question is as follows — Now that we are seeing here is the US the miserable failure of the Neocons’ golden combination of nearly unrestrained financial greeding frenzy and dreams of a politico-military hegemony, how have your own perspectives changed, and how do you think the Bank should adapt to the current changes ?

Posted by I.W. Asbrox | Report as abusive

Well I know the world is really run by the globalist banking elite and in the USA the Godfather has been David Rockefeller. Nick has been over in Chindia for quite awhile and I myself have been in over 30 countries. The big banking dream is to control the world but I doubt it will be for the average person’s benefit. You will have what you now an elite and the masses and with the population increasing on a limited ball in space less to go around. The globlist bankers will want to control the basic resources and the people through debt. As I was down in Brazil at GM back in the late 80’s and know the history I’m sorry to say the people don’t seem to be on a banker’s balance sheet-they are a cost! I do understand the frustrations of companies trying to operate across national boundaries but when the people are too poor then the reaction is usually tighter restrictions on business which cuts their profits. There is a fine line between business and the people’s perception of your company and to exceed that can result in horrible repression and a backlash that can endanger the whole system if taken too far. Backing Pinochet in Chile was a nasty business and backing thr military in ’64 in Brazil was rough too. A good example too would be Iran in 53′ for British Petroleum which has resulted in first a brutal regime and then the backlash. Basically this is international gangsterism but I observed one curious thing as a youth. My first job(lied about my age to get) was at an A&P packing plant which the Italian mob took over. Although they could muscle into a business they couldn’t run a sustainable operation and it soon went under. A good businessman runs a clean operation sustainably whether illegal or legal and Meyer Lansky proved that with his Casinos. Gangsters do not run sustainable busineses they fleece them. Question is for the World Bank is are you financial gangsters or are you truly out to run a sustainable planet? It’s a clear choice at this point.

Posted by Karl Hodgson | Report as abusive

Public discourse on development aid tends to end with how much money is being spent. Sometimes people talk about corruption. But In many parts of Africa, educated Africans view NGO work is a cushy job, with little accountability for their results. What will it take to get policy-makers (and commentators) fulminating about the incredible wastes and inefficiencies in aid, and lack of accountability for results (reduced poverty, child mortality, whatever)?

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

Do you feel that the banking restrictions that were relaxed during the Reagan Administration have contributed to the crisis we’re now experiencing? If so, should those restrictions be put back into place? It seems to me that many of those restrictions were designed to prevent this very thing from happening.

Posted by Don Brooks | Report as abusive

Development is usually seen as the best, fastest way to reducing poverty.
Commit the world bank to building roads and access to clean water in the least developed world.

Posted by vin reilly | Report as abusive

What are the best non-profits (or for profits) do you think for people interested in helping the most people break the cycle of poverty?

Posted by Vimal | Report as abusive

When will someone own up to that fact that the system cannot be fixed because it is the system that is the problem. Democracy ends at the office or factory door. Those of us who work are not allowed to participate in decisions over what goods and services are provided, how work is done and how profits are allocated. Why don’t smart people like you just go away and stop torturing the rest of us. We dummies can work things out.

Posted by joan callender | Report as abusive

To what degree do you think that the rolling out of bio-char carbon sequestration/gas producing technologies will offset any worst case scenarios you have in mind for the presumed ‘dangerous year’ of 2009?

Posted by Daniel Craver | Report as abusive


Thank you for your demonstrated commitment to a rapid agreement at the G20 summit. The world is watching impatiently.

Do you have any hesitations that the only path to a successful global solution is as stated by the dominant narrative, illuminated for the benefit of stakeholders, and reiterated as follows:

No matter how the consensus is exposed on the surface’s discourse, be it by flowery diction or unadorned truth, the key necessitates these initial demands:

1) Transparency of all transactions including selection of your successors.
2) Delinking of so-called ‘neoliberalization policies’ from the monetary functions of the bank.
3) The resetting of the eligibility criteria for loans.
4) The resetting and enforcement of criteria for debt relief.
5) A promise to mandate non-protectionist competitive bidding for investment contracts.
6) The duty to fight corruption, dependency on aid, and dictatorship.
7) Respect for the will of the people as the entitlement of sovereign nations.
8) Abiding by sanctions against individuals and entities that commit gross violations of international treaties.
9) A refusal to enable terrorist networks.
10) Arrest of all policies that force overconsumption and other unsustainable practices.
11) Cooperation with trilateral intelligence operations, and an understanding of your power and responsibility in fragile times.

Your reaction is truly apprecia-

Capacita Disraeli

Posted by C. Disraeli | Report as abusive

Do you really think your “secret” plan of carbon tax / credits is actually going to go over with us? It won’t.

Most people know “climate change” is a total lie. Most of us know that everything that comes out of you or your banking cabal friends’ mouths are all lies.

We know you are in the business of enslavement. Is that why poverty and genocide is INCREASING since you’ve been on the scene?

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Do you think due to protectionism and isolationism, currently growing in the world today due to the economic problems we are encoutereing, that the 3rd world war will occcur in 5, 10, or 15 years from now, and will it be nuclear only in the northern hemispheres. tx.r.ce.

Posted by Christopher Edward | Report as abusive

How can a Bank support stability when it only supports Consumption without Restriction?

If banks give money to producers and consumers, the question becomes thus: if both grow each others interactions with the other, then how can either gain more and then how can the bank gain? Consumers are borrowing, and industry are borrowing, and both have called forth greater availability of cash.

As Warren Buffet does with BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC., he does not split stock despite the ‘greater demand’ for it. However governments do not do this and instead inflate money by printing destroying current value without creating value creating a need for interest rates due to the destruction of old money. It is rather the same with any valuable similar gold as its usefulness does not deteriorate with the discovery of more usefulness rather than availability like diamonds.

What is the World Bank going to do to stop the endless cycle of creation and destruction of value which has necessitated the need of interest?

Posted by Rob T | Report as abusive

Sir, are there any aspects of your work that takes into consideration effect of this crisis on the relations and dynamics between Europe, Africa and the African diaspora, (that is those individuals of African descent, born and bred), as “Black Europeans”. The same question would apply to Latin America.

Posted by Marcia Kia Simpson-James | Report as abusive

[…] summit this Thursday, you can ask questions of Robert Zoelllick, president of the World Bank, at this Reuters web page or by using the Twitter hashtag […]

Posted by Ask Robert Zoellick – News and Opinion Blog of Blogs | Report as abusive

What would be wrong with having a World Reserve Currency based on the value of gold, silver, platinum and palladium instead of the present US$ which seems to be only based on faith and hope?
Are not the trillions of dollars now being added to the money supply, in addition to the approximately $5.5 trillion added since the year 2000 going to significantly debase the currency further?

Posted by Carlos J.Romero | Report as abusive

The Bank and the IFC need to get out of development and go back to old fashioned bank lending to developing countries. The Bnk should focus on just a few things that will help to reduce, if not eradicate poverty and improve the well-being of people in developing countries:
1. Make loans and grants to enable affordable energy, accessible potable water, sanitation systems, affordable and clean public transport including improved and extended road and railway systems.
2. Begin a major focus on cities in the developing world that are growing at unprecedented rates, and where infrastructure is negligible and life-styles are awful.
3. Acknowledge, with WHO that certain diseases that take huge amounts of money now, are essentially diseases of choice and life-style diseases–e.g. AIDS, lung cancers. Don’t be overrun by the hype of lobbying groups whose special communities practice life styles that the rest of society has to support. There are plenty of other health issues that need attention.
4. begin to develop with developing countries a sense of a vision of what they want their country’s to look like beyond being copies of the material West. The West’s legacy to the developing countries has been rank materialism. They need to develop visions for themselves that include common values over and above petty tribal values. The Bank should then support communication and social marketing programs to help these values get intgerated into the system
5. Put more focus on getting girls into secondary education. They are the hope of the future. Not men.
6. Start selecting your staff from places other than the major Universities top ten Univesities like Harvard or Yale. Stop using them as training grounds for recycling your staff or training new staff. These elite institutions were the ones whose world view and philosophies have led Institutions like yours into bad lending practices and poor results in the first place. Stop thinking that you have diversity in your staff when they they come from the elites in their home countries and attended elite institutions. There is no differnece in their world view from a Boston Brahmin.
7. Start funding NGOs directly. People in developing countries can complain about the wealthy life style of NGOs, but the truth is that most NGO staff live modest lives. The World bank only reluctantly supports MGOs. Why not put together an NGO Board that would screen unsolicted proposals and fund them. The Bank could then provide the research support to see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s the best way to get innovation into the system.

Posted by Mona | Report as abusive

The world is awash with cash with no safe place
to invest.The investing public are suffering a
loss of faith in governments and financial institutions.
The IMF holds the key to unlocking the global
financial gridlock by way of enabling IMF member
countries citizens to directly invest in SDR’s.
Such a truely international currency unit should be the most appealing
investment in the world – even surpassing US Treasury
Bonds . So – why can’t the IMF allow such private investment in SDR’s ?? Why can’t this simplistic
and logical move be considered by the IMF.

Posted by Michael J Muir | Report as abusive

Do you believe that concept of money has been more beneficient than harmful for all humans and the nature of this planet, until this moment in time? (including its side effects and advantages)

Is your vision of the future one where money and currency will be beneficient (positive, good) for all humans on this planet and at the same time beneficient (positive, good) for the nature of this planet as a whole?

Do you sincerely think that such a scenario would be possible?
Are you working for that utopia or not?

Posted by Osman Darcan | Report as abusive

Considering the weaknesses of previous World Bank and IMF recommended policies such as the Structural Adjustment Programme in developing countries, and given the present financial crisis which seems to pin point some of the underlying structural and ideoligical weaknesses of the economic models in the most developed countries, what do you think will be the implications of these events on the reception and execution of future donor recommended economic policies for developing countries?

Posted by Edmond Ade | Report as abusive

1. Is the World Bank not responsible for answering every single question posted here on this debate?

The World Bank IS called the *WORLD* Bank.

2. Does this not imply that this organisation must have the well beeing of the 6 billion human inhabitants and countless non human inhabitants, as its primary concern?

Posted by Osman Darcan | Report as abusive

The best solution is to abolish the corrupt FED. Return to a gold standard currency. And totally outlaw the fraudulent derivatives market which is void of real value. The enterprises of the hard working private sector have had enough ponzi style financial fraud especially in high government. Limit government. Wash DC exists for and from the people not the people existing for DC. This is way out of line. We have had enough lies and deceit.

Posted by cf | Report as abusive

What are you doing to end the “not-invented-here” mentality when it comes to devising solutions that help stabilize developing country economies?

Why is it that the Technical Assistance divisions of the WB and IMF, and every other bilateral development bank– much less your own private sector division IFC– can’t manage to work together with each other, and often work at odds with each other?

Why it is that your Treasury told us in specific terms that it was not interested in the WB’s Solve Poverty mandate, but was only interested in optimizing its cost of capital so it could compete with Goldman Sachs and the other commercial institutions it fought for to get funding from the public markets? The WB has the most robust AAA rating in the world and funds below LIBOR so how could it possibly be competing with private sector banks for financing? How does it make you feel to know that you have people in key positions who do not believe it is their responsibility to meet the mission and mandate that the WB was created to serve?

Posted by Zac | Report as abusive

What are the top three special interest groups influencing World Bank policies? How do they apply pressure?

Posted by Dave B. | Report as abusive

Isn’t it irrational for governments to agree to WTO and the like? If not to protect the economic and other interests of a nation, why be a nation? Isn’t protectionism the only rational response for an individual nation to take to an economic crisis like the one the world is experiencing? Only in the abstract is it best to refrain from protectionism. Just as it may be best for the overall US economy for US citizens to keep on spending, it is best for the individuals to save their money, and that is just what they are doing. Since the WTO agreements leave out any agreements regarding environment or worker rights, it is a race to the bottom. In good times that race to the bottom appears to be headed upward, but in crisis it becomes obvious which direction is down. Without a world government, WTO agreements are irrational. They are based not on the best interests of citizens of a nation, but on the best interests of corporations. It was after all corporate interests which crafted the WTO.

Posted by Eric Hans | Report as abusive

Isn’t the economic model, Western Capitalism, promoted by the World Bank a giant Ponzi Scheme that only works as long as there is growth? Like all Ponzi Schemes the necessary exponential growth cannot continue forever. Global warming and the present human caused sixth major planet wide mass extinction threaten the continued existence of humans, and therefore must immediately be addressed. Global warming and mass extinction are both caused by the rapid expansion of human population and fossil fuel based economic activity.

What economic model could the World Bank promote which would allow humans to sustain a good quality of life for as long as humans remain on this planet?

Posted by Eric Hans | Report as abusive

WB’s mandate to provide low-interest loans, interest-free credits and grants to developing countries for education, health, public administration, infrastructure, and agriculture is being sidelined because of the present crisis. The funds are going to industries and banks to save them from Bankruptcies. Whereas they are facing bankruptcies because of there own mistakes. The privately owned businesses should not be saved from the funds meant for noble cause of development of poor people.
How do you justify this?

Posted by Deepak Sondhi | Report as abusive

Corruption and the misuse of funds are recurring issues for developing countries such as the Philippines. The World Bank recently even got embroiled in a domestic corruption controversy that accuses no less than the husband of President Arroyo of being involved in the rigging of bids for the World Bank-financed National Road Improvement and Management Project. Subsequently, however, the WB imposed penalties on private companies which have participated in the bid rigging but shied away from even pinpointing the obvious involvement of government functionaries in the corrupt practice.
The World Bank said the investigations on corruption it made on the project involves internal guidelines and leaves it to the particular government to pursue a possible criminal case. It was a safe course in which the World Bank can still say that something has been done to combat corruption in its turf.
Later on, the WB even raised the assistance to Philippine projects which seems to be similar to the corruption-laden road project.
Mr. Robert Zoellick has been noted for championing anti-corruption ideals when he assumed his post.
It seems, however, that the World Bank opts to take a safe middle ground whenever it approaches the hump of geopolitics.

Posted by Chito Lozada | Report as abusive

It seems that the cooperatives worldover are relatively safe and continued to perform better in all sphere of economic and social actvities. would you recommend the cooperative form of economy to solve the current crisis?

Posted by Veerakumaran | Report as abusive

The Gold Standard and the workingman and woman
This may sound like science fiction but under the Gold Standard there is permanent deflation equal to economic growth. If the economy is growing at 2 percent year you will have deflation rate at 2 percent a year. The value of your Gold backed money increases year after year. The earnings you make today this money will be worth more the next year. This changes the psychology of working men and women instead of spending all of your money today on credit to beat inflation and demanding wage increases to compensate for inflation. Under the Gold Standard working men and women will cause them to save their Gold backed money and hold off on any purchases except for basic necessities such as food rent clothing and major purchases will be put off to the last possible minute. The working class will save their money in a Gold reserve bank to gain an additional half percent on top of deflation. There will be those people who will demand the actual Gold Silver Palladium and Platinum bars and coins and chose to keep their precious metal assets under the mattress or a safe. But these people will keep the system honest in stopping the governments and the banks from printing more paper certificates than there are Gold reserves to back it up. Under the Gold reserve banking system savers or depositors have title to their money. This means the working class people decide which companies will get loans for their businesses and which businesses will not get loans. Obviously companies that engage in environmental disasters, fraudulent practices, habitual layoffs, hiring and firings to lower wages, hiring illegal aliens, hiring foreign workers to displace domestic workers, deindustrialization’s outsourcing work to outside of their home countries to lower wages will not get loans. A company that hires and invests long term only their home countries have stable socially responsible employment practices not creating environmental problems and are good business neighbors will get more loans than they can use.
The business cycle is created by excessive credit expansion than when inflation becomes a problem than a sudden contraction in credit to stop inflation. This is why we have regular recessions and deep recessions. A Gold Standard will have no business cycles just seasonal cycles. The ideal balance for fiat currencies is to expand the money supply not greater than the economic growth thus no inflation but nor deflation. However central banks and regular banks cannot stop stealing and they will steal as much as they can get away with. This is why we have the permanent inflation tax. Inflation is just plain stealing from the workingman and woman. The 1929 great depression was intentional so banks can buy distressed companies at pennies on the dollar. During the 1920’s or the roaring twenties stock market boom the Federal Reserve greatly expanded credit far beyond reason and to get all of the suckers in the stock market swindle. This swindle pump and dump scheme created the Rockefellers J. P. Morgan and other banking families their extreme wealth. It was the world’s greatest swindle. This swindle created an oil dependent economy which banks profited handsomely.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

One of the most striking truths revealed by the current financial crises is the disparity between the enforcement of tax law for the poor and for the wealthiest one percent. It is estimated that corporations have more than 100,000,000,000 in assets hidden away in the Cayman Islands alone at a time when many financial entities are in the need of recapitalization and the treasuries of so many nations are at the brink what role should the world bank play in ensuring that these banks and other irresponsible entities who have bene recapitalized by those who have not skirted tax law are not themselves avoiding international tax law in havens such as was previously established in Lichtenstein and that still exists in the Caymen Islands.

Posted by Gabrial from Indiana | Report as abusive

Asia is the only area which has a positive economic growth at this difficult time. Among the countries The Maldives is the richest as per GDP. My Question is about the future of Maldives economy and the challenges it has faced. What are the most important steps the Maldives government and private sector should take during this crisis to keep the country’s position.

Posted by niu | Report as abusive

I am curious as to how the World Bank will address the plight of highly indebted middle income countries during this crisis. The crisis provides a unique opportunity to speak to and implement concrete measures that can assist those countries which have debt to GDP ratios of higher than 90% and between 60 and 90 per cent. These countries need a combination of debt relief and debt forgiveness that looks at what is being offered to the HIPCs and takes in the developmental challenges that debt poses by crowding out public and other necessary investments in human capital development. If these countries are “freed” up, in a sense, to pursue other development imperatives, it will also be to the benefit of the developed world as the problems of the developing world usually become the problems of the developed world.

Posted by Sophia W-G | Report as abusive

dear sir,

I would like to hear your opinion about what could have been done to avoid the world crisis.
What was the most important factor that triggered the crisis?

Posted by Octavian Petrescu | Report as abusive

As an economists in a developing world, ‘am scarred that this financial meltdown could be an attempt by developed nations to envelop developing nations.Pls, as a world bank president can you tell me how it all started?

Posted by Raphael Ikyaabo Orban | Report as abusive

It is quite rational to see and understand the present financial situation, and Mr Zoellick has just done that. It is indeed disturbing to find the world in an economic chaos. What really caused this…we have to be realistic and not idealistic. Bad debts, unwarranted aid to nations with bad credit history, sagging resources caused by the Iraq and Afghan quagmire. How Mr. Zoël lick is going to bring the world currency mechanism in an acceptable broadband? The WB and the IMF are simply following the old traditional path, and this needs to be reviewed. Unless all the nations agree to a common denomination factor based on the present monetary situation and come out with a realistic solution -indeed the year 2009 will be a “Very dangerous year” as developing nations will be hard hit and the poverty alleviation programs may be in economic ‘Freezer”. Moreover, the WB and the IMF have to be free of political pressure so they can think independently and perhaps a viable solution may be in sight. Lets keep the fingers crossed. Good Luck Mr Zoellick !

Posted by Nazim Hasan | Report as abusive

i think would will help restart the wheels turning again for this economy is to give every working american a second chance by restarting are credit scores we can get a low interest loan to pay off debt start buying cars again and homes

Posted by vaughn jones | Report as abusive

Thanks for sharing event video… nice post…

Posted by jane bush | Report as abusive