A Run on the World Bank

Originally published at The Washington Times

If you were a stockholder of a bank and its managers kept telling stockholders they would have to "write off" the loans they had made because the borrowers were in no position to repay them would you fire the management for incompetence? If you are a taxpayer, particularly an American taxpayer, you are a stockholder in such a bank — the World Bank.

The World Bank was set up in 1944 (along with the International Monetary Fund) to assist with post-World War II reconstruction. Its mandate is to reduce world poverty and promote economic growth but, in fact, many of its activities have had precisely the opposite effect. It now has 184 member countries, but most of the $400 billion it has dispensed in loans, grants and credits have been underwritten or guaranteed by the taxpayers in a few rich nations.

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Richard Rahn

Richard W. Rahn is an economist, syndicated columnist, and entrepreneur. He was a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute. Currently, he is Chairman of Improbable Success Productions and the Institute for Global Economic Growth. He was the Vice President and Chief Economist of the United States Chamber of Commerce during the Reagan Administration and remains a staunch advocate of supply-side economics, small government, and classical liberalism.