The economist and member of the Trump administration, David Malpass, a presumptive White House candidate to head the World Bank, is a fierce critic of the development institution, which he does not hesitate to describe as inefficient and wasteful.

The nomination process for the appointment of the new World Bank executive opens Thursday when, according to an unspoken rule, the position returns to a US candidate, the United States being its largest shareholder.

The 62-year-old Undersecretary in charge of international affairs in the Trump administration since September 2017 is a sniper who has never hesitated to openly say what he thinks.

Before a congressional commission, shortly after his appointment, Donald Trump's ally felt that international institutions spent "a lot of money", that they were "not very efficient" and "often corrupted in their lending practices. ".

Size imposing, accessible while being brittle, David Malpass has a management style without borders that can crinkle.

It would thus be difficult to retain its employees in the Treasury, including twenty have recently left their posts, believes the New York Times.

This Michigan native, a physics graduate, studied economics at Georgetown University in Washington. Conservative, he held several Treasury Assistant positions under the presidents of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) and George H. W. Bush (1989-1993).

"Application without merit"

He then spent 15 years at Bear Stearns investment bank – out of the subprime crisis – including six years as chief economist.

In 2008, after the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns, of which Larry Kudlow, Chief Economic Advisor of the White House was also an economist in the 1990s, Mr. Malpass founded his own firm of economic analysis, Encima Global.

Its positions and economic projections have had various fortunes.

In 2007, shortly before the housing crisis broke out, he published a Wall Street Journal column stating that "the real estate market and debt do not play such an important role in the US economy".

In 2010, in full monetary easing that was to end in 2014, he wrote a letter to Ben Bernanke, head of the US Central Bank (Fed), to stop liquidity injections citing inflation risks, which does not will not materialize.

Interested in politics, he tried to be elected Republican Senator from New York State in 2011.

He joined Donald Trump's election campaign in May 2016 as an economic advisor.

If it were to be confirmed, his appointment as head of the institution of 189 member countries promises to provoke controversy and post a break with his predecessor, Jim Yong Kim.

The South Korean-born American, named by Barack Obama, resigned impromptu last month to join the private sector.

Mr. Malpass is in favor of a "reform" of the World Bank by favoring more private financing and by lending less to countries that must be "reclassified" as China, which are, according to him, economies with sufficient access to financing on the markets.

Reactions to the prospect of David Malpass's appointment were very mixed.

"Imagine what the appointment of Mr. Malpass to the moral (…) of the World Bank", wondered on Twitter economist and columnist Paul Krugman who doubts that "many countries rise against Trump on this file ".

The non-governmental organization Center for Global Development has vigorously alarmed: David Malpass's "disdain" for the World Bank's anti-poverty mission rivals the respect that John Bolton "White House advisor for national security, "has for the United Nations".

"The Malpass application is without merit," says Justin Sandefur of the Center for Global Development.

But even if the critics are numerous, the White House does not seem to want to back down: if President Trump "selects" David Malpass "it would be a great choice," assured his spokesman, Sara Sanders, Tuesday.

05/02/2019 19:05:13 –
Washington (More Bank) –
© 2019 More Bank