Malpass, Trump candidate, undisputed President of the World Bank

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(More Bank) – David Malpass, senior US Treasury official, is the only presidential candidate for the World Bank, paving the way for President Donald Trump to take the helm of the lender for development in the coming weeks.

The World Bank's board of directors will hold talks with Malpass before making its choice ahead of the IMF's spring meetings in April, the bank said in a statement. The countries had until Thursday morning in Washington to nominate candidates.

Trump named Malpass last month, choosing a loyalist who had strongly criticized China and called for a turnaround in the global economic order. Critics, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, have questioned the selection, highlighting Malpass's doubts about international cooperation.

Prior to his appointment, Malpass described the World Bank as being too big, inefficient and reluctant to reduce funding for developing countries that are developing in dynamic emerging markets. He urged the bank to lend less to China, saying the world's second largest economy had the financial resources to survive.

But since being named, Malpass has adopted a softer tone, noting that he was the main US negotiator on a package of reforms providing for a $ 13 billion capital increase. As part of this plan, the bank will focus more on lending to low-income countries.

The World Bank was designed during the Second World War to fund the reconstruction of Europe, but its mission has evolved to focus on eradicating extreme poverty around the world.

Malpass would succeed Jim Yong Kim, who left on February 1 to join an investment company. Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive officer of the bank, was acting president.

The position of President of the World Bank has always been entrusted to an American, while a European headed his sister organization, the International Monetary Fund. Some observers have called on the bank to break with tradition and appoint a non-American in recognition of the growing weight of emerging markets such as China and India, and the priority given by the development lender.

Malpass, 63, has held senior positions in the Treasury and the State Department with Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He was Chief Economist at Bear Stearns, an investment bank that collapsed during the global financial crisis.

As Trump's undersecretary for international affairs, he represents the United States at international economic meetings, including the G-20 summits and IMF and World Bank meetings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Washington at amayeda@More Bank.net

To contact the editors in charge of this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@More Bank.net, Sarah McGregor, Ben Holland

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