It is vital that the World Bank Group continually challenges itself to refresh our development thinking. It is vital that a modernized multilateralism be open to new ideas.
The Congress has had an uneasy relationship with banks and bankers since Alexander Hamilton. It took the United States until 1913 to set up a central bank. The Federal Reserve earned its hard-won independence over years of effort.
Japan rose from the ashes of World War II as a 'trading state,' the model for export-led growth. It is not clear that the old export model of growth will be sustainable in a more 'balanced' global economy that does not rely so heavily on the U.S. consumer.
Private sector development and the creation of small businesses spur investment, jobs, opportunity, and hope. It empowers the market to meet local needs, whether for food, basic goods, or services.
When I consider a problem, it is now instinctive for me to think about the institutions involved, the authorizing environment, possible coalitions, likely opposition, implementation, legal issues, resource dimensions, communications - and how the problem fits into a stream of other issues.
When I work with countries struggling to pay for budgets or finance trade deficits, I reflect on how Americans do not spend a moment considering the unique advantages of being able to issue bonds and print money freely.
It is much harder for economies to prosper if they cannot sell to, buy from, invest with, and even transit their neighbors. Landlocked countries with failed or failing neighbors can lose access to the world economy.
It is clearly the case that programs in Europe and the United States that have increased biofuel production have contributed to the added demand for food.
Great upheavals produce shock waves that widen cracks in political, economic, and security orders. Sometimes the old orders break. Yet it can be in the power of leaders and peoples to shape the directions of change.