March 23, 2009

In times like these more willingness to take risk is needed at the IMF and the World Bank.

Sir I entirely support Trevor Manuel´s “IMF needs reform to respond to changing mandates”, March 23, where he calls for much more diversity in the recruitment of staff so as to get more diversity of views. As a former Executive Director I would like that to extend to the World Bank too.

Having said that, there is tough little to be gained from more diversity of opinions if this is not welcomed and nurtured by the management. Currently, in the multilateral finance institutions, there is way too much risk-adverseness among their managers against anything that in the slightest way could upset their somewhat too comfy internal order. In times like these managers must also learn to scale up their willingness to take risk… on all fronts.