World Bank chief quits


Briefly: World Bank President David Malpass will step down in June, a year before his term was set to expire. Malpass didn’t give a reason for his early departure. But like an AirBnB host saying their place is cosy (tiny), charming (weird) or close to nightlife (above a pub), Malpass said his exit was an “opportunity for a smooth leadership transition” (he was forced out).

Malpass, an American economist appointed by Donald Trump, has faced mounting pressure to resign since September when he declined to link fossil fuels to climate change (“I am not a scientist”). In response, the Biden Administration promised to hold Malpass accountable.

Intrigue’s take: Malpass’ critics undersell the World Bank’s commitments to climate finance, which doubled to $32B a year during his tenure. But there’s always someone else who can make you look bad: while the World Bank plans to direct 35% of its financing to climate projects by 2025, China’s own answer to the World Bank (the AIIB) is pledging to hit 50%.

Also worth noting:

  • The current president of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is considered Malpass’ most likely successor.

Latest Author Articles
Xi weighs his next move as Biden slaps more tariffs

As foreshadowed, US President Joe Biden announced more tariffs on China-made products this week. The 46th president said China was “cheating” on trade, so he slapped or raised tariffs on EVs and other goods like batteries, critical minerals, medical equipment, and chips, to “protect US workers and businesses.”

17 May, 2024
Protests rock Georgia as parliament passes ‘Russian law’

Today’s main story takes us to a capital that’s closer to Kabul than Paris and further east than Moscow, but where sentiment is leaning west towards Brussels. Welcome to Tbilisi, Georgia, where protestors are still filling the streets as outrage grows over a bill that passed parliament yesterday (Tuesday).

15 May, 2024
The two key lines from Putin’s Victory Day speech

Cue another Putin speech! The Russian leader addressed his nation on ‘Victory Day’ yesterday (Thursday) – it’s a key public holiday commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.

10 May, 2024
What a Rafah operation could look like

Israel is now pushing forward with its long-foreshadowed operation in the city of Rafah, at the southernmost point of the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt.

8 May, 2024