World Bank President: ‘Without China, We’d Have No Chance To Even Think about Ending Extreme Poverty’

In what may well have been the only sane public comment uttered by participants in the just-concluded Oct. 7-9 IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington, D.C., World Bank President Jim Yong Kim responded as follows to a journalist’s question about the role of China in achieving the stated goal of ending extreme poverty by the year 2030:

“Well, first of all, without China we’d have no chance to even think about ending extreme poverty. China lifted 700 million people out of extreme poverty over the last two to three decades. So there’s still people living in extreme poverty, but not very many. China, itself is determined to bring that number down to zero in the very near future. In terms of our work in Africa, well, of course, this is one of the place that we have to focus the most in terms of ending extreme poverty.”

Otherwise, an editorial published by the Jamaican Observer accurately summarized the proceedings: “IMF, World Bank Have No Solution for Global Economic Malaise.” The IMF did manage to issue a final communiqué: but to the degree that their gobbledygook is intelligible at all, their policy proposals read like an anti-Hamiltonian manifesto: “Monetary policy should remain accommodative”; “structural reforms are key to raising potential growth and would benefit from synergies with other policies”; and “we will monitor potential financial stability risks associated with prolonged low or negative interest rates, systemic market liquidity risks, and nonbank intermediation.”

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