Sunday, April 25, 2010

Insanity Writ Large

Is this really a good idea when our country is drowning in debt and our congress is ramming through domestic social programs we can't afford to fund?  Ah Timmy...

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday that the World Bank made a "compelling case" for a $3.5 billion funding boost, as he pledged $1.1 billion in U.S. funding.
 "In the past months, the World Bank made a strong and compelling case for a new $3.5 billion capital infusion," he said at a bank meeting in Washington, D.C., describing the institution as indispensable. 
Geithner also said that World Bank members agreed to give emerging nations more say in how the bank is run and how its funds are disbursed. 
"The new formula will better reflect the weight of the developing and transition countries in the global economy while protecting the voice of the smallest and poorest countries," he said.


  1. Ahh, so more money to lend and fewer controls on the borrowers.

    Somehow, that sounds eerily familiar.

  2. "Geithner also said that World Bank members agreed to give emerging nations more say in how the bank is run and how its funds are disbursed."

    Hey, maybe I should go to my local bank and tell them how they should lend me money and what the terms should be.

    Yeah, right. What is wrong with these people?

  3. "Zimbabwe Ben" Bernanke can print a billion or two in about 10 (nano) seconds. What's the problem?

  4. "Zimbabwe Ben"? That nickname inspires trust, doesn't it? ;)

    Does anyone know the default rate of World Bank loans? It must be fairly high, or we wouldn't have to shovel billions of dollars into it, would we?

    If the default rate is low, where do the profits from the bank go? Back to the nations who fund the bank, back into the WB coffers, or into someone's pocket?

    Why, for the love of Pete, are we funding the World Bank at this time? We have better things to spend our billions on, like bailing out financial institutions and car companies, and giving everyone the "right" to free health care. These things cost money, people!

    Also, I'm gobsmacked that poor countries are dictating the terms of the "loans". Isn't this the same thinking that got us into the subprime mortgage mess?

    How did we get so far off the rails? When did "insane, break out the straight-jacket for this boyo" become ho-hum normal practice?

    Okay, I've used up my question-quota for April, May, and June. The ? on my keyboard is gasping for breath. ;p

  5. In parsing the quote again, I'm seeing something - "emerging" does not equal "third world".

    "Emerging" economies are those like India, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, etc which frequently have better finances than we do. (South Korea was "emerging" until a few months ago. I guess it "emerged".)

    It's a new world out there. These days, "rich" countries are "rich" because they have hoards of debt. "Developing" economies are busy building stuff and accumulating wealth.

    Maybe it _is_ a good time to fund the world bank.

  6. In simple terms: who would I rather lend money to for a couple years - the US or Brazil? Ans: Brazil. This isn't a threat or a promise; it's what I've done.

  7. Well, if the nations being given a greater say are not those who will be given the loans, it makes more sense so long as that say is in relation to the amount THEY are adding to the fund.