• 28 May 2014 at 2:10 PM

Colonialism On An Empty Stomach

How will the boys (and they definitely seem to be mostly boys) of the World Bank convince countries that need neither their time nor their “expertise” to take one or both sustained by complimentary continental breakfasts alone? And don’t get them started on the indignity of having to consider their carbon commuting footprint (read: slum it on the Metro or pay for their own parking).

The World Bank, a famously bureaucratic institution, is undergoing its first restructuring in nearly two decades. The overhaul is intended to keep it relevant at a time when even the poorest countries can easily tap the global capital markets, but with just weeks to go, the process has turned into what several staff members described as a nightmare, stalling their work and sapping morale….

Along with that restructuring of 15,000 bank employees, Dr. Kim has also undertaken a sweeping financial review, to squeeze out inefficiencies and cut $400 million from the bank’s operating budget….

Pettier concerns have abounded, too. As part of the $400 million cost-cutting exercise, the bank issued new guidelines on travel, limiting business-class flights and even adjusting breakfast allowances. “Leadership needs to reflect: Are ‘breakfast savings’ worth the ‘expense’ of staff morale?” said one letter in a popular alumni newsletter.

Perhaps no change caused more outrage than the elimination of parking subsidies for the crowded and expensive downtown garages where many officials park. Yet “to subsidize parking is a little weird for an organization like us,” countered Bertrand Badré, the bank’s chief financial officer, pointing out that the bank is committed to combating climate change.

World Bank Revamping Is Rattling Employees [NYT]

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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by Guest | May 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    What if your meal of choice is brazilian poontang in the morning.

  2. Posted by Da Yumpling | May 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    I'll be serving out long hot lunches all day.

  3. Posted by Quant me maybe... | May 28, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Then you should join the Secret Service.