It appears that Donald Trump has followed through on one of his lamest implied threats and nominated David Malpass to run the World Bank.
It's no secret that Trump and his policy dream team are critics of the World Bank, and Trump has seemingly perfected the craft of finding leaders for institutions that he doesn't like by using two key criteria in hiring: 1. You must be almost comically inept, and 2. You have vocal disgust for the institution you're about to oversee.
So imagine our lack of surprise that Trump and his team have chosen David Malpass as his nominee for next president of the World Bank:
Mr. Malpass, currently the under secretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department, has been a point person in the Trump administration’s trade negotiations with China and has overseen the government’s relationship with the World Bank.
He is also a longtime critic of the World Bank’s lending practices and its business model and has expressed concern about the power that multilateral institutions exert. His appointment, which must be approved by the World Bank’s board, could prove controversial given Mr. Malpass’s skepticism of the bank and concerns that the Trump administration could politicize the role and use it to curb China’s growing global influence around the world.
But supporters of the World Bank shouldn't worry, Malpass won't be walking the halls pouring kerosene on the walls with a book of matches between his teeth, that's not David Malpass' style. His style is to blithely walk through a puddle of gasoline in the parking lot when he arrives, assure everyone it's water despite the smell, walk around the office high on fumes while telling everyone he's just excited and then blow everyone up as he lights a candle to relax, haughtily laughing off the screams of concern as "hysterical socialism."
See, Malpass is the kind of guy holds himself and his opinions in very high regard despite being something of an objective laughingstock for having opinions that are clownishly incorrect.
“As I look at it, I’ve been a constructive force for development and for developing countries,” Mr. Malpass told reporters during a briefing at the Treasury Department. “I think the bank is well positioned to be a positive contributor to that.”
That's the guy who helped write NAFTA, ran the economic shop at Bear Stearns in 2008, wrote that the credit market was rock solid in late 2007 and spent 2011 whining for higher interest rates, having himself a bit of a humblebrag. David Malpass might be a cartoonish idiot, but he's a confident cartoonish idiot.
And even the guy nominating knows why he's the choice to destroy the World Bank from the inside.
“He’s been a supporter for a long time,” Mr. Trump said.
And to think, we could have had Ivanka.