The Doing Business data-fudging scandal allowed the Bank to shut down a festering embarrassment while avoiding having to address fundamental flaws in the economic policy advice they and the Fund have been pushing in countries around the world. In fact, current World Bank leaders may privately be grateful that ethics investigators shifted the focus from policy to personality flaws. The report describes Djankov as a “bully” who managed by “terror and intimidation,” was “pompous and undiplomatic,” and prone to lie. (It remains to be seen whether the Bank’s enumeration of his multiple talents earns him a promotion at the private-equity-funded Peterson Institute for International Economics where he currently works.)
In its statement announcing the end of Doing Business, the Bank asserted that “it remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this.” If that means reviving the report under a new title and less ethically challenged leadership but with the same anti-business-tax and anti-regulation agenda, the IMF and World Bank will continue to contribute to policies that worsen inequality around the world.
By Peter Bakvis for Inequality
Full investigation report below