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Banker to half the world’s people

Asian Development Bank presidents have always been Japanese, appointed unchallenged by Japan’s finance ministry. Recently they have hardly shone as leaders. Tadao Chino seems to have broken with that pattern, quietly building consensus within the bank and focusing on direct poverty alleviation rather than grand infrastructure projects.

Tadao Chino

It was the most important night of the year - to celebrate "Show 2001". The hall was packed to standing room only as the most talented employees of the Asian Development Bank strutted their stuff in aid of local charities. As many of the employees were Filipinos, it was a happy singsong evening.

But where was the big boss? Up in his office, of course, working. No wonder: with the cares of half of the world resting on his shoulders in a time of recession and so many of his client countries reeling from the September 11 terrorism, he had to work late. Indeed, as a non-Filipino, he could not be expected to take time off from his onerous workload, not even for a good cause.

But then, to everyone's surprise, the boss made an appearance.