Eugene Rotberg and the World Bank: Worth spending one’s life on
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Eugene Rotberg and the World Bank: Worth spending one’s life on

The World Bank’s influence on the growth of global capital markets is unquestionable, and no individual has played a more important role than its former treasurer, Eugene Rotberg.


Eugene Rotberg served as treasurer of the World Bank between 1969 and 1987


Globalization means different things to different people. Like democracy, its application can only ever hope to please some of the people some of the time. 

But it is hard to see how any right-minded individual can dispute that in its purest form, globalization of capital flows can only be a power for good. This is a utopian vision whereby US dollars lying idle in bank accounts in Milwaukee can be put to work to finance a primary school in Malawi.

Utopian perhaps. But it is doubtful if anybody did more over the latter stages of the 20th century to promote the productive recirculation of inactive money than Eugene Rotberg, who between 1969 and 1987 served as treasurer of the World Bank. 

Rotberg was an improbable hero when he took up his position at the Bank in January 1969, six months before Euromoney’s launch.

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