LETTER:World of banking

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From Mr Mikael Grut

Sir: Hamish McRae (13 March), writes that the World Bank should ask itself what it is for. The Bank's Articles of Agreement state that the purposes of the Bank are to facilitate the investment of capital for productive purposes, to promote private foreign investment, and to supplement such investment when necessary; ie, to be a facilitator, a promoter, a supplementor, not a big lender in its own right.

In accordance with these principles, the Bank used to call itself the "lender of last resort", but all that was forgotten many years ago. In the days when Eugene Black was president of the Bank it was still a cautious lender, but after that it became an aggressive lender.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW19