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World Bank president advised in 2010

By: The Antidote

The designed decline of the western economies & reassignment of the balance of power - World Bank president advised in 2010

James Wolfensohn is all about balance. The former World Bank president introduced himself to a student audience at Stanford University on Jan. 11 2010, and the balance of power in the world is what Wolfensohn spent the majority of his hour-long appearance on. A huge power shift will occur in the next 40 years that will reduce the influence of the wealthiest countries, he said. As population and GDP grows in countries such as China and India, they will assume a larger role in relationship to the United States and Europe.

The developed countries will drop from having 80% of the world’s income to 35%. “There will be a monumental shift of economic power. It’s not just a moderation trend, but a fundamental change in the world balance,” he said. By 2030, two-thirds of people in the world’s middle class will be Chinese, Wolfensohn said. “These are not trivial changes — they are tectonic changes in the way the planet works. In my generation we didn’t have to think about it. We knew we were a rich country.”

But today’s students will have to confront a new world in which Africa is no longer an isolated continent but the fastest-growing market for cell phones.

Looking around the auditorium, Wolfensohn noted that many more students from China and India travel to the United States to study, rather than the other way around. In 2007 just 11,200 Americans studied in China. That year more than 110,000 Chinese were studying in the United States.

“It’s a tragedy in terms of the potential of young people that they’re still being guided to look at European countries,” he said.

Wolfensohn was making a repeat appearance at Stanford GSB as a speaker in the Global Management Program’s Global Speaker Series. In 2004, while still at the helm of the World Bank, he spoke about how developed countries were delivering on the promise they made to aid developing ones.’

As we sit here in 2024, with a world that seems to be running helter skelter towards the insane asylum, Wolfenden’s words go a long way in making some sense out of what many of us perceive as the break down of our society. Cold comfort.

“It’s a tragedy in terms of the potential of young people that they’re still being guided to look at European countries,” he said.

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elocal Digital Edition – March 2024 (#275)

elocal Digital Edition
March 2024 (#275)

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