Ivanka Trump among possible World Bank nominees

Ivanka Trump was the driving force behind a $1 billion World Bank fund to promote entrepreneurship by women. (AFP)
Updated 12 January 2019

Ivanka Trump among possible World Bank nominees

  • Nikki Haley also in the running according to Financial Times report

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka and the former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are among possible US candidates to replace outgoing World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, The Financial Times reported Friday.
Kim abruptly announced Monday he was cutting short his tenure as the bank’s president more than three years before his second term was due to end.
In addition to Trump and Haley, who stepped down as US Ambassador to the United Nations last month, other names being floated include Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass and Mark Green, head of the US Agency for International Development, the newspaper reported.
Ivanka Trump in 2017 was the driving force behind a $1 billion, Saudi-supported World Bank fund to promote entrepreneurship by women.
The Treasury Department told AFP on Friday that it had no comment in potential candidates.
The department has received a “significant number of recommendations,” a spokesperson said.
“We are beginning the internal review process for a US nominee. We look forward to working with the governors to select a new leader.”
Under an unwritten agreement, the United States, which is the bank’s largest shareholder, has always chosen its leader since the institution was founded following World War II.
But the success of a US candidate no longer appears completely assured.
Kim was the first American nominee to face a contested election for the World Bank presidency in 2012 and the bank’s board has said its selection process will be “open, merit-based and transparent,” implying non-US candidates would not be ruled out.
The World Bank Board said Thursday it would start accepting nominations for a new leader early next month and name a replacement for Kim by mid-April.


Innovation jobs flocking to a handful of US cities

Updated 09 December 2019

Innovation jobs flocking to a handful of US cities

  • Economists fear job clustering could have a “destructive” influence on society

WASHINGTON: A new analysis of where “innovation” jobs are being created in the US paints a stark portrait of a divided economy where the industries seen as key to future growth cluster in a narrowing set of places.

Divergence in job growth, incomes and future prospects between strong-performing cities and the rest of the country is an emerging focus of political debate and economic research. It is seen as a source of social stress, particularly since President Donald Trump tapped the resentment of left-behind areas in his 2016 presidential campaign.

Research from the Brookings Institution released on Monday shows the problem cuts deeper than many thought. Even cities that have performed well in terms of overall employment growth, such as Dallas, are trailing in attracting workers in 13 industries with the most productive private sector jobs.

Between 2005 and 2017, industries such as chemical manufacturing, satellite telecommunications and scientific research flocked to about 20 cities, led by well-established standouts San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Boston and San Diego, the study found. Combined, these mostly coastal cities captured an additional 6 percent of “innovation” jobs — some 250,000 positions.

Companies in those industries tend to benefit from being close to each other, with the better-educated employees they target also attracted to urban amenities.

Brookings Institution economist Mark Muro said he fears the trend risks becoming “self-reinforcing and destructive” as the workforce separates into a group of highly productive and high-earning metro areas and everywhere else.

Even though expensive housing, high wages, and congestion have prompted some tech companies to open offices outside of Silicon Valley, those moves have not been at scale. Most US metro areas are either losing innovation industry jobs outright or gaining no share, Muro wrote.

Over this decade, “a clear hierarchy of economic performance based on innovation capacity had become deeply entrenched,” Muro and co-author Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, wrote in the report. Across the 13 industries they studied, workers in the upper echelon of cities were about 50 percent more productive than in others.

For much of the post-World War Two period labor was more mobile, and the types of industries driving the economy did not cluster so intensely, a trend that started reversing around 1980.

Concerns that the US is separating effectively into two economies has sparked support for localized efforts to spread the benefits of economic growth.

The Federal Reserve has flagged it as a possible risk to overall growth, and some of the presidential candidates running for office in 2020 have rolled out proposals to address it. One aim of Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imports from China and elsewhere is to revive ailing areas of the country.