The Diplomat

Oct 1, 2005

Luis Alberto Moreno, the new president of the IDB, is a consummate diplomat. He'll need those skills as he sets a new agenda for the bank and seeks to satisfy its critics.

Luis Alberto Moreno, the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), faces a daunting agenda. He must streamline a bureaucracy of 2,000 employees. He has to deal with declining demand for loans from the bank's traditional clientele, the 26 governments of Latin America and the Caribbean. Moreno must also cope with the IDB's 21 increasingly dissatisfied rich-world supporters. More fundamentally still, he has to rethink the bank's very purpose. Should it be a development agency with a broad agenda that encompasses infrastructure projects and macroeconomic reforms or should it tighten its focus by concentrating most of its energy on the poor? In recent years, the IDB's identity crisis has deepened as demand for its main product – plain vanilla loans to Latin America's public sector – has slumped. Yet career bank officials complain that the IDB's bosses have failed to respond with a coherent strategy for the private sector,...

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