[On the ongoing trade negotiations] If we’re serious about resolving the core issues that the U.S. has with China, then this is going to be a way station that’s going to require a lot more continued focus by the administration for a number of months if not years.
After years of asking China to become a more market-driven economy, the Trump administration would be explicitly asking the Chinese to set aside market forces when it comes to exchange-rate determination. ... That’s a worrying precedent.
[On the Trump administration's nomination of David Malpass for president of the World Bank] If you believe there is any meritocratic element to the selection process, there are others who are by most objective metrics more qualified. ... That suggests a political agenda by the Trump administration to put someone in to address a U.S.-policy-driven agenda.
There is vast literature in economics showing how migrants are entrepreneurs at a much higher rate than locals. The act of migrating itself is an act of risk taking, and that’s the kind of profile of an entrepreneur.
I expect that Davos 2019 will focus on the coming economic slowdown, indeed in an unstable political context of increased social polarization driven by nationalistic populism both in Europe and the US. ... And by trying to define uncharted waters, it [the World Economic Forum] could lead to the realization of the high political and economic risks that the global economy is going to face in the next couple of years.
"We have been in Central America for a long time. It’s not just money that has made us effective in the region — there is a lot of hard-earned experience, trial and error, and institution building that is slowly reaping results. The worst thing that could happen now is to go back to zero."
"Cutting aid to Central American countries would be a mistake, since U.S. aid dollars fund programs that reduce violence, strengthen the justice system, and encourage investment that make them more attractive places for their citizens."