World Bank's Former Lead Economist Asks "How Is The World Ruled?"

Authored by Branko Milanovic via Global Inequality blog,

It is Saturday evening and snowing in New York. I have nowhere to go, I do have things to do (my book!) but my memories take over.

Like for example, the simple question of how is the world ruled. I think that lots of misunderstanding among people in the world comes from inability to visualize how organizations and countries are managed: people either overestimate their singularity of purpose and scheming, or try to convince themselves that there is a full freedom of action and that things are decided on merit. Neither is true. The truth is complex, elusive and lies somewhere (somewhere!) in the middle: it is what Nirad Chaudhury called in a broader context of human history “Libertas in imperio”.

I can describe it, I am afraid, best using the examples that I know well, from my life and long association with the World Bank.

Proposition 1. The world is ruled by a cabal.

Around 1989 when Yugoslavia was in its death-throes (which were not obvious to the naïve types like myself) when on vacation there I wrote an article for an economics and politics weekly in Belgrade that argued that the best privatization strategy, under the last (sensible and brilliant) Yugoslav PM, Ante Markovic, should be such that vouchers  be distributed to all citizens of the country and citizens be allowed to buy shares in enterprises in whatever part of the country they wished.

It was an utterly quixotic proposals because the national nomenklaturas were precisely then working on the break-up of the country and the last thing they wanted was to cooperate with each other which they would have to do if their citizens owned shares in companies in the other republics. So, the proposal was dead on arrival.

But one afternoon, in the weekly’s nice boarding room, I explained the proposal in detail to one of weekly’s main writers on social issues.  The writer was a Serbian fascist (I am using the term not in a derogatory but strictly political sense) enamored with Italian fascism. (German was I think a bit too heavy for his taste.) He was a painter, who studied and lived in Italy, was proud of his relationship with MSI leadership, admirer of Mussolini. He also looked the part: could have been on any of the bas-reliefs that adorn Euro city near Rome: tall, well-built, square-jawed, straight posture, walking always straight with head held high. A real bell’uomo. In Rome in 1934, he would have been Mussolini’s favorite barbarian painter.

But he was, when at home, a Serbian nationalist.  So after carefully listening to me and basically nodding his head during most of the conversation, a couple of days later he came with a stinging two-page attack on my proposal titled “The World Bank sends its CIA spy to sell Serbian enterprises to foreigners”.

Now, was he mad? Not at all. He was, I am convinced, a smart guy, but he saw the world and organizations in it as an immense plot within which everything was strictly hierarchical:  ordinary people had no ideas or will of their own. So if I was  then in Belgrade arguing X, it must have been not only cleared by my superiors, but ordered by them.  And by superiors’ superiors and so forth all the way to the US Secretary of the Treasury, and perhaps Wall Street and perhaps the Jews.

The truth was that I was even risking reprimand from the World Bank because I had no business doing anything with Yugoslavia, publishing articles or creating trouble while on vacation.

But what was the reverse of this view?

Proposition 2. The world is ruled on merit.

This is the view that many people hold about their own involvements and that of institutions they work for. (Academia is a bit different, so I will leave it out). But this view of moral and intellectual rectitude is widely shared in think-tanks (and I worked in one in Washington), international organizations and probably many others (like Oxfam, Medecins sans frontiėres, Open Society etc.).

But is it true? Here I could ply the readers with numerous examples, but I will choose the one that, like the Belgrade story, sticks in my mind.

I was in the Research Department, and thus fairly independent from World Bank’s hierarchy, but it was desirable that I spend a given number of weeks annually working on concrete “operational" issues. It happened that the offer that I got involved a study of how heating and transportation subsidies in a Central Asian country affected its income distribution. It was easy to do and I promptly came back with the conclusion that they were pro-poor and should be kept.

But this was not the policy of the World Bank. The year was 1994 or 1995 and everybody believed in Fukuyama and Larry Summers. So the decision or rather the diffuse feeling (because you do not need a formal decision on matters like these to know what the “correct” answer is) was made before the report was even started that the subsidies should be eliminated. The leader of the group, not the most brilliant person, was smart enough to know what the desired conclusion was and that his/her career would be helped if the empirical analysis supported it.

So when it did not, he/she totally ignored it, and after several endless meetings where I was supposed to be somehow convinced that the data must surely be wrong, that part of the report was either not included or totally ignored. (I cannot remember what happened.) Because I was not brave or stubborn enough, I gave up a (hopeless) struggle after a couple of attempts and went back to my numbers and equations.

I was outside that particular hierarchy; so I was relatively free. But I then thought: let’s suppose that I was hierarchically under the project leader and that I was courageous enough to stick to my guns. What would have happened? My arguments would have been ignored; I would not have been demoted or fired. But in my next annual review, I would have been given the lowest possible grade, salary increase would be nil, my promotion prospect would be zero, and the explanation would never address the substantive issue: it would be that I was not collegial, failed to work in a team spirit etc. It could be even that I would have been asked to attend “team building” seminars like the Soviet dissidents were sent to psychiatric asylums.

The problem would never even be mentioned to have consisted in a disagreement on substance. Rather it would have been treated as some  maladjustment problem on my part; perhaps I was harassed when young or had a difficult childhood. Because, of course, the institution is not closed to different viewpoints and welcomes diverse opinions and “vibrant” or “robust” (these are the preferred terms) dialogue.

This is how the weeding out of undesirable views would have proceeded. 

*  *  *

So who was right: the Mussolini’s admirer or the Washington consensus believer? Or nobody. Your call.


house biscuit CuttingEdge Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:05 Permalink

Perkin's "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" is a gatekeeping limited-hangout. It takes one just so far down the rabbit hole to show some mechanics of international financial control; & in that aspect, is useful. But it purposefully minimizes the big picture.

This here is one of the most important articles you'll find. That said, we have to assume that any head of the World Bank is a witting accomplice of the control matrix, no matter how much rationalization or protest he gives. And that there is an ulterior motive for the article.

That said, this article more than almost any other touches on the actual mechanics of control. It is the expanse of these mechanics that boggles the minds of those new to the truth. How could such a vast system of control exist? How could it go undetected? How could good people do bad things? Does real evil exist?

If one wants to know the truth, the mundane leverage (performance review, bonus, paying the mortgage, debt slavery) of compartmentalized hierarchies over their individual members described here is precisely how a small nucleus of power brokers creates their web.


In reply to by CuttingEdge

skbull44 eclectic syncretist Mon, 02/19/2018 - 08:20 Permalink

I truly believe that no matter how hard one tries or how much 'power' one has (even a well-organized cabal) a complex system cannot ever be totally 'controlled'. One cannot model and take account of all the feedback loops. One cannot predict which or how many emergent phenomena will pop up. It is impossible and this is why 'crises', when they arise, tend to be--as Nassim Taleb has termed them--Black Swan events (those unknown, unknowns). As Taleb argues, we create our models of how the world works on the 'scientific' notion of normal distributions but most (all?) social change comes from outside this model. We, or some cabal, can convince ourselves that we have 'control', but we have none. Shit happens!

In reply to by eclectic syncretist

All Risk No Reward skbull44 Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:28 Permalink

We are ruled by the Money Power.  They don't need absolute power (that creates resistance and fighting), they just need to flow the money into their agenda and the people desiring money will come and get it and check their morals at the door.  Mammon won, and mammon won big!

That's the money power.

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."
~Lord Acton

“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
~Napoleon Bonaparte

"Let the American people go into their debt-funding schemes and banking systems, and from that hour their boasted independence will be a mere phantom."
~William Pitt, (referring to the inauguration of the first National Bank in the United States under Alexander Hamilton).

How To Be a Crook

Poverty - Debt Is Not a Choice

Renaissance 2.0 The Rise of [Debt-Money Monopolist] Financial Empire

Debunking Money

Krugman (and each MIT economist professor - THEY KNOW AND THEY OCCULT!) is a Goebbelsian propagandist as he covers the crimes of wolves with his fake sheep suit and lisp.

Krugman to Lietaer: "Never touch the money system!"

And It's Gone

People with good intentions but limited understanding are more dangerous than people with total ill will.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Although the so-called "moral issues" were raised, in view of the law of natural selection it was agreed that a nation or world of people who will not use their intelligence are no better than animals who do not have intelligence. Such people are beasts of burden and steaks on the table by choice and consent."
~Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

In reply to by skbull44

All Risk No Reward All Risk No Reward Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:31 Permalink

Note the pyramidal structure on the back of you $1 bill.

It depicts top down Money Power control over compartmentalized layers of "bricks."

In the story above, the researcher was a compartmentalized "brick" who presented an agenda contrary to the Money Power agenda.

The Money Power had a "higher up" who knew just enough to thwart the fact based agenda contrary to the Money Power helot impoverishment and degradation agenda, all wrapped in "income equality" bogus propaganda for sucker.

Isn't this obvious?  It sure is to me.

In reply to by All Risk No Reward

atomic balm All Risk No Reward Tue, 02/20/2018 - 19:45 Permalink

a real pyramid scheme!  note the top is separated from the base- meaning the NWO is still incomplete


a complete NWO means every country has a kosher central bank


current hate for NK and iran is they do not have a jew controlled central bank


the top mini pyramid will be lowered onto the base, completing NWO with no-one outside (((their))) money control- that is, all enslaved. . .


btw jew hate for Germany- Germany established a non-kosher money system- and that's it

In reply to by All Risk No Reward

Sparkey All Risk No Reward Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:54 Permalink

" we are ruled by the Money Power"

Absolutely true! Everyone wants to please their Boss and get paid, the only exceptions are 'The Money Power' because they have money they can't be bought, but because they (for the most part) are born into their Wealth and privilege they are also conditioned to obey the Ruler of those who are truly wealthy, big decisions are made by a very few people, people who, in most cases, inherited their position, it has been often said that the people we know as the rich aren't really the richest but in many cases front for the super wealthy!

In reply to by All Risk No Reward

All Risk No Reward Sparkey Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:06 Permalink

Sparkey, that is exactly correct.  Oz hid behind a curtain for a reason.  The French rulers failed to comprehend this tactic and lost out badly in the French Revolution (now you know why the French are put down in the Money Power propaganda as whimps...  because they did the one thing the Money Power FEARS).

The real Money Power controls the world's money as owners and controllers of the Mega-Banks and the debt-money Central Banks.

That's the WHO, and it is very, very few people, which is why they program the programmable to blame all Jewish people...  or at least use language that blames all Jewish people.

Imagine if the French rulers could have dispersed blame onto the knights...  the knights would've been attacked during the French Revolution and the true rulers would've been spared.  But this concept is too hard for emotionally programmed masses.

In reply to by Sparkey

Perimetr jefferson32 Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:09 Permalink

Proposition 3. There are several cabals in competition.

The West is controlled/ruled by a combination of interests, dominated by the banksters (Rothschild family and the BIS), military-security organizations, corporate entities. Anglo-Zionist neocons, intent upon US hegemony, are dominating the policies of the US, which also seem more connected to Israeli interests than those of the US. 

The East is more complex than the West, with groups of oligarchs in appearing to be in competition in Russia and possibly China. But Russia and China are in opposition to the West/US, as it is clear that the plan of the West is to dominate the East.  

The larger question is whether or not nuclear war is inevitable.

In reply to by jefferson32

Polynik3s Perimetr Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

Yes. We have competing kleptocratic Mafias. Watching the mechanics of "The Godfather" or more recently "Narcos" will give you an idea. John Perkins' "Economic Confessions" gets another limited glimpse.

This Trump vs Clinton is just two crime cabals. The parties are both Israeli Zionist. Likud Party vs Labor Zionist Party. Adelson vs Soros. Ukraine Motherland vs Israel Motherland. Enslave goyim in 2030 cities or slaughter goyim in nuclear war.

In reply to by Perimetr

commoncourtesy adamas Mon, 02/19/2018 - 05:46 Permalink


The most powerful man right now in the conspiracy over this World is a Roman by the name of PEPE ORSINI of the powerful Roman Papal Bloodline the Orsini also known as Orso and the ancient Maximus family.

There is no one more powerful than this figure who is really the Grey Pope.

Pepe Orsini of the Roman Maximus Clan. Hes the Grey Pope and is the King of the Holy Roman Papal Bloodlines. Above the Rothschilds and Rockefellers but in line and of equal stature to the Breakspear, Aldobrandini, and other Papal Bloodlines...

READ MORE HERE : and here :

Ptolemaic Papal Bloodlines : Just who is Running the show


All controlled through the Jesuit Order and their Knights of Malta & Teutonic Knights all based in missile protected Borgo Santo Spirito in Rome.

Pepe Orsini – Italy
Henry Breakspear – Macau, China

This is the true power finally.

This is the Guelph and the Ghibelline power over mankind.

The Cecil family were controlled by the powerful Jesuit family known as the Pallavicini.

Maria Camilla Pallavicini is far more powerful than Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen and Prince Philip are totally subordinate to the Papal Bloodline the Breakspear Family and their Jesuit UKHQ at 114 Mount Street.

Please go and study who funded Elizabeth I that astronomical amount of money to fight the Spanish, yes Pallavicini.

In reply to by adamas

44magnum adamas Mon, 02/19/2018 - 06:46 Permalink

Christ on a crutch the motherfucking great,great great grand daddy told it.

 "Let me issue and control a Nation's money and I care not who makes its laws". Amsel (Amschel) Bauer Mayer Rothschild, 1838:

Who controls the euro, the dollar and 98% of the rest of the central banks? The criminal spawn explained it.

“The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”

-The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.

How thick are the debt slaves skulls?

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."

John Dalberg Lord Acton

Until that WAR comes about nothing changes. But the slaves are to busy killing each other.


In reply to by adamas

VWAndy Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:19 Permalink

 The multi generational nature is pretty creepy. That someone or some group knew how to play all of society? That well for that long? Thats pretty impressive stuff.

NiggaPleeze MusicIsYou Mon, 02/19/2018 - 04:01 Permalink


It's all revealed in the Protocols.  The people are the mob.  The mob is controlled by the orator, which nowadays, is the mass media.  Control the mass media, thereby control the mob, thereby control a "democracy".

The Protocols are also very clear as to which ((group)) it is that controls, inter alia, the mass media.  Obviously it is not the only group, you have the blue bloods as well, but it sure as heck ain't no meritocracy or something "in between".

Of course controls on people only work so far - some people will always be insubordinate or have moral limits (robots will "fix" that) - and in the nature of things there are miscommunications, misunderstandings, etc., especially in light of the need to maintain isolated but hierarchical "cells" to protect the conspiracy.  And, like the author of this piece, even agents who are trusted to advance certain parts of the agenda cannot be controlled in every facet of their life.  As  the vast bulk of agents don't know the full extent of the conspiracy, they do not always act in the interests of the conspirators.  This causes the appearance of "randomness", but this appearance is the result of the fact that lines of command are not absolute.  Not of the fact that there is no conspiracy of a relatively small group of "globalist oligarchs" who seek to impose a totalitarian dictatorship on the planet.

In reply to by MusicIsYou

Honest Sam NiggaPleeze Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:12 Permalink

Hope you don't mind but I am going to clip this and put it in my Supremely Perfect Truth and Wisdom file. 

I'd love to see you with a million up arrows because you have summarized the global zeitgeist perfectly and in few words.

To you goes the Pimeno Award: **

"Truth exists.  It is lies that require invention"


**Invented by Honest Sam in the 80s to recognize the sagacious truth tellers.

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

lew1024 NiggaPleeze Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:33 Permalink

'The lines of control are not absolute'.

No kidding. All of these top-down control concepts miss how often even a Rothschild loses and how knife-edge or random-influenced most historical decisions turn out to be when carefully studied.

Yes, the CIA, etc. all have the ability to ride the waves and win via incremental advantages iterated. But no, they all can be beaten, they do NOT control the world.

Managing an ecosystem as a food source as the native Americans did in the Brazilian rainforest is the appropriate analogy.  They foster what benefits them, disfavor what doesn't, and in a few hundred or so years the jungle is a food forest. The jungle never noticed, the ecosystem didn't change that much, but the humans were favored.

But the analogy fails because it isn't just one group doing this, it is dozens in shifting alliances.  No, the Rothschilds don't control everything, and they can be beaten. Will be beaten, I believe, along with the entire Deep Black Swamp of the world's mafias.

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

Sparkey lew1024 Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:07 Permalink

' No, the Rothschilds don't control everything, and they can be beaten. Will be beaten, I believe, along with the entire Deep Black Swamp of the world's mafias."

I gave you your first up vote Lew, so what I say is not a criticism but a question, who would want to beat them? Someone on the outside who wants in? Or someone who wants to take it all over and rule it for themselves?

In reply to by lew1024

MusicIsYou Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:28 Permalink

Well I know Jews don't run the show because anybody who feels so weak to the point of having to have their own country to be comforted can't possibly run the show. It seems to me people have a thing or two to learn about the human spirit.

Yen Cross Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:31 Permalink

  When an individual that's charged with the task of making policy/financial decisions for millions of other people, and can't figure out what his mission is, he's either corrupt, or ignorant.

  Just because I used the[Male] pronoun doesn't mean  there's  NOT plenty of corrupt women out there.


An Shrubbery Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:32 Permalink

What a disorganized and stupid argument.

Do you bring your lunch, or do you walk to school? Or nobody?

Proves my point, economists are the biggest bunch of retards on the planet.

Jasher Mon, 02/19/2018 - 02:48 Permalink

17 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

OverTheHedge Easyp Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:14 Permalink

At least he was honest enough to say that the answer comes first, then the work is done to confirm that the answer is correct. All that politicking, and jockeying for position to gain advancement (and therefore power), always at the expense of the people in the real world, doing real work, which subsidised the backstabbing leaches sucking the lifeblood out of the people.

Today is "Clean Monday", first day of lent, and the beginning of 40 days of fasting and grumpiness here in Greece. Perhaps we should use it to clean house, too.

In reply to by Easyp