Under Robert Zoellick, the World Bank can play a role in enhancing the protections afforded to property rights in other countries. In addition to making Hernando de Soto the chief economist for the Bank, as a precondition for loans, the Bank can insist on the implementation of a formal property rights regime aimed at liberating untapped capital. The bank can work with borrower countries to enhance the protection of property rights and the more cooperative borrower countries are in this effort, the more access they might have to World Bank loans. Apart from the general good it will do to give developing countries access to over $9 trillion in capital and to help them put free market policies in place, the Bank has a vested interest in encouraging the furtherance of de Soto’s ideas because untapped capital can be used as collateral to borrow against in seeking World Bank loans and the Bank will experience far fewer problems in encouraging borrower countries to pay back their loans.
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