World Bank chief pits Microsoft over poor countries’ debt
World Bank President David Malpass said the debt repayments poor countries have to make are “staggering” and the debt burden is becoming unsustainable.
WASHINGTON: After Microsoft announced it would spend tens of billions of dollars to buy a video game company, World Bank President David Malpass on Wednesday contrasted the deal with the amount of money that rich countries have pledged to help poor countries facing higher indebtedness. .
“I was struck this morning by Microsoft’s investment – $75 billion in a video game company,” compared to just $24 billion over three years in aid to the poorest countries, Malpass said, making reference to donations allocated in December by 48 high and middle-income governments.
“You have to ask yourself, is this the best capital allocation?” he said of the deal with Microsoft during a discussion at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“There needs to be more money and more growth in developing countries.”
Microsoft announced Tuesday the purchase of the American video game giant Activision Blizzard, the company behind hits like “Call of Duty”.
Malpass called on the richer nations of the Group of 20 to provide more debt relief to the world’s least developed countries that are eligible for interest-free loans.
A G20 debt service suspension initiative expired at the end of 2021, and this year alone these countries have to pay $35 billion in debt service.
“The debt payments are staggering,” and it’s become a “compounding” problem, Malpass said.