"In this blistering exposé, former World Bank employee Berkman demonstrates how the World Bank's mission to 'alleviate poverty' has been derailed by corruption, a 'bloated bureaucracy' and mismanagement....His criticisms and prescriptions are clear and well-supported by scores of photocopies of internal memos and project documents....The book is a fascinating firsthand account of the bank's failures, and its case studies—notably sections on bank projects in Nigeria and the Gambia—make for a valuable and important read."
"Compelling and refreshingly direct. What World Bank officials typically refer to as "leakage," Berkman names theft, embezzlement, and corruption. Highly recommended for general readers; students at all levels; researchers and professionals."
"Recommended reading as a hard-hitting lesson on how not to run the Bank."
“Everyone interested in economic development and the alleviation of poverty in the Third World should study the cases that Berkman sets out—clearly documents the failure of the World Bank to operate honestly, efficiently and openly. Unfortunately we may extrapolate these cases to all the other international financial institutions as well.
“World Bank documents versus reality are a real shocker. Berkman’s work shows the difference between what is reported and what is actually happening on the ground.”
“A long awaited expose of gross mismanagement and cover-ups…demands a fundamental overhaul of the Bank’s management and proposes realistic measures to curb corruption in its lending program.”
“Exposing the curse of ‘lending targets’ and the disappearance of billions of dollars, Berkman points to the Bank’s bureaucratic mismanagement and lack of courage by aid donors as they shamelessly foster a lending culture that enriches corrupt government elites while keeping the poor mired in poverty.”
“A timely and important contribution to policy makers and scholars concerned about the impact of corruption upon economic development.”
"As a World Bank task manager, Berkman spent years in the trenches fighting to prevent the theft of Bank loans by corrupt officials in developing countries. As he demonstrates, it was a battle the Bank had no interest in pursuing despite its claims that it takes corruption seriously and that outsiders and critics don't know the real story. Now with this book we have a critical perspective only an insider can provide. It is a passionate, informed, and devastating first-hand account from the frontlines of World Bank operations. Students, development professionals, and especially policymakers in Washington should read this book."
About the Author
Steve Berkman joined the World Bank’s Africa Region Group in 1983 following a varied career in industry and technical education. Providing advice and assistance with capacity building and institutional development issues on Bank funded projects, he worked in all the major economic sectors throughout the region. Retiring in 1995, he was called back from 1998 to 2002 to assist with the establishment of an Anti-Corruption and Fraud Investigation Unit during which time he was lead investigator on a number of corruption cases in Africa and Latin America. He has given presentations at various international anti-corruption forums and has provided assistance to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for the enactment of legislation to reform the multi-lateral development banks and Senate passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.