Carmen Reinhart. Picture: WIKIMEDIA
Carmen Reinhart. Picture: WIKIMEDIA

Washington  —  The World Bank on Wednesday named former Bear Stearns executive Carmen Reinhart as its new vice-president and chief economist, tapping an expert on financial crises who also serves on the advisory board of the New York Federal Reserve.

“I am very pleased to welcome Carmen to the World Bank Group as we boost our efforts to restore growth and meet the urgent debt and recession crises facing many of our client countries,” World Bank Group president David Malpass said in a statement.

Reinhart, now a professor at Harvard University, published a book, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, together with economist Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University in 2009.

The book called for stricter regulations and an early-warning system to sound the alarm about financial bubbles, arguing that central bankers, policymakers and investors tended to ignore the telltale signs of a bubble because they were convinced that "this time is different".

Reinhart has said the global economic recovery “is unlikely to be V-shaped, and we’re unlikely to return to the pre-pandemic world”.

Malpass said Reinhart's experience and insights would prove invaluable during the unprecedented crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic havoc it is wreaking around the globe. She will start her new job on June 15.

Reinhart has a PhD from Columbia University and teaches international economics at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has also worked at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, International Monetary Fund and the University of Maryland.

The bank said Reinhart’s areas of expertise included international capital flows, finance, and macroeconomics, the economies of Asia and Latin America, banking and sovereign debt crises, currency crashes, and contagion.

She is an adviser and contributor to World Bank debt transparency discussions and a member of a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) external advisory group working on policy challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact.

Earlier in her career, she worked as vice-president and chief economist at Bear Stearns. She has been listed among Bloomberg Markets Most Influential 50 in Finance, Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, and Thomson Reuters' The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Reuters