Business: Facts of Life

Cold-turkey talk, served up by World Bank President Eugene R. Black, was the main dish last week for finance ministers of the world's underdeveloped countries. Meeting in Washington at the International Monetary Fund, sister of the World Bank, they heard Black give a polite accounting of the bank's biggest ($332 million disbursed around the globe) year since the Marshall Plan era. But far less polite was Black's accounting of how some of the loans were used.

With too many capital-starved nations, lectured Black, politics comes first and economics second. "The largest single cause of imbalance is the volume of unproductive investment which...

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