Offering Solutions to Financial Crises

WASHINGTON, D.C. - World Bank is one of the largest organizations employing about 10 thousand employees from 160 different countries. Approximately 150 Turks are working in different units of the World Bank Headquarters which is located in Washington, D.C.
Asli Demirguc Kunt is one of them. She has served as the Finance Research Manager since May of 2003 at the World Bank where she first started working in 1989.

Asli Demirguc Kunt.

She is working on various subjects such as foreseeing bank crises, the effects of deposit insurance on economies, competition in banking and effects of foreign banks, credit requirements of small businesses and overcoming expansion obstacles.

Her research study on deposit insurance is considered to be the first one done in the international arena and her research studies with many renowned professors such as Edward Kane, have found acceptance and are highly respected by academicians.

Kunt, who is a graduate of Robert College and the Department of Economics at Bogazici University, Istanbul, finished her doctorate degree in Economics at Ohio State University. She worked at the research department of the American World Bank’s Cleveland branch as she was preparing her graduation thesis. Consequently, Kunt started working for the World Bank through the “Young Economist” program.

Kunt, who is also appreciated by her coworkers at the World Bank, is well known by her studiousness as well as her modesty. She says that her success depends on being able to find the opportunity to work in the fields she wanted through the years. She says: “Time is very valuable. I had the opportunity to work with people who appreciated efforts being made.”  

Ms. Kunt, who has her signature under reports prepared on banking, trade and financial crises in many countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Costa Rica, China and Turkey, has a book titled Financial Structure and Economic Growth, which she wrote with her friend Ross Levine and was published by MIT Press in 2001.

Kunt, who also wants to utilize her know-how in Turkey, says: “I don’t exactly know when this would happen but after I stop working for the World Bank, I am planning on working as a lecturer at a university in Istanbul.
When we asked Ms. Kunt what the advantages of working at the World Bank for her are, she stated that it made it possible to look into problems globally and make comparative research studies. She further adds: “On the other hand, it is highly important and gratifying to build databases through the opportunities provided by the World Bank and to analyze these databases.

One of Ms. Kunt’s expertises pertains to the state guarantee on bank deposits, which is debated a lot in Turkey. Ms. Kunt says: “Particularly, a very well planned deposit insurance system established in countries where there is insufficient organization can cause major problems. The possibility of bank crises may not only affect the market discipline negatively but also damage the financial development. In other words, it is not always wise to establish deposit insurance systems in developing countries just because it exists in every developed country.”
(February 2004, 11th Issue)

She was born in Istanbul. She studied at Bogazici University, Department of Economics after she graduated from Robert College. She completed her masters and doctorate degree programs at Ohio State University. She worked at the Cleveland, OH office of American World Bank. She started working at the World Bank through the Young Economist program in September of 1989. She has become the Finance Research Manager, which is her current position, in May of 2003. Ms. Kunt, who is married with a nine year old daughter, enjoys walking, swimming, skiing, reading, and floriculture.

Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07