Wolfensohn emphasises what the World Bank, and many others, saw as the inevitability of transition. This was the free market and liberal democracy, or what others might term ‘capitalism’. It is important to note that he sees the key failure of command economies, or communism, as being their inability to deliver improvements in human welfare. This is crucial, because it implies that the free market is the best economic system for delivering such welfare, and that it was failures in both the bureaucratic apparatus and the efﬁciency of the command economy that led to its demise. Yet, he is humble enough to recognise that transition has not been as easy as some of its most vociferous advocates had suggested, and he acknowledges that place matters. In other words, there was something very important about differences between countries on the eve of ‘transition’ that inﬂuenced their subsequent trajectories.