Bank has forgotten basic lessons of development – Sachs

Returning home from the recent African Development Bank meeting in Shanghai, economist Jeffrey Sachs comments on all that “is wrong with the World Bank, even aside from Wolfowitz’s failed leadership”. Unlike the Chinese, says Sachs, “the Bank has too often forgotten the most basic lessons of development, preferring to lecture the poor and force them to privatize basic infrastructure, rather than to help the poor to invest in infrastructure and other crucial sectors”.

G20 countries call for open selection process

Three finance ministers who have headed the G20 — the talking shop spearheaded by the Canadians, not the maverick grouping that formed at the WTO meeting in Cancun — issued statements on Sunday calling for an open, merit-based process to choose the next WB President. Guido Mantega of Brazil and Trevor Manuel of South Africa were joined by Peter Costello of Australia — which I believe makes Australia the first “Northern” (developed/industrialized/first world) country to publicly call for the U.S. to back off.

Wolfowitz hits media trail to spread blame for exit

Paul Wolfowitz has given an exclusive interview to the BBC World Service to try to explain why he is leaving the World Bank. He says the media and an overheated atmosphere were to blame, and uses his airtime to justify his record at the Bank in general and on the Riza affair. He refuses to be drawn on how his successor should be chosen but agrees that African countries are “under-represented” at the Bank. Continue reading

The Post-Wolfowitz Bank: Graeme Wheeler Starts the Rebuilding Process

The Staff Association, which has emerged as the Bank’s own “civil society” has circulated Managing Director Graeme Wheeler’s strong and sensitive statement to the Bank Board’s Personnel Committee. Beyond highlighting the huge emotional cost the Wolfowitz Situation imposed on Bank staff, it hints at a few short-term changes that must be made in important personnel and policy processes. These are: the reporting relationship of the Bank’s Institutional Integrity Department, and the selection process for the next Vice President, Human Resources. Both are thought to have been captured by Wolfowitz cronies. Continue reading

WB President doesn’t need to be American:

Wrote the four House Chairmen in a letter to Bush, released today and reported by Reuters. According to them,“The nominee should be deeply committed to American values, but need not have an American address. The global pool of talent is deep, and we should make it clear that the United States believes that the best nominee could come from anywhere,” the Democratic congressmen said. Continue reading