Who is responsible?

If, as expected, Dr. Kim is announced tomorrow as the new President of the World Bank, who do you suppose should be held responsible by the public, and history, for what promises to be an ineffective and tarnished presidency?

Is it the fault of Obama, who now seems to stand for ” a change no one should believe in”, the BRICS that turned out to be as soft as egg shells, or the board of executive directors which abandoned their responsibilities , according to the bylaws of the organization, and proved that they are simply little more than chess pieces for their Capitals?

If the process is now completely tarnished, who should be held responsible? 


Who came up on top?

I’m already hearing from sources who attended the three interviews over the last three days that Ngozi has come up as the top candidate, followed closely by Ocampo, with Dr. Kim a distant third. Three things have worked for Ngozi to push her over Ocampo, she knows the bank inside-out,  has experience on both sides of the table – a client and world banker-, and that she is an African woman supported by the whole African Union. This, if selected, will make her not only the first non-American to head the bank, but also the first woman, and first African. In the words of the Economist, “May the best woman win”

World Bank Board to hold a straw poll Friday

Reuters is reporting that the Board of Executive Directors will hold a “straw poll” this Friday, ahead of the formal vote on the 16th. The usually well informed, Lesley Wroughton, writes “The board meets on Friday to conduct a straw poll to see if one candidate emerges as a clear favourite. It is expected to announce its choice on April 16, in time for the IMF and World Bank meetings of global finance leaders in Washington the same week.”

“Whose World Bank?”

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and former Chief Economist of the World Bank weights in the debate with an opinion piece in Project Syndicate:

“Should America continue to insist on controlling the selection process, it is the bank itself that would suffer. For years, its effectiveness was compromised because it was seen, in part, as a tool of Western governments and their countries’ financial and corporate sectors. Ironically, even America’s Continue reading

Former World Bank senior managers send an open letter to the Board

As reported earlier today by the AFP, “In an open letter, 39 former managers and economists called on the Bank’s executive board to make their decision on merit, when the board considers more than one candidate for the job for the first time.”

Here is the letter in full: Continue reading

Ngozi calls for a televised debate

In an interview published today in the New York Times, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala calls for a televised debate between the three candadetes for the position of President of the World Bank:

” I think the media should call for a debate of the three candidates, like you have for other important positions, to see who really knows what they are doing. Let’s all of us have a televised debate showing the world what we can do, so people can judge for themselves who is the most qualified to lead.”

Two questions on interviewing the candidates

I am wondering if visitors to this site have any thoughts on what the candidates should be asked during the interviews?  and how should the bank report on these interviews and how the candidates performed?

I, for one, would like to see these interviews made public via YouTube or something similar, in keeping with what the bank says its new transparency and openness policies, but I know I am dreaming here.

Closing of Nominations for President of World Bank

Ocampo got nominated after all. Here is a press release from the World Bank:

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2012 – The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank confirmed today that, as announced on February 17, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank closed on Friday, March 23. The Board is pleased to announce that the following three nominees will be considered for the position:

Jim Yong Kim, a US national and President of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

José Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian national and Professor at Columbia University, New York

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian national and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Nigeria Continue reading