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? 


13 thoughts on “Who is responsible?

  1. All, perhaps even us included, for not having made a sufficiently good case for a good World Bank President, no matter where he comes from, in terms of constituency or ideology.

  2. If Dr Kim is announced as World Bank President the following scenario will emerge. Peter Laurent’s principle in management will immediately be triggered because Dr Kim would have been,promoted to a position where his incompetence will show for all to see. Those who voted (the directors of the World Bank) him will share in the blame. President Obama is a politician and I reckon there are far more weightier issues in the US that he will be judged on. The world will be worse off as poverty will ravage and ravage and ravage those who are unfortunate to belong to that part of the world acquainted with it. I won’t lose my sleep because the US and Europe won’t be insulated or isolated from its devastating effect. Why? It has become a small world.

  3. If its the responsibility of the World Bank Directors to appoint the president of the world bank, then they, as the directors, take full responsibilty for the outcome of their actions, as directors. However, except there are other rules not yet open to the public, it is expected that the directors will act in good faith and discharge their duties.
    President Obama should not be blamed for any out come of the selection. He has suggested a name for consideration, just as other candidates’ names were also suggested from their legimate apparatuses. It is left for the approving, and not the nominating ‘cell’ to make the decision, choice. Here the blame goes to the decision maker for the outcome of the decision.
    The fear is not that somebody, if named would fail, because failure comes in when the person cannot perform, having assumed office. Rather, the fear is that, if the selection process is defective, by giving consideration to issues not prevoiusly known and acknowledged, failure may result as those new issues may not have been tested and proven to be suiting under the circumstances, please.

  4. Your “bank-insider” comment assumes that he is less competent on merit, for which no one has put forward a convincing argument. The process is no doubt anachronistic, but there was more debate than ever before. But the merit question obviously depends on your views on policy questions, given that development is by no means an exact science!

    In terms of substance of views on development policy, on merit, he is surely the most competent in terms of his analysis unless you regard the status quo at the WB as desirable. The Nigerian foreign minister on these grounds, although clearly the best in terms of process reform and identity, is also the least qualified, given her commitment to the failed IFi practices of the past (unless, of course, you agree with those practices). Ocampo, with a wider vision, would have been the most competent in terms of a wider vision of development (a la UNDP, UN consensus) and certainly an advance over WB precedent.

    But If Kim fails, as is quite possible, it will be not because of his lack of competence, but because he is undermined by the development dinosaur faction nostalgic for the “Washington consensus” (fortunately only a faction, no longer a “consensus”) inside and outside the Bank, who continue to mislabel investment in global public goods as “charity” and refuse to consider the negative externalities of growth measured only by GDP or short/term cost-benefit analysis. In that context, Okonjo-Iweala’s answer at the CGD forum on funding coal projects, one would think, should in itself be sufficient to disqualify her from consideration as indifferent to the global long-term interest in the global public good of climate change (of course, Kim also might back off given the pressure from vested interests).

    • Nicely put!

      Jim Kim does not seem to be someone who backs off. That is why ‘insiders’ are so hostile, using an attack on an anachronistic process to disguise their fear of change.

      • I actually know of no one inside the bank who is a afraid of any changes that Kim can or will make. It will take him a long long time to figure out how to even start changing anything. In fact the only people I know who are afraid, are those who are afraid of Ngozi because she knows exactly who and what needs to go.

  5. The whole world of course.Blame in what context? Are you foreseeing kim yong failing? Kim yong cannot fail, remember he has proffessionals working with him,he is just an individual so he cannot fail.
    REMEMBER ECONOMISTS HAS FAILED THE WHOLE WORLD.THE SO CALLED ACCOUNTANTS HAS FAILED EQUALLY SO LET US GIVE OTHER PROFFESSIONALS A CHANCE.

  6. Unfortunately very few have argued the individual responsibility of the Executive Directors, and most have kept on framing it all as political, developed-developing, rich-poor, constituency based, Latin-America-Africa… so as to be able to exert in time the sufficient pressure on EDs to assume their role … especially when we all know it is naturally so much more comfortable and beneficial to an ED to just follow the instructions received…. In fact some EDs would even have to be real hero material to divert from the instructions.

  7. The world bank president make the final decision and Jim Kim can make better decision than Ngozi. Aiokoka who revolutionized auto industry in US was never an auto expert. Please remove your fear, we shall see tremendous global change for better.

  8. The question no one has asked is why did President Obama (and US allies) put forward Kim’s name for the World Bank top post? Could it be that truly an outsider is required to shake up WB? At least there must be thousands among the 300m US citizens with solid finance and economy background that could have been nominated. Perhaps the battle is not necessarily developed vs. emerging nations but progressive vs. old establishments. Maybe an outsider is the person needed to transform World Bank into a more effective institution.

  9. I wud prefer ngozi to Kim,as Kim ever witnessed poverty?does Kim have the foresight of seeing beyond wealth creations?unemployment is very rampant in most part of the developing nations,I would prefer ngozi to mr Kim.

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