Some Reactions

AFP: Nigeria World Bank candidate salutes Kim, calls for change

FT: World Bank picks Kim as next head

Economist: Kim for president

The Atlantic: Shocking News About the Next World Bank Boss

BBC: Africa’s World Bank hopes dashed as Okonjo-Iweala loses

The Telegraph: A 20th century bank facing 21st century problems

Irish Times: World Bank accused of lack of transparency after US chief chosen

The Conversation: Three-Card Trick: Kim is new World Bank President


Oxfam sums it up

 

Oxfam’s Elizabeth Stuart said: “Dr. Kim is an excellent choice for World Bank president and a true development hero. But we’ll never know if he was the best candidate for the job, because there was no true and fair competition.”

“The world deserved better than a selection process with a forgone conclusion. Poor and emerging countries are insisting the Bank be more accountable and open in how it does business. This sham process has damaged the institution, and sullied Dr. Kim’s appointment.”

South Africa expresses “serious concerns” about World Bank process

FT reports that “South Africa on Monday expressed serious concerns about the transparency of the process to select the next head of the World Bank”

Pravin Gordhan, South Africa’s finance minister told reporters  “From what I’m hearing there are serious concerns about the levels of transparency. And when we link that to the third element, which is has this process met the merit-based criteria, I think we are going to find that the process falls short,”

No merit based discussion took place

Sources tell me that despite the fact that the board met today for what was planned to be a discussion on the merits of the two remaining candidates, Jim Yong Kim and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, no such discussion took place, with only the African directors speaking for Ngozi. Ocampo hit the bull’s eye when he said in his withdrawal statement “… as we approach the final phase of this process, it is clear that it is becoming no longer a competition on the merits of the candidates but a political exercise.”

So the Obama who told the American people 4 years ago “yes we can”, is now telling the rest of the world “no, you really cant”.  He may talk the talk, but he sure does not walk the walk.

 

Closing ranks

It seems to me that unless the developing countries, including the BRICS, close ranks behind one of their two candidates, Ngozi or Ocampo, they will all lose any legitimacy in calling for a merit based selection process with no regard to national origin.  If this does not happen very soon, I don’t see a reason for any of the industrial  nations to take them seriously enough to not vote with the US for Dr. Kim, or pay attention to any of their other demands for that matter.

I wonder if the non-biased observers on this blog have any thoughts on that.

“how did the United States wind up taking the helm of the World Bank, and not the I.M.F”

In an interesting article, Benn Steil, in the New York Times, traces the history of how a spy scandal led to the unwritten arrangement between the US and European powers to divide the leadership of the IMF and World Bank between them.

He concludes his historical account of how this came about saying “Instead of treating the World Bank presidency as a sacred American birthright, we should remember that it was never more than a consolation prize for an administration trying to dodge a spy scandal.”