As Paul Wolfowitz clears his World Bank desk and trails more hints about his future, we are again putting this blog on ice. After very active and successful blogging on the Wolfowitz scandal and succession debates, a new Bank leader is about to take up office and normal Bank-tracking can resume through the multitude of websites and initiatives set up for the purpose. Continue reading
Commentators on Rodrigo Rato’s unanticipated announcement that he will step down as head of the IMF have not been slow to make the links with the just ended World Bank leadership selection process. A Reuters piece has three people drawing comparisons, while the Bretton Woods Project was quick off the blocks also with a statement demanding a new process to decide who’ll head the Fund. Continue reading
Clearly George W. Bush has been clever with his pick of Zoellick. Lots of praise has come in from governments, senior figures in Congress and from analysts. (In the words of BusinessWeek: “It was a rare experience for George W. Bush: A major Presidential decision was greeted with bipartisan praise and international congratulations”). Although many governments say they would prefer multiple candidates to come before the board for scrutiny, it is now very unlikely that anyone will dare put up someone against Zoellick. They have until 15 June, should they wish to do so. Continue reading
I’ve been asking colleagues in NGOs to let me know if their organisations produce statements on the Zoellick nomination. Several have, including Oxfam, Action Aid, Greenpeace, Plateforme Dette et Developement, International Rivers Network. They all raise varying degrees of complaint about the Zoellick nomination.
Talking Points Memo has excerpts from The Nelson Report, a daily update for subscribers who want to know what’s going on in Washington. It warns “certain personality traits will carry over, and create problems with his Bank colleagues different than the Wolfowitz debacle, but no less damaging, should they occur”. These traits already led to Zoellick being ousted as president of another institution: the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Meanwhile Steve Clemons supports Zoellick and gives him advice. Continue reading
Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty told reporters in Ottawa today that he was consulted this week on the World Bank president nominee by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson. While he would not confirm the name we all know, Flaherty said the nominee “will be good for Canada.” Continue reading
Robert Zoellick’s biography reveals some further interesting elements. He sat on Enron’s advisory board. This means that he should have interesting insights into corporate governance matters – one thing which the Bank’s board has pledged to fix up following the recent dramas. He must also have gained insights through his membership of the Trilateral Commission, a secretive top peoples’ club (though the official website no longer has him listed). Continue reading
We established this site to open up the process for selecting a new person to run the world’s most powerful development institution. We covered the post-Wolfensohn selection process from beginning to end, and we’ve refreshed this site’s look and functionality to enhance our ability to track, comment on and – hopefully – influence who comes after Wolfowitz and what they say and do. Continue reading
So it looks like Robert Zoellick is the U.S. pick for the Bank job. There may be nominations from other governments, but now it’s time to rake over the coals and see what Zoellick has done in the past and what he would do if installed at the top of the World Bank.
As a visual break from reading serious insights into Zoellick I recommend you check out this fantastic photo of Robert Zoellick hugging a panda bear in China while on duty as Deputy Secretary of State. Continue reading