who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Wolfensohn's planned retirement receives some coverage from the international press, despite more pressing concerns in South Asia.

The Australian headlines its report: "Aussie bank chief falls foul of US," and reckons that the next President will switch the Bank's focus back to major infrastructure projects.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, digs up a number of the great and good to assess Wolfensohn's presidency.

Nobel Prize Winner, Joseph Stiglitz, is enthusiastic: "The magnitude of the change was really very significant. He saw development in human terms. It wasn't just a bank, it was the impact that the World Bank had on the lives of individuals.''

Carnegie Mellon University's Allan Meltzer disagrees: "The Wolfensohn era is over. I don't think that his way of going about economic development fit with the Bush administration... The bank is a dysfunctional institution, it puts a premium on making loans. It lacks the idea that there has to be incentives for development.''

Paul O'Neill, former Treasury Secretary, suggests the bank has been slow to demonstrate results: "One of the things that would be useful for the World Bank to have is monthly regular reports on changes that affect people's lives. We have a fascination on how many jobs are created in America each month, yet we don't have the same interest in more basic measures elsewhere.''

David Steven ~ January 03, 2005

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