who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Bob Zoellick is an outlier in the Bush economic team," writes Wolfensohn biographer, Sebastian Mallaby.

"He is not an ideologue. He is not a former private-sector chieftain. He has not been dismissed yet. Whereas the style of the Bush people is measured, plain-spoken and determinedly unflustered, Zoellick is intense, wonkish and furiously competitive. Rather like his short mustache, he bristles with a fiery energy."

Zoellick is a "frenetic multilateralist", Mallaby reckons, travelling 32,000 miles in February 2004 alone, giving him "endless openings to schmooze and bargain."

"No matter whether Zoellick's [trade negotiation] tactics work," he adds, "he has built an international network and a reputation as a dynamo. His hopscotching around Africa this week may or may not create useful trade momentum; but it is surely adding to the Zoellick brand, and to his own career prospects. Zoellick for Treasury secretary? Zoellick for Middle East envoy? Zoellick for the World Bank presidency?"

Talking to Minnesota Public Radio, Mallaby argues that Zoellick is in for a tough time if he does get the Bank job:

"The bank is virtually impossible to manage. Its board, consisting of 24 directors from member countries, meets twice a week and peppers the bank staff with questions and directives. One year, the board wants progress on universal childhood education. The next year it calls for more action on AIDS or the environment…

If Bob Zoellick takes on the World Bank, he'll have to rethink the way it's run. Giving every member a say is nice in principal, but families are seldom run like democracies. The bank will carry out its mission best if its boss is free to call the shots.”

David Steven ~ January 03, 2005

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