who will be next World Bank President What will they do


FT slams search process. The Financial Times comments that "shamefully, the US and the EU show no sign of abandoning the stitch-up by which an American runs the World Bank in return for a European running the International Monetary Fund".

It foresees "unprecedented jockeying" for this vacant position and urges the world "not to accept a second rate American candidate".

In an article (subs) comparing the current selection processes for the World Bank, WTO and OECD, the FT says "the choices matter". The people in these posts "must be capable of advancing increasingly complex agendas, balancing continued global economic leadership from the US and European Union with shared ownership by rising economic powers and the developing world".

It points out that each institution should establish a qualified and respected executive search committee to solicit applications and vet them against a transparent list of criteria. The committee would then recommend the best candidate for approval by representatives of the member states. The FT argues that "such a process should have broad appeal, not least to President Bush, who seeks to bring a more business-like approach to government."

"World Bank president is an executive post, yet the task of managing such a diverse organisation, both knowledge bank and lender, with occasional shifts of priorities by shareholder governments, is difficult in the extreme. This position above all should be open to successful reformers from the developing world. Colin Powell aside, few of the US names mentioned thus far offer either global stature or knowledge of development. At a minimum, the world should refuse to accept a second rate American candidate."

In a linked article also today the FT foresees (subs) "an unprecedented level of global jockeying" for these three important global positions. So stay tuned.

Alex Wilks ~ January 11, 2005

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