who will be next World Bank President What will they do
 
 

     
 

Advice for the new president. Handy tips for the incoming president of the Bank are listed in today's Financial Times. They include a suggestion not to shout at staff and a promise that despite the decentralisation of some Bank decision-making "you can still parachute in for dinner with a president and immediately earmark extra funds for his pet project".

Robert Shrimsley's satirical article was prompted by Wolfensohn's announcement that he is leaving a handover manual for his successor.

The piece, written in the style of a memo from the "not entirely self-effacing" Wolfensohn advises: "given the current political climate and need for you to have been approved by the Bush administration, I'll start with the basics. Africa is that big place in the southern hemisphere. The one that looks a bit like a revolver, if that helps. It's poor, really poor, even poorer than Arkansas. It needs sorting out, by which I don't mean deploying a platoon of Don Rumsfeld's finest."

"The World Bank will always be pulled three ways between the rich countries stumping up the cash, who prefer at least some of it to trickle through to the poor on its way to the Swissfirst Bank in Zurich, the poorer countries who need the help, and the NGOs who think they know more than the others about how to spend it."

Later in this process we will also post suggestions and comments about where they should take the Bank and how. The candidates won't be able to say they were not warned.

The FT also carries a letter by Manish Bapna and Nikki Reisch at Bank Information Center, a watchdog NGO in Washington. This argues that "decision-making structures are fundamentally unbalanced." They point out that "Even under the leadership of a qualified president, if the bank continues to take decisions behind closed doors it risks perpetuating its image as a technocratic power out of the reach of ordinary citizens".

Alex Wilks ~ January 14, 2005


 
 
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