who will be next World Bank President What will they do


It's got to be Gordon - TIME. "There's one job - a vitally important one - for which the British Chancellor is the person best qualified in the world" comments TIME Europe today. It praises Brown's management of the British economy and suggests he could serve as president of the World Bank for ten years - remaining "a figure on the world stage when Blair had long retired to the board of the Carlyle Group and a spread in Gascony".

Even though "he bears grudges and does not make people feel comfortable" TIME feels "he has the qualities that would make him a superb president, one who could lead the Bank to a new level of global credibility". It comments that "Brown does not just have the intellectual smarts to lead the Bank — though he has them in spades. During his time as Chancellor, he has also shown a rare and genuine compassion for the poor, and has relentlessly bullied other Finance Ministries to forgive debt to developing countries and open their wallets to the destitute of the world".

TIME joins the list of publications condeming "the cynical carve-up of positions at the head of key international institutions" which reserves this job for an American. It says that "there is no American candidate — no, not even Colin Powell, of whom Bank staffers dream — who is as perfect a fit for the Bank as Brown".

The Sunday Herald also considers the possibility that Brown might call it a day in British politics and look at the Bank job as a good escape option. It reviews Brown's options and finds it a serious possibility that he might not be offered a cabinet post and a full-scale media briefing war with Blair might break out. "In this scenario it would be tempting for Brown to look favourably to the post that will be vacated in May by the current president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn. That option may already be under serious consideration as Brown tours Africa and realises the power and influence he could direct – especially over world poverty and foreign debt aid – at the World Bank".

There has been no comment from Gordon Brown during his Africa trip on this possibility.

Alex Wilks ~ January 16, 2005

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