who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Southern countries following not leading. Developing country representatives have so far failed to put forward a candidate for the Bank position. They have also resisted making statements about the process. Reports I have received of recent meetings with developing country representatives in Washington indicate that they are not prepared to act for fear of offending the USA.

One official pointed out that World Bank client country staff do not want to rock the boat as they see their main job as negotiating loans from the institution. Alienating its main shareholder (the USA) and incoming president would therefore not be wise.

However you'd think they should be trying to influence the choice of incoming president to ensure they are not completely in the thrall of the Whitehouse. Apparently not. There is said to be little energy and a feeling of despondency around the developing country Executive Directors' (EDs) offices in Washington. So the surprising rebellion of half the EDs in the IMF during the succession at that institution seems unlikely to be repeated.

It's flattering for us, but worrying for the world: apparently developing country EDs - far from being proactive on this issue - are relying on www.worldbankpresident.org just to follow it.

As ever we are open to comments or further insights. (Anonymously if necessary: to contact@worldbankpresident.org).

Alex Wilks ~ January 22, 2005

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