who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Could it be Gates? In its main editorial today The Guardian considers the candidates and promotes the idea of Bill Gates. The piece argues "the ideal candidate would have experience of running a large, knowledge-driven organisation with an international scope. Second, he or she would need to be deeply interested in international aid and development. (Mr Wolfensohn lacked both facilities, causing the bank much wasted effort.)"

Thirdly, the president should have "a high profile, an inspirational manner and a flair for diplomacy". It decides that Bill Gates - all over the news today - is the best-placed American candidate.

The Guardian thinks Europe certainly doesn't want to pick any more fights with Washington, ruling out Gordon Brown, or any candidates from Bank recipient countries. And it condemns some of our featured candidates as "an unsavoury menu" of "Randall Tobias, the "former head of drugs giant Eli Lilly"; "Elaine Chao, an airline lobbyist turned Bushite labour secretary"; or "John Taylor, best known as a hard-nosed economist".

And the Guardian leader-writer concerned called www.worldbankpresident.org to say they are big fans of this site. Well we liked the editorial, too (if a bit slow in coming).

We are not plugging any of the current candidates. But we can say that while Bill Gates' philanthropy is very impressive, his business approach transferred to the Bank would very much alarm critics who already see the World Bank as an over-dominant player in development knowledge. US academic Steven Klees even named it the MOB - the Monopoly Opinion Bank.

Alex Wilks ~ January 25, 2005

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