who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Add Garten, Dervis to the list. Readers have been in touch with intriguing suggestions for two more candidates for World Bank President. Rumours from Washington reach us, via Yale School of Management, that its Dean, Jeff Garten, might be in with a shout. Garten, a veteran of the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Clinton administrations, was in the same class at Andover as the US president...

Meanwhile, another correspondent - a World Bank veteran from Europe - counsels the US to appoint a non-American candidate, thus giving a much needed boost to its international credibility. His choice? Kemal Dervis, ex-Bank staffer and father of Turkey's economic miracle.

Both men would be available for an early start. While Dervis is now cooling his heels on the Turkish backbenches, Garten will retire from Yale at the end of the academic year.

Both are associated with a softening of the free market consensus, giving them international appeal. Garten has chided Bush for being too impatient with multilateral institutions. "Make no mistake: free markets without regulation will wreak havoc," he says (mpp). "The US can’t do it alone, powerful as we are these days. The world economy does need collective political leadership."

Dervis is also on record attacking market fundamentalism. "I believe that humankind is one large family," he says. "And while I'm fond of Turkey and patriotic, I've also always believed in the principles of the international social-democratic movement."

However both take significant handicaps into the Bank president race. From the point of view of the US adminstration, Dervis's disadvantages are twofold - he's foreign and he leans some way to the left. And Garten? I wonder if his days as an Enron cheerleader will come back to haunt him...

Keep watching...

David Steven ~ January 30, 2005

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