who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Professor Robert Wade calls for cool heads. In a letter to the editor of the FT, Professor Robert Wade of the Development Studies Institute at the London School of Economics and long-time analyst of the Bank, calls for cooler heads to prevail.

"On Mr Wolfowitz's future, those who wish to strengthen economic multilateralism should stop pressing for his resignation. With him in place, weakened, they would have time to secure interstate agreement that the next president should be recruited worldwide, and secure alternative funding arrangements for soft loans so that the US government no longer holds the organisation hostage to the threat of cutting contributions if it loses its monopoly."

Wade is right that if Wolfowitz leaves without agreement on fixing the process whereby his successor would be chosen, an opportunity will have been lost. However, if he stays in place, there are no guarantees that this will ensure that the process gets fixed - as in the case where the Americans vetoed the nomination of Caio Koch-Weiser to head the IMF in 2000 - it is amazing how quickly after a crisis the powers can return to the status quo. Let's keep the pressure on - end the fix!

Jeff Powell ~ April 24, 2007

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