who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Potential successors lining up. Although various journalists and commentators are tipping long-shots such Malloch Brown and Clinton (Hilary that is) a smaller list of genuine potential candidates seems to be emerging.

They include:
Robert B. Zoellick, former U.S. trade representative and deputy secretary of state and now a managing director and vice chairman for international affairs at New York investment bank Goldman Sachs Group. The Washington Times has trouble getting anyone to go on the record promoting Zoellick, however, finding only one anonymous “specialist” in favour and one saying he's too tainted by his role in the Bush administration.

Also named in the Washington Times are:

- Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert M. Kimmitt, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, undersecretary of state for political affairs and general counsel to the Treasury Department.

- Robert D. Hormats, also a Goldman Sachs managing director and former assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, deputy U.S. trade representative and senior deputy assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs.

- Martin Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Reagan administration and now president of the National Bureau of Economic Research and professor of economics at Harvard University.

- Stanley Fischer, who served as the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 1994 to 2001. He currently is the governor of the Bank of Israel. He also has been a senior official at Citigroup and vice president for development economics and chief economist at the World Bank.

- U.N. Development Program Administrator Kemal Dervis, a former Turkish minister for economic affairs and the treasury who has held various World Bank positions.

All mentions of Ashraf Ghani seem to have disappeared since 20 April when we reported on this possibility.

If we are missing other important ones, please let us know. Also about your views on the above list.

Alex Wilks ~ May 09, 2007


The obvious one you are missing is Blair. Granted this is a very very long shot, although:
1) Bush owns him a favour
2) We are starting to see some hints he might be interested. Ben Hall in the FT May 3 2007 wrote: "TB will seek an “executive role” after he stands down as prime minister this summer, which could include a new post of president of the European Union. [ ] is unlikely simply to take to the international lecture circuit. [ ] Mr Blair has already indicated that he will continue to campaign for development and better government in Africa and may use his celebrity status to seek more urgent action to combat climate change. [ ] However, at only 56, he would like to find an “executive role” rather than simply becoming an influential observer. [ ] The thing about TB is that he likes doing things. He thrives under pressure. He likes to think of himself as a hands-on manager dealing with the big issue, before his attention shifts."
... of course this article was refering to President of the EU, but (i) this position does not exist; (ii) even if it was created, not sure it would fullfill TBs "hands-on executive role" he is calling for.... affaire à suivre..

Paco ~ May 09, 2007, 05:28 PM

Blair? I hear John Bolton is looking for a job is well.

Or are you all still stuck on the Afghani guy?

Try again. Look to Americans, the rest are excluded from consideration unless you live in some sort of fantasy world.

World Bank Wonk ~ May 09, 2007, 06:05 PM

Born in Zambia, Israeli and American.
One of the best economists in the world, a great teacher and a wonderful human being.

Stanley Fischer for President of the World Bank.

Save the World Bank ~ May 09, 2007, 06:07 PM

Even if Blair were to agree to do the job he should not be considered. His administration is tainted by allegations of corruption that he has condoned: the BAE scandal on aircraft sales to Saudi Arabia and the "Peerages for cash" scheme of the Labour Party that is being investigated by the Department of Public Prosecutions.

Keith pitman ~ May 09, 2007, 07:17 PM

The word that the Bush team was considering Ashraf Ghani came from the London Times:


The relevant question is whether he holds dual US-Afghan citizenship, which is certainly plausible. Ghani, unlike Stan Fischer, is someone the Bush Administration has dealt with before, so it's not necessarily as implausible as it sounds.

Some of you may also recall that James Wolfensohn was not an American citizen until Clinton decided to appoint him to the post.

D.L. ~ May 09, 2007, 08:50 PM

Wolfensohn took U.S. citizenship some time before '95 -- he was trying to get Carter (I think) to consider him for the post.

As for Fischer: I know he has a good deal of support inside the institutions. Apparently everyone who meets him likes him, as the comment above seems to suggest. BUT, I think some governments might really be unhappy with the idea of appointing someone directly from an official position in the Israeli government/CB. And I might add, that wouldn't be the only opposition. Nice as he no doubt is, he was the power behind the throne during the Camdessus years at the IMF, the peak of the structural adjustment era when the IFIs were busy devastating economies all over the world (not that they've entirely stopped). It may seem like a small thing when he's such a nice guy, but his hands are badly stained.

Soren Ambrose ~ May 09, 2007, 10:19 PM

Just a review of history and some facts:
Mr. Wolfensohn became a US citizen in 1980. Prof. Fischer came to the IMF somewhat after what someone calls the "structural adjustment era" and his main role was to deal with the many financial and banking crises of the 1990's. Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Brazil, Russia, LTCM in the US and other problems. The IMF the US Treasury, the BIS and the whole IFIs system managed to prevent a world financial meltdown. A difficult period that now seems forgotten in times of growth and expansion. This shows that these institutions have done their job fairly well and allowed a recovery from the devastation of the 1980's.

Is time to move on to resolve this governance crisis at the World Bank.
Someone like Stanley Fischer would provide gravitas and credibility and would restore the sense of purpose of the dedicated and hardworking staff of the World Bank.

Save the World Bank ~ May 10, 2007, 07:32 AM

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