I am a pessimist about leadership change at the IFIs

I am a pessimist about leadership change at the IFIs. I don’t know what is required to actually get change. At the IMF all the forms and papers were lined up to have a genuine change, but the emerging market economies could not get their act together; the Mexican Carstens bravely stood as a candidate garnering a full 2 votes; the Russians nominated a thief from one of their neighboring countries.

And of course the French marched out an impeccable candidate without a moment’s hesitation. I don’t think CSOs can do much more. On the World Bank Side, the US is so irritated with the behavior of the Europeans in the lead up to the 2010 summit in Korea—their absolute refusal to let go of even one of their 8 chairs, and then NO country supported the US in being in-the-face of the Europeans, that the US has decided no other country is willing to go to the line for major reforms in the IFIs, so the US needs to keep its veto at the IMF and in the WB IDA.

I wish it were not so, but it seems realpolitik continues to trump normative considerations. Despite my firmest desires, my bet is the US will continue to hold the WB Presidency. So, I will support efforts, while scanning the US horizon for an honorable and good person to lead the WB.