Play it again Sam!!Tradition?

No this is not Casablanca. Looks like Zoellick met with the Board late last night (an “informal” meeting that lasted four hours reports AFP) to discuss “strategic directions, leadership, corporate governance, multilateral environment and independence ” of the Bank and according to the New York Times, “A bank official familiar with Mr. Zoellick’s meeting said he was very precise in discussing possible changes in the bank’s governing structure and its difficulties on issues like whether to continue lending to so-called middle-income countries that have easy access to capital markets, the need to raise money for the poorest countries and combating corruption in bank lending.

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Only a matter of formality

June 15th has come and gone and Zoellick is the only game on H street even after calls for a new transparent process of appointing the president of the World Bank have emerged from different sources and countries. According to Reuters, a bank official said the board was expected to meet with Zoellick next week, with an eye toward finalizing the process by June 29 and having the new president in place on July 1 since no other nominations have been submitted. Continue reading

Robin Cleveland: Thanks but no thanks

As reported by Deep Insider, Monique Barbut was practising some “travails” to get the “dragon-lady” Robin a cushy job at GEF. Guess with only 18 months to go for the Bush Administration, his political followers are not welcomed, as ” must have employees “, with open arms in some corporations and dear Robyn does need a job. However, according to Al Kamen from Washington Post, Robin won’t be an ilk of Monique.

The job apparently would have meant a two-step demotion in rank as well as a substantial — perhaps six-figure — decline in salary, according to the Government Accountability Project, which has been exposing various misdeeds and shortcomings at the bank.”

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Que sera, sera! Zoellick and Shaha at the WB

In its section of “l’homme de la semaine” (Man of the week!) of last week’s edition (No 2421), JEUNE AFRIQUE describes the man who will be the next president of the World Bank. I realize that he is just a nominee but I do consider it a “fait accompli” since the buzz about other prospects has died down and the man in question seems to be the de facto candidate. The article, written by Alain Faujas, the Washington-based correspondent of Le Monde, gives a good overview of what we have read in the North American and British media since the announcement. A translated version, graciously provided by a reader, can be read here. However, in the same edition, we have the best part from Sonia Mabrouk who asks the question:”And Shaha in all that ?” Looks like it is splitsville between Shaha and Wolfowitz! According to the writer: “in this terrible business of nepotism, he has lost everything: his job as President, the respect of the majority of his collaborators and even…..the recipient of his undue favours“. Continue reading

“Nay” from Joseph Stiglitz

One person who has doubts on the suitability of Zoellick is Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist of the WBG, Joseph Stiglitz. As told to La Republica and reported in The Times, Stiglitz asked the following: “Robert Zoellick defended American agricultural protectionism until the bitter end when he was responsible for commercial talks. How will he, as the future president of the World Bank, ask for the dismantling of aid to agriculture that favours developed countries at the expense of those that are poor?Continue reading

Breeding ground for civil servants

That’s what Goldman Sachs is known for, according to the New York Times. The following alumni are part of the “coterie” of the Bush administration:

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson

Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff

Stephen Friedman, President Bush’s ex-director of the National Economic Council.

I guess Bob does owe a lot to ‘Hank’ who keeps hiring him wherever he goes (or when he has a say or the ear of GWB) – Wall Street and now the WB .