From Lima, Jim Kim has been gracious and forward-looking in his official statement after his appointment was announced.
Let’s hope that the owners and the World Bank’s board will not again waste five years trying to forget what they did wrong this time in the appointment process, so that progressive voices will not have to again sit out a fulsome and reasoned discussion of the candidates’ merits.
But let’s not spend the next two years whining about this process. Even a flawed process can have a good outcome.
With hours to go to the announcement Ngozi has just told the press that “You know this thing is not really being decided on merit. It is voting with political weight and shares, and therefore the United States will get it”.
If, as expected, Dr. Kim is announced tomorrow as the new President of the World Bank, who do you suppose should be held responsible by the public, and history, for what promises to be an ineffective and tarnished presidency?
Is it the fault of Obama, who now seems to stand for ” a change no one should believe in”, the BRICS that turned out to be as soft as egg shells, or the board of executive directors which abandoned their responsibilities , according to the bylaws of the organization, and proved that they are simply little more than chess pieces for their Capitals?
If the process is now completely tarnished, who should be held responsible?
African telecoms billionaire and sponsor of prizes for good governance, Mo Ibrahim made – rather succinctly – some key arguments about why a flawed process is not in the interest of the Bank or even the US. Here’s what he had to say
“The world is changing. Continue reading
A great op-ed in the Guardian by fellow blogger (and former colleague) Peter Chowla – he’s perhaps too modest to post if for himself, so I’ve done that for him below. Also signs that the inevitable backlash against the winner’s legitimacy – given the lack of transparency of the process – has begun, with critical comments from Oxfam and Save the Children in this piece.
Here’s Peter’s op-ed Continue reading
None of us, including “A Bank Insider” know what happened in the executive session. None of us know for a fact that ‘only the African directors [spoke] for Ngozi’. Continue reading
Yesterday Russia joined the US, Canada, Mexico, Korea, and Japan in saying they will back Kim. They have only 1.7 per cent of the votes at the Bank, but they do have one of the 25 board seats. And they’re the first BRICS country to come out for him. Perhaps tellingly, their statement didn’t explain why they preferred Kim to his more experienced challenger, Okonjo-Iweala. I expect this is the route those backing Kim for (misguided) geopolitical considerations will go. Praise Kim, don’t mention the alternative, or how they decided his merits were better than Okonjo-Iweala’s. We shall see soon enough.
Ocampo released a communiqué confirming that in order “to facilitate the desired unity of the emerging and developing economies around a candidate” he is retiring from the race to support the Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, “to whom I wish the best of luck in this final stage”.
He expressed Continue reading
While Bank-watchers were expecting the final decision to be made next week, we should have paid more attention to more reputable sources. I’m talking of course of Dartmouth College, the US Ivy League school no one outside of the US had ever heard of until its President was plucked from nowhere to run for the World Bank Presidency. Ok, Ok, I’m being unfair. Probably not that many in the US had heard of it either.
But we should all have paid more attention, as they were the first to officially call the outcome of the race. Yes, their head of media relations (a big job, now at least) tells us: Continue reading
With all the excited talk about the candidates and their interviews, lets get down to brass tacks – the World Bank Board is going to hold a straw poll today to check into where countries are. While a formal decision is expected to be taken and announced Monday this straw poll is important to see if the developing countries can coalesce around one candidate and make the Europeans think again about the gentleman’s agreement (read: sordid back room deal with the Americans). Who has the numbers?
It is all a bit complicated because the Bank is in the middle of their capital increase, which has not fully gone through all capitals yet. Meaning the voting rights at the board are neither the pre-2010 agreement levels, nor the final 2010 agreement levels. The Bank corporate secretary helpfully published a new table of voting rights by executive director yesterday.
Here’s the arithmetic as far as we know or can guess.
- US, Canada, Japan for Kim. Lets add Spain/Mexico in that column since the Mexicans declared their preference. And lets Add New Zealand/Australia/South Korea as well since the Korean president has backed Kim.
- Latin Americans for Ocampo – Brazil nominated him, the Argentinians wouldn’t dream of supporting one of the others at this point.
- Three African constituencies for Okonjo-Iweala given the African Union support.