One thought on “It’s (un)Official: Zoellick

  1. Am pasting here the comments on this piece by several readers which did not get transferred during our overnight site move.

    Zoellick is not a very inspiring choice: after the recent trauma, the World Bank needs an able manager to heal the institution, set out a proper strategy for poverty reduction, and work non-confrontationally with development partners and staff alike. Management and leadership skills are more important qualities in a WB President at this juncture than technical development expertise, of which there is much available in the Bank for any president willing to use it. One can only hope that he doesn’t live up to his reputation of poor management and bullying, that he understands the lesson of his predecessor’s failure and that he refrains from creating a parallel management structure populated with cronies, like his predecessor. When, oh when will we see a board insisting on an open and merit-based presidential selection process. And when, oh when, will we see a WB president who is not white, middle aged and male?

    Disappointed WB staffer ~ May 29, 2007, 11:10 PM

    Zoellick is a very good choice. He is a proven diplomat with many prickly situations handled with deft, and competence.

    Indeed, his career covers some of the most contentious issues, including the emergence of China as a major trading partner of the US.

    In that respect, he understands development — in terms of what it takes to succeed, better than most other candidates.

    As for his reputation for ‘bullying’, well, that is part and parcel of being a trade negotiator. The reputation as a ‘poor manager’ is something that is not a consensus on. If he does bully the administration and congress into living up to their obligations to fund the Bank’s activities, that may not be a bad thing!

    Insofar as an open and merit based selection process — well, if the existing system were replaced — it will still work like the UN. Merit to a degree, and then…. .um.. politics.

    As for white, middle aged, etc. if he is competent, why should that be held against him?

    None ~ May 29, 2007, 11:45 PM

    Bob Zoellick is the best choice–especially amongst those acceptable to Bush administration. His managerial skills at Fannie Mae, legal background for USTR, and financial expertise at Goldman Sachs are all assets. Last but least, anyone would be an improvement over PW. And, it goes without saying, you really have to bend over backwards toward making a mess at a place such as the World Bank. All in all, imagine PW being at that place for 10 years!

    Washingtonian ~ May 30, 2007, 12:42 AM

    Anyone who saw Zoellick’s dismal performance at the WTO summit in Cancun in 2003 would have grave doubts about his ability to smoothly run an institution like the World Bank. He insulted a number of developing countries and perhaps permanently alienated the current Brazilian government (note the Brazilians’ very cool reaction to the announcement). Don’t be too sanguine . . . .

    Observer ~ May 30, 2007, 02:17 AM

    Hail to the Vulcans 🙁

    “The Vulcans is a nickname used to refer to Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush’s foreign policy advisory team assembled to brief him prior to the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. The Vulcans were led by Condoleezza Rice and included Richard Armitage, Robert Blackwill, Stephen Hadley, Richard Perle, Dov Zakheim, Robert Zoellick and Paul Wolfowitz. Other key campaign figures including Dick Cheney, George Shultz and Colin Powell were also closely associated with the group but were never actually members. During the campaign, Bush sought to deflect questions about his own lack of foreign policy experience by pointing to this group of experienced advisers. After the election, all the members of the team received key positions within the new Bush administration.”

    From Wikipedia

    Yul ~ May 30, 2007, 02:48 AM

    It looks like one neo-con zealot replacing another. In addition, he has no substantive development experience. True, he was involved in trade negotiations on behalf of the US government, but the Doha Round went nowhere –it is still lying flat on the floor, sick and half -dead.

    The selection process should be open , fair and meritocratic. The advanced countries preach about good governance to developing countries. The least they can do is to begin good governance at the international organizations–more particularly, at the World Bank–by making the selection process open and transparent.

    michael philipps ~ May 30, 2007, 03:00 AM

    the Doha Round trade negotiations have failed, miserably. Huge expenses in meetings but no deal and no progress. the US is at least partly responsible for this. Zoellick led the US team. and they failed. the outlook for the Bank is not too bright!

    reward for failure ~ May 30, 2007, 04:39 AM

    I have been reading None’s posts, and he has shown to be articulated and eloquent but consistently wrong. This is called poor judgement (if Nones knows development; if not it’s just ignorance).

    None has por judgement ~ May 30, 2007, 07:47 AM

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