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.

They expect to meet again on Monday to confirm the “fait accompli” of the appointment of the next President of the Bank. However the following article still questions this “tradition” or priviledge of the US nominating one of its citizens to that position:

By tradition – not by any formal or written agreement – the US President picks the World Bank President while the Europeans appoint the Managing Director of the IMF. This undemocratic practice is a leftover from a world that is now obsolete.

He also makes some analogies to debunk the assumption that the US or the Europeans should maintain this “gentlemen’s agreement” (or should I refer to it as the old boys’ Club).

The exercise of democratic rights – about how and by whom to be governed – is not a matter of wealth. All states that are members of the Bank and the IMF – Asian, African, Latin American, European, and North American – must each be permitted to equally participate in the choice of the successor to Mr. Wolfowitz.”

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