Jim Yong Kim’s statement to the World Bank’s board

The Treasury Department has published the statement that US nominee, Jim Yong Kim, made Wednesday morning to the in camera session of the World Bank’s executive directors before a lengthy questioning and a private lunch.

CSO colleagues who have been skeptical about the process and about Jim Kim’s writings, background and commitment  should read the ending

If I were entrusted with the responsibility of leading this institution, you would find in me someone who asks hard questions about the status quo and is not afraid to challenge existing orthodoxies. You’d also find someone interested in listening — to the Board, to our clients, to staff both here and in the field and to stakeholders in the private sector and civil society. I’d bring rigor, objectivity, and a focus on data that help all of us define and achieve our shared vision of securing strong economic growth and delivering greater opportunity for the world’s poor.

Let us lift our sights. Let us focus on the broader purpose of creating a world that bends towards greater justice, towards greater inclusion, and towards greater dignity for all, especially the poor and most vulnerable.

We should all ask ourselves who will be best able to lift the Bank’s sights. That is what is at stake. But to those who are concerned about country focus, he said

I do not come to this election with a rigid or ideological approach. Rather, I come to a deep-seated commitment to evidence- and results-based solutions that must be country–led and scalable. As an anthropologist, I am trained to value local context, institutions and the interconnectedness of individuals and the broader economy in which they live. I know that solutions must be tailored to the local context and that we must listen to the aspirations of the people and countries that the World Bank serves.

And, lest we forget, he leads Dartmouth, an Ivy League university which is a world-class knowledge institution, and he was a senior academic at Harvard.

Are Professor Ocampo’s and Minister Okonjo-Iweala’s statements to the Bank’s board also forthcoming as their contributions to the open and transparent process all three candidates espouse?

15 thoughts on “Jim Yong Kim’s statement to the World Bank’s board

  1. Statements can be written by aides, but the question is why he refuses to show up at CGD so we can see how he thinks on his feet?

  2. I do not see anything that tells me that Jim Yong Kim could not become a great president of the World Bank… but should that possibility be enough to get elected? If the Executive Directors so decide, I sure hope and expect they have had other means to ascertain his merits and suitability… and of the other candidates too of course

    • Ngozi’s record speaks for itself, and your successors saw her in action, Per, without softball questions.

      • Yes! I do support Ngozi… no question about that, but sincerely I do not have sufficient elements at hand to declare the other candidates unsuitable… am I to be damned for that?

  3. Bank Insider,

    Do not spin or indulge in wishful thinking. . It may work inside your institution in internal meetings. But has very little effect outside.

  4. The US Treasury is selectively releasing information about Kim, but does not want to reveal another issue before the Board of Executive Directors in the selection process for the next World Bank President: rule of law at the World Bank, compliance of the IBRD and IFC on the capital markets, and US Congress’ conditionality on the capital increase.
    Here is information on the problem confronting the Board of Executive Directors, the US Congress, the SEC, the 50 states’ attorney generals, the bond rating agencies, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, and the World Bank’s other oversight agencies:
    The World Bank retaliates against individuals who report corruption, fraud or other official misconduct to US Congress. In an unsigned, undated document most likely written by the World Bank itself, the US Treasury Department is requesting US Congress to disburse the World Bank’s capital increase despite the fact that conditions for the World Bank’s capital increase have not been met. http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/development-banks/Documents/2012%2003%2001%201450%20GCI%20report%20-%20Posting%20version.pdf
    The requirements in US 2012 Appropriations legislation are in Section 7082 of H.R. 2055: http://www.whistleblower.org/storage/documents/whistleblowerlanguageinHR2055.pdf
    US Congress will be abdicating its oversight responsibilities if it simply relies upon bald assertions in Treasury’s report without due diligence inquiry into erroneous statements unsupported by evidence. This is tantamount to a “blank check”.
    Fed up with corruption at the World Bank, on April 25, 2010 the 187 members rescinded the Gentlemen’s Agreement for the US to name the World Bank president http://www.imf.org/external/np/cm/2010/042510.htm
    Denmark, which holds the Presidency of the EU, is poised to vote against the US nominee for President of the World Bank:
    http://www.cphpost.dk/news/international/denmark-may-vote-against-us-world-bank-candidate
    After a UK whistleblower informed the International Development Select Committee of the UK Parliament about accounting problems at the World Bank, on March 29, 2012 the Economic Affairs Committee of the UK House of Lords recommended that funding to the World Bank should be reduced “while a more detailed re-evaluation is carried out.” http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201012/ldselect/ldeconaf/278/27802.htm
    I am a lawyer and economist who worked for twenty years in the legal department of the World Bank. The World Bank fired me in retaliation after I informed Congress about the World Bank’s governance and transparency problems. In November 2005, Mr. Pieter Stek, then Executive Director of the Netherlands constituency and Chair of the World Bank Board Committee on Development Effectiveness, testified on my behalf in the World Bank’s Administrative Tribunal:
    In a multilateral institution which should be governed by the rule of law and high standards of probity the charge of concealment from the Board of Executive Directors of information relevant to the exercise of its duty of supervising management and the persecution of the person who brings this to light is extremely serious. If correct, which I believe, this poisonous cocktail undermines good governance and ultimately the effectiveness of the Bank in fulfilling its mandate. I shall continue to assist Ms. Hudes in her efforts to have due process brought to bear, preferably by the Bank itself, on these issues of governance.
    In February, 2007 I wrote to US Treasury about rule of law at the World Bank:
    I mentioned to Mr. Berger an analysis that was carried out on the rule of law at the World Bank in 2004 by The Sentia Group using a previously classified analytic tool of the Central Intelligence Agency that forecasts policy outcomes using information on how stakeholders are positioned on an issue, how important the issue is to them, and how much power each stakeholder has. I am enclosing a copy of the outcome of this analysis, which predicted that the Bank’s Board of Directors would take back the authority delegated by them to the presidency under the Articles if the rule of law at the Bank was not respected. I also enclose an article describing the predictive power of this analysis, which is about 90%.

    After hearings on accounting irregularities at the World Bank, including cost over-runs on the renovation of the World Bank’s headquarters and over-charges to World Bank borrowers, the US Congress required independent arbitration to protect whistleblowers in the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2005,119 Stat. 2172, the Lugar Leahy Amendment, 22 U.S.C. 262o-445 The reforms required by Congress in the appropriations legislation did not materialize. There is still no access to independent adjudicative bodies to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. The World Bank’s Administrative Tribunal cannot be considered as independent when four of its seven judges serve on lucrative ICSID arbitration panels, and the Tribunal’s Executive Secretaries are rewarded with staff positions at the World Bank following the admission of altered documents in Tribunal litigation.

    Ten years ago, Board interventions under the Strategic Compact designed to build accountability into the Human Resources function at the World Bank were dismantled. I was a member of the Committee appointed by the Board to formulate human resources reforms, and have continued to inform the World Bank’s oversight agencies on these matters. Mr. Luigi de Magistris, the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control, stated in June 2011: “I share the opinion expressed by the Members of the Committee that it was very interesting and inspiring to learn about your case at the World Bank and especially the ideas you have presented to us to make whistleblowing more effective.”
    The World Bank stonewalled four letters from US Congress in my case; refused to cooperate with the Government Accountability Office investigation into transparency; and intimidated staff in the Institutional Integrity Department during the Volcker Panel investigation. KPMG, appointed by the Board’s Audit Committee to audit the World Bank’s internal controls over financial reporting, refused to observe Generally Accepted Audit Standards in KPMG’s unqualified audit opinion. The Securities and Exchange Commission stonewalled an October 12, 2010 inquiry of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. Now the World Bank is refusing to comply with a March 19, 2012 order of the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, in my bondholder litigation to bring the World Bank into compliance on the capital markets.
    :

    • The links offered in Ms Hudes’ reply to this post don’t seem to back up the assertions in her main text, beyond confirming that the G20 “reiterate[d] the importance of an open, merit-based and transparent process for the selection of the President of the World Bank Group.” A future post will comment on what happened, and attempt to explain the back story behind why what happened, happened. Ms Hudes also cites some pretty serious allegations by the Serious Fraud Office to the SEC, and the outcome of her own litigation, which would be interesting to see.

      The Bank’s rather mixed history on whistleblower protection is documented in this June 2010 post from the Government Accountability Project and the Tribunal’s reinstatement of a staff member that extended cyberprotection to all Bank Group staff http://www.whistleblower.org/blog/31/1202 I

      Ms Hudes’ testimony to the US Congress and to the European Parliament does not seem to have led to much action, which might imply that those bodies did not find it to be a sound basis for doing what she advocated. Her testimony to the European Parliament asserts the allegations above in a scholarly comparison of IFI practice with the EC’s, but does not reach a useful conclusion. European readers may have views about how influential it was in what MEPs decided to do next to protext EC employees.

    • I’m new to this bit of news (hehehe), and have a negligible understanding of the sum implications of choosing the next World Bank president. Please, understand.

      I read through your whole post, Ms. Hudes, and am failing to understand the connection between the rule of law at the World Bank and Kim’s statement. What are you implying? Are you guiding discourse away from the original context of the post to what happened to you in relation to whistle-blowing?

      There is no doubt that the next World Bank president will hold sway in how the institution is run, and how Tribunal’s rulings affect whistle-blowers. In my limited experience with a BA in Anthropology from a State University of New York, I found the person centered approach to be most appealing. Obviously, I am biased in my support and hold little to no sway in the ultimate decision. However, I encourage you to ask how a background in Anthropology; first-hand, on the ground experience with combating poverty; and a fresh perspective, with the support of a qualified Board experienced in financial dealings may affect an organization whose stated mission is to “Reduce Global Poverty.”

      I call for an alignment of word and action.

      • The relevance of my comment is that I warned US Treasury in 2007 that a political science analytic tool was predicting an end to the Gentlemen’s Agreement for the US to appoint the president of the World Bank if the US president of the World Bank did not respect rule of law. To this day the US Treasury Department keeps missing the point, and so, sad to say, has New and Confused.

  5. Yes, Dr Jim kon yong a renounced professor at dartmouth, college an ivy league institution . But lets realised one fact no one doubt Kim, or ocampo ability to become world bank president but where merit, knowledge and experience count the 3rd candidate stood very strong. Infact, during her last interview viewer around the globe saw how she articulate to questions include vissions laid forth that could transform the institution and the civil societies. if nominate the president of the world bank. Dr Okonjo Iweala agreed there are some challenges ahead and would be confront head-on. Ngozi has all the tools and comparative advantage over other candidates . History about to be made in an institution where no woman ever lead .

    • Dr. Okonjo’s record in Nigeria speaks for itself. There is a different between talking and action. She talks without action. Her salary was in dollars while majority can not avoid two squire meal a day in Nigeria. She does not represent the masses. She benefited from corruption and close her eyes. She can not be a good World Bank President. thank you. Adekoga

  6. I don’t see any inspiring lines in Kim’s presentation. It is bland as it is stale! Nothing to run with! Nothing to hold!

    We’ve read that of NOI and we see how much electricity therein! Much power! Much passion!

    The best will always stand out: NOI.

  7. I have strong believe that Okonjo will perform well if she eventually elected. Looking at her anticident in economy management and her role in debt relieve in Nigeria during her 1st term as Nigeria’s fin. Minister . Being an economist and an insider in the system she know the problems of both the devloped and underdevlop one interm of job oportunity and poverty eradication. Just give her cgance she wil do even more than her p

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