Sachs, Ocampo, and Okonjo-Iweala, 2 out of the 3 need to withdraw

In order to give someone from the developing world a real chance to get the top position at the World Bank, two out of the above mentioned three nominees need to withdraw and throw their weight behind the 3rd candidate. That was the opinion of a group of staffers at the World Bank’s headquarters today gathering for lunch. The rational beyond this is obvious of course. The developing countries must unite behind one candidate if they have a chance to make history and break the strangle hold of Europe and the US on the leadership positions in the World Bank and IMF. The only two international institutions that don’t have open competition for the top jobs.
My question is, who are the two that should withdraw?

11 thoughts on “Sachs, Ocampo, and Okonjo-Iweala, 2 out of the 3 need to withdraw

  1. Nigerians need Ngozi Okonjo Iwela more than the world bank needs her services. Win or lose, most well meaning Nigerians will be happy, as they wish that she helps engineer a strong growth of the Nigerian economy as quickly as possible, creating needed jobs and help in fighting corruption. This comes first to wining the world bank presidency

  2. It breaks my heart to know how silent the rest of the world is to the game of said developed and said developing countries fighting for control of common project interest, we from the other said block have what it takes to lead the world bank (which by the way is for developments) to a better organization with focus on real time developmental agenda, instead of using the bans as a tool to deepen the economic woes of the poorer nations.

  3. Kenya, Timor Leste, Bhutan, Malaysia, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile “and others” together probably have fewer votes than Luxembourg at the Bank’s board. They are all parts of larger constituencies with one powerful board member from a large country (e.g., anglophone non-South Africa, non-Nigeria Africa, India, Brazil, etc.), who will be part of the interview process and the ‘consensus’ choice 25 board members will make, reflecting their finance/planning/development ministers’ wish.

  4. The list has grown quite long which you can find in the blog’s archive. It includes Kenya, East Timor, Bhutan, Malaysia, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, and others.

  5. I have to agree on this one! Why on earth should one of the candidates withdraw at this point. Let the board interview them all. Let them all put forward their positions. Let them all try to convince the board that they have the right vision for the Bank. Then afterwards the Developing countries should get together and jointly back the one that they feel is best for the job from the full list. No need to circumscribe choice at this point!

  6. Is this outsourcing? If so does it imply that next time around, we from the developing countries, need to launch an early search for a good short list of American candidates, or even send someone over to the USA early to try to get a citizenship?

  7. Sachs is not from a developing country, nor has he ever lived in one. He has 0 management experience of a major institution like the bank. His major idea in development — as incarnated in the Millennium Development Villages — is neither innovative, nor cost-effective, nor scalable/viable, etc. His record on shock therapy in Eastern Europe and Latin America is highly controversial and is probably the last thing the developing world would need right now. And his arrogance and shameless self-promotion for the presidency of the World Bank have been painful to watch. Am curious which developing countries (A Bank Insider) would actually back him?

  8. Collusion of Sachs and the non-Americans to limit the board members’ choices sounds neither open nor transparent. The board will shortlist three, and if there are three good candidates why shouldn’t they? The voting is weighted, in any event, and the decision ‘by consensus’.

  9. True Per, but he is not an official nominee of the US and has the votes of some developing countries.

  10. I know most of the press is putting all their weight in favour of Okonjo-Iweala. She comes from Africa, has World Bank experienced and is clearly prepared for the job. However, I would argue that Jose Antonio Ocampo is actually the best candidate of the three because it combines management experience at the international level (as leader of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and under-secretary of the UN) with world class credentials as Economist. He has developed creative new ideas on growth, macroeconomic management and structural change (from a structuralist perspective) and would introduce significant innovations at the World Bank. Sachs, on the other hand, is not a credible experience: how can we appoint a person without management experience to manage a large institution?

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