It looks like things may be about to hot up. The BRICS group of major emerging market economies, meeting in the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Mexico said they will discuss whether to put forward their own candidate. The South African Finance Minister went furthest, saying: “”It is time we break the traditions of the U.S. and Europe sharing the two seats [at the Bank and Fund]”.
The Nigerian finance Minister – herself regarded as a possible African candidate –has made a pointed call for change, and – slightly bizarrrely – the Bangladeshi prime minister even proposed micro-financier Muhammad Yunus. And the voting in our poll suggests there’s a significant Indonesian campaign to promote Sri Mulani Indrawati.
Meanwhile, it looks like domestic momentum is building against possible US candidate Larry Summers – tens of thousands have already signed the online poll against him.
Zoellick, however, is beginning to show his true colours. He said a US president would be “good for the United States and the Bank”. At the same time, without irony, the World Bank (dubious record in designing programmes for economic growth and poverty reduction) issued a reportsaying China (possibly world’s most successful designer of such programmes) needed to change to reduce the role of the state and open up their markets. Plus ça change…