From Lima, Jim Kim has been gracious and forward-looking in his official statement after his appointment was announced.
Let’s hope that the owners and the World Bank’s board will not again waste five years trying to forget what they did wrong this time in the appointment process, so that progressive voices will not have to again sit out a fulsome and reasoned discussion of the candidates’ merits.
But let’s not spend the next two years whining about this process. Even a flawed process can have a good outcome.
The situation for the many constituencies hopeful about Jim Yong Kim’s ‘election’ as World Bank president is comparable to early 2009.
Recall, Barack Obama entered a US presidency suffering institutional crisis and faced an immediate fork in the road: make the changes he promised, or sell out his constituents’ interests by bailing out Wall Street and legitimizing a renewed neoliberal attack on society and ecology, replete with undemocratic, unconstitutional practices suffused with residual militarism. As president-elect, surrounding himself with the likes of Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Paul Volcker, William Gates, Rahm Emmanuel and Hillary Clinton, it was obvious which way he would go. Continue reading
If, as expected, Dr. Kim is announced tomorrow as the new President of the World Bank, who do you suppose should be held responsible by the public, and history, for what promises to be an ineffective and tarnished presidency?
Is it the fault of Obama, who now seems to stand for ” a change no one should believe in”, the BRICS that turned out to be as soft as egg shells, or the board of executive directors which abandoned their responsibilities , according to the bylaws of the organization, and proved that they are simply little more than chess pieces for their Capitals?
If the process is now completely tarnished, who should be held responsible?
Yesterday Russia joined the US, Canada, Mexico, Korea, and Japan in saying they will back Kim. They have only 1.7 per cent of the votes at the Bank, but they do have one of the 25 board seats. And they’re the first BRICS country to come out for him. Perhaps tellingly, their statement didn’t explain why they preferred Kim to his more experienced challenger, Okonjo-Iweala. I expect this is the route those backing Kim for (misguided) geopolitical considerations will go. Praise Kim, don’t mention the alternative, or how they decided his merits were better than Okonjo-Iweala’s. We shall see soon enough.
NYU’s Bill Easterly, whose early alliance with CGD’s Lant Pritchett and other critics of Jim Kim has moderated over the past few weeks, has posted an important and carefully-reasoned contribution in defence of Dr Kim, and why Lant and his fellow travelers have it wrong.
Gregg Gonsalves, a long time AIDS activist and an Open Society Foundations Fellow, points out that traditional economists are backing the status quo, Continue reading
Please find below a guest post from Bea Edwards, Executive Director at Government Accountability Project (GAP) in the United States, who analyses Jim Yong Kim’s support of fraternities at Dartmouth.
As president of Dartmouth University, Jim Yong Kim, presides over extreme, traumatizing, pervasive, revolting and potentially illegal hazing at fraternities. Andrew Lohse, the whistleblower who exposed it, is now, alone among those charged with misconduct, on the brink of expulsion.
Janet Reitman of Rolling Stone investigated Dartmouth’s infamous fraternity system and described the violence, class privilege and ritual abuse that fraternity initiaties (pledges) must survive in order to join the clubs. In this forum, we don’t want to Continue reading
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 Continue reading