A question of credibility

Here is a question that keeps on nagging at me; what will be the reputational cost to the World Bank and Mr. Kim himself, once the charade of this selection process is over and he is confirmed as the new President of the World Bank?.
I say once, since it seems quite clear that after all the noise about merit based selection by the G20, the directors on the board of the bank will eventually cast their votes according to their shares.
Now, that there seems to be almost a universal judgment that Mr. Kim is the least qualified of the three candidates for the job, how will his credibility – and hence effectiveness, and that of the bank, fare after he takes over?

11 thoughts on “A question of credibility

  1. Voice of reason derives pleasure in going back and forth without a clear direction.

  2. Ocampo’s campaign has generated plenty of press and coverage. Just not too much on this board as spanish speaking news don’t seem to arrive here and none of the authorized bloggers post about them. It hasn’t even been mentioned that the signatures in support of Ocampo have now reached 400 of the most respected economists and academics around the world. The comments in his favor here, are limited to the comment sections but… no blog about him.

  3. Ocampo makes compelling points in understandable and thoughtful academic language. It is a shame that his candidacy has not generated more coverage about him.

  4. With all due respect to NOI. I do not support her candidacy exactly for the same reason that many of her supporters are projecting as her strongest point – experience. The last 2 decades plus, the WB earned a terrible reputation for its many failed policies that resulted in impoverishing many African states and locking them in failed debts and underdevelooment (working in cahoot with the Fund). NOI’s experience represents the bests in the generation of the Bank’s failure in Africa. In the face of crisis facing the world, what it needs is change; so much for Africa too. It is difficult to lay hands on any evidence that NOI is different or capable of being different as a result of the rich experience she has in the old order. A NOI presidency simply means continuation of the failures. This is what Kim’s (in)experience as an outsider (inexperienced in the ways of the Bank), can bring in my opinion. Change is what the world needs now to survive the multiple crises; not continuation of the old order responsible for the mess that Africa & the world currently finds itself.

  5. Although if I were Jim Yong Kim, I would feel extremely honored having been nominated for the presidency of the World Bank, and the last thing I would like was to be or seem to be ungrateful, there is no doubt that, in his shoes, I would begin to feel a bit uncomfortable with how the whole process was turning out. Did Jim Yong Kim really think about that he could provoke the displacement of candidates that could be more meritorious than him, just because they were not American? If finally nominated president that sure must take away some of the fun of it all… at least.

  6. I am not sure that the credibility of the Bank is eroded fatally by this less than ideal process, and how it has been played in the press and on niche blogs like this. It will depend, rather, on whether the Bank’s board picks someone they will work with to make change happen and on what the new president of the Bank then does to transform the place, after seven years of strategic drift, uneven management and mission creep.

    Should one of the vocal opponents of the process not be appointed, it will become a matter of whether they will work constructively to make things better next time, rather than carp on how they were a victim and someone they believe is less qualified was unfairly chosen.

  7. First, the least that should be asked of each one of the three candidates, is why they think they would be better than the other two as president of the World Bank, and then it could perhaps be easier to decide, based on whether their answers sound credible or not.

    Also it would not be bad to remind the Executive Directors that, at the end of the day, whether they like it or not, according to the statutes of the bank, they are responsible as individuals… and so there should be no hiding behind the skirt of “my government told me so”

  8. A very good question, indeed. The Bank Directors have made a commitment on a selection based on merit and they should act accordingly; they should avoid voting based on their shares and other commitments.

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