“how did the United States wind up taking the helm of the World Bank, and not the I.M.F”

In an interesting article, Benn Steil, in the New York Times, traces the history of how a spy scandal led to the unwritten arrangement between the US and European powers to divide the leadership of the IMF and World Bank between them.

He concludes his historical account of how this came about saying “Instead of treating the World Bank presidency as a sacred American birthright, we should remember that it was never more than a consolation prize for an administration trying to dodge a spy scandal.”


3 thoughts on ““how did the United States wind up taking the helm of the World Bank, and not the I.M.F”

  1. To Real World Insider, whatever that means, you seem to be unable to read properly, because the article mentions that point.

  2. This is a classic example of how most things the world has come to deal with became a tradition about by default.

    I am no lover nor supporter of WB/IMF, as I see them as instruments of the West to dominate and control unsuspecting lame nations, making them dependent nations while hoisting and hailing them as independent ones.

    We should do away with such institutions, and if we believe in the mantra ‘global village’, then we should trade in one currency.

    The currency manipulation often orchestrated by the leadership of WB/IMF, is so lopsided that it makes one given to seasoned thinking and understanding to question the formula often used to decide which currency measures up close to the dollar.

    A typical example is Ethiopian Birr being stronger than Nigerian Naira, when in all intents and purposes, Ethiopia is a weaker country and exports no oil to US. Nigeria which does and has more educated Africans than any other African nation, has seen its Naira fall from a glorious high in the 70s and 80s to a misery lows in the 21st century.

    Were I president of Nigeria, the WB/IMF would be made irrelevant to the national economic strides, and any Nigerian that works there will never serve in any senior government position. But there again, when a people have self doubt, they look to outsiders for solution, in a way perpetuating the myth about western superior ways and prescriptions.

    But as UK/US struggles with their economies, the doctor is refusing to takes its own prescription but still promotes WB/IMF as rescuer for others. A fallacy that is so brazen even even a blind one can see it.

  3. What the article, making the rounds among Bank retirees, does not even hint at is that after World War 2, as the only superpower standing, the US probably expected to get both jobs. The “sacred birthright” issue is spin by the reporter (or his editor), at the end of a brilliant piece of digging and story-telling.

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