World Bank or US Bank?

Interesting new article from the Bretton Woods Project about the selection of the next World Bank president, while Zoellick keeps quiet about his term’s imminent end: 

Since October 2008, the Development Committee, a group of finance and development ministers that guides the Bank’s direction, has endorsed an “open, merit-based and transparent” selection process “with nominations open to all board members and transparent board consideration of all candidates”. In April 2011, the Bank’s executive board approved a paper that “regularised the selection process for the president based on the Bank’s past experience and practice”.

The paper lays out recommendations for nomination, shortlisting and final selection of the president, but fails to go beyond the Bank’s own past practice, which has long been criticised by many civil society groups as weak and unfair due to the gentlemen’s agreement that allows the US to appoint the president of the Bank, while European leaders get to choose the head of the IMF. Collins Magalasi, of the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development, argued that “it’s a World Bank, not a US Bank. It needs the best candidate to get the job with support of wide Bank membership, not just the US.”


Reading the article you will find that even the UN is calling for a proper leadership selection process at the World Bank:

In December last year, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted a resolution that called for the reform of governance structures at the Bank and IMF, including regarding the representation of developing countries in quotas and voting rights. The resolution also “reiterates that the heads and senior leadership of the international financial institutions, particularly the Bretton Woods institutions, should be appointed through open, transparent and merit-based selection processes, with due regard to gender equality and geographical and regional representation.”

2 thoughts on “World Bank or US Bank?

  1. No doubt that Zoellick is deliberately sabotaging the process so that he can
    wangle another term. Disgraceful and a tremendous failure of global governance.
    G-20 should be ashamed.

  2. No one knows what “an open, transparent and merit-based selection process” would look like. I’ll bet it will look like the IMF did last year to select Mme Lagarde. If Zoellick does not step down soon, as most hope and expect, the process will look rushed and fixed, however the US nominee is announced. Given Zoellick’s wish to be a player in his next job, he and his (small, but loyal) entouraghe will want to control what the Board does very tightly. Watch for an embargo on any bad news about his ‘legacy’, because there is much to comment on that will annoy and upset him. And many willing sources for journalists they met during “World Bank Spring” in 2005 when the last US neocon went down. Fortunately for Zoellick and the Bank’s owners, the never-ending GOP reality show will keep what happens off the front pages.

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