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Who Should Lead the World Bank?

WASHINGTON, DC – Robert Zoellick will depart in June as President of the World Bank, once again raising the thorny issue of leadership of the Bretton Woods twins (the Bank and the International Monetary Fund). At their birth, John Maynard Keynes memorably warned that if these institutions did not get good leaders they would “fall into an eternal slumber, never to waken or be heard of again in the courts and markets of Mankind.”

Getting a good leader, of course, requires a careful selection process. Today, however, the world is stuck with just the opposite: a dreadfully antiquated process whereby the United States and Europe, despite their economic travails, retain a monopoly on the leadership of the Bank and the IMF, respectively.