The World Bank’s Recipe for Irrelevance

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s nomination for a second term is moving forward with a lack of transparency that has become all too typical. The US monopoly over the Bank's top position has resulted in one disastrous pick after another, yet few member countries seem to care enough to do anything about it.

PHILADELPHIA – World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s nomination for a second term is inexorably moving forward with a lack of transparency that has become all too typical. Many observers are once again gnashing their teeth at the United States’ continued monopoly over the top post, despite the poor performance of past US nominees. As the late Yogi Berra once put it, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

The US has been particularly brazen in subverting the nomination process to ensure Kim’s re-appointment. For starters, despite having another ten months left in his first term, Kim – surely with the US government’s blessing – asked the Bank’s Executive Board to accelerate the appointment process. The Board agreed – with no notable dissent – and even shortened the selection process to a mere three weeks.

A compressed schedule makes it difficult for World Bank members to rally around an alternative candidate. And Kim already had a head start, after quietly lobbying member governments at the G7 summit in Japan this May and in personal visits to China and India in recent months.

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