Pratte: Should the World Bank consider non-Americans for its next president?
Yes, the World Bank should consider non-Americans to replace Robert Zoellick. In fact, there are a couple of prominent candidates from the developing world. But it won’t happen. Developed countries, who finance the Bank’s International Development Association, will not relinquish control of these 30 billion dollars. The long standing understanding that Europe gets the IMF chair and the USA gets the World Bank will remain intact. And its difficult to blame the Americans for their insistance: after all, they do contribute 12% of the World Bank’s funds. The UK’s commitment is similar. Japan is at 11%. Other countries’s share is much smaller (Canada = 4%). So as much as I might wish for a Nigerian or an Indian to be at the helm of such an important organization for Third World development, realpolitik dictates that another American will succeed Mr Zoellick.