The World Bank is expected to announce its new president next week. Tradition holds that this person is an American. But this year there are calls for the candidate to be a non-American. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria’s Finance Minister and she has some influential backers. She will be on GPS this Sunday at 10am and 1pm EST.
Here's an excerpt: FULL POST
Editor's Note: Jagdish Bhagwati is University Professor of Law and Economics at Columbia University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. For more, visit Project Syndicate's excellent new website or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.
By Jagdish Bhagwati, Project Syndicate
The selection of a successor to Robert Zoellick as President of the World Bank was supposed to initiate a new era of open meritocratic competition, breaking the traditional hold that the United States has had on the job. Indeed, Zoellick’s own appointment was widely regarded as “illegitimate” from that perspective. But US President Barack Obama has let the world down even more distressingly with his nomination of Jim Yong Kim for the post.
To begin with, it should have been clear that a most remarkable candidate – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – was already at hand. She had impressive credentials: degrees in economics from Harvard and MIT, experience working on a wide variety of development issues as a managing director of the World Bank, and stints as Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria. (She also possesses and has amply demonstrated that rarest of qualities: a willingness to fight corruption at the expense of her job.)
Moreover, Okonjo-Iweala is witty, articulate, and no wimp when it comes to taking on shoddy arguments. She is a dream candidate to lead the World Bank. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO, is the author of When Markets Collide. For more from El-Erian, visit Project Syndicate or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.
By Mohamed El-Erian, Project Syndicate
The international community risks settling for second best on two key issues to be discussed this month at global meetings in Washington, DC: the lingering (if currently somewhat dormant) European debt crisis, and the selection of the World Bank’s next president. It is not too late to change course, but doing so will require the United States and governments in Europe to resist harmful habits, and emerging countries to follow up effectively on recent initiatives.
In the last few days, European leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, have declared that the worst of the eurozone crisis is over. Others, like French Finance Minister Francois Baroin, have gone even further, claiming that Europe “has done its part,” and that it is now up to other countries to do theirs. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Terra Lawson-Remer is a Fellow at The Council on Foreign Relations and Assistant Professor at The New School. She was formerly Senior Advisor for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
By Terra Lawson-Remer – Special to CNN
Obama's dark horse nominee for World Bank President-medical doctor, PhD anthropologist, Ivy League college professor, hip-hop impresario, and Dartmouth University President Jim Yong Kim (JYK) took many power-broker insiders by surprise.
JYK is not a politically connected international diplomat, as were his predecessors Robert Zoellick and Paul Wolfowitz, nor a globally renowned financier like former World Bank President Sir James Wolfensohn.
Instead, through Partners in Health, the NGO that he co-founded with Paul Farmer, Kim earned his chops forging a new paradigm in community-based health care that cost-effectively targets the root causes of diseases in the world's poorest countries. JYK will come to the Bank as a lifelong health specialist, educator, and visionary development practitioner. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Jeffrey D. Sachs is Professor of Economics and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is also Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals. For more from Sachs, visit Project Syndicate or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.
By Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate
Last month, I called for the World Bank to be led by a global development leader rather than a banker or political insider. “The Bank needs an accomplished professional who is ready to tackle the great challenges of sustainable development from day one,” I wrote. Now that US President Barack Obama has nominated Jim Kim for the post, the world will get just that: a superb development leader.
Obama has shown real leadership with this appointment. He has put development at the forefront, saying explicitly, “It’s time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency.”
Kim’s appointment is a breakthrough for the World Bank, which I hope will extend to other global institutions as well. Until now, the United States had been given a kind of carte blanche to nominate anyone it wanted to the World Bank presidency. That is how the Bank ended up with several inappropriate leaders, including several bankers and political insiders who lacked the knowledge and interest to lead the fight against poverty. FULL POST
2012 is the year of the election. Not just in the United States, but Russia just voted, France will vote next month, and China's top leadership will undergo an upheaval toward the end of the year. What will all these changes mean for the world...and for world affairs? Sunday at 10a and 1p ET on CNN GPS, I'll have a great panel to discuss this.
Then, President Obama just named his nominee to run the World Bank. I'll talk to the one of the only people who has run that institution for two terms, James Wolfensohn, the world's banker.
And what's the secret to business success in the digital age? I'll ask serial entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, who was in the on ground floor of LinkedIn, Paypal and Zynga, among many others.
Also, can you be friends with your friend's enemy? Playground politics on the international stage.
Editor's Note: Ana Palacio is a former Spanish foreign minister and former Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the World Bank. For more from Palacio, visit Project Syndicate or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.
By Ana Palacio, Project Syndicate
Robert Zoellick’s announcement that he will not seek reelection as President of the World Bank has focused attention on whether the tradition of putting an American in charge will or should endure. But, legitimate as that question is, it is just a minor aspect of the debate that is needed about the World Bank’s role in the twenty-first century.
During its 67 years, the Bank has outgrown its original design with the addition of an arbitration court and three specialist financial institutions: one for the private sector, the International Financial Corporation; another, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, to insure against political risks; and the International Development Agency, which funds the poorest countries. The World Bank has become the World Bank Group, though its founding pillar, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), remains at its center. And that is the problem. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Harris Mylonas is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Emirhan Yorulmazlar is Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.
By Harris Mylonas and Emirhan Yorulmazlar – Special to CNN
The Cold War and the early post-Cold War periods were relatively easy to define and comprehend. The first was roughly the struggle between two superpowers forming a bipolar system where almost every state had to choose a side. What followed was a period described by Fukuyama as “The End of History” announcing the triumph of liberal ideas. The US was a global hegemon: selecting when to intervene, expanding NATO’s reach, and dominating international institutions. Following the 9/11 attacks unilateralism was exposed and thereafter multilateralism appeared - with its limitations. Today, “regional multilateralism” may be the next paradigm that can bring about peace, cooperation, and stability in global affairs. FULL POST
By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
The European crisis that you've been reading about in the paper is worth watching carefully. In fact, it has now morphed into something much bigger than a European crisis - it could batter the entire global economy, which is pretty fragile anyway.
You've read a lot about Greece, but the problem in Europe is Italy. Greece is a nano-state; it makes up about 2% of the European Union's gross domestic product. Italy, on the other hand, is one of the seven largest economies in the world. Its debts are greater than those of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece combined. It has long been governed in an almost cartoonishly bad manner. Italy is too big to fail but might also be too big to bail. Even Germany might not be able to credibly bail it out along with all the other troubled countries. So what can be done?
Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
As world leaders assembled in Cannes for the G20 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Greece (WSJ) it would not receive any further EU financing until it decides whether it will stay in the eurozone.
The two European leaders made clear that saving the euro (DerSpiegel) was a more urgent priority than saving Greece. "We will not allow the euro to be destroyed," Merkel and Sarkozy said.
The move followed a surprise decision by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to put a referendum to the Greek public over a new debt rescue plan agreed on by EU leaders last week. Greeks are adamantly opposed to the strict austerity measures mandated by an EU bailout, suggesting the referendum could be rejected in an early December vote. Sarkozy and Merkel indicated that such an outcome would amount to a rejection of the single-currency zone (DeutscheWelle).
At the same time, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos publicly opposed Papandreou (NYT) over the referendum, exposing divisions in the government and signaling that Papandreou may not survive a parliamentary vote of confidence on Friday. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Parag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, visiting senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Second World and How to Run the World. David Skilling is founding director at Landfall Strategy Group, a Singapore-based advisory firm.
By Parag Khanna and David Skilling – Special to CNN
In the current phase of globalization, financial, ecological, political and social crises are occurring simultaneously and magnifying each other in unpredictable ways. From the Fukushima nuclear meltdown reshaping German politics and the European power industry, to America’s sub-prime mortgage meltdown threatening the Eurozone, such chain reactions are undermining an already fragile stability.
Large countries and blocs such as the U.S., China and the EU, and new groupings like the G-20 and the BRICS, are grappling with this unprecedented combination of structural challenges and black swans. But there is little evidence of real progress. Coordinated financial regulation remains a chimera, and domestic pressures are fueling the risk of protectionist measures and immigration barriers. The failures of the WTO’s Doha Round and the Copenhagen climate change talks are further evidence of the difficulties in making collective progress on global issues. FULL POST
Editor’s Note: Neil K. Shenai is an Instructor of International Economics and Ph.D. Candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
By Neil K. Shenai - Special to CNN
This week, leaders from the world’s top 19 economies plus the European Union meet in Cannes, France to discuss the future of the global economy. The sixth meeting of the G-20 since 2008 comes on the heels of Europe’s most recent summit to solve its sovereign debt crisis. The pressures of the world economy today underscore the need for a global cooperative policy-making body like the G-20. Americans concerned about the health of the U.S. economy should watch this week’s G-20 summit with great interest.
Last week, my colleague and I wrote about the divide between countries that borrowed their way into this crisis, like Greece and the United States, and the countries that lent to them, like Germany and China. The policymaking divide that has emerged between these two blocs highlights the fact that the world’s level of economic integration has rapidly outpaced its level of political integration. FULL POST
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