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US Monopoly on World Bank Presidency Challenged


10:49, March 25, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at the Osan Air Base in Seoul, South Korea, on March 25, 2012. Obama arrived in South Korea to attend the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit to be held on March 26-27. (Xinhua)

The United States on Friday named its candidate to lead the World Bank (WB), but this time the selection is not a solo any more.

Two candidates endorsed by developing countries unprecedentedly challenged the U.S. monopoly on the top post of the WB, the leading global financial institution for fighting poverty and supporting development.


As the deadline loomed, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American global health expert, as candidate to replace outgoing Robert Zoellick, whose term as WB president expires at the end of June.

"It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency," Obama said as he made the announcement.

"Jim has truly global experience," said Obama, "He has worked from Asia to Africa to the Americas, from capitals to small villages. His personal story exemplifies the great diversity to our country."

The selection is commonly considered as a surprise pick because Kim, the current Dartmouth College president, has hardly been talked about for the nominee in the past week.

The U.S. traditional choices of the WB head have been either politicians or business leaders since the bank was founded after World War II.

Obama chose Kim out of several more well-known candidates, such as Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Lawrence Summers, former director of the president's National Economic Council.

Arvind Subramanian, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International economics, called it a "quite unusual choice."

Yukon Huang, a senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Xinhua the message the White House conveyed was that the nominee is a man of the world - born in Korea, raised and educated in the United States with professional interests that are highly relevant for developing countries.

U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs, who openly campaigned for the job and finally withdrew, said in an article posted on the Washington Post website that "without incisive leadership, the bank has often seemed like just a bank."

"And unfortunately, Washington has backed at the helm bankers and politicians who lack the expertise to fulfill the institution's unique mandate," Sachs added.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

PD User at 2012-03-2796.48.165.*
The good news is there is at least the semblance of a competition for the post and this can be built on in the future, the grip is loosening.
romanov at 2012-03-2580.94.16.*
2012-2-25.Obama to promote finance"s inept with a idea-his easily cheat.Mr.Kim to be doc how have authority to ster WB?To create hospital WB?

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