From the Economist
WHEN economists from the World Bank visit poor countries to dispense cash and advice, they routinely tell governments to reject cronyism and fill each important job with the best candidate available. It is good advice. The World Bank should take it. In appointing its next president, the bank’s board should reject the nominee of its most influential shareholder, America, and pick Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Ouch! Now that would be a kick in the ass. But is it deserved? Well … it is time to recognize that the World Bank and the IMF are western clubs. As clubs, they play a role but not as big a role as they could in global development. Why? Because of the longstanding problem that western foreign assistance policy is too tightly wrapped up with foreign policy concerns. A little de-linking might not be a bad thing. Of course, I still have a hard time getting over the Wolfowitz fiasco at the World Bank, so perhaps I am biased here.