The Multilateralist

Sachs at the Bank? An insider reacts

A well informed insider at the World Bank offered these thoughts on Jeffrey Sachs–and the state of the quasi-race for Bank president: I’d say most people respect him, but see him more as the academic equivalent of Bono: Heart in the right place, but whether every idea coming out is a good one just because ...

A well informed insider at the World Bank offered these thoughts on Jeffrey Sachs–and the state of the quasi-race for Bank president:

I’d say most people respect him, but see him more as the academic equivalent of Bono: Heart in the right place, but whether every idea coming out is a good one just because it comes from him is a very different question.  The clash is mostly that the Bank staff see development as having to make tough choices, rather than just focusing on what makes for good programs that have wide popular support.  More money is nice, but whatever money comes from the outside, it’s just a tiny fraction of what countries spend with their own taxpayers’ money and the question is really how to make that a more effective process.  Increasingly, the developed countries are really not who calls the shots in development anymore.  So in short, the enthusiasm would be very low.  

Having said this, with Clinton increasingly out as a candidate, and the US increasingly seen to continue to the tradition of having the position, there are no names floating around that anyone is really getting excited about.  That may be a good thing — rather than serving the interests of the President, management might actually get back to the business of managing based on evidence of what works in development, and what supports countries, rather than what is seen to garner wide-spread support among the powerful global players (be they the G20 or Wall Street).

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