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Views from the Center

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Will There Ever Be Any Serious Reform of World Bank Governance?

At our recent event with former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, who chaired the High Level Commission on Modernization of World Bank Group Governance on World Bank governance reform (report is here), panelists Moises Naim and Arvind Subramanian worried that there is no reason to expect the powers-that-be to take up any of the recommendations for reform.

Bob McNamara Should Also Be Remembered as Transformative President of the World Bank

Predictably and perhaps appropriately, the flood of remembrances of Robert McNamara is focusing on his role as the architect of the Vietnam War. Yet McNamara was also a transformative president of the World Bank, shaping both that institution and the larger development enterprise in ways that are still felt today. McNamara served for 13 years as World Bank president, almost twice the seven years he previously spent as the U.S. defense secretary (both terms set records for length that have yet to be exceeded).

Birdsall Tells Worried House Subcommittee Why U.S. Support to IMF Makes Sense

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade last week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall argued that support for the G-20 commitments to increase lending resources at the IMF is a critical part of ensuring U.S. recovery from the economic crisis and global prosperity and security. She was, however, confronted with a host of concerns about whether multilateral lending would go to governments like Iran, Sudan, and Syria, and with one member of Congress’s view that he “is a citizen of the United States, not the world.”

President Lula to Head the World Bank? Process Matters, Too

Last week the Guardian reported that the Obama Administration has approached President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil about becoming the next President of the World Bank. Seems unlikely to me – for one thing it’s early, since Robert Zoellick’s term lasts another three years, and the Administration has many other fish it is frying right now.

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