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Views from the Center

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A Surprise Consensus that International Institutions Need an Overhaul

Here are Donald Rumsfeld, James Wolfensohn and somebody else agreeing on something. Guess who recently said the following:
1. "But most (global) institutions are rickety relics of a sixty-year-old worldview, a product of the way the planet looked at the end of World War II or the dynamics that shaped it during the cold war era."

French Candidate for IMF Head Would Reform Selection System: AFP

Agence France Presse reported last week that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France's candidate to head the IMF, told Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that he wants to reform the IMF--including how the head of the international lender of last resort is selected. Marco Aurelio Garcia, Lula's advisor for international policy, briefed reporters after the two men met. According to AFP:
He said the Socialist party leader and former French finance minister told Lula change was needed in the IMF in "three key areas," including how member states were represented, how its managing director is selected and its operating program....
Strauss-Kahn after his meeting with Lula told reporters, "If I am a candidate, it is because I want to change the IMF."

Europe's Insistence on Naming European to Head IMF is Shortsighted

It's disappointing to see Europe attempting to preserve the outmoded mid-20th century custom of Europeans naming the head of the IMF, and in exchange letting the U.S. name the head of the World Bank. As the Economist today succinctly described the quickly emerging European consensus on France's nomination of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister of France:

Macroeconomics and the MDGs

While participating in an interesting and thoughtful eDiscussion organized by the UNDP on Securing Fiscal space for the MDGs, I was struck by how much different approaches to the issue-say between the IMF and the UNDP-are driven by different implicit assumptions about the likely effectiveness of additional spending.

More Change on 19th Street: Rodrigo de Rato Leaves the IMF

Rodrigo de Rato's announcement Thursday that he will step down as Managing Director at the IMF following the Fund and World Bank annual meetings in October took almost everyone by surprise (see Washington Post article). The timing was especially puzzling, as the announcement comes just as much of Mr. de Rato’s reform agenda is moving from concept to reality. Mr.

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