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Kim @ WB: It Won’t Be Long Now

Jim Kim3.jpgJim Kim’s long-expected crash and burn at the World Bank has not quite begun, but his engine is sputtering and there are sparks everywhere. Just as the Dartmouth faculty was the first to pick up on the fact that the man is no more than a glib fraud, the senior executives at the Bank have seen through him, too, followed by the staff en masse. According to a story in Bloomberg, the employee association wrote the below in a widely circulated memo last month:

We feel a bit like a lost driver who stops to ask for help from a friendly stranger, and instead of clear directions to our destination, we get well-meaning but rather vague directions.

Bloomberg also reports that various serious observers of the Bank are equally perplexed by Kim:

“They are still very far from clear direction and strategy,” said Uri Dadush, a former World Bank director of economic policy. Kim’s objectives “are sensible but how does that translate in action?”

“He’s going to have to show not only his goal, but he’s going to have to be much more concrete about how he’ll achieve it,” said Steve Radelet, a Georgetown University professor and a former U.S. Treasury Department official.

Actually “perplexed” is too polite term. What the above statements really mean, but the speakers are too delicate to say, is that beyond his endless gauzy comments, Kim does not know WTF he is doing. Of course, that will be no surprise to anyone in Hanover.

An then there is this gem in the Bloomberg article:

He wants to better mobilize the knowledge staff has built over the years to offer aid recipients a range of solutions based on experience elsewhere, an approach he called the “science of delivery.”

The “science of delivery”? Can’t Kim even come up with a new phrase or two?

As a last note, the piece goes on in endless detail about Kim’s background: his birth in Korea (and his parents’ travails), football in Iowa, Brown, Harvard Med School, his Anthropology Ph.D., Partners in Health, his work in the 1990’s in Peru, his time at the WHO and so on. At what point will the press concentrate on the man’s utter lack of present-day achievement, rather than on his superficially colorful resumé wherein most events occurred several decades in the past? Kim is now 53 years old. Do we care where he went to school?

Addendum: The Bloomberg article contains a brief comment on Kim’s time in Hanover:

In 2009, he became the first Asian-American president of Dartmouth College. His tenure at the Hanover, New Hampshire, school ended with mixed reviews including criticism from students and faculty on the way he handled budget cuts.

The link in the above text was to student body President Max Yoeli ‘12’s scathing assessment of Kim’s Presidency, which went a fair bit farther than criticizing Kim’s supposed budget cuts.


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