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Kim Watch: “a kind of restructuring hell”
The Financial Times has a certain authority, so when it runs a piece on the chaos that is engulfing Jim Kim’s World Bank, readers should take notice, and Dartmouth readers might allow themselves a brief “I told you so” smile:
Mr Kim has brought in expensive consultants, forced 48 top managers to reapply for their own jobs - pushing out three of the most senior without explanation - and upset staff by travelling in private jets at a time when he is proposing deep cost cuts.
What is more, there are doubts about whether internal change should be Mr Kim’s top priority for the bank, which is increasingly battling for relevance. While it remains a pillar of the international financial system, it often finds itself in competition with countries that are its own biggest clients, such as China, when lending to developing countries.
“Does [the restructuring] really go to the heart of the bank’s problem?” said Uri Dadush, a former bank official, now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “I think it’s a step in the right direction but the bank’s strategic issue is the relevance it retains in middle income countries.”
At stake is not just the success of Mr Kim’s presidency but the world’s collective effort to help developing countries. If the World Bank fades, the alternative is a future of individual countries jockeying for influence via bilateral aid, with less regard for the needs of the poor.
A senior G20 official from one of the bank’s largest client countries questioned Mr Kim’s strategy and the manner in which he was carrying it out.
“We didn’t ask for these changes. We are willing to give them a chance, but we’re worried about the way they’re being done,” says the official. “Nobody wants to tell the emperor he has no clothes on.”
Expensive consultants, personnel chaos, smoke-and-mirrors cost reduction — all this from a man who has no experience at all in the business that he is leading. We can say with absolute certainty that Jim Kim will leave yet another institution weakened at the end of his tenure. Read the entire article here.
Addendum: Anyone offering odds that Kim, who is still less than two years into his five-year term, will make it to the end?
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…