Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« Way to Go, Charlie! | Home | Brian Solomon’s Guide To The Stars: Economics Professor Nina Pavcnik »

Kim: Pick Me! Pick Me!

Jim Kim7.jpgIt turns out the the joke is on us, and we should accord Jim Kim the credit that he deserves. In the same week-long period during which he announced that he wants to keep his job as President of the World Bank, the United States, Germany, France, China, Brazil, India, Netherlands, Pakistan and South Korea, Indonesia and several other countries rushed to state publicly that they are in favor of his re-appointment.

How many months of back-room negotiations, stroking and favor-granting did it take our ex-President to pull that off? Recall that his five-year term is only over at the end of next June — and the unusually short period for nominations for candidates is still open until September 14. In fixing the latter date, the Bank’s executive directors gave, get this, their “unanimous support for an open, merit-based and transparent selection, with nominations open to all member countries and transparent consideration of all candidates by the board.” Ha. They might as well just have announced that at the end of a fair and open competitive nomination contest, Jim Kim will be reappointed.

Kim has obviously been preparing this moment for several years; he always has his eye on the next rung on his career ladder.

In the meantime, in news that will elicit knowing smiles in Hanover, the Financial Times has a story noting that the WB budget is growing, not shrinking, despite Kim’s supposed $400 million effort to cost cuts. The Bank has now released information that $143 million of “savings” has been “reinvested” in the institution’s operations, and $62 million of additional costs have been approved to support new lending. Shades of the Kimster’s time in Hanover, when he talked endlessly about the College’s $100 million budget gap and the existential need for College-saving budget cuts, but, in fact, spending went up every year. His financial legerdemain was so evident that the faculty voted twice to refuse his explanation of his supposed “cuts”; Kim just kept submitting fluff until the professors ran out of energy. What an operator.

To be sure, Kim does have talent. If only he had worked as hard to improve the institutions that he leads as he does guaranteeing his own advancement, he could achieve great things. But that kind of effort is much harder than playing the careerist.

Meanwhile on the ground in Washington, in the hopes of sparing themselves another five years of Kim’s ruinous management, beleaguered World Bank staffers had been planning public protests to coincide with the October meeting of the WB’s governing board. However it looks like the Kim train will have left the station by then. What options are left to them? A strike?

Addendum: The FT piece quotes several Kim critics — who could well have been talking about his short time at Dartmouth, too:

“It is a sprawling institution whose costs are growing,” said Mr [Robert] Kahn, a former senior official at both the US Treasury and the World Bank [and now senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations]. “We should not kid ourselves that we are ending up with an institution that is leaner and meaner.”

To critics they also point to what they see as Mr Kim’s lack of a clear strategy and the fact that even as he has taken the bank into new areas such as responding to pandemics he has avoided deciding what the bank should stop doing.

“His announced cuts were always fictional… And he has been basically flailing about to come up with a way of meeting those… notional targets without taking hard decisions,” said Lant Pritchett, a former World Bank official who now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Sound familiar?

Addendum: Lant Pritchett proposes the names of five capable women to run the World Bank — all of whom have extensive experience in finance and management. With backgrounds like that, clearly none of them are qualified.


Featured posts

  • 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…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.




June 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30