Stephen Foley: Why I'm backing Sachs for World Bank president
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Saturday 03 March 2012
US Outlook You have to admire the chutzpah of Jeffrey Sachs, campaigning to be the next president of the World Bank through the op-ed pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The famed economist says it is time to stop appointing superannuated American bankers and politicians to the post, and put in an expert on tackling poverty and promoting sustainable development – the ultimate goals of the World Bank's lending mission.
His pitch – under the not-too-subtle title, How I Would Lead The World Bank, in the Post yesterday – is perfectly timed. The Obama administration is loath to give up the tradition of having an American in the top job at the bank (part of the founding compact at Bretton Woods, which reserved the leadership of the International Monetary Fund to a European). Yet it is sensitive to the charge that the tradition is anachronistic in the modern, multi-polar world, and that to be sensitive to the needs of developing nations, developing nation candidates should be considered for the presidency.
Through his Earth Institute at Columbia University, and as an adviser to the United Nations on its Millennium Development Goals, Professor Sachs is indeed one of the foremost experts on tackling poverty in a globalised world – and he has calculated that he is sufficiently different from candidates past to mollify emerging countries despite being American.
Which isn't the same thing as saying he would be the best candidate. He remains an experimentalist and a controversial figure. His proscriptions for meeting the UN's development goals through village-by-village aid, by going in and helping improve crop yields and offering micro-finance and a host of other teachings, may prove no more effective than less costly interventions. People also shouldn't forget his recommendation of "shock therapy" for the Russian economy after the fall of Communism, which resulted in iniquitous privatisations and untold human suffering. Such are the debates over the best way to intervene to promote economic development.
But I'll sign on to a campaign in favour of Jeffrey Sachs. The World Bank is more than a taxpayer-funded aid agency; it is a political creature and it is a bank and there should be no shame in appointing a politician or a banker, from the US or elsewhere. But Jeffrey Sachs for chief economist of the World Bank – that might fly.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Malaysia Airlines: Search for true identity of passengers with stolen passports launched as terrorism concern grows
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Dear 'The Sun', breast cancer isn't sexy
- 4 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 5 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...