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In today’s news, we learn that Obama’s nominee Jim Yong Kim has been chosen as next President of the World Bank. Under the standard agreement between the US and the EU, the World Bank President is always chosen by the U.S. (and is always an American) and the IMF President is always a European. So, an Obama nominee winning the Bank presidency is not news. What is news is that Jim Yong Kim, a physician and anthropologist, is likely much better than your standard neoliberal economist.

Kim is a co-founder, with Paul Farmer, of Partners in Health, one of the best grassroots focused health and empowerment NGO’s out there. Through my previous work with Hesperian Health Guides and Peoples Health Movement, I had regular interactions with Partners in Health, and found them to be eminently respectable. Indeed, it is almost shocking that one of PIH’s founders should find himself in the challenging position of heading the world’s most noxious ‘development’ bank.

Mark Engler, at Democracy Uprising, writes lucidly about Kim, and engages left economist Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research on what Kim may bring to the Bank. Engler points out that one positive sign  ”is the fact that Kim is now drawing heat from the right for writing in a 2000 book, Dying for Growth, that ‘the quest for growth in GDP and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men.’”

A related article in Bloomberg quotes Kim as saying he has a “deep- seated commitment to evidence- and results-based solutions,” and that he “asks hard questions about the status quo and is not afraid to challenge existing orthodoxies.” Depending on where you sit, both of these very diplomatically-phrased statements could be read to mean that Kim is hoping to actually challenge the neoliberal orthodoxy at the Bank, which, for two decades now, has pushed private sector financing through public-private partnerships, against all evidence that shows the results to be disastrous.

The deeper question here is, what is the US corporate oligarchy is hoping to get out of putting Kim at the head of the Bank. The Bank has always had a way of ‘talking progressive and acting regressive’; now, with the Green Economy and the global greenwashing of corporate capitalism, this may be one more attempt at a happy makeover of business as usual.  Will Jim Yong Kim really have power, or just be a figurehead while the Bank continues on its rapacious way?

What Kim desires to achieve, and manages to achieve, remains to be seen; one way or the other, expect struggle ahead.  – Jeff Conant, for GJEP

By Agence France-Presse, cross-posted from The Raw Story

US President Barack Obama pictured during the nomination announcement of Jim Yong Kim (L) for president of the World Bank, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looks on. Kim was named to the post Monday via AFPMonday, April 16, 2012 13:56 EDT – The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief Monday in a decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the US lock on the Bank’s presidency.

The Bank’s directors chose Kim, a 52 year old US health expert and educator, over Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who had argued that the huge lender needs reorientation under someone from the developing world.

Kim, 52 and currently president of the Ivy League University Dartmouth, will replace outgoing President Robert Zoellick, the former US diplomat who is departing in June at the end of his five-year term.

The Bank’s directors expressed “deep appreciation” to Kim, Okonjo-Iweala and a third candidate, Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, who pulled out of the race Friday.

“Their candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of the World Bank Group’s future direction,” the Bank said in a statement.

“The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates.”

Nevertheless, there had been little doubt about the choice of Kim, even as he breaks the pattern of American bankers and diplomats being named to lead the huge development bank.

By a longstanding pact Washington has chosen the head of the World Bank while Europe has held control of who leads its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.

Photo of US President Barack Obama pictured during the nomination announcement of Jim Yong Kim (L) for president of the World Bank, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looks on. Kim was named to the post Monday via AFP

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In today’s news, we learn that Obama’s nominee Jim Yong Kim has been chosen as next President of the World Bank. Under the standard agreement between the US and the EU, the World Bank President is always chosen by the U.S. (and is always an American) and the IMF President is always a European. So, an Obama nominee winning the Bank presidency is not news. What is news is that Jim Yong Kim, a physician and anthropologist, is likely much better than your standard neoliberal economist.

Kim is a co-founder, with Paul Farmer, of Partners in Health, one of the best grassroots focused health and empowerment NGO’s out there. Through my previous work with Hesperian Health Guides and Peoples Health Movement, I had regular interactions with Partners in Health, and found them to be eminently respectable. Indeed, it is almost shocking that one of PIH’s founders should find himself in the challenging position of heading the world’s most noxious ‘development’ bank.

Mark Engler, at Democracy Uprising, writes lucidly about Kim, and engages left economist Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research on what Kim may bring to the Bank. Engler points out that one positive sign  ”is the fact that Kim is now drawing heat from the right for writing in a 2000 book, Dying for Growth, that ‘the quest for growth in GDP and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men.’”

A related article in Bloomberg quotes Kim as saying he has a “deep- seated commitment to evidence- and results-based solutions,” and that he “asks hard questions about the status quo and is not afraid to challenge existing orthodoxies.” Depending on where you sit, both of these very diplomatically-phrased statements could be read to mean that Kim is hoping to actually challenge the neoliberal orthodoxy at the Bank, which, for two decades now, has pushed private sector financing through public-private partnerships, against all evidence that shows the results to be disastrous.

The deeper question here is, what is the US corporate oligarchy is hoping to get out of putting Kim at the head of the Bank. The Bank has always had a way of ‘talking progressive and acting regressive’; now, with the Green Economy and the global greenwashing of corporate capitalism, this may be one more attempt at a happy makeover of business as usual.  Will Jim Yong Kim really have power, or just be a figurehead while the Bank continues on its rapacious way?

What Kim desires to achieve, and manages to achieve, remains to be seen; one way or the other, expect struggle ahead.  – Jeff Conant, for GJEP

By Agence France-Presse, cross-posted from The Raw Story

US President Barack Obama pictured during the nomination announcement of Jim Yong Kim (L) for president of the World Bank, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looks on. Kim was named to the post Monday via AFPMonday, April 16, 2012 13:56 EDT – The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief Monday in a decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the US lock on the Bank’s presidency.

The Bank’s directors chose Kim, a 52 year old US health expert and educator, over Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who had argued that the huge lender needs reorientation under someone from the developing world.

Kim, 52 and currently president of the Ivy League University Dartmouth, will replace outgoing President Robert Zoellick, the former US diplomat who is departing in June at the end of his five-year term.

The Bank’s directors expressed “deep appreciation” to Kim, Okonjo-Iweala and a third candidate, Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, who pulled out of the race Friday.

“Their candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of the World Bank Group’s future direction,” the Bank said in a statement.

“The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates.”

Nevertheless, there had been little doubt about the choice of Kim, even as he breaks the pattern of American bankers and diplomats being named to lead the huge development bank.

By a longstanding pact Washington has chosen the head of the World Bank while Europe has held control of who leads its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.

Photo of US President Barack Obama pictured during the nomination announcement of Jim Yong Kim (L) for president of the World Bank, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looks on. Kim was named to the post Monday via AFP

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In today’s news, we learn that Obama’s nominee Jim Yong Kim has been chosen as next President of the World Bank. Under the standard agreement between the US and the EU, the World Bank President is always chosen by the U.S. (and is always an American) and the IMF President is always a European. So, an Obama nominee winning the Bank presidency is not news. What is news is that Jim Yong Kim, a physician and anthropologist, is likely much better than your standard neoliberal economist.

Kim is a co-founder, with Paul Farmer, of Partners in Health, one of the best grassroots focused health and empowerment NGO’s out there. Through my previous work with Hesperian Health Guides and Peoples Health Movement, I had regular interactions with Partners in Health, and found them to be eminently respectable. Indeed, it is almost shocking that one of PIH’s founders should find himself in the challenging position of heading the world’s most noxious ‘development’ bank.

Mark Engler, at Democracy Uprising, writes lucidly about Kim, and engages left economist Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research on what Kim may bring to the Bank. Engler points out that one positive sign  ”is the fact that Kim is now drawing heat from the right for writing in a 2000 book, Dying for Growth, that ‘the quest for growth in GDP and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men.’”

A related article in Bloomberg quotes Kim as saying he has a “deep- seated commitment to evidence- and results-based solutions,” and that he “asks hard questions about the status quo and is not afraid to challenge existing orthodoxies.” Depending on where you sit, both of these very diplomatically-phrased statements could be read to mean that Kim is hoping to actually challenge the neoliberal orthodoxy at the Bank, which, for two decades now, has pushed private sector financing through public-private partnerships, against all evidence that shows the results to be disastrous.

The deeper question here is, what is the US corporate oligarchy is hoping to get out of putting Kim at the head of the Bank. The Bank has always had a way of ‘talking progressive and acting regressive’; now, with the Green Economy and the global greenwashing of corporate capitalism, this may be one more attempt at a happy makeover of business as usual.  Will Jim Yong Kim really have power, or just be a figurehead while the Bank continues on its rapacious way?

What Kim desires to achieve, and manages to achieve, remains to be seen; one way or the other, expect struggle ahead.  – Jeff Conant, for GJEP

By Agence France-Presse, cross-posted from The Raw Story

Monday, April 16, 2012 13:56 EDT – The World Bank chose Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief Monday in a decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the US lock on the Bank’s presidency.

The Bank’s directors chose Kim, a 52 year old US health expert and educator, over Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who had argued that the huge lender needs reorientation under someone from the developing world.

Kim, 52 and currently president of the Ivy League University Dartmouth, will replace outgoing President Robert Zoellick, the former US diplomat who is departing in June at the end of his five-year term.

The Bank’s directors expressed “deep appreciation” to Kim, Okonjo-Iweala and a third candidate, Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, who pulled out of the race Friday.

“Their candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of the World Bank Group’s future direction,” the Bank said in a statement.

“The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates.”

Nevertheless, there had been little doubt about the choice of Kim, even as he breaks the pattern of American bankers and diplomats being named to lead the huge development bank.

By a longstanding pact Washington has chosen the head of the World Bank while Europe has held control of who leads its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.

Photo of US President Barack Obama pictured during the nomination announcement of Jim Yong Kim (L) for president of the World Bank, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner looks on. Kim was named to the post Monday via AFP

Article source: GJEP Climate Connections Blog

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