24 March 2012

Things I liked this week

OK, I admit it, sometimes I just cannot find a thread to things I see which are interesting but probably do not deserve their own blog entry, so here are some items I was encouraged by this week.

1. World Bank President nominations. A more interesting set of candidates than usual. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister and current Managing Director of the Bank, Jose Antonio Ocampo, former Finance minister of Colombia and President Obama's nominee Jim Yong Kim (interestingly an anthropologist and a physician--see World Bank: economists need not apply). They all have their strengths and weaknesses (see here too).

The Bank members (US having the most votes) will make a decision in the week of April 20, which seems a ludicrously short time period over which to evaluate candidates for such an important job. I have my preferences at this stage, but what would really help me decide who I preferred would be to know what they wanted to achieve in that position.

Wouldn't it be "nice" to know what each candidate's vision for the World Bank is so we could all have an input into a decision that will affect us all?

2. DFID Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell in an interview with the Guardian on 0.7% "You can be pretty sure that by the time of the next election it will be law". That is May 2015. SoS, we will be watching with interest.

3. The Secret Policeman's Ball, the Amnesty International Benefit in New York City, I saw Ramesh Singh (former CEO of ActioAid international) in the audience (I think it was his friend who was dragged onstage by Russell Brand, brave soul). For the most part the show was pretty funny and on message.

4. Finally, there was a Poster in ex-footballer Patrick Viera's office (this one is through gritted teeth because I am not a Manchester City fan) which said: "work hard and be nice to people". A good starting motto for the candidates for the next World Bank President, but we do need to hear a just a little bit more from them.

Don't hold your breath.

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