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New World Bank President is a loss for the developing economies

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Cli

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L), Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim (2nd L) and US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner (R) listen while US President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Obama announced his nomination of Kim to succeed Robert Zoellick as President of the World Bank.

Jim Yong Kim, formerly the president of Dartmouth, is the new president of the World Bank. I posted on this when his candidacy was announced, suggesting that it was a good thing from the standpoint of development and dealing with poverty. But Kim's candidacy didn't come without controversy. Kim beat out a very solid candidate from the developing world, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was cheered by many. 

This could be a significant disappointment, if you're of the view that America's lock on the World Bank — and Europe's lock on the IMF — makes increasingly less sense as the developing world's economies become more dominant on the world stage. According to Businessweek, however, the developing world is its own worst enemy:

The failure of emerging markets to unite behind a candidate is reminiscent of the contest to head the IMF last year, when Mexican Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens lost to then-French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. The IMF has always been headed by a European.

At Reuters, Felix Salmon has been going deep on the change of leadership at the World Bank. Worth reading through his archves to get as sense of what the campaign has been all about.

Meanwhile, Brad Plummer points out that, even though an Amercian continues to lead the institution, there was a different quality to the competition this time around.

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