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US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim, and US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner 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.
The best comment on President Obama's nomination of Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank comes from Forbes' Tom Watson, who notes that the Korean-born Kim's career has been all about improving health care for the poor (as well as running an Ivy League university):
[I]t’s his stature as the co-founder of Partners In Health...that stands out. Partners in Health was founded 25 years ago and revolutionized the development world’s view of health initiatives in poor communities, stressing both respect for the poor and the need for strong preventive care. Known for its work in Haiti, Partners in Health pioneered its community-based health model in Russia, Rwanda, Peru, Lesotho, Burundi and other countries. It also works with poor HIV-AIDS patients in the Boston area.
The World Bank's job is supposed to be the eradication of poverty, but it's often critized for embodying the rich world's perceptions of the poor. Kim's nomination could be interpreted as a effort to break out of this problem while still retaining a primary U.S. role in governing the World Bank.
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SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 08: California state controller John Chiang (D) looks on as California governor-elect Jerry Brown speaks during a briefing on California's state budget on December 8, 2010 in Sacramento, California. With less than one month before being sworn into office, California governor-elect Jerry Brown held a bi-partisan meeting on California's state budget. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jerry Brown;John Chiang
If anyone is tired of the daily European soap opera with surrealistic tragicomic overtones, they can simply shift their gaze to the 8th largest economy in the world: the insolvent state of California, whose controller just told legislators has just over a month worth of cash left. From the Sacramento Bee: "California will run out of cash by early March if the state does not take swift action to find $3.3 billion through payment delays and borrowing, according to a letter state Controller John Chiang sent to state lawmakers today. The announcement is surprising since lawmakers previously believed the state had enough cash to last through the fiscal year that ends in June."