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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.

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Obama World Bank nominee is dedicated to health and the poor

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Cli

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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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