It's disappointing to see Europe attempting to preserve the outmoded mid-20th century custom of Europeans naming the head of the IMF, and in exchange letting the U.S. name the head of the World Bank. As the Economist today succinctly described the quickly emerging European consensus on France's nomination of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister of France:
CGD Policy Blogs
While participating in an interesting and thoughtful eDiscussion organized by the UNDP on Securing Fiscal space for the MDGs, I was struck by how much different approaches to the issue-say between the IMF and the UNDP-are driven by different implicit assumptions about the likely effectiveness of additional spending.
Rodrigo de Rato's announcement Thursday that he will step down as Managing Director at the IMF following the Fund and World Bank annual meetings in October took almost everyone by surprise (see Washington Post article). The timing was especially puzzling, as the announcement comes just as much of Mr. de Rato’s reform agenda is moving from concept to reality. Mr.
CGD Senior Staff Among Signatories of Joint Letter on Leadership Selection Reform at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
Several CGD senior staff, including CGD president Nancy Birdsall, are among the more than 160 senior development professionals and experts who have signed a joint letter urging reform of the leadership selection process at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
A recent evaluation by the IMF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) suggests that some of its programs with low-income countries may be unduly restricting the spending of additional aid. But the results vary a lot from country to country.
In Tuesday's Financial Times, Alan Beattie pointed to the disturbing implications of recent OECD data on aid spending. Excluding once-off debt relief to Nigeria, aid to Africa stalled in 2006 and overall aid fell. Of course, these estimates look at the recent past. Perhaps the outlook will be better going forward? Unfortunately, the IMF does not seem to think so.
IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato promised in a speech at the Center this week that the planned increase in voice and representation of developing countries at the IMF would cover the poorest members - most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa - and not just the “emerging market economies”.
Recently DfID, the British aid agency, issued the third White Paper in its series on Eliminating World Poverty, this one focused on Making governance work for the poor. Yesterday I was privileged to join a panel at the IMF where Mark Lowcock, DfID's Director General for Policy and International, gave an overview of the immensely ambitious and wide ranging Paper and the rationale for the commitments it makes.
Professor Daniel Bradlow presented his ideas for reforming the IMF at a workshop on Friday organized by the New Rules for Global Finance coalition. Based on his paper - The Changing Role of the IMF in the Governance of the Global Economy and its Consequences (pdf) - he argued that the IMF has slowly mutated from a global monetary organization into a macro-economically oriented development financing institution but has not yet sufficiently recognized the implications of these changes.
The IMF announced today that it has completed its review of Nigeria’s policy support instrument (PSI). The Fund was laudatory, including a quote from first deputy MD Anne Krueger:
“Looking ahead, the authorities are committed to continue the ambitious macroeconomic and structural policies to entrench macroeconomic stability, strengthen public financial management, and reduce the costs of doing business further”