The search for a candidate to replace Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank has begun in earnest. American newspapers are now busy suggesting names. Most names are of Americans.
Meanwhile, there are reports that finance ministers of the G8 club of rich countries, who met outside Berlin last week, have asked the US to “consult more widely” when the next name is put forward. So, the Europeans, too, want to have some say. It tells us a lot about the nature of global institutions that nobody from Asia, Latin America and Africa is being mentioned as a candidate. The recent race to become secretary general of the UN included an Indian and a South Korean. What is then so special about the World Bank and IMF that they should always be headed by an American or a European?
India should throw its hat into the ring, 62 years after the US shot down Keynes’ suggestion that C.D. Deshmukh should be the first head of IMF.