Jeffrey Sachs: The World Bank Doesn’t Need Another Banker

The race for the World Bank presidency is on as president Robert Zoellick, is expected to step down April 20. Jeffrey Sachs, American economist and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, had put himself forward as a possible candidate but withdrew his name when President Obama nominated Dr Jim Yong Kim.

Sachs told The Guardian that he put his name forward because the World Bank had so far been run by bankers and CEOs – case in point Zoellick who was a former managing director at Goldman Sachs. He added that it is important to remember that the World Bank isn’t a bank but a development institution and that it needs the right kind of leadership:

“We’ve had 11 world bank presidents, they’ve all been American, but more than that all 11 have been bankers or political insiders and this is no good. Because the world bank is basically not a bank it’s a development institution and it needs professional leadership. It needs the leadership of someone who leads in the fight against poverty, hunger and disease. And the list that was then circulating was not that kind of list, it was more bankers or corporate CEOs or political insiders and I felt that that just was getting more and more inappropriate, so I put my name forward and many governments around the world came out in support of me and nominated me formally so I was part of the running. 

But it was an ideal nomination from my point of view. What president Obama said in nominating Dr. Kim was that it’s time the world’s leading development institution be headed by a development leader and I said exactly right. “

Watch the entire interview at The Guardian: