Daily Archives: April 16, 2012

During his first 100 days in the office, the new president has a golden opportunity to earn the respect of the world by ensuring that the next selection of the World Bank is indeed open, transparent and merit-based.

Don’t under-estimate the importance of such a step. With so many people watching around the world, renewed failure to move forward with reforms at this critical juncture would accelerate the gradual disengagement from the two institutions by a growing number of countries. It would also undermine their standing in the court of public opinion at a time when both need to be viewed as “trusted advisors” and respected promoters of the global public good. 

“La France compte 65 millions de sujets, sans compter les sujets de mécontentement”. From a political standpoint, the famous sentence by 19th century polemicist Henri Rochefort applies perfectly: French voters are angry and politicians are struggling to respond to their anger. But from a market perspective, there are only three serious topics: first, public finances; second, competitiveness; and third, the country’s stance in Europe. The question is whether the next president will have the ability to tackle them without exacerbating the citizens’ anger.