Matthew Yglesias's China Watch
Memo to Self: New Stationery

Capax Imperii, Nisi Imperasset

If Robert Zoellick had not served the Bush administration without distinction as Special Trade Representative and as Deputy Secretary of State, I would be enthusiastic about his World Bank President candidacy. But the fact that he has done nothing in his last two government jobs makes me wonder whether an alternative candidate should be found.

Eoin Callan of the FT reports: / In depth - Zoellick frontrunner to lead World Bank : Robert Zoellick, former US deputy secretary of state, has emerged as the frontrunner to be the next president of the World Bank. Senior US administration officials expect a decision on the successor to Paul Wolfowitz, who steps down as bank president on June 30 following an ethics scandal, to be announced this week in Washington.... Zoellick, 53, a former US trade representative under Mr Bush, has widespread experience of and high-level contacts with Europe, China, Latin America and Africa. He was heavily involved in the peaceful reunification of Germany and played a leading role in efforts to revive the Doha trade round.

US officials cautioned that the final decision on the successor to Mr Wolfowitz had yet to be made. The other candidate was said to be Robert Kimmitt, deputy US Treasury secretary. Officials have insisted the next bank president will be an American chosen by the White House, despite demands from member countries for an open selection process. Australia has thrown its weight behind demands for a change to the selection process for the presidency of the World Bank. Peter Costello, the Australian treasurer, wants the next head of the Washington-based development aid organisation to be chosen on the basis of an “open, transparent process’’ that will be based on merit and open to candidates from any country, not just the US...