Friday 19 Jul 2019 | 18:47 | SYDNEY
Friday 19 Jul 2019 | 18:47 | SYDNEY

World Bank: Do(ne) the right thing


Mark Thirlwell

3 April 2012 11:12

In his post on the contest for the leadership of the World Bank, Steve Grenville wonders whether Australia will 'want to stay close to our great and powerful friends and reaffirm that "he who pays the piper calls the tune", or cast our vote for different succession processes which reflect the changing world?'

To give Canberra its due, I reckon Australia has already passed this test. If I recall correctly, along with Canada (and of course Mexico), Australia was one of the very few countries on the IMF Executive Board to offer its support to the candidacy of Agustin Carstens for leadership of the IMF. Pretty much everyone else — including most of the emerging market heavyweights like China – ended up supporting France's Christine Lagarde.

Sure, it might be different this time. But based on past performance, if there's any criticism of Australia warranted, it would have to focus on supporting an emerging market candidate when most of the emerging markets themselves weren't terribly keen on the idea, rather than on Canberra somehow trying to cling on to the old order.