Poor countries such as Kenya and East Timor have risked punishment from Washington by nominating Sachs; Brazil is much less vulnerable and will have much more impact if it supports the first independent, qualified candidate for the job.
It is high time that the Bretton Woods institutions adapted to changing global realities. The next World Bank president will need the legitimacy and wide support that only an open and merit-based selection process can ensure.
The second wave of global economic crisis is going to start hitting poor countries very hard, very soon. The World Bank needs to be fit for purpose and geared to respond with credible, legitimate leadership in place.
The lingering global crisis is forcing us to rethink the objectives and the tools of social policy. Past meltdowns in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin-America provide us with some good hints on what to expect and how to respond.
The next president of the World Bank ought to be selected carefully and in an open and transparent manner. It is January now and the next president should be selected before June 30 when Robert Zoellick's term ends.