Those Who Throw Stones

Robert Zoellick, the veteran Republican Party economic and foreign policy hand, says the new economic times demand a significant shakeup of global financial diplomacy. But the World Bank president’s suggestion (see story) may encourage critics of his own organization.

In a Washington speech yesterday, Zoellick urged that the Group of 7 industrial nations be discarded, and replaced by a looser association of a dozen or more nations that reflect today’s economic reality. In addition to the U.S., France, the U.K. and so on (the current membership of the G-7), he suggests that the group include Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Russia and a few other nations.

But is it wise for the head of one international organization to throw stones at another? There is no shortage of World Bank critics, for instance, who believe that the six-decade-old organization itself is obsolete and should be disbanded. And, given the very conditions that Zoellick raises, should it be always headed by an American, as is the current practice?

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