LAT: Bono for the World Bank
The LAT editorial board has a rather interesting recommendation: Bono for the World Bank.
Bono, the U2 rock star, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he is a credible candidate. But we have a better idea on how best to recognize his effective lobbying on behalf of African development Ã¢€” Bono should be named the next president of the World Bank.
Don’t be fooled by the wraparound sunglasses and the excess hipness. Bono is deeply versed in the issues afflicting the least-developed nations of the world, as former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill learned when he traveled the continent with the musician. O’Neill, an uber-wonk, came back singing Bono’s praises. Bono even brought ultra-conservative Sen. Jesse Helms to tears by relating poverty in Africa to passages in the Bible.
Bono may not have a PhD in economics, but he’d have plenty of real economists around the bank to consult. Bono is the most eloquent and passionate spokesman for African aid in the Western world. And given that both ex-President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have in recent years made Africa one of their focuses, that’s saying something.
Bono strikes me as an odd character and I’ve never understood the fuss over U-2’s music. He’s obviously a very bright fellow though, and his presence as its leader would give the World Bank a visibility it’s never had before.
I don’t know enough about Bono’s role in managing the U-2 empire or even what it is the World Bank president does on a daily basis to assess his qualifications for the job. I suspect that someone lacking a strong background in economics could handle it, as CEO’s don’t require much specialized expertise. His ability to administer a large organization is another matter entirely.