Candidate from Brazil, elected to lead the IDB

The member countries of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) They chose the Brazilian this Sunday Ilan Goldfajn as the new president in this financial institution for an initial period of 5 years.

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Goldfajn will replace the American Mauricio Claver-Caronewho was ousted last month after an independent investigation concluded that he had committed ethical lapses by engaging in a romantic relationship with a subordinate of Colombian origin.

The new president of the institution is 56 years old and is of Israeli origin. In fact, he was born in haifaalthough he was educated in Rio de Janeiro and then at MIT University, in the United States.

Currently, Goldfajn heads the Western Hemisphere department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Before that, he presided over the Central Bank of Brazil (2016-2019), was chief economist and partner at Itaú Unibanco, worked at Credit Suisse and founder of two major Brazilian investment funds, Ciano and Gávea.

We suggest you read: (The romantic dinner in Medellín that entangled Claver-Carone)

A very different profile from that of Claver-Carone, who is a lawyer with a career in politics and who was imposed on the region by the president’s administration donald trump with the support of some countries, including Colombia.

In fact, with the election of Goldfajn, a precedent of more than 50 years has been restored, according to which the presidency of the bank was reserved for a Latin American, but which was broken two years ago with the arrival of this American.

Goldfajn’s victory, however, did not come easy. On the one hand, the economist was nominated by the right-wing government of Jair Bolsonaro, who just lost the presidential election to Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, leader of the left. Although Goldfajn sold himself as an apolitical candidate and there is little in his career that does not indicate this, Bolsonaro’s nomination clouded his chances.

Mauricio Claver-Carone, dismissed president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The road began to clear up last week when the Lula government gave signs that it could work without any problem with the IMF economist.

Lula Da Silva, in fact, went so far as to suggest a postponement of the vote to nominate a person who represented his vision, but the IDB refused the request.

Likewise, four other countries in the region presented candidacies, which further complicated the selection process and divided the region in recent weeks. Mexico proposed the economist Gerardo Esquivel; Chile to the former Minister of Finance Nicolás Eyzaguirre; Argentina to Cecilia Todesca and Trinidad and Tobago to Gerard Johnson.

The road began to clear up last week when the Lula government gave signs that it could work without any problem with the IMF economist.

Although it was not an explicit support, it was clear that Brazil was not willing to pass up the opportunity to preside over an organization that has been pretending for years.

How is the election process?

White smoke rose this weekend after Argentina withdrew its candidate and reached an agreement with the United States, Brazil and Canada on Goldfajn’s name.

To reach the presidency of the IDB, a candidate must obtain a majority of the voting power of the member countries and also have the support of at least 15 of the 28 regional countries. In this sense, the support of the Joe Biden government was key, since the US is the main shareholder of the IDB with 30 percent of the voting power.

The agreement reached over the weekend gave the Brazilian the support of 56.7 percent of the bank’s share capital, a majority that allowed it to meet the first condition, and the support of only 15 or more countries was pending.

This Sunday, when the finance ministers finally voted, Goldfajn obtained the vote of 17 of the regional countries and more than 80 percent of the shareholder vote.

Esquivel got 3 votes, Eyzaguirre two, while Johnson got three.

In exchange for his support and the withdrawal of the candidacy, Argentina will keep the Vice Presidency of Sectors, the Infrastructure Management, and will lead a new Institute of Gender and Equality that will be part of the new management of the IDB, it was learned.

SERGIO GOMEZ MASERI
EL TIEMPO correspondent
Washington
On twitter @sergom68

Candidate from Brazil, elected to lead the IDB