Paul Wolfowitz was never a popular choice. When a man who had been described as an architect of the war in Iraq gets the top job at the World Bank you just know heckles will rise.

And when it appeared Mr Wolfowitz had been giving unfair advantage to one of the banks’ employees, a young lady who just happened to be his girl friend, then, whatever the rights and wrongs, the wolves were out to get him,

And now, it’s time to try again. This time Bush has gone for Robert Zoellick. This is a man who played a key role in bringing China into the World Trade Organisation, and helped re-launch trade talks at Doha.

He is known as a tough negotiator, a demanding boss and a man who can apparently pull figures from the top of his head. He can bamboozle you with data to show he is right.

As the nominated next boss of the World Bank, Mr Zoellick may well succeed where his predecessor failed.

But the big problem he faces is this. The world is no longer divided between the US and Europe. Five or so centuries ago, Portugal and Spain, found their plans go awfully wrong, when despite a Pope saying otherwise, the world was not theirs, and their’s alone. Since the end of World War II, Europe has chosen the boss of the IMF, and the US the boss of the World Bank. But the rest of the word wants a say, and until that requirement is taken on board, any appointment will be controversial.

The US president seems bamboozled by this changing dynamic.

© Investment & Business News 2013