TOKYO -- Takehiko Nakao was playing his last round on a golf course in the Philippines when the Taal Volcano began erupting less than 80km away. Five days later, in mid-January, as ash continued to coat the skies of Manila, Nakao flew home to Tokyo, ending his seven-year tenure as president of the Asian Development Bank.
Perhaps it was a fitting send-off. Nakao leaves the ADB as the US and China gear up for their next competition: the race to fill Asia's infrastructure financing gap. Meanwhile, the ADB's market share is shrinking in long-time recipient states, who view Chinese financing as easier to secure than clearing ADB's high standards for project loans.