who will be next World Bank President What will they do


"Wolfowitz's strength is that he'll make the bank a tool of U.S. policy" In his weekly column Sebastian Mallaby, the Washington Post editorial board member and columnist who just weeks ago labelled the Wolfowitz nomination "Christmas" for activists who could now join anti-war and anti-Bank causes (see previous posting), has come on board the Wolfowitz train. Some more of his reasoning:

"The World Bank is an effective institution partly because it's based in Washington, dominated by U.S.-trained economists and run by a U.S. appointee (although that appointee need not himself have been American). Because of this affinity with the world's most successful society, the bank's advice on how to become a successful society is generally sensible."

No, he's not American. He's British.

Anyone who detects some slipperiness in Mallaby's reasoning might also be amused by his blockbuster book, The World's Banker, published in 2004, timed for the likely denouement of Wolfensohn's time at the Bank. Apart from the many amusing observations about Wolfensohn himself, the book mounts a deliberately misleading, ideologically-loaded attack on non-governmental organizations critical of the Bank.

Because of his relative prominence, or power, at the Post, the book got a lot of attention, advancing Mallaby's project of discrediting the global justice movement. Rebuttals to his sloppy research and analysis were easy to develop, but of course did not achieve the same sort of visibility. Looks like he's getting ready to serve a new master.

Soren Ambrose ~ March 28, 2005

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