who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Wall Street Journal Goes off the Deep End on Malloch Brown. (Update). In this startlingly alarmist Wall Street Journal opinion piece, the editors argue that Mark Malloch Brown, former UN number two, has been pulling the strings of the Wolfowitz saga in order to get himself appointed to the post!

The Journal digs around on Malloch Brown's role as deputy to UN Sec. Gen. Annan (though strangely neglects to mention MB's time as Vice President at the World Bank at the time when Wolfensohn launched the Bank's anti-corruption drive). It finds: "many on the World Bank staff would cheer Mr. Malloch Brown: He's perfect for an institutional culture in which "progressive" thinking goes hand-in-glove with a tolerance for corruption. That culture has been on vivid display in the Euro-coup against Mr. Wolfowitz".

Clearly the Journal is not cheering Sir Mark.

To add to the fact that this has no bearing at all on reality, the piece is called "Axis of Soros" and only mentions Soros in the last line. I knew there were a few conspiracy-theory wielding nutcases out there, but I didn't know they ran the WSJ.

Comment submitted by e-mail, 10 May 2007
"Mark Malloch Brown spoke Monday to a crowded auditorium at the World Bank's headquarters, warning that the bank's mission was "hugely at risk" as long as Paul Wolfowitz remained its president. Only hours earlier, news leaked that a special committee investigating Mr. Wolfowitz had accused him of violating conflict-of-interest rules. A coincidence? We doubt it."

Of course it was a coincidence. Malloch Brown had been invited to give this speech back in late March, before any of this news broke. And he was invited by Marwan Muasher, with the approval of Kevin Kellems. That would be one hell of a conspiracy!

We have now obtained and posted Mark Malloch Brown's speech to the World Bank's Commnet Forum on Monday. As you'll see it's quite interesting. Key extract:

So, Iíve known him and respected him for a long time, but I must say I thought he was dead from day one. And not for the reasons that perhaps would come to mind to any of you, but because of the method of his selection. That is absolutely impossible in the 21st century that a President of a major international institution can be chosen through some backroom casual process in the White House to do with broader issues of moving the pieces around on the board of a second-term administration.

Let me say that I make exactly the same argument about the institution I have most recently come from, the United Nations, where you know I was extremely proud that when I stepped down as Administrator of UNDP, we were able to create a competitive, transparent process where the best qualified candidate and former colleague of all of ours, Kemal Dervis emerged as the new Administrator of UNDP. I called up him and a number of other prominent developing country leaders, many of whom had also worked at the World Bank, and said put your names in the ring for this job. Kemal apart, the others said no way, it has always been an American until you, and if itís not going to be an American, the furthest they will stray is another European like you. I said no, we have a Secretary General who is absolutely persuaded that the way to recover the legitimacy of these organizations is to have transparency and openness in the selection of their leadership.

Sameer Dossani ~ May 09, 2007

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