who will be next World Bank President What will they do


George W. Bush attempts to delay Wolfowitz decision. The White House has apparently launched "an extraordinary last minute effort to save Paul Wolfowitz". They tried to "prevent the distribution" of the Bank board committee report. Despite the U.S. government's previous protestations that the Bank's process must play itself out Bush apparently preferred to talk the issue through man to man with G7 finance ministers. But they refused to take his conference call. Dick Cheney has also gone on the record just now directly saying Wolfowitz should stay.

Cheney's view is simple, if delusional:
"I think he's a very good president of the World Bank, and I hope he will be able to continue."

According to the Wolfowitz Resign blog the Bank board process is no longer good enough for the US government:
"Eli Whitney Debevoise, the U.S. Executive Director, asked Monday morning that the report not be circulated to Board members this morning as planned, in order that President George Bush might reach G7 Finance Ministers by telephone to discuss the matter".

Sadly for him (not the rest of us, however,) "Bush was rebuffed in his requests for a teleconference and instead had White House staff call members of the Bank's Executive Board in a desperate attempt to secure their support for Wolfowitz, prior to their seeing the full report".

The FT has a new story saying that the White House is not taking no for an answer and is still trying to convene this call before the board meets to decide Wolfowitz's fate.

Long-term readers of this blog will remember that George W. had to work the phones hard two years ago to get Mr Wolfowitz appointed.

So, having evaded this last minute spanner in the works, the Ad Hoc Committee was finally able to transmit its report to Board members at 1pm today Washington time (about three hours ago). The board is understood to be meeting later Monday evening. A number of Board chairs are said to be pressing for full disclosure of the report later tonight.

The rest of the known timetable:
- Wolfowitz's lawyer, Robert Bennett, will be providing journalists with copies of Wolfowitz's response to the report this afternoon.
- Wolfowitz is due to address the board Tuesday afternoon. The release of his response ahead of time ensures that his arguments will dominate Tuesday's headlines as the Ad Hoc Committee's report, with Coll's testimony and notes, is not available.

Luckily, however, several journalists are still writing about the known contents of the Bank board report. The best articles I've seen on this is again by Steven Weisman.

Another titbit from the WR blog is that U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is not planning on attending the G7 Finance Ministers meeting starting this Friday in Potsdam Germany on May 18-19.

Alex Wilks ~ May 14, 2007


Looks like the "surge strategy". Get some more troops to Iraq, I mean, to help Woofie, and if the US stands fast, maybe the consensus wouldn't be there, and the other governments default to do nothing.

The problem is, like the Iraq surge, Bushie and Cheney misread the resolve of the insurgents, or the European governments.

With the material in the report, they virtually have no choice but to take the issue to a vote.

If the US loses the vote, its credibility as a global leader would be again tarnished --- like how it was damaged by GW's failure to build a true international consensus to invade Iraq.

American power and credibility at multilateral institutions is now at stake if the US loses a vote at the World Bank.

Traicenda ~ May 14, 2007, 09:44 PM

"It is hard to escape the fact that he has brought this bank into focus in a way not very constructive to the bank's best interests."

These words are attributed to the EBRD's Danish Board member in the above-linked June 2003 IHT article describing Jacques Attali's resignation as President.

As unattractive a character as Attali was, sharing with Wolfowitz an arrogant disregard for norms of probity and credible governance, he understood when the game was up, and he departed in a way that allowed a presumption that he acknowledged the primacy of not further damaging the EBRD's reputation.

Paul Wolfowitz, by contrast, in his words and actions has shown beyond any doubt that he has no concern whatsoever for protecting the World Bank's reputation and interest, and that if left in place, he could only be expected to carry on accordingly.

So while it should be spared having to do so by his resignation, now the Board MUST assert its governance perogative and protect the Bank's interest by forcing him out.

Bush and Cheney's wishes have no standing -- the American people consider them to be the worst such team in the country's history. To the extent that the demented duo are now resorting to trying to bully the other Bank members into retaining Wolfowitz, they are simply showing once again that they are corrupt, arrogant and dangerous, and adding to the depressingly long list of their sins, for which they will surely pay in the after-life for the rest of eternity.

They are both crippled ducks who do NOT speak for the Amercian people, any more than Robert Mugabe speaks for the pitiable Zimbabwean people, and I trust by now that every other WB member government is aware of that fact and will unite to assert their ownership rights and protect the Bank from these demented neocon vultures so that it can get back to its important work.

The Mahdi ~ May 15, 2007, 04:19 AM

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