who will be next World Bank President What will they do


World Bank Board of directors releases its report (updated, news links). The board has just released the report by the ad hoc committee investigating the Wolfowitz-Shaha affair.

Happy reading :

May 14 Communication from the Executive Directors

May 14, 2007—The Executive Directors have this afternoon received the second report of the ad hoc group. In the interests of transparency they are publishing immediately the report and all the associated documentation. They will meet with Mr. Wolfowitz at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday as part of their deliberations on the report.

Second Report of the Ad Hoc Group

Annexes to follow.

Please Note: More documentation will follow as noted in the statement above.

Update by Alex Wilks, 15 May - 2.38 EST.
There are several analyses of the above reports in our readers' comments below, and also in today's media.

One board official said member countries will make another effort to resolve their differences and Wolfowitz still had a chance of rescuing himself, depending on whether he could present a clear plan for how he could rebuild his credibility.

"Mr. Wolfowitz's contract requiring that he adhere to the Code of Conduct for board officials and that he avoid any conflict of interest, real or apparent, were violated," the panel said.

International Herald Tribune
The committee said Wolfowitz: "did not accept the bank's policy on conflict of interest, so he sought to negotiate for himself a resolution different from that which would be applied to the staff he was selected to head.". This was "a manifestation of an attitude in which Mr. Wolfowitz saw himself as the outsider to whom the established rules and standards did not apply." "It evidences questionable judgment and a preoccupation with self-interest over institutional best interest," the report said.

The committee's report acknowledged that the instructions conveyed to him were "not a model of clarity" and subject to "the possibility of misinterpretation."
Nevertheless, the report concluded, "Mr. Wolfowitz has taken the position that there were no rules that applied to the situation and therefore no rules could have been broken in resolving the matters as he did."

In a gesture to critics of the bank who say that the entire episode showed a flawed governance system, the committee recommended a full review of governance procedures in the future.

The BBC's James Westhead, in Washington, says the signs do not look good for the World Bank head, with the tone of the panel's comments suggesting he will face at least some kind of censure.

Village Voice
Best extracts:
"Mr. Wolfowitz has taken the position that there were no rules that applied to the situation, and therefore no rules could have been broken in resolving the matter as he did".

"On the contrary, the Ad Hoc Group is of the view that the situation was governed by specific provisions in the President's contract, the Code of Conduct for Board Officials, the Principles of Staff Employment, and Staff Rules as well as the other standards set forth in the Legal Framework described in Section III, above, and discussed in the following sections".

A Washington source ~ May 15, 2007


I think the man has absolutely no dignity if he continues to refuse to resign after this. Americans should be ashamed of the position of Bush who still supports Wolfowitz and should send emails to: comments@whitehouse.gov urging him to spare the country from this shameful position

AshamedAmerican ~ May 15, 2007, 02:16 AM

On every count, this is the most deceptive administration in the entire US presidential history (the Watergate and Iran-Contra sagas pale in comparison). All the more reason to impeach Bush!

Washingtonian ~ May 15, 2007, 02:29 AM

PLEASE--draw to everybody's attention that pages 32 and 33 are missing from the Ad Hoc Group's report posted online. These pages belong to the section in which the Ad Hoc Group is detailing its findings. MISSING PAGES IS A REAL PROBLEM. Please, don't let this go unnoticed.

Bankstaff ~ May 15, 2007, 02:33 AM

To Bankstaff:

Missing pages have been added. Thank you for the notification.

Bank Staff ~ May 15, 2007, 03:06 AM

It really doesn't matter what the report says. This is going to be a question of whether the Europeans have the guts to stand up to George Bush, and smart money says they don't.

I got a good laugh out of reading the reports comments on Paul's claim that this was a "smear campaign", and was pretty much shocked (although I shouldn't have been) by all the lies that Paul and his flunkies got called on by the ad hoc committee. I shouldn't have been surprised because we all know Paul has been doing nothing but lying for a long time and getting away with it for a long time. Even if he does remain bank prez--and he probably will--this ought to at least let him know his days of making his own rules and his own reality are over and done with.

CowDad ~ May 15, 2007, 03:19 AM

A tip of the hat from an outside observer.

The report restored much credibility to the World Bank.

The remainder of the work still has to be done by the Executive Directors.

Let us take a moment to thank the ad hoc Committee for their extremely fair and comprehensive report.

Thank all of you!


The 'author' of misc. postings... many musical.... some serious...

None ~ May 15, 2007, 03:27 AM

What does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Paul Wolfowitz might well remain at the helm of the WB but his authority is gone. Even if his brief changed and henceforth he was charged with dismembering the organization, he would botch it up. How he ever rose up on the bureaucratic ladder boggles the mind. On second thought, he is in good company given who appointed him and still supports him. How a country full of extraordinary talent can fall to such depths is truly unfathomable.

Jacob Prichani ~ May 15, 2007, 03:31 AM

Paragraphs 85 to 92 are still missing. Did someone just forgot to include them, or were left out because they tell too much?. Are the seven paragraphs the equivalent of Nixon's sixteen minutes gap in the tapes?. There was an attempt to cover up things by Mr. Wolfowitz and his statements were misleading. There was conflict of interest, rules were broken and the HR VP was bullied when asked to keep things "confidential". Abuse of power and deception in a situation of nepotism for personal gain is corruption.
The "anticorruption president" is rotten to the core. The tragedy of power, Mr. Wolfowitz believed that his brilliance and the support of the White House gave him absolute power. As Lord Acton said long ago. Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. What a shame!

Missing Paragraphs ~ May 15, 2007, 03:54 AM

Report summarised: the Board thought that they were approving only Riza's secondment to State. Wolfie rammed through all the other stuff himself and made it look like the Board approved it.

P O'Neill ~ May 15, 2007, 04:18 AM

Attention is drawn to para 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 137 138.

All of these statements deal with taking the dispute with the Board and others "PUBLIC".

Specifically, Para 106: ".... It has turned an internal governance matter into an ugly public relations campaign in which Mr. Wolfowitz believes he is publicly attacked and therefore has resorted to public attacks of his own which denigrates the very institution he has selected to lead....."

In other words, what should have been a discrete, private governance matter has become a circus which ends up severely damaging the Bank.... by a President that saw himself as being in an adversarial relationship with his own institution.

Robert J. Bennett, PW's highly paid attorney, should have no doubt as to what the Board sees as the consequence of him and his client's public actions ---- it severely damaged their case and poisoned the relationship with the EDs.

Para 140 then concludes: "... The Group finds the submission [by Wolfowitz and Bennett] notable for the absence of any acceptance by Mr. Wolfowitz himself of responsibility or blame for the events that transpired."

If I were PW, I would be filing suit against Robert J. Bennett for malpractice with this convincing evidence of a public rebuke from the very committee that PW needed dispensation from.

Bottom Line: Wolfowitz harmed his own case --- he probably had a 50/50 chance of surviving this mess with his job intact before he hired Bennett.

Good Riddance.

Noon ~ May 15, 2007, 04:49 AM

It's time for clean up, I don't understand why this matter is dragging so much... seems like the board is trying to delay it in order to break a deal with wolfi. It's time for action this is ridiculous. I was in the middle of Nowhere in Africa 3 weeks ago and people in one of the most remote towns ask about this scandal... it's ridiculous that we have to discuss this issue in the middle of our work.

GRANDMECHANTLOUP ~ May 15, 2007, 05:11 AM

Well, similar to the story of the emperor with no clothes... one is hesitant to speak the obvious truth re: Paul Wolfowitz. One speaks only of his infractions re: the World Bank; while the glaring truth is that Paul Wolfowitz is personally responsible for the invasion of Iraq, and all the deaths and destruction that that war has caused. According to Lancet, more than 600,000 people have died (so far) because of the war that Paul Wolfowitz crafted.
And one may be very assured that the same people who gave him his previous job, gave him this job at World Bank, and for the same reason: to implement their policy.

This is the real reason why Paul Wolfowitz should not be the leader of World Bank (or anything else).

Rather, he should be standing trial at The Hague

kl ~ May 15, 2007, 05:34 AM

Given that the World Bank's Board is a body composed of "diplomats", this is a report extraordinary in its ferocity. See, in particular, the following:

"Mr Wolfowitz's submission is noteworthy for its focus on his subjective perception of the events under review . . . The Ad Hoc Group finds this posture troubling for what it says about the leadership the Bank could expect from the man who had been selected to head a global institutions with the central mission of fighting poverty. The Group finds the submission notable for the absence of any acceptance by Mr. Wolfowitz himself of responsibility or blame for the events that transpired . . .The Ad Hoc Group sees this as a
manifestation of an attitude in which Mr. Wolfowitz saw himself as the outsider to whom the established rules and standards did not apply. It evidences questionable judgment and a preoccupation with self interest over institutional best interest."

Z ~ May 15, 2007, 08:26 AM

Reading the Financial Times, they say:
1. The report noted “with dismay the mis-statements to the press” attributed to one close Wolfowitz aide, and blasts Mr Wolfowitz and his lawyer for engaging in “attacks on the board and on a board process” that was mandated by finance ministers at the Development Committee meeting in April.

Note: That's why the Spin Doctor ran away with his tail in between his legs.
As far as the attacks, unfortunately for Wolfowitz and his advisers, this ain't the WH or the Pentagon.
"Wolfowitz's name was on a controversial Pentagon document that barred companies from Russia, Canada, France and Germany — nations that did not back the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq — from bidding on contracts for postwar reconstruction. It was seen as a vindictive move, counterproductive to repairing strained ties with allies. But the move fit into Wolfowitz's political philosophy — namely, as he told the Atlantic Monthly in 2002, "You do have to treat your friends different from your enemies."

"I think that's a basic principle of international relations and a lot of the rest of life — except in life, you don't usually have enemies quite as nasty as you do in foreign policy," he said." quoted NPR in its Morning edition of today

yul ~ May 15, 2007, 02:27 PM

Samy Watson's new anthem

Sung to the anthem: O Canada

O Wolfowitz!
Our savior and master!
True corruption fighter from White House
With glowing baksheesh we see thee rise
The true saint strong and greedy
From Flarherty to MacKay
O Wolfowitz, we stand on guard for thee
GW Bush keep our land colonized and lame
O Wolfowitz, we stand on guard for thee
O Bush , we stand on guard for thee

nin ~ May 15, 2007, 02:36 PM

For Makoto Hosomi, the following tune might be appropriate to whistle as he passes the Bank staff:

"The Colonel Bogey March" from the motion picture "The Bridge over the River Kwai"

Lyrics adapted from "Hitler only has one ball"

Wolfie has only got greased palms
Cleveland are so too
Palacio are just the same
And Riza has no ethics at all!

For audio:


nin ~ May 15, 2007, 02:37 PM

Village Voice: Wolfie's Blame Game
1. The Ad Hoc Group would note that the documents it has reviewed leave the Group with the impression that Mr. Wolfowitz, from the outset, challenged the way in which the Bank's internal governance rules regarded personal relationships.
2.Mr. Wolfowitz regarded the relationship [with his girlfriend] as possibly giving rise to an "appearance" of a conflict of interest. In the view of the Ad Hoc Group, the relationship he disclosed went beyond creating an "appearance" and gave rise to an "actual" conflict.
3. The Ad Hoc Group believes that this is of concern for a variety of reasons: 1) it places Mr. Wolfowitz's personal interests ahead of institutional interests; 2) it casts Mr. Wolfowitz as an adversary of the World Bank when, as noted above, the process underway should not be regarded as adversarial; 3) it results in the institution being seen in a bad and unfair light in the public eye; and 4) it has produced an environment that, put mildly, is not conducive to maximum work efficiency or positive staff morale.

Yul ~ May 15, 2007, 03:26 PM

Noon: Wow. Are you actually arguing that this should have been a "discrete internal matter?"

Have you been reading the words of Bank Staff on this site? Does it strike you that the "poisonous atmosphere" was created by the Staff itself? That the leaks of the process came from the directors and their cronies?

Double standards are rather unbecoming.

DC Worker ~ May 15, 2007, 04:48 PM

I can't believe they made this report public. The Worldbank is really a mess (not only the president e.g. Para 67 and 68)

dada13 ~ May 15, 2007, 08:41 PM

Well, the WB is not as secretive as some people want to make us believe.
Quite a lot of dirty linen drying out in the sun and blowing in the wind.

the best way
to fix mess

Open Secrets ~ May 16, 2007, 11:49 AM

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