who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Wolfowitz--Shock & Awe (UPDATED) As the world turned this morning, printers in World Bank offices around the world got busy with the Ad Hoc Committee's riveting report. First in Beijing and Hanoi, then in Delhi and Islamabad. Then the hapless consultants in lovely Baghdad. Yemen, whose President told Wolfowitz last week "Iraq was a lovely country, until you invaded it." Africa, and the meetings in Europe and parts of the former Soviet Union where cronyism and gangsterism were part of the history, some not so distant.

And, now, at Headquarters. Complaints about the print quality creep into the internal website. But nothing is getting pulled down from the discussion board this morning, as staff and managers settle in to reading potty language, extravagant entitlement mentality, disdain for women colleagues, and even more venal and implausible excuses for breaking every rule in the book.

Para. 102 is being widely quoted: crisis of leadership. This is a model in direct speech, and unambigous conclusion: He must go.

One of my favorite lines is from the Board's interview of Robin Cleveland, who helped Paul Wolfowitz arrange his girlfriend's posting to State. When asked by the ad hoc committee why Shaha couldn't have moved to an independent group, like IEG or even an ED's office, RC said: "after you meet with her this afternoon, you see if you would like her to come work for you..." Guess Robin and Shaha aren't on best girlfriend terms like Ana and Shaha, who text each other little notes on their cellphones.

As managers discuss OPEs (the Bank's extravagant and ill-considered annual performance assessments), the arguments are: "but surely I've been here long enough to be a VP (like Shaha)"; "what do you mean I can't have an outstanding salary increase (like Shaha)?"; "how dare you use language like that to me (like Wolfowitz and Shaha)!" Xavier Coll kept good notes, right down to the four-letter words hurled at him.

Paul Wolfowitz keeps calling the Paris Office to find out where his invitation is to the G7 Finance Ministers' meeting this week. He'll not need a travel request for the ABCDE in Bled (sparing some poor student the embarrassment of receiving an award for the best essay on anticorruption from the man who found new ways) or Potsdam. And, after this afternoon, who would approve it?

Betting is 70% that he will go, but 2:1 odds aren't good enough for Bank staff and stakeholders, who've had enough of behaving like he's in his old job.

Will the last crony to leave please turn out the lights?

Deep Insider ~ May 15, 2007

Presidents 1946 - Present Day

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