who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Wolfowitz to Board: I'll Only Quit When You Admit I've done Nothing Wrong. (Update). I'd hate to be a World Bank board member just now. According to this piece in the New York Times, Wolfowitz wants to be officially cleared of all wrongdoing before he steps down.

The report continues:

"At the same time, talks took place between emissaries of Mr. Wolfowitz and bank officials with backing from board members who favored easing him out without provoking a confrontation with the Bush administration. Bank officials said the negotiations were aimed at finding a way for the board to accept the findings of the bank committee, while also declaring that Mr. Wolfowitz had acted in good faith and that mistakes were made by all sides."

And on the claims that he's going to continue to hold out (Bennett asking for a vote): "a last-minute appeal by Mr. Wolfowitz to deny the charges against him and to demand a fair process in which he could stay on the job seemed to backfire."

Further details and quotes are added by the LA Times this morning. They include the following from a Bank board member. "We're in the endgame. He may be denying it, but he is resigning."

The LA Times says Wolfowitz still may attend the G7 finance ministers meeting in Potsdam tomorrow. This despite the German minister's comment yesterday that he was not welcome to attend events in their country.

Sameer Dossani ~ May 17, 2007


If the board accepts to give him - and Shaha Riza - a way out with just a slap on the wrest, kiss the world bank credibility good bye for good. May be 62 years is enough indeed.

wb staff ~ May 17, 2007, 03:37 AM

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nin ~ May 17, 2007, 03:46 AM

Message to White House, Henry Paulson and Eli Debevoise


Sung to Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine there's no Wolfowitz
It's easy if you try
No hell at work
Above us only respect
Imagine all the stakeholders
Working for world development

Imagine there's no cronies
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to deny or lie for
And no witch hunt too
Imagine all the staff
Working in harmony

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the Bank will be as one

Imagine no ethics breaches
I wonder if you can
No need for Suzanne and Robin
A brotherhood of staff
Imagine all the bank staff
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the Bank will live as one

None ~ May 17, 2007, 03:53 AM

i hope someone will point out the consistent use of threats against the bank uttered by wolfowitz if he doesn't get his way: "You still have the opportunity to avoid long-term damage by resolving this matter in a fair and equitable way that recognizes that we all tried to do the right thing, however imperfectly we went about it."

wbstaffer ~ May 17, 2007, 03:58 AM

Ok, so a guy gets a call from the president:

"Will you be the next leader of the World Bank."

'You mean, that place that didn't have enough of a personel department to handle
the issue of the incoming candidate's girlfriend last time, asking the candidate himself to make up a solution and then using it to roast him in the press two years later?"

"Yea, that's the one.... by the way, do you have a girlfriend?"


I'd never work for wb ~ May 17, 2007, 04:15 AM

From PW's perspective, I think he may have actually managed to convince himself that it is in the Bank's best interest for him to be exonerated of all charges and for him to remain as president. (He does have a large capacity for denial and self-rationalizations. So whatever it is he believes, I'm sure there is SOME assumption in there somewhere that he is doing absolutely the correct thing in accordance to the highest ethical principles. Never mind that any reasonable outside observer would disagree.)

So in view of this, I'm not sure that this particular statement ("You still have the opportunity ...") is actually, consciously meant to be a threat on his part. He may view it as a simple, plain honest statement of the facts: if he's kicked out, or otherwise "unfairly" left "under a cloud" of suspicion then that would (in his view) INHERENTLY damage the Bank.

Re, "unfairly" (to clarify my use of it here) I think he genuinely believes the accusations against him are unfair. I think he has managed to fool himself into believing that he really did try to do the right thing at each step of the way. He might even honestly believe that he really is simply fighting for the integrity of the World Bank through defending himself.

Another Anonymous Coward from the Bank ~ May 17, 2007, 04:16 AM

Strike One: In late 2000 the administration of Johns Hopkins University had determined to take significant action against Paul Wolfowitz, then Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), for an improper sexual relationship with a SAIS subordinate. University action was interrupted when Wolfowitz informed the University he was leaving to take a position with the Bush Administration.

Strike Two: In early 2001 the Bush Administration was preparing to nominate Wolfowitz to be Director of the CIA. Wolfowitz’s wife, Clare, wrote the President and detailed her husband’s extramarital affairs at SAIS and with Shaha Ali Riza, whom he had met while Dean at SAIS and Riza was at NED (before she joined the Bank as an employee in 1999). Clare pointed out that her husband had a sexual relationship with a non-American citizen and that he was seeking to keep these relationships "non-disclosed." Scooter Libby intercepted Clare’s letter which terminated the CIA appointment but the Administration then nominated him to be DOD Dep Sec. In retaliation, Wolfowitz unleashed his lawyers on his wife and forced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement or forego financial support (also see Wolfowitz’s May 3 rebuttal reference to non-disclosure agreements). Clare Wolfowtiz signed. At this point, the White House was fully cognizant of Wolfowitz’s personal habits and chose to cover-up his activities. In other, similar cases, individuals are denied a national security clearance not due to the extramarital activities, but due to the possibility of blackmail stemming from “non-disclosure.” In Wolfowitz’s case, Riza was seen in his company at official Administration events (he was still married).

Strike Three: 2003 (SAIC contract), 2005 (“assignment, not “seconded or detailed” to State Department), 2006 (Foundation for the Future). On the latter, World Bank staff need to focus more carefully on the May 2006 $21,000 World Bank contract and November 2006 speaking contract to Anwar Ibrahim--who informed Robin Cleveland in October 2006 that he was selecting Shaha Ali Riza as Director of the Foundation (while retaining her G-4 tax-free income at an ineligible organization). Ibrahim, close Friend of Wolfowitz, became Chairman of the Foundation in July 2006 while being paid under the World Bank contract.

In the first two times at bat, he walked.

Public Service ~ May 17, 2007, 04:18 AM

Here's a little chunk from an op-ed piece by Bret Stephens in the WSJ tomorrow.


.... a new complaint regarding Mr. Scholar [UK ED] was sent directly to eight members of the board this Tuesday. Signed "John Smith" -- it is not clear whether the author is the same person who filed the earlier complaint -- the one-page letter restates the allegation regarding Mr. Scholar's undisclosed liaison with the bank employee. It also adds significant new detail:

"Mr. Scholar has used his privileged position as an executive director to influence Bank staff to manipulate [Ms.] -- -- -- -- job description in a way to suit her limited professional qualification. Without Mr. Scholar's intervention she would clearly not occupy her present position.

"Several staff members have in the past reported these facts to HR [human resources] and INT. These complaints have been ignored. Given that Mr. Xavier Coll -- VP for HR -- and Mr. Roberto Danido [sic, should be Danino] -- former General Counsel -- have been involved in [this] case, one can certainly speculate about the reasons. The case against Mr. Wolfowitz rests solely on the testimony of these two people. . . .

"The experience of the last two months has clearly demonstrated that complaints are only effective if they are made public."

The letter was sent to eight members of the board of directors, including Dutchman Herman Wijffels, who led the board's inquiry into Mr. Wolfowitz's conduct. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Given the board's previous apparent nonfeasance, the answer would almost certainly have been nothing had the matter not been brought to public attention.

Why does any of this matter? For one thing, it suggests the board lacks the most basic institutional mechanisms to police the conduct of its own members. This ought to call into question its fitness -- and particularly Mr. Scholar's fitness -- to judge the conduct of others. For another, the Daily Telegraph has reported that Mr. Scholar is likely to become Gordon Brown's chief of staff once the latter moves to 10 Downing Street.

But it matters most of all because the departure of Mr. Wolfowitz is being demanded by his most vehement critics to show that the World Bank is serious about setting the right example when it comes to governance. If it's a spring cleaning they want, why stop there?

P O'Neill ~ May 17, 2007, 04:24 AM

Well, the use of threats is a very good thing. PW had plenty of opportunity to learn during the ad hoc group process how to deal with the committee.

Instead of learning, he repeatedly uses the same tactics that only serve to alienate the very people whose support he needed: the EDs and their bosses back home.

He could have charmed them, engaged them, and done so many things to nudge them away from doing what must be an incredibly unpleasant, difficult, and nasty job.

Contrast this with the normal function of EDs (before PW) which is a gentlemen's club that is a cushy job for the appointees to spend a few years.

Instead of pushing the EDs back from the brink, PW and Bennett succeeded in pushing them all the way against him.

The threats against the EDs, the denial of responsibility, the failure to provide leadership, the utterly demeaning and degrading insults as to the fairness and credibility of the ad hoc group members and the EDs as a whole, cannot but bring this sad chapter of the Bank's history to the logical conclusion: the threat of a vote or an actual vote for PW's termination.

Think back: Remember when PW and cronies refused to leave the Board meeting?

Physical threats and intimidation against EDs?

One of the oldest traditions in the civilized world is that emissaries / diplomats are guaranteed personal safety and security.

Diplomacy is conducted in a highly stylized language and discourse that is intended to greatly understate (and hence reduce the tension) of the issues they are dealing with.

So it is possible that PW did not understand the code words used in the ad hoc group report.

PW need to reread the report with a diplomat who understands the code words in the report and what it really means for him.

Words like dismay, disappointed, etc.

Perhaps it is time for the EDs to issue a written statement that states, "The EDs cannot be indifferent to PW repeatedly and continually materially breaching of the terms of his employment contract

The EDs will not stand idly by and allow his employment to continue."

Someone please help PW decode the above phrase.

None ~ May 17, 2007, 04:26 AM

It is plainly obvious that we are dealing with a very sick man in Paul. It is irresponsible for his handlers to keep him loose knowing full well as they must do what harm he is capable of doing to any and every institution he comes into contact with: his family, SAIS, Pentagon, and now the World Bank.
I am inclined to be forgiving toward Paul on grounds of diminished responsibility. You do not blame mentally sick people for their ailment; you find ways to help them. I implore those with the reins (the White Hues and some undisclosed bunker) to put a stop to this sorry spectacle of a mentally sick man disrobing and defecating in public. That is the least they should do.

Jacob Prichani ~ May 17, 2007, 04:34 AM

Paul has agreed to quit once his good name is cleared, and the Board won't be able to beat him off with a stick until they do what he's telling them to. He needs his name cleared so he won't have any stains on his record when he seeks employment. Maybe he can use his World Bank experience to get a job as a branch manager at some local bank.

CowDad ~ May 17, 2007, 04:58 AM

Wall Street Journal has put up a free link for what is fairly clearly an inside job retaliation from Team Wolfie


P O'Neill ~ May 17, 2007, 05:02 AM

Since people are in a singing mode as the end of the beginning approaches, I send you my little ditty. The point of the song is that the unpopular and discredited Bush administration should not be allowed to nominate a president of the World Bank who may lead to another embarrasing crisis.
There is no urgent need to have a new unknown World Bank President. A caretaker acting President respected by the Board and the Staff, someone like Mr. Wheeler should be appointed. The next full term President of the World Bank should be nominated by the new U.S. Administration after January 20, 2009.

The Right Way

And now the time seems near
When Wolfowitz is gone for certain
My friends it should be clear
The situation now becomes uncertain

The man is such a fool
Mess up the Bank in such a bad way
So now, that there's a chance

Let's find the right way

George Bush is a lame duck
He's too corrupt, cannot be trusted
To nominate a decent man
The world approves without exception

Let’s trace a careful course
And wait until the next election
The new President, a Democrat
She'll find the right way.

(This can be sung to the tune of
"My Way")

Sing Along ~ May 17, 2007, 06:03 AM

1.Public Service: one additional piece after the CIA fiasco.
When Wolfie was sent to the Pentagon to be Deputy to Rummy, he was TOLD and ASKED by Rummy to clean his act and ensure that he DID NOT embarrass the SEC DEF during his stay @ the Pentagon

2. As far as hauling threats to his perceived enemies, he thinks that he is always right and he will step on your toes if you don't follow his lead. Refer to this situation when he did not get his way:
"His record with regard to democracies is also outlandish. You may recall in Turkey, to everyone’s surprise, the government went along with the will of 95% of the population and did not let U.S. troops use the country as a base for the war against Iraq. There was bitter condemnation of Turkey in the United States, from Colin Powell and others. But the most extreme was Wolfowitz. He berated the Turkish military for permitting this to happen. He said, “look, you have power, you can force the civilian government to do what we want them to do. The idea that they should listen to 95% of the population is outrageous.” Then he demanded that Turkey apologize to the United States and in fact say that it understands its job to help the United States. A couple of months later he was being hailed as the “idealist-in-chief” leading the crusade for democracy."

From: http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4236

Yul ~ May 17, 2007, 01:38 PM

There is no question that Paul Wolfowitz was a non-starter delusional, and he must be fired. Equally important, the neutering should not stop there. Without exception, all the bloated multiltateral/regional organizations are replete with incompetence, nepotism, favors-in return. For someone hired with a crooked disposition, all that is needed is a repeat motive while there are unnoticeable "opportunities" galore! Remedy: a revamping into a handful of clean agencies.

Governance Advocate ~ May 17, 2007, 02:23 PM

It is time for the staff to show its opposition to Dictator Paul by not showing up for work for a few days. And it would also show that the staff has more guts than the WB the Board.

WBWhatBank ~ May 17, 2007, 05:45 PM

I hope that Wolfowitz will quit. Still it's disgusting and plain stupid, that British executive director Tom Scholar did not disclose his relationships with staff members and engaged in favoritism. How could he hope to get away with this under the current circumstances ? Even if one hates Wolfowitz, this sort of behaviour calls the legitimacy of the whole process in question. Especially if you consider that the whole ting was orchestrated to provide Tony Blair with a nice job and full diplomatic immunity against any war crime charges.

John Smith ~ May 17, 2007, 06:33 PM

ED Scholar is not the first nor the last one to have relationships inside the Bank or to show favouritism. One prospective replacement used to have "girlfriends" when he was VP of a region.
Three ex-WB went to the UN in NYC and guess what- they were/are practicing what they had been doing at the WB- ensuring that their friends are given cushy positions whether they are qualified or not. This does not say that the UN was not a corrupted place before they went there.
Just look at the hiring/interviewing panel when they have to fill a vacancy. What a joke- the candidate has already been selected (even coached how to boost his/her application with the right buzz words) even before the session of interviews happen. This is not only at the IFIs but at the UN agencies/organizations/Funds.
If one has the time, do a survey on which country has the upper hand in the management of the HR department in these organizations- it will be an eye-opener.
This is human nature & facts of life- and corruption does not happen only in third world countries. Most cushy positions go to political appointees or friends/families of whoever is in power- of a country/agency/institution/ regional office/country director/ VP down to the Director level of a department.
If one is surprised or shocked by this then he/she must have pink glasses on.

Wolfie went beyond what everyone has been doing- he thought in his arrogant style that NO ONE IS GOING TO QUESTION HIM BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN PUT THERE BY BUSH.
He forgot that by September 2005 , Bush political capital had gone the way of the "dodo" and the WB wasn't the US administration.

BTW: I doubt the "poodle" will be a shoo-in.

Yul ~ May 17, 2007, 07:22 PM

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