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Wolfowitz resigns...in controversy

by whataboutbob Fri May 18th, 2007 at 07:44:45 AM EST

From Fran in this morning's Salon, via FT: Departure terms divides bank

The terms of Paul Wolfowitz's departure as president of the World Bank caused immediate divisions within the institution.

The staff association said the board had further eroded employee confidence by accepting that Mr Wolfowitz had acted in good faith over a generous secondment package awarded to Shaha Riza, his girlfriend. Mr Wolfowitz won acknowledgement both of his service and his key assertion that the bank shared responsibility for the controversy.


Allison Cave, head of the staff association, said: "We are pleased that he is leaving. But it is unacceptable that he stays a day longer.

"The board statement and the term will damage staff confidence in the board and make reform more difficult."

Even his resignation leaves lots of questions and a cloud of scandal...

Is he actually going to wait around until June 30th?? Or is he just going to take his fat pension and leave?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 07:45:32 AM EST
He'll probably wait until after the G8 summit, to allow Blair to attend than and then move to the World Bank.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:01:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfowitz is getting a $400,000 "performance bonus" on June 1.  

Watch for a Presidential Medal of Honor.

Wolfowitz, with Richard Perle, tried to prevent Reagan from signing the strategic arms limitation treaties.  He has been around for a long time and I fear we have not seen the last of him.

by Plan9 on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 11:11:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Golden parachutes should be outlawed.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 12:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The guy has seen the WB as a personal golden goose from day 1. We can only imagine the sort of deals and opportunities that the whole gang took and takes advantage of while running the White House...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 07:55:16 AM EST
Acted in good faith my ass.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:23:08 AM EST
They should have just kicked him out. Cowards.

Bush is a symptom, not the disease.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wolfowitz resigns...mmmmm... I like the sound of that


Wolfowitz resigns

 Wolfowitz resigns


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:32:08 AM EST
Don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:32:40 AM EST
or:  don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya on the way out
by zoe on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:34:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"While his resignation is a step in the right direction, one must ask: How did a senior Pentagon official in charge of orchestrating a disastrous war become the leader of the world's premier development institution in the first place, and why did the bank's board of directors fail to adequately oversee the actions of the institution's chief executive?" said Jenkins.

"The recent furor around Mr Wolfowitz' actions calls into stark relief the need for the bank to swallow its own medicine and to structurally adjust how it is governed or risk deepening its crisis of legitimacy."

"The Wolfowitz scandal is but a natural consequence of the 'old boys' club' way in which the World Bank and IMF have been governed. It provides an opportunity to end the anti-democratic behavior of the world's great democracies, whereby the US president names the World Bank president and a small coterie of European finance ministers name the IMF managing director," she said.

The international development group Oxfam, which had quickly joined in the call for Wolfowitz' ouster, said the next move falls on the shoulders of the rich nations that control the World Bank - the United States and European nations.

"The US and other rich countries must now show that they are serious about good governance by allowing the next head of the bank to be appointed based on merit through an open, accountable process," said Bernice Romero, advocacy director of Oxfam International.


by zoe on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 08:50:52 AM EST
Ms Romero: excellent idea...but don't hold your breath

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 09:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a nice idea, but I think this is yet another of those games where if the americans don't get their way, they'll take their ball and go home.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 20th, 2007 at 12:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one element of this sorry mess that I saw as real noteworthy was the role of the German government. As Fran quoted in the Salon:

Germany Says Wolfowitz Not Welcome At Berlin Meeting | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 16.05.2007

German Development Minister Wieczorek-Zeul Wednesday stepped up pressure on disgraced World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz to resign, saying he would not be welcome at a forum the bank is holding next week in Berlin.

"He (Wolfowitz) would do the bank and himself a great service if he resigned," Wieczorek-Zeul told journalists on Wednesday in Berlin. "That would be the best thing for everybody involved."

Should he fail to quit his post, she advised him not to take part in a two-day World Bank forum on development aid for Africa which starts Monday in the German capital.

"I would not advise him to (take part) if he's still in office," she said, referring to Wolfowitz.

An internal World Bank report found Wolfowitz broke ethics rules and triggered a leadership crisis at the bank by arranging a hefty pay raise for his girlfriend Shaha Riza, a former World Bank employee, when she transferred to the US State Department.

For a better understanding of what happened, a little explanation of power structures is needed here.

In theory, in a presidential system, the President is boss and ministers execute his/her vision; while in a standard parliamentary system, the prome minister is only first among equals, and decisions are collective. The German chancellor is in intermediate, with the chancellor's office giving extra power to the head of government. However, in practice, the ministers retain considerable autonomy in setting policy, ands sometimes they show it in public.

Now minister of Development Aid Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul is from the SPD, and a well-known member of the humanitarian-left in the party. She is not a heavyweight (meaning there is no old boy power network behind her), hovewer she hasd the good tactical sense to use the right oppoortunities to speak sharply.

Wieczorek-Zeul first suggested resignation to Wolfie in public three weeks earler, ET reported. Back then the notable thing was that she spoke so clearly in public -- pushing a rather different line that the nonconfrontative foreign ministry or the slightly Atlanticist chancellor's office. In hindsight, it now appears that she really had a role in that the drive against Wolfie didn't fizzle out.

And the second public call for resignation, paired with a snub as brutal as it comes in diplomacy, days before the World Bank's final decision, was an obvious pre-emptive strike against any face-saving compromise solution. With the foreign ministry and the chancellor's office abstaining from countering it, it sent a strong message that Europeans are really willing to kick Wolfie out. And it was noticed. It was all over CNN, much more prominently than on German news sites and TV.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 12:18:07 PM EST
Can there be a weirder social pheneomenon than the story of Leo Strauss and his disciples, their exile from the demon that Leo had dreamed of, their exile home at the Chicago School, their relationship to Cheney and then Bush and their obsession with Empire? This is a story of social psychopathology that has its roots in the sickness of the German Jews at the end of the 19th century but which connects to the ultra preppie Bushies and the cracker fundamentalists of the American Bible Belt. Mashuga.
by rootless2 on Fri May 18th, 2007 at 10:43:02 PM EST

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