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Friday, April 27, 2007

More on World Bank

Sometimes life is ironic. As I blogged about Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank this week, another group of 50 high-ranking World Bank officials submitted a written request to the Board. They're pointing to the correct decision criteria.

A very substantial piece of World Bank's business is financing of other banks in developing countries. Corruption is often a major problem in those banks. The officials said they could no longer credibly implement the bank's anti-corruption strategy in other banks --- which Wolfowitz zealously campaigned for in his first two years at the bank. Wolfowitz, a former U.S. deputy defense secretary and an architect of the invasion of Iraq, has been accused of double standards over his handling of the promotion and hefty raise for his bank-employed girlfriend, Shaha Riza. (You can read the story at

It appears that some believe Paul Wolfowitz' behavior has handicapped the World Bank's ability to conduct its normal business around the world. Now this is important decision criteria that maybe ought to take priority over whether or not Mr. Wolfowitz "deserves to lose his job."

Now here is another irony about this story. Al Jazeera, the Arab world's most prominant news source, has published a story that contains several facts not being openly shared here in the U.S. (Read their story at It seems that Mr. Wolfowitz is complaining of what he believes is "shabby treatment" by the Bank towards him. Moreover, he has mysteriously hired a lawyer to represent him in the matter.

Mr. Wolfowitz, the world is watching. I am sorry if you have to lose your job. That would be a sad affair indeed. However, there are natural consequences to bad choices. Sometimes being sorry isn't enough to overcome those consequences either. Perhaps another question for Wolfowitz and his board might be, "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be reconciled with the world?"

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