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Wolfowitz and the U.S. Right to Appoint the World Bank President

The Wolfowitz case should end the U.S. right to appoint the World Bank president, says Kenneth Rogoff, professor of Economics at Harvard. He argues in the Financial Times Deutschland (English translation at Watching America) that "even if Wolfowitz resigns in the end, nothing will have been accomplished if President George W. Bush is permitted to select his successor":
In reality, the way Wolfowitz arrived at his position is the very thing that makes him so vulnerable to attack. His appointment by a U.S. Government, which is hardly cooperative internationally, was a provocation. The World Bank is an institution for financing development. But Wolfowitz' career in the U.S. Departments of Defense and State never prepared him for this role. Instead as is well known, he is the architect of America’s failed War in Iraq. By all accounts, Wolfowitz is brilliant, but it seems inconceivable that he would have been selected as leader of the World Bank in an open, transparent and multilateral selection process.
Personal comment: If the US has to give up its right to appoint the World Bank president, then the EU has to give up its right to appoint the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, which currently is the Spaniard Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo. He succeeded Horst Köhler, who is now Federal President of Germany. I guess, in the long run, neither the US nor the EU will continue to have the power to appoint the heads of these international institutions.

Endnote: Davids Medienkritik compares the Wolfowitz and Verheugen affairs.


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Anonymous on :

Top Secret! [Mock] Memo From Paul Wolfowitz to Bank Staff By Kenneth Rogoff [url][/url]

letters on :

Thanks for that, anon! The Rogoff memo is an absolute scream. Love it.

Zyme on :

"If the US has to give up its right to appoint the World Bank president, then the EU has to give up its right to appoint the managing director of the International Monetary Fund" Every good European will disagree of course :)

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Zyme, my point is that the US would insist on being more involved in appointing the IMF director, if they lose their influence over the World Bank.

Zyme on :

I agree - and my point is that Europeans would like to see american influence on the world bank reduced while its own preserved or even better: increased. Unlike in sports, in politics it all is about "unfair" distrubution of options. Everyone wants to have as much power as possible on his own.

Don S on :

Seems to me that the Augean stables need to be cleaned out at both the World Bank and the IMF. When first I read about Wolfowictz's deal for his girlfreiend I was shocked, but the true shock was when I learned that pay deals like that are routine at the World Bank, where more than 1000 managers anf senior staff are paid more than $200,000 a year! I understand that things are similar at the IMF. Seems to me the two agencies are being used as slush funds rather than poverty alleviation. Appointments seem to be given out as political patronage for loyal functionaries, much as the UN is used for other countries. A cleanup is needed all around, beginning with the World Bank, the IMF, and the UN.

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