The Rosett Report

Who Next at the World Bank?

So, with Paul Wolfowitz ejected by the ethicists of the World Bank, who should be the next president of this beachhead of multilateral morality?

Kofi Annan’s ever-helpful former speechwriter has suggested Tony Blair, which is a terrible idea because the man’s a socialist — and anyway, America has to stick up for its traditional right to pick the head of the Bank.

Some have suggested Paul Volcker, which is an even worse idea for a number of reasons — but to name just one, because Volcker’s former business partner, James Wolfensohn, served as World Bank President for a decade prior to Wolfowitz, and in that position did plenty to foster a lot of the muck at today’s Bank. It could be –dread words — a conflict of interest.

So who? Well, the best solution would be to simply dismantle the Bank and convert its capacious main building into a hotel, convenient to the White House and other Washington attractions. But since that’s unlikely to happen, here’s another thought. While it’s doubtful that Paul Wolfowitz enjoyed his recent experience, the Bank’s fury to oust him did have the salutary effect of attracting enough attention to the institution itself so that all sorts of longstanding sleaze within the Bank was at least beginning to be exposed.

Why stop now? There’s a whole roster of patriotic Americans who would have a similar effect, and as we have just seen, they don’t have to actually do anything wrong. The Bank will arrange that for them. In that spirit, if they are willing to sacrifice for the good of our country, and indeed, the good of the world, how about we send John Bolton, followed by Don Rumsfeld, followed by …. well, you get the idea.