Friday, May 18, 2007

Buh-Bye, Little Wolf

Paul D. Wolfowitz is resigning, effective June 30, from the job of presidenting the World Bank. The president of the World Bank has been traditionally a job for the U.S. president to hand out, while the similar job in the sister organization, the International Monetary Fund, has been something for the European silverbacks to use as a reward. So do our political systems work. Meritocracy? Heh.

In any case, Wolfie was not beloved by the World Bank staff. When word of his resignation spread:

Staff members described a celebratory mood inside the World Bank's headquarters near the White House, with people embracing, singing songs and hoisting flutes of Champagne.

The ethics scandal that ultimately brought down Wolfowitz was merely the latest in a long list of his infractions in the eyes of many staff members, who accused Wolfowitz of insulating himself behind tyrannical aides, disregarding the counsel of veteran bank officers and running the bank as an adjunct of the Bush administration.

Sound familiar? There must be a textbook somewhere on how to be a good wingnut administrator: Destroy what you are appointed to manage by ignoring the goals of the organizations and all its accumulated knowledge. Then alienate everybody by your arrogance. The next step would be to set up fidelity tests consisting of the person's views on abortion, but perhaps little Wolf didn't get to that point yet.

It is all very sad in some ways, and not the least in the way this whole debacle belittles the poor the World Bank is supposed to serve.