But let’s be fair. An organisation that has anti-corruption as its main policy priority can obviously not afford to have a president involved in nepotistic behaviour. And a President of an institution like the World Bank should understand the importance of credibility and legitimacy and should therefore resign.
…but not Mr. Wolfowitz. He vowed to stay on at the bank eventhough the bank’s moral authority is at stake. In the words of the Financial Times:
If the president stays, it risks becoming an object not of respect, but of scorn, and its campaign in favor of good governance not a believable struggle, but blatant hypocrisy. …
When Paul Wolfowitz became President of the World Bank in 2005, our private prediction was that it would take about a year before the bureaucratic interests at the bank and in the global “development” industry made a play to oust him. We were off by a few months.
The forces of the World Bank status quo are now making their power play, demanding that the bank’s board ask him to resign over an ethics flap involving his girlfriend. The dispute is so trivial that it betrays that this fracas has little to do with Mr. Wolfowitz’s ethics. The real fight here is over his attempt to make the bank and its borrowers more accountable for results, especially by exposing and punishing corruption.
(…) Mr. Wolfowitz has tried to institute more accountability, especially on corruption. Who could be against fighting corruption? Well, for starters, a global poverty industry that thinks “governance” is a distraction from the only real measure of development, which is how much money “rich” nations choose to redistribute to poor ones. Never mind that many of these countries stay poor year after year precisely because they squander or steal foreign aid. “Governance” ought to be a crucial lending criterion, but in trying to make it so Mr. Wolfowitz is bucking decades of old