Analysis: Wolfowitz Leaves Bank Under Cloud
Council on Foreign Relations
May 18, 2007
Prepared by: Lee Hudson Teslik
Wolfowitz’s departure won’t necessarily end the World Bank’s woes. First there is the issue of picking a successor. Washington currently bears responsibility for this process, though European leaders say they are keen to change this dynamic (FT). Any candidate too close to President Bush could be a political non-starter. Der Spiegel suggests three possible candidates: Paul Volcker, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman; Tony Blair, Britain’s outgoing prime minister; and Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel. The Wall Street Journal cautions that the selection process could be contentious and argues a highly publicized dogfight could further weaken the Bank’s standing in the world.
A slew of policy questions also remain unanswered. One primary concern is whether a new president would choose to maintain Wolfowitz’s emphasis on the bank’s anticorruption campaign—the credibility of which, many experts believe, suffered dramatically over the course of the present scandal. More fundamentally, a successor will have to navigate uncomfortable questions of the Bank’s relevance in an era where private equity is increasingly targeting the developing world (HBS).
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Copyright 2007 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on GlobalSecurity.org with specific permission from the cfr.org. Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to cfr.org.
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