Friday, April 20, 2007

Vice Presidents As Far As the Eye Can See

Paul Wolfowitz, most notorious among a certain sort of person for being a “neoconservative” and an advocate of the Iraq war, is under fire in his current job as head of the World Bank. He is accused of maneuvering the transfer of his girlfriend to the State Department from the Bank at a significant pay increase. Maybe his ethics breach was severe, or maybe, as The Wall Street Journal page contends, it was not unethical at all and this is instead a smokescreen to block Bank reform. But I was struck by the following offhand remark in The New York Times:

Paul D. Wolfowitz sought Wednesday to quell discontent over his leadership of the World Bank by promising top aides that he would change his management style, but he suffered a blow when one of those aides urged him to resign,

The officials said that at a meeting with about 30 vice presidents of the bank, Mr. Wolfowitz asked for suggestions on how he could restore faith in his management after a furor over charges of favoritism toward his companion in 2005.

That the World Bank is an organization that has “about 30” (does no one know exactly how many?) vice presidents is, it seems to me, a far more pressing problem. But no one seems interested in that.


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