www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

"Mission (Actually) Accomplished!" We are retiring. Good luck with the search for a successor.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Consequences if he stays

What the Board of Governors said about Wolfowitz:

"We have to ensure that the Bank can effectively carry out its mandate and maintain its credibility and reputation as well as the motivation of its staff. The current situation is of great concern to all of us. We endorse the Board's actions in looking into this matter and we asked it to complete its work. We expect the Bank to adhere to a high standard of internal governance."

The following points summarize some of the most costly consequences if Wolfowitz is not forced to resign:

· Deterioration in Reputation... The tarnished reputation of the institution will not be restored without the closure that Wolfowitz's departure would bring. The brand of the World Bank has already been damaged under Wolfowitz's management style and his repeated difficulties with the Board and his managers. The Bank will find itself in a position where it has greater difficulty in attracting the high-quality staff needed to carry out the Bank's operations. It is highly likely that if Wolfowitz were to be retained, many long-serving Bank staff would leave the organization given the high levels of distrust and moral outrage at his behavior and leadership style.
· Loss of Credibility on Governance and Anti-Corruption...
· Breach of Staff's Trust...
· Diminished Ethical Standards of Top Management...
· Lost Confidence of Board of Directors...
· Department of Integrity...
· Double Standard of Ethics...
· Relationship with Development Partners...
· IDA 15 Replenishment...


wolfowitzmustresign said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

For your editorial list, from an African newspaper:


Anonymous said...

Come on, Bankers! Update that editorial list, there are some really juicy ones out there!

Anonymous said...


wolfowitzmustresign said...

· Deterioration in Reputation: The tarnished reputation of the institution will not be restored without the closure that Wolfowitz's departure would bring. The brand of the World Bank has already been damaged under Wolfowitz's management style and his repeated difficulties with the Board and his managers. The Bank will find itself in a position where it has greater difficulty in attracting the high-quality staff needed to carry out the Bank's operations. It is highly likely that if Wolfowitz were to be retained, many long-serving Bank staff would leave the organization given the high levels of distrust and moral outrage at his behavior and leadership style.

· Loss of Credibility on Governance and Anti-Corruption : At the Development Committee meeting, Wolfowitz dared not make any interventions on governance or anti-corruption, issues that he has promoted, albeit controversially, in his tenure at the Bank. It is clear that it will now be much more difficult for Bank staff to address issues of public sector governance and anti-corruption in their dialogue with clients when their own leader is tainted.

· Breach of Staff's Trust: This harm is irreparable, as this comes on top of a series of events that had already demonstrated a willingness to breach staff rules (e.g. on setting salary levels for Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems) and retaliate against staff. Wolfowitz has isolated himself from his team of vice-presidents since the start of his tenure, with only a narrow set of mainly political advisers having regular access to him.

· Diminished Ethical Standards of Top Management : While this change for the worse was already well underway, the situation has terrible consequences for the Bank. The list of staff who have been pressured as a result of their defense of these standards is reported to include the Ethics Officer, the Vice President of the Middle East & North Africa Region, the Vice President for Africa, and the former General Counsel. This list does not include many colleagues who have departed on their own volition, including numerous VPs.

· Lost Confidence of Board of Directors : The EDs and shareholders, whose relationship with PW was already severely strained, were further shaken by PW's release of selective quotes from the documents released by the Board in this investigation. His continued attempts to portray his actions as defensible demonstrate a lack of remorse – which might have been intuited since his apology came only after the FT had exposed his involvement and subsequent cover-up. The world has no reason to believe he would not do it again. This is already acutely felt by staff.

· Department of Integrity: As the current review of INT by Paul Volcker is likely to reveal, there is a complete lack of independence of this department from the President's office. The Volcker investigation, however, is compromised because it is kept quite distant from the staff and clients. Many who wish to speak to the commission have been unable to contact, much less obtain appointments with the group.

· Double Standard of Ethics: In the past, many staff have been dismissed for actions which are trivial (e.g. misappropriating less than a few hundred dollars) in comparison with those of Wolfowitz. Staff and the outside world will see undermined institutional ethical standards if Wolfowitz were to retain his position. The zero tolerance policy for Bank staff would no longer be a viable benchmark.

· Relationship with Development Partners : Although the World Bank is only one player in the expanding universe of international aid architecture, relationships with multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, and NGOs have already been jeopardized. When important partners like Oxfam and the Center for Global Development have joined with some of the most powerful newspapers from around the world (FT, Le Monde, New York Times, IHT, LA Times, and more) and the Bank's own staff in seeking the President's removal, the collaboration that is increasingly necessary in a competitive aid environment will be severely damaged; and the Bank, less effective as a consequence. The outcome will be reflected in the overall delivery of services to the poor.

· IDA 15 Replenishment: A continuation of Wolfowitz's term as WB President casts serious doubt on the ability of the Bank to negotiate a successful replenishment of IDA. The European governments, who provide the bulk of IDA financing, will have an extremely difficult task to convince their Parliaments and citizens to entrust their taxpayer funds to an institution led by Paul Wolfowitz.

Raheel said...

Hello All

After working with prince of darness (Dougles Feith) Paul Walfowitz should go home and leave the place for more competitive and trustworthy person. World bank is for good people not for Bush incompetent and corrupt friends


Anonymous said...

American capitalism at its best. Just hire your friends and pay them well even if they don't know anything about there job.

Where or where is Brownie? He did such a good job in New Orleans. I bet he could show Wolfie a thing or two!

Anonymous said...

How many Board of Director members does it take to remove a Wolfowitz?


They will keep him even if he lends Bank money to himself and forgives the loans immediately.

We know for sure that he will do a great job replenishing IDA so he can lend the money to himself.

The more staff that leaves the Bank, the better. It will be replaced with his cronies.

Anonymous said...

Win-Win solution to Bank problems.

There is a win-win situation for everyone except the current Bank staff and the donors.

What needs to be done is to merge the Bank with an organization in a similar line of business, then reduce the overall head count and gain efficiencies.

There is a natural organization that can use this now in DC --- the Republican National Committee.

A merger of the RNC and the Bank will give the RNC Sovereign immunity from not only lawsuits, but also demands for their emails from Congress, and also provide a home for many SOL Bush staffers like Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson, etc.

Just think, Karl Rove can be the chief handler for dealing with the Board, and Gonzales can be Chief Counsel.

Excess staff, mainly the existing traitors to Wolfowitz, can be laid off (citing a reduction in demand), generating huge savings.

Finally, the Bank can use the 'float' to support the RNC for 2008, and who knows, perhaps start to deal with poverty (of RNC people) by starting to lend in the USA by just waiving the income limits.

It is about time the US got the fair share of loans back from the Bank.

Anonymous said...

"Those from the bank’s Latin America region expressed strong support for Mr Wheeler’s position and agreed to threaten to resign en mass if Mr Wolfowitz stayed.

The East Asia and South Asia management teams also appeared to side with Mr Wheeler and against Mr Wolfowitz.

Meanwhile, the Africa and Middle East managers looked to be siding with Mr Wolfowitz.

The fissure that has opened at the top of the bank mirrors a gaping divide throughout the institution between Wolfowitz loyalists and the majority of officials who were there under his predecessor, Jim Wolfensohn."

Mister, Mister, I need a job at the Bank - that's the only place I can pretend to be working for the poor whilst being an incompetent :o

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Middle East and Africa! Paragons of virtue and noncorruption!

Anonymous said...

Interested in comment that PW staying would prompt longserving staff to resign. I wonder whether this would tend to drive out Wolfensson-era staff, who would be naturally be replaced by neocons or Bush-Babes.

My conspiracy theory is thus: the PW-related chaos will serve to restablish right-hegemony if only he can see out this crisis. A high risk strategy, but then the NeoCons have proven themselves bold in this regard. Just a theory.

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the situation is that the split between who supported PW and who wanted him to go had far more to do with who Wolfowitz appointed and who came to the Bank before him. In other words, the African and MENA people are mostly people he appointed and are loyal to him. Possibly you can fault them for being overly loyal, but not, I think, for being necessarily corrupt.

I don't think it's fair to paint all Africans or all people from MENA as corrupt. And even less fair to accuse them of being loyal to PW because of it. Yes, some African leaders still are corrupt, but there is a growing trend in Africa where more leaders are fighting corruption, including up at the highest levels, sometimes at risk of their own life. (eg, google the name Ribadu or Githongo -- I forget their full names). In Liberia, and South Africa for example. Which is not to deny that there still aren't problems in both cases, but there ARE some key leaders, including presidents, who are trying, and I think with some measure of success.

Can we please focus on doing what is right for the World Bank as an organization -- and, above all, the 2.6 billion poor that the Bank tries to serve -- without accusing everyone who disagrees as necessarily having ulterior motives?

After reading the 109 pages of documents (have YOU? no, just skimming along for the facts that support YOUR pre-judged assumptions doesn't count--I mean, did you read them CAREFULLY, and with an open mind?) I think PW used poor judgment and made some choices he shouldn't have--but I also think there is honest room for reasonable, corruption-hating people to disagree. Because I think he did made some honest attempts to at least follow the proper procedures.

Or, if that doesn't sway you: I will remind that some of Wolfowitz's defenders have been accusing everyone who wants him out (especially World Bank staff, which just shows that they don't actually know any) as people who love corruption and therefore don't want him around anymore to fight it. Can we please try not to descend to the same despicable level of rhetoric?

outsidethbowl said...

There's been WAAY too much corruption stemming from Bush administration associates to allow Wolfowitz the benefit of the doubt. It is probably impossible for anyone to separate what is happening in Iraq from Wolfowitz, and his latest finger in the eye of humanity is just one more nail in his career's coffin.
He should not resign, he should be fired.

outsidethbowl said...

There's been WAAY too much corruption with Bush administration associates to give Wolfowitz the benefit of the doubt. Truly a cancer.
It is probably impossible for anyone to separate Wolfowitz from what is happening in Iraq, and this latest finger in the eye of humanity is just another nail in his career's coffin. He should not resign, he should be fired.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt at all that PW engaged in malfeasance with regard to Riza.

The Bank had a set of rules that were excruciatingly clear with respect to conflicts of interest.

PW insisted in maintaining contact with Riza (as a prior condition to his employment), which meant one or the other had to go.

The fact that PW granted her a whopping pay increase, effectively automatic promotions, etc. is not in dispute.

The fact that Bank procedures and safeguards against corruption of precisely this nature were wilfully not followed by PW is not in dispute.

As the CEO, the buck stopped at PW's door.

If Bush still have doubts, perhaps he might also harbor doubts as to whether the sun might rise tomorrow.

Sure, there is an infinitesimal chance that PW's actions did not warrant an outright termination --- about the same chance that the sun will not rise tomorrow.

If the Board do not fire PW upon his refusal to resign, even if it means breaking with the precedence of operating by consensus, the Board and the Bank is finished as a credible institution.

The Board members need to bring this thing to an expeditious conclusion soon by calling for a roll call vote for termination of PW's employment.

Let the US rep vote against the termination.

Let's see who else will vote with the US.

PEARL said...

THE PERSON HOLDING THE PLACARD IS ME - SHIRIN SHIRIN - AND I DO NOT WORK FOR THE WORLD BANK. The protest was organized by 50 Years is Enough: US Network for Global Economic Justice and Friends of the Congo. The World Bank staff were not among the organizers although some of them may have been present there.

I am a journalist myself and I'm going to take strict action against this blog if the caption of the photo is not changed. I fully support the drive to remove Wolfowitz from office but I DO NOT work for the World Bank and I firmly believe that it is a deplorable institution. I take it as a personal insult to be called a World Bank staff. Furthermore, if the staff is so angry at Wolfowitz on moral grounds then why don't they show courage and protest openly rather than literally using the pictures of activists like me to further their cause. Shame!!


Anonymous said...

The photo you have is of Shirin and I know her personally. She would never work for the World Bank. I mean she is highly critical of the World Bank. And in fact, if you look at the photo closely, you'll see that the poster says "50 Years is Enough". It is a highly respected organization working towards global economic justice. Shirin is their long-time supporter. It is insane that you are calling her World Bank staff!

Akanksha Sharma

PEARL said...

ha ha ha! "credibility" and "reputation"!! An institution that serves the interests of big bullies like the US and the corporations has no credibility and reputation to protect. A corrupt institution deserves a corrupt president. The World Bank staff do not pay taxes and the World Bank IMF buildings do not pay property tax! Most staff people get great salaries, free tickets for themselves and their families to their home countries, subsidized education for their kids, etc. etc. The institution is supposed to be removing poverty around the world and all it does it make sure that the big multinationals and corporate giants stay rich!! End this "moral" drama of crying over the tarnished image of the World Bank due to Wolfowitz. The image of the World Bank is very very poor among the people it is supposed to be helping.

Also, I think Shirin would die before working for the World Bank!! You are using the photo of an activist to claim how moral you are! None of the staff has protested openely against Wolfowitz. It is the activists who have the courage. Don't hide behind them...

Neelima and Shams

Anonymous said...

want to get a glimpse of what the world thinks of the World Bank with or without the war monger, money launderer Wolfowitz?



PEARL said...

Thank you for the correction. I appreciate it.... Shirin Shirin from the 50 Years is Enough: US Network on Global Economic Justice


Anonymous said...


1. About going tot he Ethics Committee for advices:

People at work often face ambiguous ethical dilemmas. But this case, says Barbara Ley Toffler, an expert on management ethics and a visiting professor at Rutgers University, is straightforward. "It's nepotism," she says. "I don't care if you're related to the individual, or if it's a boyfriend or girlfriend. You don't need to go to a lawyer or ethics advisor for this one."

2.About instructing VP of HR on salary and promotion path Wolfowitz has devised:
"If that's the case, if I were that human resource manager, I would have said no. But I'm not like most people.... It's very hard for ethics to be carried out by people in the company who have the most to lose. Wolfowitz should never have asked the HR person to do that."

Anonymous said...

Washington Post, April 19, letter to the editor:

As a former staff member at the World Bank, I would like to add my voice to the public debate on Paul Wolfowitz's action on a personnel matter. It is a tempest in a teapot.

The salary increase and the terms of service for a staff member are a minor matter when looked at in the larger context. That matter cannot be put at the same level as large bribes or the misuse of funds going on every day. Mr. Wolfowitz is trying to address such corruption. It seems that those who are against his bold anti-corruption efforts are trying to find anything, however small, to deter him. Ousting Mr. Wolfowitz would send a bad signal and set back these efforts.



Anonymous said...

To the previous poster:
Based on your views which you have a right to, is it fair to preach one set of conduct to the developing countries whilst you don't practice what you are preaching in-house?
Is it fair to the number of talented employees who are working hard to watch cronyism in the making at the upper echelon? Promotion w/o performance review or quasi-tenure at the VP level for a few who have NEVER worked in development :-(
Yep, last I check, in this world, altruism does not have the upper hand! it’s all about self-interest and political priviledges unfortunately!

Anonymous said...

Dear Neelima and Shams:

You are wrong to claim that this institution deserves a corrupt president. The opposite is true.

World Bank staff are diverse, well educated, and experienced professionals who work their tails off to be good at what they do.

World Bank staff deserve accountable, dedicated, and inspiring leadership.

The resignation of Paul Wolfowitz should come first. The World Bank Staff should then begin a serious and structured campaign demanding recruitment of senior staff with vision and integrity.

World Bank employees deserve no less than this. The people they serve deserve this and more - inspired leadership AND results.


Peace Corps Volunteer
Former World Bank staff

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