www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

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

Monday, May 21, 2007

Good Night and Good Luck

Mission accomplished, we are retiring www.wolfowitzresign.com and the Real World Bank News. Unlike like some people, we know when it is time to go.

The website will stay active indefinitely. You can still reach us by email at wolfowitzresign@gmail.com. Enjoy browsing the treasures of the archive.

The website has been a huge success, we note modestly. We received thousands of visitors from 101 countries, browsing in 35 languages, and we are still top of the list in Google's search engine. No mean feat for a bunch of "renegade Bank staffers", see Business Week.

We would like to thank the good people of www.avaaz.org for the YouTube video " The Bank", which brought much needed laughter to so many -- 80,000 views at last count.

Our new best friends at Government Accountability Project (GAP) www.whistleblower.org and www.worldbankpresident.org will keep you informed and up to date on the search for a successor. They will also be delving into the misdeeds of the remaining "infamous five".

The infamous five are of course, Robin "Rottweiller" Cleveland (is she still here?), Suzanne "Augean stables" Rich Folsom, Juan Jose "say-a-novena-for-me" Daboub, Ana "where's my lithium?" Palacio, and Karl "how far under this radar can I limbo?" Jackson.

There is so much dirt on all of these miscreants it is hard to know where to start. So we leave it to you. Two down, Five to Go!

Good Night and Good Luck

Friday, May 18, 2007

Feedback from staff to Wolfowitz letter

Reuters: Wolfowitz trims daily role, plans staff outreach

Eds note: His letter works best if you play a laughter track in the background

  • Flooded with phone calls? You? May be calls from Cheney and Bush and Riza and Palacio and Daboub and INT and Robin and Kevin. Bring them all to Africa, on your way - all of you.
  • PW deserves the same amount of respect he demonstrates toward the Bank.
  • please don't go to africa. respect our continent.
  • PW's letter - as usual - lacks sense of reality.
  • I hope this is going to be the last letter I have to read from him. Flooded with phone calls? Give me a break!.
  • PW, you have no dignity. No sense of reality. Go away! ...
  • PW: STOP THE NONSENSE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Please just leave. You can take all your loyal employees with you. Who are you kidding??
  • six weeks to meet with and thank his supporters?????
  • PW must be truly out of his mind. Why doesn't he just leave? Does he really think he can still travel around representing the WB? Where is his sense for reality?
  • Who will staff an Africa trip? Is he going to take his loyal staff on a trip with him? We would recommend Robin Cleveland, Ana Palacio, Suzanne Rich Folsom, Juan Jose Daboub, and Karl Jackson.

Wolfowitz Letter to Board

Management is in charge. I may make a trip to Africa.

In a letter to the Board this afternoon Wolfowitz outlined his transition plans:

"I am confident the board sessions can be handled well by the Managing Director with the relevant portfolio. I believe they can manage most requests for outside meetings. On policy matters I would defer to the appropriate MD or Vice President."

"I may make a farewell trip to Africa at the request of a number of leaders but would consult with you (Board) before making any plans."

"I do not plan to continue routine briefings. I have no expectation of being involved in personnel actions."

"The most important assignment I feel I have ahead is to take the time to meet individually with staff who have been so loyal and effective in fulfilling the Bank's mission. I owe them my personal thanks and appreciation." See comment for full letter.

Transparency International Calls on Bank to Strengthen Integrity

Berlin, 18 May 2007 - The departure of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank opens the door to new leadership to take the Bank and its vital Governance and Anti-corruption Strategy forward. Implementation of the strategy is critical if the Bank is to fulfil its mission of reducing poverty.

Senior Management Messages to World Bank Staff

Sr. VP Marwan Muasher to EXT Staff -
We must look ahead. As the communications professionals of the Bank we have a critical role beginning right now -- in promoting our internal healing and re-establishing the Bank's reputation with our external stakeholders. Let us focus on these tasks. The Bank's strong values and principles remain as firm as ever.

VP Jim Adams to East Asia Pacific Staff-
I hope now we can refocus all our efforts on the considerable development challenges that our region continues to face. This is the work that matters to the people of our region and it is the work that I am sure you want the Bank to be known for. I am committed to working with you to underline the Bank’s good name in this region and I trust that you will join me in that mission in the weeks and months ahead.

VP Shigeo Katsu to Europe and Central Asia Staff-
As we move forward, we need to continue to work together to rebuild faith in our institution among partners and stakeholders throughout ECA and restore the trust that is essential to our business. To do this, I need your continuing help in showing what the World Bank is all about and redoubled efforts in helping our clients achieve a better life for their citizens. Let’s focus all our energies now on serving our clients.

VP Joy Phumaphi to Human Development Staff-
So, let us gather our thoughts, and remind ourselves again of why we care so passionately about the work we do. Let us remind ourselves of the 77 million young boys and girls, children who yearn to go to primary school but cannot get past the front door of the classroom; the millions of others who are malnourished and stunted; and the many men and women who live hand-to-mouth in their old age because they have no pensions or savings to live on in their final years; these are the many sides of poverty and inequality that we care about so passionately.

Chief Economist & Sr. VP Francois Bourguignon to Development Economics Staff-
Yesterday's Board decision comes as a relief, even though its presentation tends to hide the real nature of the crisis which has just been, at last, resolved. The Bank can now move toward what will be the next steps, which include a very challenging presidential transition. It will be important to make sure that the Bank can function effectively as soon as possible. This involves restoring the trust and credibility of the Bank in all of its activities.

VP Daniela Gressani to Middle East/ North Africa Staff-
I hope that we can all work together to repair the damage that our institution has suffered through this controversy. This will require that we restore and rebuild trust and confidence, among us staff and with our clients and partners. These are large challenges but I am confident that building on our greatest asset -- our mutual respect -- we can overcome the present difficulties and deliver on our mission.

VP Danny Leipziger to Poverty Reduction & Economic Management Staff-
For this reason, I am confident that we will overcome this crisis, drawing upon your professionalism and commitment to the goals of the Bank. This will need to be accompanied both by a process of internal healing as well as by actions to address critical management issues that have arisen. I hope to work with others in senior management to try and restore internal governance.

VP Pamela Cox to Latin America/ Caribbean Staff-
With your determination, I am confident that we will be able to turn the crisis into an opportunity to regain the trust of all our stakeholders through our words and deeds, ensuring that the Bank and the LAC region emerge from this crisis a stronger and more effective development partner. This will take time, effort and active listening to the voices outside and inside the institution. Good governance begins at home and we know that in order to promote good policies abroad we will need to build a more inclusive, transparent and accountable institution.

Executive VP Lars Thunell to IFC Staff-
I would like to thank you for all your hard work and professionalism during these recent weeks. This has been a difficult time for all of us as the Board works through its process concerning Bank leadership. With the end of the fiscal year in sight, our work program is well on track, and that is due to your efforts. I am personally grateful that you have kept your focus on our clients and our mission to create opportunities and improve lives.

VP Praful Patel to South Asia Staff-
I know you all care deeply about what has been happening and while many of you have followed the very public unfolding of this crisis, I know that at the same time you have maintained a strong delivery of the region's important work. This dual focus has left us all feeling stretched and a little exhausted but I do want to thank you for persisting with the work you care about so much.

See comment for full statements.

Staff Comments on Wolfowitz Resignation

Reuters Reaction to Wolfowitz's Resignation

"I think it creates a great opportunity for us to open up a fair and transparent process for the selection of the next president. We're relieved the situation is over," said Caroline Kende-Robb, Sector Manager Social Development.

"I just returned yesterday from a mission in West Africa where I was beginning to feel most acutely the impact of the crisis ... in terms of the legitimacy we have in advocating good governance. We've got a job to do now in rebuilding our credibility on those issues, and it's going to be easier now that Wolfowitz is gone," said Daniel Owen, Coordinator of Community-Driven Development in Social Development Department.

News Round Up, The Afterglow

New York Times- Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank
Washington Post- Ending Battle, Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank
Financial Times- Wolfowitz steps down as World Bank president
Wall Street Journal- Wolfowitz quits World Bank as U.S. relents

Ten things Wolfowitz could do while on administrative leave

  1. Go to charm school, sort out that potty mouth problem.
  2. Learn to knit socks. We know you need new ones. check out Socks 101
  3. Foundation for the Future are looking for a new Chief Financial Officer. We know you are good at numbers, especially large round numbers, and the position is based in Beirut, so Shaha could come too. Perfect, hey?
  4. Get rid of that cloud that has you so preoccupied. Learn more about cloud seeding and really make it rain. (see comment for more)

Blue Ribbons Became Attire Of Their Ire

Washington Post

Could it have been the blue ribbons? Style filters down, babe.

"The ribbons were intended to be a constructive act by the staff to show support for a common goal, which is good governance," says Alison Cave, head of the World Bank Staff Association.

"The staff needed a challenge," said Morallina Fanwar George, former staff association chairman and ribbon organizer. "They needed something productive." (Later, Wolfowitz himself was seen wearing a blue ribbon around the office, which he claimed -- wait for it -- was a symbol of malaria awareness.) By close of business yesterday, the blue ribbons had become a new symbol -- of victory."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Staff Association Response to Resignation

May 17, 2007 -- We ask the Board to ensure that between now and June 30th, the following measures are implemented immediately:

  • Place Mr. Wolfowitz on Administrative Leave.
  • Appoint an acting-President to manage the institution and to make day-to-day decisions.
  • Follow Bank procedures regarding protection of documents, records, access to electronic files, and all Bank resources.
World Bank Group Staff Association Executive Committee.
See comment for full statement.

Who will be acting...?

"The Board will start the nomination process for a new President immediately" Board statement.

FT Wolfowitz bows to pressure and quits World Bank
Washington Post Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank
New York Times Wolfowitz to Leave the World Bank
Globe and Mail Wolfowitz to resign from World Bank

Wolfowitz has resigned. It is official. His scheduled date of departure is June 30, 2007. The Board will begin discussing interim arrangements tomorrow morning.

The first order of business will be selection of an acting president. Most likely candidates are Graeme Wheeler, Managing Director, Vincenzo LaVia, Chief Financial Officer, or Lars Thunell head of IFC.

Board sources say Wolfowitz will begin his new role at Foundation for the Future on Monday. Apparently they are looking for a chief financial officer.

Obviously he will not be coming to the office. Word is he will be on administrative leave.

Plans for the dismissal of Robin Cleveland, Suzanne Rich Folsom, Juan Jose Daboub, Ana Palacio, and Karl Jackson are also being discussed.

Wolfowitz Resigns. It is official

Statement of Executive Directors

The Executive Directors acknowledge Mr. Wolfowitz’s decision to resign as President of the World Bank Group, effective end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007). The Board will start the nomination process for a new President immediately.

Statement of Paul Wolfowitz

I have concluded that it is in the best interests of those whom this institution serves for that mission to be carried forward under new leadership. Therefore, I am announcing today that I will resign as President of the World Bank Group effective at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007). See comment for full statement.

Word from the staff....

....we urge the Board to reach (a decision) today ....

Staff Association Update
May 17, 2007

Dear Colleagues,

The staff of the World Bank have waited, patiently and sometimes impatiently, while the Board has conducted its inquiry into matters relating to the President. We have allowed space for due process and time for all of the facts to come out. These facts, as reflected in the Ad Hoc Group's report and Mr. Wolfowitz's responses, are clear. The outcome should not be in doubt.
See comment for entire letter.

Word from the board....

....he's got the wrong date on his resignation letter.

It appears Mr. Wolfowitz has drafted his resignation letter but it has the wrong date. It seems he has dated the resignation letter mid June. Apparently he believes this will give him time for that nasty cloud to shift. The Board is not at all impressed.

"The letter should obviously be dated today, May 17. Can he not even date a letter correctly?" asked one board member in despair.

Robert Bennett, Wolfowitz's lawyer said yesterday that "Mr. Wolfowitz will not resign under this cloud". It's not a cloud, it's a maelstrom.

Word is that the Board is looking at a list of possible acting presidents to take over once Wolfowitz goes. The candidates for filling those shoes, hopefully wearing better socks, include Graeme Wheeler, Lars Thunell, and Vincenzo la Via. Juan Jose Daboub is not on the list. Strange.

Ana Palacio moving on already.....?

Ana Palacio signed a letter published in yesterday's International Herald Tribune as "former foreign minister of Spain", not in her current capacity as World Bank General Counsel.

Why Ana? Are you planning on moving on from the Bank soon? (say it ain't so!). The letter was addressed to "the Turkish people from their European friends" on the topic of EU accession. Do the Turks really need a friend like you, Ana?

Our favorite pieces from the report...... f**k you

The report issued by the Bank's Board this week shows clearly that Paul Wolfowitz intentionally abused his office for the benefit of his girlfriend and then attempted to cover up his actions. His claims of acting in good faith and "making a mistake" don't jibe with what the ad hoc group found. Here is a round up of some of our favorite pieces....

Wolfowitz knew that it was outside the rules.
Mr. Coll (head of human resources): I raised the issues that these were outside the Staff Rules on several occasions. And given the fact that they were outside the Rules, I requested that the instructions were written (annex 10, pg 39, lines 14-18). Mr Coll: There is no doubt that the President knew or had been made aware of by me that this was outside the Rules (annex 10, pg 41, lines 15-17).

Wolfowitz actively sought to conceal the terms of the arrangement.
[A] decision by was taken by Wolfowitz not to consult the World Bank General Counsel or any other member of the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency.

The Group also finds that Mr. Wolfowitz not only took this decision, but that he directed his Vice President for Human Resources, Mr. Coll, not to consult with Mr. Danino or anyone else in the Legal Vice Presidency despite Mr. Coll's expressed desire to do so (main report pg 35, para 98).

The idea that the General Counsel could not advise both the Ethics Committee and the President defies logic, as the Ethics Committee and the President share the same interest which is to protect the institution from legal and reputational harm (main report pg 36, para 100).

Wolfowitz threatened retaliation.
Mr. Coll: And he also told me that, in no uncertain terms, that--to tell friends, people like Shengman, Rathbani [ph.] and Jerry Rice to get out of his way and stop attacking him. And he asked me to tell my friends to stop doing that. And he also stated very clearly that if these people fuck with me or Shaha. I have enough on them to fuck them, too. Those were the words (annex 10, pg 68, lines 17-22 & pg 69, lines 1-2).

Board reconvenes

The Board resumed its deliberations at 2 pm today after a short break for lunch. It was not clear what the subject of its deliberations would be for the afternoon.

Bush voices 'regret'

AFP: US President George W. Bush expressed "regret" over the favoritism scandal engulfing World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz as the bank's board deliberated his fate for a third straight day.

"I applaud his vision, I respect him a lot, and I regret it's come to this," Bush said in answer to a reporter's question about the embattled head of the poverty-fighting development lender. See comment for full story

Wolfowitz friend says, "Paul has no plan"

Karl Jackson, has reportedly told numerous World Bank and diplomatic pals of his that "Paul has no plan. Everything is ad hoc, reactive -- first we go this way, then we go that." If his friends are saying that, imagine what Wolfowitz's enemies think. Read more.

"He sounds like Tony Soprano," a British columnist wrote of World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz's angry threats to "fxxx with" World Bank senior staff members. To one blogger, Wolfowitz sounds like Richard Nixon.

Wonkette, The DC Gossip continues to follow the story with Wolfowitz to Resign and Spend More Time on his Lawn.

And, in all seriousness, Japan still supports Wolfowitz. Reuters

Bush says Wolfowitz seeking what's best for bank

May 17 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush said today that World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has an interest in doing what is best for the bank, but declined to comment on his future at the institution.

As the World Bank's board was meeting behind closed doors to discuss a possible deal in which Wolfowitz would resign, Bush said, "I regret that it's come to this."

"All I can tell you is Paul Wolfowitz has an interest in what's best for the bank," Bush said at a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. See comments for full story.

News Round Up, May 17, 2007

Washington Post- Wolfowitz Hangs On As Ouster Hits Wall; Day-Long Standoff Ends Unresolved; Talks to Resume
New York Times- Wolfowitz said to push for deal to let him quit
WSJ- Wolfowitz Exit Wouldn't End World Bank Woes --- Policy, Succession Fights Loom as Besieged Chief Starts Endgame Talks
Financial Times- Wolfowitz working on resignation deal

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Board adjourns, no negotiations took place

Washington D.C. May 16, 2007 -- The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank adjourned this evening saying that they were continuing to discuss the report of the ad hoc group and its recommendations, and had not been negotiating an exit deal for Paul Wolfowitz. They will reconvene at 9 am Thursday.

"We spent the entire afternoon discussing the report. We did not talk about exit terms or deals for Wolfowitz," said a Board member who had been present. Wolfowitz was not present at today's board meeting.

"We have a process and we are continuing with that process," said the Board member.

The adjournment was followed by a statement from Robert Bennett, Wolfowitz's lawyer, who said Wolfowitz will not resign under the current "cloud" and would rather push the matter to a vote of the bank's board to clear his name.

"Mr. Wolfowitz will not resign under this cloud and he will rather put this matter to a full vote," Bennett told Reuters.

Worldbankpresident.org down, Sabotage Suspected

In what appears to be a carefully timed attack, the worldbankpresident.org blog has been taken off line by unknown parties. The site, established two years ago to track the selection process which resulted in Wolfowitz's appointment, has been a mecca for journalists, activists and others seeking up to date and inside information on what is happening to the World Bank president.
See comment for full story

Wolfowitz Said to Be Working on Resignation Deal

New York Times Wolfowitz Said to Be Working on Resignation Deal
Washington Post Bank Board Negotiating Resignation of Wolfowitz

Wolfowitz support wanes as World Bank meets on his fate

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - World Bank directors were meeting today to discuss the fate of president Paul Wolfowitz amid reports a compromise deal had been reached to pave the way for his resignation over a damaging favoritism scandal... ABC News reported, citing bank officials, that Wolfowitz was near an agreement to resign, perhaps as early as Wednesday, in a face-saving compromise deal. See comments for full story

Petition Urges EDs to Adopt Merit-Based Leadership Appointments

This urgent recommendation is backed by 185 signatures. To add your name to the list, email Jamie Baker at jbaker@new-rules.org.
The convention that the US government designates the president of the World Bank should be abandoned and replaced with selection procedures that reflect two key principles: transparency of process, and competence of prospective leadership without regard to national origin.
See comments for full letter and list of signators

ABC News - Wolfowitz to Resign This Afternoon?

May 16 2007-World Bank officials say the bank's board is completing an "exit strategy" that will allow World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to resign this afternoon and "still save some face"... The decision is likely today, officials say, because Wolfowitz had been scheduled to leave tonight for a European trip.

World Bank Board adjourns at U.S. request

"This is a desperate attempt by the United States to buy time. They know he has to go and they just need some time to get it right," said a board member.

US Executive Director Eli Debevoise told the Board, "We need more time to think through the issues."

REUTERS MAY 16- The World Bank board, considering a panel's report critical of bank President Paul Wolfowitz, has adjourned until 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) at the request of the United States, bank and board sources said today.

Trevor Manuel Speaks Out, Says "C'est la vie"

May 16 (Bloomberg)-- South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said "there should be a parting of the ways" after an investigation found that Wolfowitz had violated conflict-of-interest rules... "I think we must live with the decision by the executive board," Manuel said in an interview in Shanghai, where he is attending the annual general meeting of the African Development Bank. "It's unfortunate but c'est la vie."

U.S. Needs to Take Responsibility

Board Members reject U.S. proposal "they need to take responsibility for their man"

Washington D.C., May 16, 2007 -- World Bank board members expressed their irritation today at attempts by the White House to cut a back room deal yesterday in the Wolfowitz debacle and said that the Bush administration needed to step up and take responsibility for their appointee.

Board members said the attempt, via phone calls with G7 Finance Ministers Tuesday, to cut a behind the scenes deal was "completely unacceptable".

"We have acted in good faith and undertaken a thorough review of the facts with extensive due diligence. That review has been presented in the report of the ad hoc committee. The evidence is utterly damning. He acted inappropriately and attempted to cover it up by concealing it from the Bank's general counsel," said the board member.

"We are not going to undo this lengthy process now and bow to pressure to cut some back room deal," the board member said.

Board sentiment among all members has considerably hardened since the release of the report, which gives copious evidence of wrong doing on the part of Wolfowitz. The tone of the report and its summary also indicated growing frustration with Wolfowitz's lack of respect for the institution. Armed with this evidence, board members from developing countries are understood to be less reluctant than before to take a stand against the United States and call for Wolfowitz's resignation.

"They (the United States) need to take responsibility for their man. They appointed him. He has done wrong and they need to call on him to go," another board member said.

New Job For Wolfie - Ambassador to Iraq?

FT, Letter May 16 2007- Send Wolfowitz to Iraq
"It is a country Mr Wolfowitz knows well. He helped to destroy it; so now let him rebuild it. Since his girlfriend is an expert on Iraq, she could go along too." - Eugene Versluysen

Berlin, Will He, Won't He?

FT Observer - The German finance ministry has the delicate matter of deciding whether to set a place at the table for Wolfowitz at a conference near Berlin this week... Amid rumours that the bank's board would at any moment decide on Wolfowitz's fate, a senior finance ministry official told journalists yesterday he was ready for all eventualities. "As of midday today we are still expecting him," he said, looking at his watch. "We'll just have to wait and see."
See comments for full article

Role of State Department to be investigated

Financial Times, May 16 2007 The US State Department has launched an inquiry into its role in helping Paul Wolfowitz resolve conflicts of interest that arose when he became president of the World Bank, say officials. The department is reviewing anomalies in security vetting and legal complications in the transfer of Shaha Riza from the bank to its Middle East section, said two officials.

Wolfowitz Cancels Trip to Slovenia

Bled, Solvenia 16 May (STA) - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who is embroiled in a scandal involving a generous pay package for his girlfriend and faces a vote of no confidence from the bank's board, was expected to attend as well, but he will not be coming. See comments for full story

Germany slams Wolfowitz as bank board meets

BERLIN, May 16 (Reuters) - Germany on Wednesday urged World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to resign his post and said he would not be welcome at an Africa forum the bank is holding next week in Berlin should he refuse to go.

"He would do the bank and himself a great service if he resigned," German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, one of Wolfowitz's strongest critics, told reporters. "It would be the best thing for all concerned."

Should he fail to give up his post, she advised him not to take part in a two-day World Bank forum on development aid for Africa which starts Monday in the German capital.
See comments for full story

News Round Up, May 16, 2007

WSJ- Wolfowitz's Support Diminishes --- White House Wavers As World Bank President Continues to Fight for Job
NYT- Bush Opens Door to Wolfowitz's Resigning Voluntarily
Washington Post- White House Support for Wolfowitz Wavers
Washington Post, Editorial- World-Class Mess; No one's looking good at the World Bank.
Financial Times- Wolfowitz in final plea to keep job

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Canada Comes Out of the Closet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) May 15 2007 - The US failed to win the support of key allies in the Group of Seven over World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's leadership, with only Japan standing by Washington, a bank board source said Tuesday.

"Japan was aligned with the United States, but others, including Canada, were against Wolfowitz continuing," the European source told Reuters, following a conference call of G7 officials. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, France, Germany and Britain.

US fails to win extra time in Wolfowitz crisis

Financial Times, May 15, 2007 -- The Group of Seven leading industrialised nations on Tuesday failed to agree a way to resolve the crisis at the World Bank, as European nations and Canada resisted US pressure to delay consideration of whether Paul Wolfowitz can be effective in his job as bank president.
See comments for full story

GAP Posts Letter From Riza Whistleblower

In the open letter, the Bank staffer who originally disclosed the Shaha Riza payroll records urges the Bank to adopt real whistleblower protection policies, and a new, transparent process for determining the next president.

ABC News, World Bank President Losing White House Backing

Wolfowitz Out?, White House Opens Door for Wolfowitz Ouster

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is fighting for his job amid a conflict of interest controversy that centers around his personal relationship with his girlfriend -- a longtime World Bank employee.

A senior White House official tells ABC News that "all options are on the table" regarding Paul Wolfowitz's future and that "it is an open question" whether he should should remain as president of the World Bank.

"If you don't have board support and you don't have staff support, it is hard to get anything done," the official told ABC News.

"There are really two questions," the official said. The first question is Wolfowitz's handing of his girlfriend Shaha Riza's pay raise. The second is whether he should remain president of the World Bank.

See comments for full story

News Round Up, May 15, 2007

New York Times- Bank's Report Says Wolfowitz Violated Ethics
WSJ- Report Elevates Wolfowitz Fight --- Bank Board's Panel Cites A 'Crisis of Leadership'
Washington Post - Bank Rebukes Wolfowitz On Ethics; Rules Were Broken, Committee Says
LA Times- Wolfowitz faulted for `damage done' to the Bank
FT- Report concludes Wolfowitz broke rules at World Bank

Monday, May 14, 2007

Country Directors' Letter to Wolfowitz and Board

"The Bank must practice what it preaches on governance and accountability for us to be credible in our partner countries"

See comments for entire text of letter and list of signatories

Report Issued from Ad Hoc Group - Coll was told he "could not talk to anyone"

Reuters World Bank Panel Finds Wolfowitz Broke Rules
AP Wolfowitz Broke Rules
FT Wolfowitz Broke Bank Rules

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2007 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors received the second report of the ad hoc group on Monday afternoon. In the interests of transparency they published the report and all associated documentation. They will meet with Mr. Wolfowitz at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday as part of their deliberations on the report.

The report finds Wolfowitz guilty of engaging in an actual conflict of interest, and violating the Bank's Code of Conduct and numerous staff rules.

General Counsel Excluded - Coll silenced

"From the time Ms. Riza presented her terms to Mr. Coll (head of human resources) until Mr. Wolfowitz instructed Mr. Coll to accept those terms, neither Mr. Wolfowitz nor Mr. Coll consulted with Bank counsel concerning whether the terms were in the Bank's interest. Mr. Coll states that during his August 10 meeting with Mr. Wolfowitz and Ms (Robin) Cleveland, they told him he "could not talk to anyone" including the General Counsel about his conversation with Ms. Riza. Mr. Wolfowitz has not denied that the General Counsel was excluded from the negotiations. However, he explains that he did not consult with the General Counsel because he considered the General Counsel to be conflicted from providing advice to both the Ethics Committee and management." (Note 47, page 21 )

No Evidence Wolfowitz disagreed with Ethics Committee advice

"Mr. Wolfowitz states that he had disquiet with his understanding of the advice (of the Ethics Committee) but that he nevertheless followed it. The Ethics Procedures make clear that Mr. Wolfowitz could have taken the matter up with the Executive Directors directly if he did not believe the advice he had been given was correct. He (Wolfowitz) has repeatedly claimed that he protested vehemently to the Ethics Committee that he did not wish to be involved, but the Ad Hoc Group did not find any convincing documentary evidence of such a protest. " (Note 84, page 31)

In its recommendations the ad hoc group asks the Board to consider

1. Whether Mr. Wolfowitz will be able to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the Bank continues to operate to the fullest extent possible in achieving its mandate.
2. To undertake a review of the governance framework of the World Bank Group with the aim of ensuring that it is capable of effectively dealing with the challenges raised for the institution. (page 52)

White House in Last Ditch Effort to Save Wolfowitz

Reuters confirms allegations of stalling tactics

The White House this morning launched an extraordinary last minute effort to save Paul Wolfowitz by attempting to prevent the distribution of the long-awaited report of the Ad Hoc Committee.

The report is expected to contain overwhelming evidence, in the form of testimony and notes from Xavier Coll, the Bank's head of human resources, that Wolfowitz deliberately and knowingly broke Bank rules.

Eli Whitney Debevoise, the U.S. Executive Director, asked Monday morning that the report not be circulated to Board members this morning as planned, in order that President George Bush might reach G7 Finance Ministers by telephone to discuss the matter.

Bush was rebuffed in his requests for a teleconference and instead had White House staff call members of the Bank's Executive Board in a desperate attempt to secure their support for Wolfowitz, prior to their seeing the full report and Coll evidence.

The report was finally transmitted to Board members at 1pm today. The board is understood to be meeting later Monday evening. A number of Board chairs are said to be pressing for full disclosure of the report later tonight.

Meanwhile, Wolfowitz's lawyer, Robert Bennett, will be providing journalists with copies of Wolfowitz's response this afternoon. Wolfowitz is due to address the board Tuesday afternoon. The release of his testimony ahead of time ensures that his arguments will dominate Tuesday's news cycle as the Ad Hoc Committee's report, with Coll's testimony and notes, is not available.

G7 Finance Ministers are due to meet in Potsdam, Germany on May 18-19, 2007. U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is understood not to be attending.

News Round Up, May 14, 2007

The New York Times, Bank Files May Undercut Wolfowitz, Critics Say
The Wall Street Journal, Mission Statement: At World Bank, Wolfowitz fight clouds broader issue of direction --- Organization ponders how to best integrate aid efforts, anticorruption drive The Washington Post, Endgame at the World Bank, By Sebastian Mallaby
Reuters, Shoe on the other foot as Africa chides Wolfowitz
Financial Times, Decisive week for World Bank chief
The Washington Post, Al Kamen, Are They or Aren't They?
See comment for full WSJ article

Friday, May 11, 2007

Next week Wolfowitz packs bags for Slovenia, leaves irony at home....

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz will be traveling to Europe next week where, among other things, he will present an award in Slovenia for an essay competition on anti-corruption. We assume this means he is leaving his fine sense of irony at home.

The Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) 2007 will take place in Bled, Slovenia, on May 17-18, 2007. The conference will be co-organized by the World Bank and the Government of Slovenia.

For more information about Mr. Wolfowitz's itinerary and scheduled appearances in Europe please contact: Washington, Ms. Merrell Tuck-Primdahl, Mtuckprimdahl@worldbank.org Tel 202-473-9516 or Paris, Ms. Rachel Winter Jones, rjones1@worldbank.org Tel +33-1-4069-3052

News Round Up, May 11, 2007

The New York Times, Europeans Push U.S. to Force Wolfowitz From World Bank
Time Magazine
, The World Bank's Real Problem. It's not just the Wolfowitz mess.
The Los Angeles Times, Wolfowitz seen as a world apart at bank
The Washington Post, The Real World Bank Problem, by George F. Will
See comment for full stories

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wolfowitz offered numerous opportunities to make case

World Bank Executive Directors demonstrate extent of due process, issue update, chronology

Washington DC, May 10, 2007 - The statement below was issued late yesterday by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors.

The statement provides an update on the investigation into wrong doing by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. The lengthy and extensive due diligence demonstrated by the Board are detailed in the chronology. Likewise the numerous opportunities afforded Mr. Wolfowitz to respond and explain his actions are outlined below.

Mr. Wolfowitz has been offered another opportunity to present to the Board on Tuesday May, 15.

Link to Statement from the Executive Directors

Avaaz Petition Delivered - 50,000 Signatures

Members of Avaaz.org , a global civic advocacy group, yesterday delivered a 50,000-person international petition to the World Bank calling for Mr. Wolfowitz to be fired.

Avaaz believes that Mr. Wolfowitz's actions in office have undermined the Bank's ability to help the one billion people living in extreme poverty around the world, and that he will continue to hinder progress until he is no longer in office.

Watch video with protest footage and statement by Avaaz head Ben Wikler here .

News Round Up May 10, 2007

Wall Street Journal Rice Launches Wolfowitz Defense, Quiet Effort May Reflect Deepening U.S. Concern Over European Relations

New York Times Some Leeway for Wolfowitz, Who Gets a Good Word From Rice

Financial Times Editorial World Bank crisis becomes perilous

Washington Post Europeans Wince, Wait For Wolfowitz Saga to End

Washington Post In the Shadow of a Scandal Shaha Riza Remains the Mystery Woman From the World Bank

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

World Bank Staff Association Update on "TCS" - The Current Situation

Staff Association Update
May 9, 2007

TCS Update
As many staff are aware, there will be a rally today at 1:00 across from the MC Building sponsored by MoveOn and Avaaz. Avaaz intends to deliver a petition with 50,000 signatures calling on the Board to remove Mr. Wolfowitz as World Bank Group President.

More in comments

News Round Up May 9, 2007

Washington Post - Wolfowitz Criticizes Handling Of Probe; World Bank Chief Accuses Panel of Leaks, Unfair Haste
New York Times - Treasury Chief Supports Delay for Wolfowitz
Wall Street Journal - World Bank Board May Take Action on Wolfowitz This Week
Financial Times - Paulson backs calls for due process

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Worldbankpresident.org Blogger Wins Satire of The Week Award

Wolfowitz's Girlfriend Resigns as his Girlfriend
Special to Newsweek
By Andy Borowitz

May 8, 2007 - In yet another setback for the embattled World Bank president, Paul Wolfowitz’s girlfriend, Shaha Riza, announced today that she was resigning as Wolfowitz’s girlfriend, "effective immediately."

Full story in comments

Fire Wolfowitz Rally Outside Bank, 1pm Tomorrow

Avaaz.org To Deliver Fire Wolfowitz Petition to Bank Board - Wednesday May 9, 2007 at 1:00pm

Avaaz.org will deliver a 50,000-person global petition to the World Bank Board of Executive Directors tomorrow, at 1pm. Members of Avaaz, a global online advocacy group with members in every country, will rally outside the Bank building, sporting flags from dozens of countries and a banner with "World to Bank - Fire Wolfowitz" written over thousands of signers' names and countries. They will join World Bank Staff in delivering their petition to the Bank's Board as its members deliberate on Wolfowitz's fate.

In April, Avaaz released popular YouTube video The Bank.
The Bank
has been viewed more than 113,000 times.

News Round Up, May 8, 2007

New York Times – Deal Is Offered for Chief's Exit at World Bank
Financial Times - Wolfowitz top aide in fresh controversy
Wall Street Journal - Wolfowitz's Fate Grows Dimmer --- Panel Finds Chief Ran Afoul of Ethics Rules; Senior Adviser Will Leave
Washington Post - Scandal May Jeopardize World Bank Funds

Monday, May 7, 2007

Kevin Kellems resigns from World Bank

Reuters News
7 May 2007

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) - One of two key aides to World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz resigned on Monday, saying he could no longer effectively help advance the mission of the institution under the current leadership crisis.

Kevin Kellems, who was an advisor to Wolfowitz since 2002 at the Pentagon and throughout the planning of the Iraq war, told Reuters he was leaving "for other opportunities".

"Given the current environment surrounding the leadership of the World Bank Group, it is very difficult to be effective in helping to advance the mission of the institution," Kellems said.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Governance & Anticorruption Team Letter - 764 signatures

The Governance and Anti Corruption Team has updated the signatures to its message of April 26 to Wolfowitz and the Board of Executive Directors. The update includes all signatures received by noon, Thursday, May 3rd. There are now a total of 764 signatories to the letter, including the original 46. Please visit the Governance and AntiCorruption Website for a full list of names and more information.

Wrap up of the Wolfowitz Leadership Scandal

Many observers have noted that the sheer volume of information circulating in the Wolfowitz leadership scandal threatens to cloud some of the key issues. Mr. Wolfowitz's statement of April 30 2007 has added unsubstantiated assertions as facts. See 'Comments' for a summary of the critical facts in the case.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Economist

Wolfowitz agonistes - World Bank, 5 May 2007

The World Bank's president will not go quietly.....this week, as he gave his testimony at a hearing held by the bank's directors, it was once again easy to see him as the man who defied world opinion in plotting the Iraq war. He believes he is the victim of a "smear campaign" designed "to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that I am an ineffective leader."

See comments for full story

Wolfowitz Response to Melkert and Danino

Read Paul Wolfowitz's 10 page response to the testimony of Ad Melkert and Roberto Danino. Letter dated May 2, 2007. Available online at the Washington Post

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Five Former Bank Governors Speak Out

"At stake is the Bank’s ability to carry out its mission"

Letter to Financial Times from former World Bank Governors
May 2 2007

"Mr Wolfowitz has compromised the trust in the integrity of his leadership and the credibility of the bank’s promotion of transparency and accountability in public affairs. In the interest of multilateral co-operation for the alleviation of poverty, Mr Wolfowitz should resign."

Domingo CAVALLO, Former Minister of Finance, Argentina
Rubens RICUPERO, Former Minister of Finance, Brazil
Eduardo ANINAT, Former Minister of Finance, Chile
Rodrigo BOTERO, Former Minister of Finance, Colombia
Pedro ASPE, Former Minister of Finance, Mexico

Click here for full letter