www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

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

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.


Anonymous said...

Dear PW:

It has been quite some time since the issue of payments and promotions to your girlfriend / lover / mistress / romantic interest became a distraction at the Bank.

Suppose the Bank and its stakeholders are prepared to overlook the causes and the cover-ups thereof of this issue, there remains another bigger issue.

As CEO, you ultimately have the responsibility of making right what went wrong.

The issue of SR's excessive pay increases, promotions, the failure to second her to a position acceptable to the Bank (which the Foundation for the future, being a partisan political organization, is not), her unauthorized work for SAIC while a Bank employee, are not 'legacy' historical problems, but current management problems that need to be handled by the Bank's senior management --- Yourself.

However, to the best of anyone's public knowledge, you have done nothing to rectify these issues and execute your fiduciary responsibility to your employer (the Bank).

In your own program against corruption, there is a standard procedure whereby Bank clients guilty of misconduct have to confess, and then pledge to not do it in the future in order to continue to receive Bank business. The question is, why does this standard not apply to yourself, Shaha Riza (and other cases) under your watch?

At the very minimum, you need to be held to your own standards.

Accordingly, the following action would seem to be imperative if your 'defense' is to have any credibility:

- The contract with Riza that is executed in violation of Bank policy must be rescinded by the Bank and at a minimum, a contract that complied with Bank rules be implemented.

- The 'secondment' must be rescinded as it does not meet the Bank's rules for such a posting, and since there are other options beside secondment, it needs to be revisited and a solution that complies with Bank rules executed in its place.

- The Bank must take steps to recover excess payments and interest made to Shaha Riza

- The Bank must begin and promptly conclude an internal investigation as to Riza's misconduct.

Notwithstanding the generalities of the foregoing, the investigation must include, a) the SAIC assignment for compliance with Bank rules, b) any part she played in securing the terms and conditions for the 'secondment' contract, c) any misrepresentations she made to the EDs and the Ad Hoc committee during their investigation.

Once the investigation is complete, the Bank needs to expeditiously take whatever disciplinary action is appropriate, including, but not limited to, terminating Shaha Riza's employment and taking legal action to recover excess payments to her.

Suppose the Bank is to take your word at face value (that you are an innocent party in the Rizagate problem), the issue of your non-action on these issues, which in effect, means you are condoning the unjust enrichment of Shaha Riza, raises serious questions in your CURRENT ability to manage the Bank.

Would you be kind enough to provide the Bank with a plan as to how you intend to deal with misconduct by Shaha Riza?


Chinese Gordon

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the GAC team for collecting these 700-plus signatures.

Will you also be collecting anecdotes of specific incidents that exemplify exactly how the current situation is damaging the Bank's ability to accomplish its goals? I think if you could collate these stories into a report for the Board that would further strengthen the rationale for asking PW to resign regardless of whether the Board finds for culpability.

Anonymous said...

Asia Under Pressure to Declare Stance on Wolfowitz (Update1)

By Cherian Thomas

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Asian ministers will come under pressure this weekend to say whether they support World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who is fighting to keep his job amid complaints he gave his companion an unusually large pay rise.

Finance ministers from Japan, China, and other Asian nations, which control a quarter of the votes on the World Bank board, will meet May 4 to 7 in Kyoto for the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank. European governments have rebuked Wolfowitz, while Asian and African nations have been reluctant to publicly take sides.

``It would be helpful if the Asians would be more forthcoming,'' said Colin Bradford, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington who specializes in multilateral agencies. ``Like a lot of other people in this game, they are playing for time.''

The World Bank's 24-member board will next week consider the findings of a panel that's been probing Wolfowitz's role in the promotion awarded to Riza Shaha, whom he dated. He has received public support from only one major country -- the U.S., which nominated him for the post. Most are waiting for the report before declaring their position.

Japan is the second-largest shareholder in the World Bank, with 7.9 percent. China holds 2.8 percent. The U.S. is the biggest, with a 16.4 percent stake.

No Impact

``The Wolfowitz issue is being dealt with by the World Bank board, and we must wait until the board concludes and makes it public what they see regarding the issue,'' ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda told a news conference in Kyoto today. ``We don't see this having any effect on our operations in Asia.''

The spat over Wolfowitz comes as other multilateral institutions including the ADB struggle to maintain their relevance in a world where poverty is declining in traditional recipient countries. The International Monetary Fund is changing its role as the accumulation of foreign reserves helps reduce volatility in global currency markets.

``Strong growth and macroeconomic stability have led to impressive declines in poverty,'' the Manila-based lender said in a March report commissioned by Kuroda to explore ways to restructure itself. ``ADB must change radically.''

The number of people in Asia living on less than $1 a day almost halved to 19 percent in 2003 from 1990, said the report, the recommendations of which are to be discussed at this weekend's meeting in Kyoto.

`New ADB'

The ``new ADB'' must bring together lenders and borrowers from the region to foster infrastructure development and promote higher growth, the report said.

Asia already has enough money of its own to meet those needs. Excluding Japan, the region has excess savings over investment of about 4 percent of gross domestic product. That's resulted in the accumulation of foreign-exchange reserves of more than $3 trillion.

The report says the ADB could play a greater role in directing Asia's wealth. The agency's annual lending in 2006 was $7.4 billion, less than 4 percent of the $228 billion that it estimates is needed in annual infrastructure investment in the region by 2010.

A number of other proposals have been mooted for overcoming this financing gap.

Countries in the region should consider setting up an Asian Investment Bank, similar to the European Investment Bank, that could lend substantially more than the ADB, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The investment bank would be controlled by Asian governments and could specialize in infrastructure financing, the UN arm said last year.

Investment Climate

``The difficulty is to transform the potential need for better infrastructure into bankable projects,'' said ADB's Kuroda. ``It will involve better investment climate, governance, rule of law in member countries. Unless this is addressed, it does not make sense to establish another institution.''

Thailand in 2003 proposed the idea of an Asian fund to help direct the region's surplus cash to areas such as infrastructure to spur economic growth.

``Everybody agreed it was a good idea because the bond market will allocate capital more efficiently,'' said Michael Preiss, an associate director at HSBC Holdings Inc.'s investment advisory group in Dubai. ``It did not take off because of distrust among nations. The Chinese and Japanese could not agree on this.''

China's Plan

China wants to set up an investment agency on its own to boost infrastructure investment in the region, said He Fan, assistant director of the government-backed Institute of World Economics and Politics in Beijing. Japan traditionally appoints the president of the ADB, established 40 years ago.

``The agency will be different from the function of the ADB,'' He said. ``The proposed agency may focus on different areas in need of investment and seek to boost public-private- partnership projects.''

China is also concerned about the U.S. government's push to enhance the currency-surveillance role of the IMF, set up in Bretton Woods in 1944 at the same time as the World Bank.

The World Bank, which is trying to counter criticism over its bureaucracy and anti-graft drive, may ultimately benefit from the controversy surrounding Wolfowitz's decision to promote his companion, some officials said.

A former U.S. deputy defense secretary, Wolfowitz, 63, has ruffled feathers at the Washington-based bank since his appointment in June 2005. President George W. Bush is the only world leader to publicly say he should stay.

Loans Suspended

Wolfowitz suspended loans to Kenya, India and Bangladesh in his drive to ensure aid money didn't disappear into the pockets of corrupt politicians and contractors. Detractors said the campaign had gone too far and had distracted the bank from its primary mission of fighting poverty. Last year, the U.K. briefly withheld about $94 million from the World Bank, saying too many conditions had been attached to its lending.

``The effectiveness of the bank will be strengthened as a result of the investigation,'' said Salman Shah, who heads Pakistan's finance ministry. ``As the investigation unfolds, the system will be streamlined.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Cherian Thomas in Kyoto at cthomas1@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: May 4, 2007 00:15 EDT

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Folsom's staff tied to Gambling Interests


Morning Report 1/26/06
Top Gambling Lobbyist's Daughter Probes Corruption at World Bank
posted: 11:04 AM, January 26, 2006 by Harkavy
Leaving nothing to chance, Wolfie hires GOP operative Fahrenkopf's progeny to keep an eye on staff


I borrowed the elephant from the Defense Department, which borrowed it from M.C. Escher

What are the odds? Paul Wolfowitz has tapped America's top gambling lobbyist's daughter — she was once a spear carrier for Wampumgate casino scandal figure Grover Norquist — to help 'probe' corruption at the World Bank.

Allison Brigati is now the bank's "senior counselor for U.S. Affairs," serving right under Suzanne Rich Folsom, one of Wolfie's top advisers — and herself the wife of former International Republican Institute chairman George Folsom.

You wouldn't know from the World Bank's own propaganda arm that Brigati is the daughter of Frank Fahrenkopf, the former GOP national chairman who is now president and CEO of the American Gaming Association and co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which undemocratically squeezes rules to protect the two major parties from third-party challenges. The World Bank presents her as simply "Allison Brigati." That's not the way she presents herself to the rest of the world. So much for transparency for this supposed corruption-fighter.

And thus you wouldn't realize that her sister, Leslie A. Fahrenkopf, is a gag writer at the White House as Associate Counsel to the President, having honed her skills under Spygate apologist Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Miers.

But insiders at the World Bank, outraged at the GOP cabal Wolfie is setting up at the planet's most powerful development bank, alerted me to the fact that Allison Brigati is Fahrenkopf's daughter and that she was Folsom's first political appointee upon taking over the bank's Institutional Integrity department.

Sources, whose confidentiality I will protect to the death (unless George W. Bush blows us up first and I have time before the fallout hits us for one more item in which to thank my sources), tell me that Folsom, who is right next to Wolfie on the bank's new organizational chart, has long been close to Fahrenkopf and his family.

Brigati's just another brick in the wall. As I've previously noted, Wolfie's other top people include Robin Cleveland, who was a figure in a major Boeing scandal when she worked at the White House's Office of Management and Budget, and Kevin Kellems, former flack to Vise President Dick Cheney.

And now the watchdog Bank Information Center reports that Wolfie as brought on board his buddy Karl Jackson (a former NSA official in Bush the Elder's regime) as an adviser.

Enough about those dumbkopfs and back to Fahrenkopf: In the world at large, of course, Brigati calls herself Allison Fahrenkopf Brigati, as she announces her identity on the website of the hoity-toity National Cathedral School when planning a parents' dinner.

But this is scandalous in more than name only. She was calling herself Allison Fahrenkopf Brigati back in 1995, when, as the Republican National Committee associate counsel, she threatened a lawsuit against New York artists Marshall Reese and Nora Ligorano if they continued to put the trademarked — yes, trademarked — logo of the GOP's "Contract With America" (plus Newt Gingrich's face) on satirical underwear. They were exercising their right of free speech, but that didn't stop Fahrenkopf's daughter.

She's the perfect person to work directly under Suzanne Rich Folsom, who has been appointed by him to "fight fraud and corruption" in the bank's operations abroad and handle "allegations of staff misconduct."

Never mind that Folsom is focused mostly on prying into staffers' e-mails to see who's squealing to outsiders. And as I've noted, the staff are extremely restive as Wolfie keeps adding partisans to the payroll.

But keep in mind that, as the Financial Times recently noted, Folsom was hired by the bank by Wolfie's predecessor, Jim Wolfensohn, "with the task of improving the bank's relations with Congressional Republicans."

No doubt that was a shrewd move. In the mid-1990s, the start of the salad days of the congressional GOP, Grover Norquist was an "intellectual architect" of the Gingrich "revolution" in the House and a "muse" for Gingrich himself, who was about to become House Speaker. The Washington Post recently dredged up that history on Norquist because he's now, as I've noted, a major figure in the Wampumgate scandal, captured in e-mails greedily asking for more loot from crook Jack Abramoff, his long-time pal.

Meanwhile, Wolfowitz, chief architect of the Iraq debacle, is promising to fight corruption. To that end, the bank conducted a workshop earlier this month titled "Where Lies Corruption?: Tracking the Elusive Beast." Check out the agenda of that January 12-13 session. Leading the discussion of "Corruption Prone Processes in the Public Sector" was Allison Fahrenkopf Brigati. Good choice.

But who says corruption is an "elusive beast"? It's the elephant in our living room, as I've pointed out before.

And that elephant has been stinking up the place for a long time. Let's go back to the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas. Oh, it was a glorious time. Ronald Reagan was about to get renominated for a cinch second term. (For more history on those early days of the GOP's Radical Right, see my May 2000 story "Left Behind.")

Young Republicans were streaming onto Capitol Hill and into newly formed think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation, which was set up mostly on beer money from the Coors family. Typical that the GOP's self-righteous wing has relied so heavily on money from alcohol and casinos.

On August 20, 1984, a Monday, the convention formally began, called to order at 10 a.m. by Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf. A few speeches followed, including one by Fahrenkopf himself. The very next speaker was a representative of the new generation of Republicans, the chairman of the College Republican National Committee: Jack Abramoff.

Anonymous said...

Playing "Survivor" ...


"IN recent weeks, Beltway wise guys have amused themselves with a distinctively local version of the TV show “Survivor,” pitting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank chief. Who will be first banished from the swamp?


"Regardless, a pervasive belief has taken hold that both are, in the tender parlance of politics, road kill. “By the way, Alberto Gonzales is still attorney general,” was how NBC’s online political tip sheet, First Read, began a Wednesday report on Mr. Gonzales. And you know you’re on the outs when you’re reduced to saying, as Mr. Wolfowitz did, “I urge the committee to reject the allegation that I lack credibility.”"

[*snip*] ... And it goes on in the same vein.

Anonymous said...

Playing "Survivor" ...


"IN recent weeks, Beltway wise guys have amused themselves with a distinctively local version of the TV show “Survivor,” pitting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank chief. Who will be first banished from the swamp?


"Regardless, a pervasive belief has taken hold that both are, in the tender parlance of politics, road kill. “By the way, Alberto Gonzales is still attorney general,” was how NBC’s online political tip sheet, First Read, began a Wednesday report on Mr. Gonzales. And you know you’re on the outs when you’re reduced to saying, as Mr. Wolfowitz did, “I urge the committee to reject the allegation that I lack credibility.”"

[*snip*] ... And it goes on in the same vein.

Anonymous said...

Note the hilarious editorial cartoon at the top of this page! (But also the op-ed article is good):


Anonymous said...

Edifying insights on George Folsom's views on democracy on IRI circa 2003:

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