As you must surely know, Paul Wolfowitz has resigned his position as the head of the World Bank. This New York Times article on the infighting at the World Bank that led to his fall from grace is pretty fair, I think.
Clearly, Mr. Wolfowitz was already damaged goods, tarred by the war in Iraq, when he came to the Bank and his career, policies, resume, and style must have rankled other top managers there. Everything I’ve heard about the man suggests that he was a sonuvagun and, if a striped pants, dovetailed coat type with social graces was what was called for, he was probably the wrong man for the job.
Lost in the plaints of politics, infighting, personalities, and ethical lapses of the appearances thereof in the coverage and reactions to this story has been whether the direction he was trying to move the World Bank in was good or bad. I’d like to hear more about that, please.
FT quotes the statement from the Bank’s board:
The board said “at the same time it is clear from this material a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals in handling the matter under consideration, and that the bank’s systems did not prove robust to the strain.”
That would seem to support my belief that, if ethical lapses are actually the reason for Wolfowitz’s departure from the Bank, that others at the Bank should go as well. My suspicion is that it’s not solely the ethical lapses but also that he didn’t play well with the other children.