Saturday, May 19, 2007

After Wolfowitz, Who?

George Bush has made it his habit and practice to nominate clowns and imbeciles whenever he has the opportunity. Not going too deeply in the the reasons for this (when you are fatuous moron, imbeciles stike you as highly intelligent), let's look where the names being floated to replace Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank rank on the Competence Scale. (0=Paul Wolfowitz; 100=James Wolfensohn, his esteemed two-term predecessor)

Robert Kimmitt ~ 5
Most frequently mentioned in the speculation game. A party hack who has bounced around the Treasury and State departments when Republicans were in power, and bounced around the private sector as a powerless figurehead when Democrats were in power. He spent three years in middle management at Lehman Brothers so he probably knows some financial jargon, and he was on a World Bank Panel of Arbitrators so he may remember where the offices are.

Robert Zoellick ~ 15
Marginally qualified. He was the United States Trade Rep for several years and was hired by Goldman Sachs to head their International Advisors department. Zoellick is also a neo-conservative and philosophical clone of Wolfowitz. He would bring the same idological baggage as Wolfowitz with a modicum of actual financial experience.

Henry Paulson ~ 80
Over 30 years at Goldman Sachs, his last five as their CEO. Previously a member of the International Monetary Fund's Board of Directors. Currently is the Treasury Secretary. Paulson has actually run an investment firm the size of the World Bank. Paulson head the selection process to replace Wolfowitz. He would make an excellent choice, which is why I doubt he will be picked.

Stanley Fischer ~ 75
Formerly a Vice-Chairman at Citigroup, a Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the Chief Economist at the World Bank. Currently Governor of the Bank of Israel. Another excellent choice.

Paul Volcker ~ 60
Highly qualified. Besides being a former President of the Federal Reserve he was chairman of Wolfensohn & Co., the investment firm of the esteemed former World Bank president. His only negative is that Volcker is now 79 years-old.

Bill Frist ~ 0
Richard Lugar ~ 0
Jim Leach ~ 0
Three politicans, two of them unemployed politicans. None of them has a single qualification to run an international investment bank.

My guess - if Bush has his way he will appoint Zoellick, if Paulson has his way the appointment will go to Fischer. If Bush wants to send a great big "Fuck You" to the World Bank, he will choose Bill Frist.

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