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What does the German Left want?... Should Bush have nominated a European to head the World Bank? I actually read a comment on the BBC yesterday that suggested the US has screwed up its own ecomomy, and is now poised to do the same for the World Economy. I'm sorry, but whose economy is a complete mess? Can you say "12.5% unemployment?" Paul Wolfowitz will change the status quo at the World Bank, and George Bush has the political courage to implement these neccessary changes. This threatens the German Left because once again, they would prefer "stability" over much-needed improvement. This way, they have the opportunity to complain about President Bush's nomination, and therefore can ignore the reality of drastic reforms needed at the World Bank. The US doesn't compain about the Euro lefties appointed to head the IMF, so just stop the carping!

Note from David: trolley, don't bother to post your pornographic stuff here.

It'll be deleted. Guaranteed.

I had to laugh when I heard about the nomination because I knew what the reaction would be. Utterly and banally predictable. Increasingly EUrocrats cannot abide anyone with a POV not that of a EUrocrat. Bush at least showed he recognizes the importance of the World Bank by nominating someone who matters in Washington. Wolfy matters.

It's gotten to the point where I don't bother reading what these people think anymore. I can predict it with unerring accuracy 99.5% of the time - or more. It's like they have a little manual (distributed by the EU) telling them what to think about all possible topics.

Well, depending on which of the various statements are examined, the statements are true or false
1) The US is ignoring the opinion of the European allies. . False
2) The US is ignoring the opinion of the European trade partners that were allies. True

President Bush Still Doesn't Care About European Feelings?

The fog lifts. Europe and America are talking at cross-purposes because Europeans are female and Americans are male. It's all clear now.

Usually you chose someone for these positions the major parties involved can agree upon. It's an "unwritten agreement" that Europe names the head of the IMF and the U.S. the head of the World Bank. If the Europeans can't live with Wolfowitz, they can actually block him. The precedent has been set with Koch-Weser who was blocked by the U.S. (Clinton administration).

The total European share of the World Bank is actually somewhat larger than that of the U.S., so Wolfowitz will have to compromise anyway or he won't achieve much. The World Bank does not only distribute money (often to the wrong guys), it also gives economic advice. Wolfowitz faces a tough job as he must convince Third World Countries to head his advice. If he is perceived as the champion of U.S. interests, he won't go anywhere.

I don't know whether Wolfowitz is the right man for the job. But the World Bank is in dire need for reform. If Wolfowitz can pull it off, more power to him.

On a totally different side, there's somebody who also thinks the US has no need to decide on its own affairs...


Mexico at its best...

@ Eurobanker

Well you are correct enough about the capital structure of the World Bank: the Europeans account for about 55% of the funding with about 15% from Japan and 30% from the US.

As for the advice, it is difficult to believe that the advice given has been very good since they have been giving it now for about 60 years with little result. Of course, that perhaps means the recipients did not bother to take the advice. If the latter is the case, the issue of getting his advice followed is completely irrelevant. Of course, if the advice previously given was bad (see P. Bauer) then may be a change is long overdue.

The World Bank has some modest successes and gigantic failures...most of its money just propped up the Swiss bank accounts of dictators and corrupt bureaucrats.

If Wolfowitz can change that, I'll be the first to applaud. But he's not using US money only, so he'll need a lot of diplomatic skills.

@ Eurobanker

Does my memory fail me or was Wolfowitz not ambassador to the Phillipines and to Indonesia?

Presumably he has a few diplomatic skills.

Actually I suspect that Bush is expecting Wolfowitz to be rejected. That will let us pull out of the World Bank with panache.

I don't think he will be rejected. At least secretly most Europeans who matter are not too fond of the current World Bank either.

If Wolfowitz brings positive change, great.
If he fails, it's all America's fault.

The European press coverage of Wolfowitz's nomination all but ignored his diplomatic and academic credentials - basically ignored the man himself completely. It consisted mostly of pointing fingers and repeating, "Hawk, super-hawk, hardliner, neocon..."

Another very relevent fact about Wolfowitz comes from the times http://women.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1528465,00.html

Mr Wolfowitz’s girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, works at the World Bank. Ms Riza, who was born in Tunis and grew up in Saudi Arabia, is an ardent proponent of spreading democratic rights throughout the Arabic world. Her low-key presence in Mr Wolfowitz’s life surprises critics, who assert that he masterminds a Zionist conspiracy from the Pentagon.

I'm sure she has many ideas of how to make the world bank more effective in the middle east and that these ideas are worth a lot more than a bunch of western academics who have never held a real job. The efforts at character assassination by European and Americans on the left rivals Pravada in the Soviet Union. The truth is not a concern.

Europe, in it's usual simplistic, self-serving version of reality . . . needs to figure out who or what it is. When it suits Europe, each nation wants it's own seat on the Security Council of the UNITED NATIONS; and other times, when it suits them (makes them look better) they are suddenly the EU.
I don't care which way they choose to define themselves but pick one and stick with it.
Makes one wonder why they are surprised, given their frivolity, at their diminishing influence around the world.


Tyranno -- you got that straight.

No doubt, Tyranno.

Ya know, I just wonder how the some people would react if (1) the USA stopped giving Egypt $2 billion every year (and whichever other country we blow our money on); (2) the USA stopped funding 22-25% of the budget of the United Nations (UN); and (3) the USA pulled its troops out of places such as South Korea (already happening in Germany...15 years too late) and let the South Koreans defend their little peninsula by themselves.

The US could sure save a hell of a lot of money. And as a friend once told me, 'you can't buy love'. Ain't that the truth!

An aside: Am I the only one who, upon hearing the phrase "Red Green coalition", gets a mental image of a political party held together with dozens of rolls of duct tape?

Electrical tape.

Just in this morning:

From Yahoo News:

Germany won't block Wolfowitz nomination - Schroeder UPDATE

(updating with further quotes)
BERLIN (AFX) - Germany will not block the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as next head of the World Bank, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said.
He said he had told US President George W. Bush in a telephone conversation that the nomination 'would not fail because of Germany', during an interview with the N-TV rolling television news station.
'He is the American candidate. We are going to have a constructive relationship with him,' Schroeder told the station.

A constructive relationship sounds like a good start. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship? I doubt it.

masking tape

red tape

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