Setup/Smear campaign against Wolfowitz continues
The corruptocrats at the World Bank won’t rest until Wolfowitz is either ousted or resigns. Because the ‘controversy’ continues to grow, it’s important to have all the facts, not just the ones that the World Bank glosses over in its ‘reports’ and are then regurgitated by the mediots.
I blogged a few weeks ago about the Wall Street Journal’s defense of Wolfie, and they’ve done another exemplary job here.
Make sure to read it all and draw your own conclusions. To me, this is more than just a smear campaign. It’s a setup designed to oust the one person in the World Bank who has tried to reform it in order to keep its participants more accountable – a person who was also one of the ‘neocons’ who pushed for the Iraq war. The WSJ concludes:
President Bush should understand that none of this is about Mr. Wolfowitz’s “ethics.” It is all about the European desire to punish a Bush appointee for his support for the Iraq war and his determination to change the bank’s policies to fight corruption rather than simply push taxpayer money out the door. If the board really wants to oust Mr. Wolfowitz, the White House should insist on a recorded vote. We wonder if Europeans really want this showdown.
And oh, yes: President Bush could also help by declaring that, if the Europeans do oust Mr. Wolfowitz, his likely choice as a successor would be Paul Volcker, the former Fed Chairman who has made a recent career of fighting corruption. There is certainly a lot of that to clean up at the World Bank.
Update: Ed Lasky speculates on who would replace Wolfie should he be fired or resign – and who it would benefit:
Apparently, some Europeans and others see the current turmoil as an opportunity to flex their muscles and appoint someone who does not hail from this side of the Atlantic. The Wall Street Journal has touted the possibility that one Mark Malloch Brown, a Brit, but really one of those people who float above the world and are “world citizens,” may be next in line to succeed Wolfowitz. This would be a sorry outcome for the world’s poor and for the reputation for the World Bank. The break with the past might signal that America will no longer have the influence at the Bank that it once did and this would be a bad state of affairs for America. However, the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, one person would indeed be quite happy is George Soros.
Soros has made billions of dollars operating in the murky world of offshore hedge funds. He is famously the man who “broke the Bank of England” by wagering a huge amount of money that Britain would be forced to devalue the pound. Britain weakened its currency; George Soros enlarged his fortune. The offshore nature of his hedge fund has many benefits for Soros. It is exempt from many American security regulations and its investors are invisible to the public. There have been rumors that Arab oil wealth has found an outlet in Soros’s funds, since he takes a percentage off the top based on the assets of the fund, and a reportedly substantial percentage of the profits (money which eventually can make its way, cleaned, to America). It is not too much of a stretch to wonder if Arab oil has fueled the rise of Soros.
This situation should be a cause of concern. Soros is a major funder of the Democratic Party, activist groups that aid the Democrats (such as MoveOn.Org), and was a very early and generous backer of Barack Obama. This support could be crucial in the years ahead. Congress has recently been considering increasing the regulation and the transparency of hedge funds. Indeed, some attention has been focused on the role of hedge funds in American politics. The New York Times, for instance, ran an article earlier in the year (“Hedge Fund Chiefs, With Cash, Join Political Fray“) that predictably, focused on hedge fund managers who seemed to support the GOP. Unsurprisingly, the article omitted any mention at all of George Soros, whose politics are more compatible with those powers-that-be who are running the New York Times (into the ground). Yet Soros has very important reasons to want influence in Washington. Not just to support his agenda, but also to ensure that he can continue to operate behind a veil of secrecy and avoid any increased scrutiny of his hedge funds.