the IMF

Wolfowitz approached the World Bank

The neo-conservative Paul Wolfowitz Deputy Secretary of Defense of the United States is high on the list of US candidates to succeed Wolfensohn to head the World Bank. According to the Financial Times, the US neo-conservative Paul Wolfowitz could head the World Bank after the departure of James Wolfensohn.

By tradition, the leadership of both organizations Bretton Woods agreements (1944) is shared between Americans and Europeans. Europeans the direction of the International Monetary Fund, while the presidency of the World Bank, its sister institution, falls in the United States.

The 3 January, outgoing President James Wolfensohn announced he would not seek a third term as head of the World Bank at the end of it, the 31 May 2005. For several months, the next starting Wolfensohn was a done deal. The name of Colin Powell had frequently been mentioned as a possible replacement.

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Recently, when the IMF Managing Director Horst Koehler resigned to run for the presidency of Germany, the United States had hoped to change the rules in force since 1944. Washington claimed for one of his management of the Fund. But the Europeans did not hear well and, after tough negotiations, both sides of the Atlantic, we heard the name of Rodrigo Rato, the former Spanish Finance Minister Aznar government. This agreement, however, provoked groans in Asia, Latin America and Africa, where we enjoy less and less what Euro-American condominium.

A controversial figure

It is in this context that the British newspaper business, the Financial Times, Revealed on Tuesday that the Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States is high on the list of US candidates to succeed Wolfensohn. Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative, is the main inspiration behind the Iraq war within the Bush administration. As noted in the Financial Times, His personality is very controversial and her appointment would inevitably cause new tensions.

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It's a good bet that the informants of the British newspaper do not want good to Mr. Wolfowitz and seek, by this "flight" probably organized, to torpedo his candidacy before the decision makers are faced with a fait accompli. As the authors of the article note, when in 1999 it was a question of finding an IMF managing director, the Europeans proposed the name of the German Caio Koch-Weser. The United States had vetoed the European Union candidate.

This precedent could now turn against the American candidate, if it turns out that Paul Wolfowitz is actually the choice of Washington.

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