Yesterday, Paul Wolfowitz anounced he intended to stay on board as the World Bank president. But the chorus of op-eds calling for Wolfowitz to resign is growing. Today's New York Times ends its editorial calling for his resignation this way:
There is no way Mr. Wolfowitz can recover his credibility and continue to be effective at the bank.
Ouch! That stings... Mr. Wolfowitz shouldn't expect any invites to Friday night NYT poker games. I don't think any of these papers will have him on the invite list, either:
Personally approving a raise for his girlfriend, though it falls considerably short of looting the public treasury of a downtrodden country, undermines Wolfowitz's moral authority in cracking down on kleptocrats. Ironically, that is the one role Wolfowitz set as a priority for the president of the World Bank. If he can no longer perform it, then the bank needs someone who can.
It doesn't really take an ethics committee to know that secretly giving a girlfriend a huge salary hike and an inflated promotion was a conflict of interest ... Wolfowitz should resign as soon as possible to right as much as he can of the mess he's made.
The World Bank has moved from being a self-proclaimed exemplar of best practice in corporate governance to an example of shoddiness. As long as Mr Wolfowitz stays, this can be neither repaired nor forgotten, be it outside the Bank or inside it. In the interests of the Bank itself, he should resign. If he does not, the board must ask him to go.