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Feb 9, 2006 10:22 am

With Wolfie in the "Darkest" Third World

That great genius of instant"shock and awe" and brilliant"Democratic nation building" appears to have had an interesting year at the World Bank.
Financial Times

February 9 2006
"Observer: Dialogue of the deaf"

Paul Wolfowitz was always going to have a rocky first year at the World Bank, given his role as architect of the war in Iraq.

It has not helped matters that he relies so heavily on a core team of advisers from the Republican party, who have very little expertise in development matters. But, Observer wonders, are his staff trying to make it work?

In a recent survey only 48 per cent of more than 10,000 respondents said they had a good understanding of the direction in which the bank's senior management - namely, Wolfowitz - was leading them.

That is down from 67 per cent at the time of the last survey, two years ago. That is not particularly surprising - the bank has a long history of unsettling transitions, the inevitable result perhaps of a process in which the president is chosen based on close links to the White House rather than knowledge of the bank and its work.

But what was surprising was the answer to a question that Wolfowitz himself inserted into the survey.

"My annual meeting speech [last September] gave me the chance to provide my views on the general direction and priorities for our institution. Have you read it?" Forty-five per cent of the respondents said they had not.

As a public service, Observer would like to point out that they can find it on the bank's website, on Wolfowitz's page, under the heading"Recent Speeches".

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