Never one to shy away from controversy, President George W Bush has nominated (read appointed) Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Defence Secretary, to succeed expat Australian investment banker James Wolfensohn as head of the World Bank.

While the appointment may be in line with Bush’s current foreign policy, installing Wolfowitz, a man with no direct experience of the financial world, is bound to cause concern abroad. The Washington Postwrites:

President Bush’s nomination of Deputy Defence Secretary Paul D Wolfowitz as the next president of the World Bank was met with much surprise, little enthusiasm and some outright opposition in Europe, where he is best known as a leading architect of a conflict deeply unpopular here, the Iraq war.

In contrast, Bush said of the announcement:

Paul Wolfowitz is a proven leader and experienced diplomat, who will guide the World Bank effectively and honorably during a critical time in history – both for the Bank and the developing nations it supports. He has devoted his career to advancing the cause of freedom…

CRIKEY: Unfortunately Crikey’s rumour last week that our very own John Winston Howard could be a candidate for the top job has not come to fruition, with the PM assigned to the World Bank dustbin along with U2’s Bono and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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