Tuesday, May 1, 2007

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As Rogoff goes....

It's a bad, bad sign for Paul Wolfowitz when Kenneth Rogoff decides to write a satirical memo in Wolfowitz's name for ForeignPolicy.com. It's an even worse sign when he can write the following paragraph:

I trust you [the staff] have not been unduly influenced by the recent letter calling for my immediate resignation, signed by forty-two former World Bank managing directors, senior vice-presidents, vice-presidents, and directors. You and I can surely see through this thinly-veiled attempt to manipulate the value of “Paul Wolfowitz resignation” claims [on TradeSports]. I want to assure you that the World Bank Internal Investigations Unit will look into this matter. If any of the letter’s signatories are found guilty of price manipulation, they will be dealt with harshly. Let’s not forget who is paying their pensions.
Wolfowitz has argued that he's the victim of a smear campaign, and there's a small grain of truth to that charge in that he is not solely responsible for the current imbroglio over his paramour.

However, when the staff that runs Wolfowitz's signature initiative indicates that his problems are compromising that initiative, it's time to say adieu.

posted by Dan on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM


Why not get a new staff? They seem more adept at politics than economics.

posted by: huggy on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

"...there's a small grain of truth to that charge in that he is not solely responsible..."

a 'small grain.'

For God's sake. Anyone who reads your blog has read the backstory to this situation. At least be honest about it.


posted by: Sk on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

I suspect Wolfie and his attorneys are posturing now to make sure the size of the exit package is sufficient to ensure Wolfie's retirement dreams.

The nicest thing for Wolfowitz right now would be a remote villa someplace. While a Baghdad Green Zone palace would be the easiest place for Wolfie to view the results of policies, he might pick the Riviera. Or not. Old Europe might not want him. Well, maybe a seashore villa in Croatia is available...

posted by: Appalled Moderate on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Agree with S.K., above. A "small grain". Please.

Me: "Hey, look, the Earth is round, not flat."
Drezner: "There's a small grain of truth to that. But when the staff of the Flat Earth Society tells you that the Earth really is flat, it's time to bid adieu."

posted by: A.S. on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Prof, you missed this

posted by: Aruna on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Agree with S.K and A.S

Its not time to bid adieu.

posted by: james gribble on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Last evening, in a fit of boredom, I followed a link from some blog through a series of links about Wolfie, his educational background, his history, his neocon "theology" and etc.

Truly, truly scary that he can have so much influence in our government, and the misadventure in Iraq is to a large extent his baby.

He should have no role in our government or any government funded organization - ever again.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Let's see... PW got his main squeeze, who had a cushy, high-paying job at the WB an even cushier, higher paying job outside the WB, using his position inside the WB to influence outside the WB...

Wait a minute. We've just described how 90% of the cushy jobs in our economy are obtained. "One hand washes the other," "what goes around, comes around," "the good ol' boy's network," etc, etc, etc, describes the process. Would I like to see that sort of thing eliminated, or even discouraged? As the son of a steelworker, with zero contacts in those circles, you betcha! Will hanging PW's head on a pike at the city gates accomplish this? Not a chance.

No, if Wolfie loses his job, it will be for the "reasons" save_the_rustbelt, above provides: he was a major architect of a foreign policy that a large number of people don't like. Actually firing him for what he *did* would require wholesale dismissals at the highest levels of government and industry.

posted by: bud on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Bud, I dont think its so much what he did, but more his ability to lead an institution preaching to others to do the opposite of what he did....


posted by: George on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

The fact that he was given the job in the first place is criminal.

He should be an orderly at Walter Reed.

posted by: Babar on 05.01.07 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

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