From the Wall Street Journal. "The men and the motives behind the World Bank coup attempt". If president Paul Wolfowitz is forced out, waiting in the wings is Mark Malloch Brown.
Mark Malloch Brown spoke Monday to a crowded auditorium at the World Bank's headquarters, warning that the bank's mission was "hugely at risk" as long as Paul Wolfowitz remained its president. Only hours earlier, news leaked that a special committee investigating Mr. Wolfowitz had accused him of violating conflict-of-interest rules. A coincidence? We doubt it.
Mr. Malloch Brown, remember, was until last year Kofi Annan's deputy at the United Nations. In that position, he distinguished himself by spinning away the $100 billion Oil for Food scandal as little more than a blip in the U.N.'s good work, and one that had little to do with Mr. Annan himself. Last week, Mr. Malloch Brown was named vice president of the Quantum Fund, the hedge fund run by his billionaire friend George Soros. A former World Bank official himself and ally of soon-to-be British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mr. Malloch Brown would almost surely be a leading candidate to replace Mr. Wolfowitz should he step down. Not surprisingly, Gordon Brown cold-shouldered Mr. Wolfowitz at a recent meeting in Brussels.
Brown is knee deep in UN corruption and he has a very cozy relationship with Soros. He is the last person we need as president of the World Bank.
Mr. Malloch Brown warned on Monday that, if Mr. Wolfowitz stayed as president, European countries might withhold funding from the next financing round for the bank's International Development Association. We hope he's right, though we know few European finance ministers who aren't eager to throw good money after bad. Still, it's a remarkable bit of chutzpah for the man who downplayed corruption at the U.N. to seek the ouster of the man who has fought to reduce corruption at the World Bank.
If the Bush Administration now abandons Mr. Wolfowitz as he faces a decision from the bank's board of governors, it will not only betray a friend but hand the biggest victory yet to its audacious enemies in the George Soros axis.
For a little more background on Mr. Brown, see this post from November 14, 2006.