In the bogus case against Paul Wolfowitz in the media, much has been made of the settlement offered Ms. Riza, which many believed was outlandish. Those people have no idea about the munificent compensation paid World Bank officers and staff. Bloomberg clears the air a bit. I say a bit, because the article leaves out the generous medical, leave, pension programs and the free college tuition for staffers' children and highly subsidized lifetime membership in a local country club, among other things. As the air is cleared, it appears the Bank Directors having sat on their hands while the slanderous smears were flung, are fearful of having all this exposed. The International Herald Tribune reports:
Bennett, in an interview Sunday, seemed to signal that the bank's willingness to recognize a shared responsibility for the current crisis could clear the way for a discussion about how to proceed in the future.
"We are going to be presenting to the committee tomorrow powerful evidence that Mr. Wolfowitz acted in the best interest of the bank," he said. "Mr. Wolfowitz also believes that not only he but the bank acted in good faith. Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight everyone could have done a better job. But everyone acted in good faith."
Bennett said that he was convinced that "if the temperature is lowered" then both sides could talk about what was good for the future of the bank.
But he also indicated that he was prepared to keep the temperature raised if necessary, possibly by demanding release publicly of the salaries and perquisites of others at the bank.
A full public airing of the high salaries at the bank is not something that top bank officials want, many bank officials said.
They may seek to avoid a confrontation, if only to avoid calling Bennett's bluff.