What’s the real scandal at Wolfowitz’s World Bank?

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The latest shoe in the Wolfie-gets-his-girlfriend-a-tax-free-$193,000-PR-job scandal appears to have dropped in today’s FT:

Paul Wolfowitz personally directed the World Bank’s head of human resources to offer Shaha Riza, a bank official with whom he was romantically involved, a large pay rise and a promotion as part of an external secondment package, according to two sources who saw a memorandum written by the bank president.

I can’t quite decide, though, whether the scandal is that Wolfowitz pulled strings for his girlfriend or that the World Bank–an institution ostensibly devoted to helping the world’s poor–is able to find room in its budget to pay $193,000 a year to a PR person.

Update: This Wolfowitz apology just in from The Washington Post:

“In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations,” Wolfowitz declared. “I made a mistake, for which I am sorry.”

His acknowledgment, though cryptic, was a major new development in an unfolding scandal at the global lending institution, which seeks to help the world’s poorest countries. With annual meetings of the the bank and the International Monetary Fund convening in Washington this week, the World Bank’s executive board is discussing Wolfowitz’s future.

Anyway, he appears to be apologizing for pulling strings, not for paying clearly nonessential personnel such obscene amounts of money.

Update 2: Much more Wolfaliciousness here.

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