The board of the World Bank has approved the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to become its president. This is good news. I have reservations about the effectiveness of the Bank and have tended to view its operations as punitive to emerging economies and as a front for developed nations' interests.
Wolfowitz, neocon that he is, is much more idealistic than outgoing President James Wolfensohn and brings with him a long career of supporting economic growth and democratic reform.
That said, reforming the Bank will prove very difficult, if at all possible. He is likely to be stymied on many initiatives. The World Bank's mandate is to alleviate poverty, not act in the financial interests of western economies. We will soon see if Mr. Wolfowitz is the small-d democrat that his supporters say he is.