Tony and the Wolf

So Paul Wolfowitz has finally done the decent thing and quit his post as boss of the World Bank, driven out by the controversy over the pay rise and promotion he helped arrange for his partner. Scalp scalped, speculation has now turned towards his successor.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It's a tricky task for the Bush administration, which has the luxury of selection. Dubya has lost a key ally in Wolfowitz, and many voices are now saying the US shouldn't be allowed to appoint one of its own to succeed him.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our very own Tony Blair has been mooted for the role. He's now looking for something to keep him busy after all. Plus he's European, which would keep the critics happy, and has famously proven himself to be pretty chummy with Bush and his crew.

But is he really the man for the job? Perhaps not. Budgeting isn't exactly his strongest suit. As prime minister, he always had Brown to handle the sums at work, while Cherie clearly controls the purse-strings at home (as well as masterminding his conversion to Catholicism apparently). Totting up all the tricky numbers of international finance could be a bit too much for him.

Before the Wolfowitz debacle, few would perhaps have backed Blair for the role, given his role in Iraq and close ties with the Bush administration. Now, though, they've seen how bad Bush's cronies can be, and maybe more willing to accept him. And given that he's racked up almost £5m in mortgages, with a monthly interest of £20,000, he may have some sympathy with developing nations struggling to square their debts.

Perhaps most importantly, he hasn't got a bit of fluff working for the bank. But who knows, Cherie may appreciate a new opportunity…

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