April 10

Australian World Bank President honoured

By convention among the great powers – at least the great Western powers – the head of the International Monetary Fund is European and of the World Bank, American.

In 1980 the eminently qualified Australian, James Wolfensohn became an American when it was rumoured he would succeed Robert McNamara as president of the World Bank. But this did not happen until 1995.

He retired in 2005, and in 2010 regained his Australian citizenship. As a result his knighthood, a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is no longer honorary. He is now Sir James Wolfensohn KBE AO.

This confirms as ACM has long argued,that titles are respected in Australia – they have been with us for most of our existence since the settlement.  Curiously those who object most strongly to titles from The Queen seem to have no difficulty in accepting knighthoods from both foreign monarchs and… foreign republics.


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