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Carly Fiorina, dismissed as chief executive of HP three weeks ago, is in the running to be the next boss of the World Bank.

She would replace James Wolfenson who has served for 10 years and has had a chequered relationship with George Bush.

This might sound like bad news for the world until the you realise that the other potential candidate is frothing neo-con Paul Wolfowitz - the man behind the Bush's administration's policy of pre-emptive strikes - attacking people who might be thinking of attacking you.

But a Defense Department spokesperson told Bloomberg that Wolfowitz was having too much fun as deputy Secretary of Defense.

Fiorina's main claim to fame is overseeing the merger of HP and Compaq. Hyped as the world's largest PC merger the deal cost 15,000 jobs and $25bn and failed to live up to expectations.

The New York Times, which broke the story, said other names on the short list included: former Eli Lilly boss Randall L Tobias, John Taylor from the US Treasury and Peter McPherson former president of Michigan State University.

The World Bank and sister organisation the International Monetary Fund have faced increasing calls for reform in recent years for the perceived failure of their efforts to reduce poverty. Big reforms are likely at the bank and Carly's skills with the jobs axe could be useful.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund were set up by the Bretton Woods Conference to help reconstruction after the end of World War Two.®

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