Intuitu Personæ: Who Should Lead the ECB?

There’s quite a lot of talk recently about who should replace Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank. Sylvester Eijffinger and Edin Mujagic from Tilburg University say that a firm ECB president, unwilling to yield to political pressure, is needed. Jean Quatremer provides, as usual, a very detailed picture of the behind-the-curtain negotiations surrounding the nomination of the future president of the ECB.

Two things are important here. First, we should avoid at all cost a North-South polarization surrounding this issue. True, the ECB president is elected by qualified majority, but any trust in the eurozone that is still available will be lost if Member States start fighting over this post. Second, whoever is elected should be able to guarantee strong leadership. We certainly do not need an ECB president that divides instead of unifying the eurozone.

At a time of great peril there’s no room for experimenting. I do hope that all Member States, and France and Germany in particular, will not try to over-politicize this nomination. Otherwise consequences may become overwhelming, and history will apportion blame accordingly.



4 responses to “Intuitu Personæ: Who Should Lead the ECB?

  1. Germany will make a big push for Axel Weber. The Germans will state – without Germany there would be no European Union. It was not a coincidence Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest. Politics were behind Germany’s win at the Eurovision Song Contest. Politics will be at the center stage for the ECB presidential elections too.

  2. Вихър Георгиев

    Well, if they are powerful enough to sway the Eurovision contest… 🙂

  3. The ECB’s stated mandate is to keep inflation in a narrow band. Nothing else. Unless you can find another economist who hes demonstrated the rigeur to do that in a way that they understand and are well versed in, despite Axel Weber’s gravitas and noteriety outside of Europe, then by all means utter his or her name. I hope it doesn’t turn into a case of loud caterwalling for their one countryman that they think can add up to 21.

  4. Вихър Георгиев

    The ECB is currently doing much more than its legal mandate stipulates, and rightly so. I do not buy the “indispensable guy ” theme, irrespective of the personality in question. The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men, De Gaulle said once, and I concur.

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