Italian Draghi is New Frontrunner to Head European Central Bank (2/25)     Print
By European Affairs

In discussions about the next head of the European Central Bank, speculation is now focusing on Mario Draghi, Governor of the Italian Central Bank. Here is a New York Times profile of him. It is still early days in selecting a successor to Jean-Claude Trichet, who will step down next fall. But the process heated up recently when the heir-apparent, Axel Weber, suddenly resigned last month from his post as president of the Bundesbank and board member of ECB Governing Council. Explaining his unexpected step down, Weber said that he had found himself at odds – publicly -- with other ECB governors because of his hard-line stance against more stimulus measures (including ECB programs to buy the bonds of troubled eurozone countries.)  Draghi also takes a tough stance against inflation as a member of the ECB governing board. But his banking career (including a stint at Goldman Sachs) makes him something of an outsider to the banking establishment in Germany.

 

NEW (2/28)

The succession issue at the ECB has become urgent as a possible factor in early March at crucial EU meetings on financial reform, according to this FT columnist. He favors Draghi as the only "qualified" candidate for the job, and urges Berlin to back Draghi to show that the ECB job -- the most important policy-making position in the eurozone -- is "European" and not just "Germanic."