Counterparties: Central bankers are the new rockstars
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Hereâ€™s a type of attention that has escaped most of the financial world in the last few years: resounding praise. And itâ€™s being directed at practitioners of that dullest of financial professions, central banking.
Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, is the FTâ€™s person of the year. Draghi gets the nod for standing against an existential threat with almost Churchillian resolve and rhetoric: â€śWithin our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro… And believe me, it will be enoughâ€ť. The FT calls that July statement a â€śturning point in the three-year-old crisisâ€ť Â that â€śin effect dared financial markets to challenge the ECBâ€™s unlimited firepowerâ€ť. Draghi has necessarily made the job deeply political: Matt Yglesias compared Draghiâ€™s ECB to a â€śshadow governmentâ€ť enforcing budget cuts.
Draghiâ€™s peers around the world are also receiving lavish plaudits from just about everybody (except, of course, those US politicians with their subtle threats). Zachary Karabel writes that central bankers are not only being forced to repeatedly save the world, â€śthey are tending to the financial system with greater nimbleness, creativity and maturity than their political counterparts or any other societal actorâ€ť. The Economist calls this â€śthe grey manâ€™s burdenâ€ť and says that todayâ€™s central bankers are the â€śmost powerful and daring players in the global economyâ€ť.
If youâ€™re looking to put a number on central bankersâ€™ value: The Atlanticâ€™s Matthew Oâ€™Brien, comparing nominal and potential GDP, found that a team of â€śsuperstarâ€ť central bankers can be worth a trillion dollars a year. No wonder the UK imported its next central banker. — Ben Walsh Â
On to todayâ€™s links: