‘We’ll give you Greenspan.’

Should an American lead the European Central Bank? That’s what Sylvain Broyer proposes in the German newspaper Die Zeit. The original’s in German, but I’ve translated a portion: I believe that the best candidate to follow Jean-Claude Trichet would be an American. It’s no doubt true that we have talented minds in Europe that have ...

By , a deputy editor at Foreign Policy.
557792_110215_Trichet2.jpg
557792_110215_Trichet2.jpg
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14: Jean-Claude Trichet (R), President of the European Central Bank (ECB) and Ben Bernanke (L), Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System, talk together at a panel discussion at the Fifth ECB Central Banking Conference on November 14, 2008 in Frankfurt. The panel discussed international interdependencies and monetary policy on police maker's view. (Photo by Mario Vedder/Getty Images)

Should an American lead the European Central Bank? That's what Sylvain Broyer proposes in the German newspaper Die Zeit. The original's in German, but I've translated a portion:

Should an American lead the European Central Bank? That’s what Sylvain Broyer proposes in the German newspaper Die Zeit. The original’s in German, but I’ve translated a portion:

I believe that the best candidate to follow Jean-Claude Trichet would be an American. It’s no doubt true that we have talented minds in Europe that have the necessary competence. But the challenges that await the future president of the European Central Bank demand a fundamental change in how we think about the essence of the monetary union…

The next ECB-President has to show the willingness to act as a lender of last resort for overly indebted member states…That recognition of the essence of a monetary union is rare in today’s Europe, but belongs to the mainstream on the other side of the Atlantic.

Nice try, Sylvain. You might have a point about the ECB’s philosophic mismatch for the current moment — but in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got plenty of trouble trying to filling out the ranks of our own monetary institutions, what with the Senate filibuster holding things up. I know our out-of-work central bankers look like they’re just standing around, but they’re actually all under serious consideration for the three vacancies on at the Federal Reserve. (Except for Greenspan — you can have Greenspan.)

On the other hand, if Europe started picking off our top monetary candidates, maybe Fed appointments would become a more salient — because more patriotic! — issue?

Cameron Abadi is a deputy editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @CameronAbadi

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.