Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Mario Draghi

When it became clear that Mario Draghi, 64, was to become the third president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Germany's best-selling tabloid created a photomontage of him wearing a Prussian spiked helmet. While its tone was cheeky, it sent a clear message: Germans need not fear the Italian guy whose signature will soon be featured on their euro banknotes.

Mario took the helm at a challenging time, but he is particularly well suited for this task. Before taking the top job at the ECB, he held an impressive range of positions in academia, business and the public sector, and his affable manner should not blind anyone to the fact that he has a razor-sharp mind and is a skillful negotiator.

Hence, while Mario "really liked" the photomontage, as he recently confessed in an interview, the image gives a one-sided impression of his personality. In pursuing the goal of price stability and protecting European savers, he actually blends a central banker's commitment with a good dose of pragmatism.

Weidmann is the president of Deutsche Bundesbank and a member of the governing council of the ECB