Mario Draghi: the closest thing the Eurozone has to a leader? Who leads the Eurozone? Having "saved" the euro last year, I think that title belongs to Mario Draghi, head of the ECB. This article looks at why that is, and why it's less than ideal. … Having "saved" the euro last year, I think that title belongs to Mario Draghi, head of the ECB. This article looks at why that is, and why it's less than ideal. One of the things for which Henry Kissinger is famous for asking is, "Who do I call, if I want to talk to Europe?" Well, the European Commission may have a President, in the form of José Manuel Barroso, but I doubt that anyone thinks he's where the power in Europe lies. He's closer to a glorified bureaucrat. Meanwhile, others might say that Angela Merkel is where power truly lives on the continent. Germany is after all Europe's biggest economy, and Dr. Merkel has a defining influence in shaping the Eurozone. Yet, I don't think we would say that Merkel "speaks" for all Europe. She may influence the Eurozone more than anyone else, but she doesn't "embody" as such. Instead, I think if I were to pick out one person as a Eurozone-wide "embodiment", it would be the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi. – Iberosphere
Dominant Social Theme: This man, this godlike man, has saved the European experiment. Bankers are truly the blessed of the Earth.
Free-Market Analysis: The meme of the regnant technocrat has never been more powerful, it seems. The powers-that-be that utilize these technocrats for their own purposes are clever, indeed.
It is hard to dislike a technocrat like the aged and cautious Mario Monti who just resigned as Italy's leader. It is hard to attribute anything to them but mildness and good intentions. And thus the cult grows.
The latest addition to the cult of the technocrat – or perhaps the portmanteau description technocrat/banker is more apt – is EU banker supremo Mario Draghi. The new head of the European central bank is receiving plaudits throughout the power elite-controlled mainstream media. Here's one from Reuters:
Special Report: How Mario Draghi is reshaping Europe's central bank Thomsonreuters.com … The banker now in charge of rescuing the euro wants his top staff to take Sundays off. Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, eschews long meetings and refrains from lecturing his colleagues, senior ECB officials say.
Until Draghi took over a year ago, insiders say, the bank had a workaholic, micro-managed regime. But even as the Italian has proved ready to intervene in the markets and try policies that would have been unthinkable a few years ago, he has brought a freer, more hands-off culture to the bank.
The president knows his own mind, say ECB insiders, but also listens to other board members, uses their talents, and then acts, deploying personal charm to help get what he wants. The man himself says he likes to give colleagues responsibility.
"I trust the people who are working with me. I delegate," he told Reuters in an interview. "I told people they should take their own decisions. You want to delegate but you want to be informed."
That culture change, combined with a new team at the top, is reshaping the way the ECB operates. Conversations with senior ECB officials past and present paint a picture of how Draghi is overhauling the bank – not just its policies, but also its management style and the way it interacts with governments – to make it a more pro-active central bank with a mission to secure the euro and foster a tighter-knit currency union …
Trichet's style was "very different," said a member of Trichet's old inner circle who later worked under Draghi. "With Trichet, it was: 'I want to know everything'. Whereas Draghi says: 'Tell me the essentials'."
Unlike Trichet's regime, when one top ECB policymaker recalls "you had no life", Draghi is more hands-off. He reads a lot, he bounces ideas off his advisers, and he takes considered decisions.
"In communications, he's convincing. Because when he has made up his mind, he's relaxed," Liikanen told Reuters.
The power of Draghi's communication skills was demonstrated by his assured vow on July 26 last year to do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro – a pledge that marked a turning point in the euro zone crisis.
Therein lies the evidence of Draghi's divinity. He has vowed, like Beowulf pursuing Grendel, to slay the beast of European dissonance. His weapon is currency debasement and his lair is the magnificence of the ECB headquarters.
He is, according to Reuters, a hero for the ages, at once modest and savvy, confident and yet inclusive. He is a leader of men and a wonderful wielder of the public purse.
The Iberosphere article, excerpted at the beginning of this analysis, is positively fulsome about Draghi. And it is not alone. We searched for "Savior of Europe" and got about 70,000 cites, many of them featuring Draghi. Last year, TIME named Draghi "Savior of Europe" and the Financial Times named him man of the year. All this for pushing a button and spewing currency. Here's a bit more from the Iberosphere story:
Go back in time six months, and the Eurozone was on the verge of break up. Greece's exit from the currency zone looked inevitable. The spreads on Spanish and Italian government bonds were at unacceptable levels of +7.0%. Capital flight from the Eurozone periphery was advancing at breakneck speed.
And, in these dire circumstances, who was it that came along and restored confidence? Well, it wasn't Angela Merkel, who's handcuffed by the opinion of German voters. Nor was it José Manuel Barroso, to be sure.
Instead, it was Draghi, who on the 26th July 2012, at the Global Investment Confidence in London, told his audience: "Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough."
That led the way for Draghi to reveal his Official Monetary Transactions program, which has been almost wholly responsible for restoring confidence in the Eurozone to date.
For me at least then, something a little unusual happened on that July 26th.
Until then, Mario Draghi had only been responsible for setting monetary policy in the Eurozone. He set interest rates, which had a defining influence both on the cost to borrow in the currency union, as well as the euro exchange rate.
That's real power, to be sure. But, it's not what you'd call "leader-like" power. It wasn't enough that you'd single Draghi out as somehow "embodying" the Eurozone, like a President embodifies a country.
Yet, on July 26th, he seemed to take on exactly that role. He's after all become known as the man who "saved" the euro (and, by logical extension, the Eurozone.) The Financial Times named Draghi its Man of The Year for just this reason.
And, in saving the euro, I think we now see Draghi as somehow responsible for it, in a way that no one else is.
The Iberosphere article goes on in this breathless way, though given the fulsomeness of other articles (such as the one by Reuters) is it not out of sync with the larger coverage of Draghi as a man-god.
The article does provide us with something extra, though, concluding that, "So long as the Eurozone remains this half-formed thing, it's easy to see the situation enduring. Officially, Draghi will continue to set interest rates, which will influence both the cost of borrowing and the value of the euro, as always. Yet, whether he likes it not, people will now expect Draghi to save the Eurozone, exactly because he's done so in the past."
Not only is Draghi an exceptional banker, he has risen to prominence because the EU itself does not have the collective willpower to create an empire of itself – a fully formed "united states."
For us, as analyzers of what we call directed history, all of this is fairly predictable. The power elite, having purposefully ruined the EU economy (and, really, they are on record as indicating they would do so), have now set up a European savior to salvage it.
Of course, he is a banker, as banking is the modern-day state religion, the chosen Church of the power elite. The only thing that would be better than the "Draghi-God" would be a return of Charlemagne's European empire. And as we pointed out in a previous article, "Does Startling Der Spiegel Article Indicate the End of the Euro Crisis?", it seems as if a decision may have been taken in the halls of power to try to defuse the European crisis once and for all.
The analysis we wrote did not specifically focus on Draghi but his deification is certainly a subdominant social theme of sorts. The larger theme is the one we've pointed out many times – the magical nature of the banking industry and those who transmute its paper into gold.
Draghi is receiving wonderful press as a result of his announcement that he intends to print money. The larger question is whether his aggrandizement is simply a kind of coincidence as the result of a crisis or a definitive turning point in the European saga.
It is perhaps a bit strange to approach a financial crisis from a promotional point of view but as we have long pointed out, much of what passes for current events is a kind of directed history, initiated by central bank "controllers" to promote world governance.
If the deification of Draghi is any clue, the top elites may have had enough of the endless Euro-crisis and are moving to resolve it one way or another, while providing Draghi with the credit. Thus he becomes a Beowulf for our times.