In the official press release from yesterday, November 10, 2011, the European Central Bank announces that Lorenzo Bini Smaghi “will resign from his position prior to the end of his term of office on 31 May 2013 to join Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs on 1 January 2012. Mr Bini Smaghi has been a Member of the Executive Board and Governing Council since 1 June 2005.”
As a reminder: Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president has been strongly suggesting Bini Smaghi should resign from his post. Sarkozy’s been explaining that the moment Mario Draghi becomes the ECB president, Italy would have two representatives in the ECB Executive Board while France would have none. Italy’s prime minister (currently former PM) Silvio Berlusconi has also urged his compatriot to step down. As Financial Times describes it: ” “What should I do, should I kill him?” Mr Berlusconi said he told Mr Sarkozy at a summit in Brussels last month.” (see http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/1ba7a48c-0bc3-11e1-9310-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1dNqM1GaP).
After Jürgen Stark, German representative quitting the ECB post, this is yet another proof that even “independent” monetary policy of the supposedly “independent” ECB is just a political game. The game that currently is too costly to play. How short-sighted one has to be to worry about personal country-ratio in the middle of the heaviest and most severe economic and financial turmoil for years?