Nearly every informed observer believes that Mario Draghi is the best-qualified candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as head of the European Central Bank, the eurozone’s counterpart to the Fed, said Peter Müller and Anne Seith in Spiegel Online. The “cosmopolitan” 63-year-old Italian, a former executive at the World Bank and Goldman Sachs’s London office, now runs the G-20’s Financial Stability Board, which is drafting new rules of the road for the financial markets. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reluctant to entrust the euro, whose value Germany zealously guards, to “an official from a highly indebted nation like Italy,” even if he helped save his country from bankruptcy in the 1990s.
But though Merkel presides over Europe’s largest economy, she might not get her way this time, said Costas Paris in The Wall Street Journal. French President Nicolas Sarkozy backs the candidacy of “Super Mario,” as do German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, European Investment Bank President Philippe Maystadt, and most European government leaders. Merkel will probably go along, in exchange for a “consolation prize” or two—such as prominent roles for German finance official Jörg Asmussen and central banker Jens Weidmann, to assure that some Prussian backbone is still there to stiffen Europe’s monetary policy.