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Friday, March 15, 2013

This is getting personal: Handelsblatt likens ECB President Mario Draghi to the Little Corporal

Update 15:28:

Mystery solved. The good folks at Handelsblatt tell us that it's indeed Karl XIV Johan of Sweden (original H/T @Presseurop). Apparently, there's no particular reason for why they chose the Frenchman-cum-Swedish King, apart from seeking to depict Draghi as a 19th century sovereign.

Update 11:40AM:

People have pointed out to us that, in fact, it's not Napoleon Bonaparte that is depicted. Handelsblatt isn't exactly clear about who Mario Draghi has become on its front page, so we're left guessing. The two strongest contenders are Napoleon III – founder of the Latin Monetary Union (and who was defeated by the Prussians in 1870) and Karl XIV Johan of Sweden (who was one of Napoleon's generals but after being imported to Sweden to serve as a King, he eventually ended up fighting the French). The latter would imply a very high level of assumed knowledge. to say the least. We wonder what our readers think?

Today's frontpage of heayweight German daily Handelsblatt depicts ECB President Mario Draghi as Napolean, with the subtitle
"The toxic gift. How ECB President Mario Draghi is saving the euro while ruining savers".
 The article inside goes on to argue that: 
“as a result of the cheap money policies (…) new bubbles are emerging, insurers are suffering and savers threaten to lose their savings" 
It quotes former ECB chief economist Juergen Stark as saying 
“central banks must be the trusting anchor of the paper money regime. When they don’t do this and are being overburdened with all kinds of new tasks, this fragile system is under threat.”
The Napoleon reference probably has several different levels to it, but one thing is clear: it's not meant to be a compliment. Although German fears of inflation and lose money are well known this is getting personal.


Jesper said...

Portraying him as royalty makes me think of:

and hubris, possibly not had by the one believed to posses divine wisdom but definitely on display among his supporters.

There are those who believe that the ECB can do nothing wrong and we should be grateful to the people running it so well for us & more power should be given to it.

ECB is not subject to political pressure BUT it is allowed to put political pressure on governments. Analyse the relationship of power and the conclusion could be that one (ECB) has power over elected politicians.

Might be time to make sure that the ECB isn't acting outside the remit it was intended to be given.

Hannibal said...

The color of the uniform is what is called Prussian Blue.

So, guess again.

christina speight said...

Handelsblatt makes a very mild political criticism which is - incidentally - totally true.

I am a bit at a loss to know why Open Europe thinks it worth reporting.

The uniform is a total irrelevance too.

Jesper said...

History buffs might find it interesting to read about the union that Karl IV Johan arranged between Sweden and Norway. How it came to be and how it ended.


A spoiler:
"Sweden demanded negotiations on the conditions for a dissolution of the union as well as a plebiscite to clarify whether the nation as a whole was in agreement with this move. The plebiscite took place in August of 1905. A total of 368,392 Norwegians voted to end the union, while only 184 voted nay. "

So there is at least one precedent in having an in-out referendum regarding unions.