The Fox and the ECB

Danièle Nouy, who has just been named the ECB’s first head of banking supervision, faces a difficult task ahead in overseeing some 130 banks that account for 80% of eurozone assets. Though Nouy is knowledgeable and highly capable, the ECB’s decision-making mechanisms are poorly suited to the role of banking supervisor.

PARIS – A French business magazine recently ranked IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde the most internationally influential French person alive – well ahead of President François Hollande. While politics may have influenced that particular decision, there is no doubt that Lagarde is at least the most prominent French woman alive.

Lagarde’s competition in this category is not particularly stiff. Valérie Trierweiler, Hollande’s partner, came to prominence with an ill-judged political tweet about her predecessor, but has since retreated behind the Élysée Palace’s firewalls. And Brigitte Bardot is not quite the force of nature she once was.

But this may be about to change. The European Parliament has just confirmed the appointment of the Bank of France’s Danièle Nouy as the first head of the European Central Bank’s new supervisory board.

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