International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde will be the first woman to run the European Central Bank — and the first without central banking on her resume — after being nominated today to replace Mario Draghi at the end of October.
Why it matters: The Eurozone is already running negative interest rates, with the prospect of more stimulus coming, Bloomberg notes.
- "Lagarde will bring the star quality of a politician. ... In an age where the EU establishment is frequently derided by citizens, her skills could help repair the image of central bankers."
- The New York Times' Neil Irwin tweets: "The important thing here is not that Lagarde will be more/less dovish than other candidates would've been, but that the ECB will be led by someone with real political clout."
The full slate of nominees:
- German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.
- Outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as European Council president.
- Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as high representative for foreign affairs.
- IMF head Christine Lagarde as ECB president.
Between the lines: "The choice of Ms. Lagarde will be a surprise to many," the WSJ reports.
- "Speculation in recent months has centered around German central bank head Jens Weidmann, French ECB members Benoît Coeuré and François Villeroy de Galhau and former Finnish central banker Erkki Liikanen."
The bottom line, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Lagarde has done an excellent job of leading the IMF, and she also ran the French Treasury with aplomb during and after the global financial crisis. She is not an economist, but she has the respect of markets.