German chancellor Angela Merkel has publicly endorsed Mario Draghi, former vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International and current governor of the Italian central bank, to become the next president of the European Central Bank.
Draghi has already been endorsed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"Germany could support his candidacy for the job of ECB president,” she said in an interview with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit published today.
This sets the stage for Italy to propose Draghi’s name formally at next week’s meeting of European Union finance ministers. Draghi now has to be endorsed by the EU finance ministers, and then by EU leaders at their June summit in Brussels. Both endorsements now seem highly likely.
Draghi would replace current ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, whose term limit expires in October.
A Draghi ECB presidency would, of course, mark another case where a former-Goldman Sachs executives ends as leader of a powerful government financial organization.