Mario Draghi: Central bank independence
Text of the First Lamfalussy Lecture by Mr Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, at the National Bank of Belgium, Brussels, 26 October 2018.
These various arguments against central bank independence also miss a more fundamental point, which is the value of an independent central bank that can act decisively without political pressure – and especially in the euro area.
Indeed, we saw clearly during the euro area crisis that coordinated policy responses among governments were difficult to achieve, tended to arise only under severe market pressure, and then often turned out to be insufficient, requiring further responses later.
In this context, the governance structure of the Eurosystem – where each member state is represented by the governor of its central bank in their own personal capacity, who is not bound in their decision-making by their nationality – was essential, since it facilitated an effective systemic response.
A central bank that was both independent and built to serve the whole of the euro area, and not individual member states, was able to create the required policy space in an extremely difficult context.
The full speech is available at https://www.bis.org/review/r181029d.pdf