Germany’s Weidmann to head BIS

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The influential Bank for International Settlements is the coordinating body for the world’s most powerful central banks. It has elected the head of Germany’s central bank as its new chairman. Is a policy shift coming?

Germany’s central bank president Jens Weidmann will become the new board chairman of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the bank announced on Monday.

BIS: An insiders’ club for powerful banking nations

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, BIS’s membership is made up of 60 central banks whose countries contribute about 95 percent of global economic output. Its mission, according to its website, is “to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas, and to act as a bank for central banks.”

The BIS board meets at least six times a year and is made up of twenty top central bank officials from around the world, including from Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union (Mario Draghi), France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others.

A narrow view of the central bank’s mandate

During his tenure as head of the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, Weidmann has taken a hawkishly narrow view of the mandate of central banks: In his view, they should narrowly focus on maintaining price stability, and eschew any larger role in macroeconomic management.

Weidmann had strongly opposed the European Central Bank’s decision in early 2015 to buy eurozone sovereign bonds and in 2012 had criticized ECB head Mario Draghi’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro.

Full article: Germany’s Weidmann to head BIS (Deutsche Welle)

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