Guest Post: Western Banks Pushing Out Hawks

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by TraderMark at Fund My Mutual Fund

Western Banks Pushing Out Hawks - Presumed Next Head of ECB Axel Weber and Kevin Wash of Fed Both Headed Out the Door

Some pretty amazing developments in the past 48 hours in the world's 2
largest "easy money" central banks, that very few are talking about.  If
you are a conspiracy theorist this is one you are going to enjoy....

First over in Europe, the ECB's head Trichet is facing the end of his
term soon.  It has been long thought German hawk (hawk = favors fiscal
discipline and tighter money) Axel Weber was the shoo in for the job. 
But he is against handing money out in every direction to any country
with its hand out (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain... and someday
Italy, France).  I was actually fascinated to see how Weber would handle
what Europe is doing (which is some combination of TARP + QE lite)
since much of it seemed to go against his personal beliefs.  But now
there will be no opportunity to see how it would have played out.  Out
of the blue this week, he has withdrawn his name from a job that was presumed to be his.

Via Bloomberg:

  • The campaign for the top job
    at the European Central Bank was thrown open as the sudden and
    unexplained withdrawal of German front-runner Axel Weber
    cleared the way for a slew of candidates to replace Jean-Claude Trichet.
  • Central bankers Mario Draghi
    of Italy, Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch and Erkki Liikanen of Finland saw
    their chances of winning Europe’s top economic post rise as did
    Germany’s Klaus Regling, who runs the region’s bailout fund. Trichet’s
    non- renewable eight-year term expires in October.
  • The top candidate is now out of the game,” said Marco Valli,
    chief euro-area economist at UniCredit Global Research in Milan. “We
    can now focus on alternative candidates and the political push behind
    appointing the next ECB president.”
  • The fate of Bundesbank President Weber whipsawed the euro, forcing
    the debate over the world’s second-most important monetary post after
    U.S. Federal Reserve chairman into the spotlight just as European
    leaders grapple with how to put an end to the sovereign debt crisis that
    has shaken the single currency’s foundations.
  • Unsourced media reports yesterday of a pullout by Weber shattered
    German efforts to steer the ECB nomination behind the scenes, prompting a
    telephone confrontation with Merkel and subsequent confirmation by
    Weber associates.  Weber, 53, plans to quit the Bundesbank in a decision
    that would rule him out of the ECB running, said a person who spoke
    with him yesterday. He will leave about a year before his term ends in
    April 2012.
  • Until his exit, leaders would have had to balance Weber’s two-decade academic record and citizenship of Europe’s largest economy with his outspokenness and opposition to the ECB’s bond- buying program, a key part of Europe’s crisis-fighting strategy.
  • Weber summoned the Bundesbank board to a hastily scheduled meeting late on Feb. 8 to announce plans to quit after one term,
    the Financial Times reported today, without citing sources. Merkel,
    learning the news from the media, pressured him to delay a public
    statement until she taps a successor, the newspaper said.


In the U.S., hawks are a rare breed.  But there was one sitting very
close to Ben B by the name of Kevin Warsh.  He is a guy who has been
vocally against QE infinity.  Yesterday he decided its time to take his
services elsewhere.  Hmmmmmm.....

Via Washington Post:

  • Kevin Warsh, a Federal Reserve governor and key lieutenant to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke during the financial crisis, is leaving the central bank at the end of March, giving President Obama a chance to continue reshaping the Fed. 
  • Warsh's departure will leave the governing board of the powerful
    central bank almost entirely in the hands of Obama appointees. Obama
    will have named six of seven governors once the Senate confirms nominee
    Peter Diamond to a vacant slot and Warsh is replaced. 
  • Warsh has been a skeptic of Bernanke's
    policy to try to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of
    dollars' worth of Treasury bonds, and Fed watchers think it likely that
    a new Obama appointee would be more supportive of the strategy
  • You lose a forceful internal advocate for ending QE and trying to renormalize policy quicker,” said Reinhart, referring to the stimulus program known as quantitative easing. 
  • Warsh was one of a small number of Bernanke's closest collaborators
    during the most intense phase of the 2007-09 financial crisis. Often
    working all night, he helped decide which financial companies to bail
    out and, more broadly, how to keep the entire financial system from
  • While he has perhaps been Bernanke's closest adviser on financial market issues, the two men have been less closely aligned on questions of monetary policy. Warsh was a reluctant supporter of Bernanke's plan to try to strengthen the economy by buying $600 billion in Treasury bonds, announced in November. He voted in favor of the measure. But he explained in a speech shortly afterward that he had no great confidence that the action would help the economy. 
    "I am less optimistic than some that additional asset purchases will
    have significant, durable benefits for the real economy," said Warsh in a
    Nov. 8 speech. "There are significant risks that bear careful

One wonders if talking like this caused him to "pursue new opportunities"

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snowball777's picture

Here's hoping they talk.

Hawks, bitchez!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Conservative libertarian Bearing (appears to) agree(s) with progressive snowball.

Talk, yes!

Hawks, Hell yes!

In the meantime, cannot hurt to have some gold squirlled away...

snowball777's picture

We have many common enemies and probably agree on more than you think.

And don't store the gold in your cheeks...that definitely would hurt.

StychoKiller's picture

Looks like hawkish Central Bankers are goin' Galt...

gwar5's picture

I noticed that, too, and thought the same thing.

The chances both of them were caught in bed about the same time with little boys is too preposterous.

It can only mean looser policy, more QE, and more co-mingling of Western bank debt destinies.

Real Estate Geek's picture

Better to be unemployed than to suffer an . . . accident. 

(Which is why I bet they won't talk.)

bank guy in Brussels's picture


There have already been a number of violent deaths, bombings, kidnappings and other tragedies affecting other German bankers and their families over the years. All with suitable 'explanations' I am sure.

Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann, answering a question about the possibility of the West writing off debts and having a general jubilee debt holiday, joked about being found dead if he recommended such radical views. Just Swiss-German humour, no doubt.

snowball777's picture

Forgive me for doubting that people who steal without remorse and are all but sociopathic in their ability to ignore the effects of their actions would be unwilling to spill some blood (or at least hire a service for same).

Cleanclog's picture

Must be in lock-step now.  Loyalty and obedience.  This is how power is held onto.  Punish the thinkers.

Now buy the f---g dip like a good minion.   Ahhhhhhh, the wealth effect.  It's working on CNBC and someday, just  maybe, it will make it to main street - in a parallel universe.

Jasper M's picture

NOT conspiracy, I think. Sense. Would You want to go down with those ships?
THEY know the "potent directors" fallacy for what it is – mythology. THEY know, better than anyone, that the next guy presides over The END of those structures. Would You want to wear that medal?
Not me, pal.
So my congratulations for those hawk-men, who, rather than being named next manager of a theater that is already on fire, wisely tiptoe towards the exits.

Poor Grogman's picture

+1    Plausible deniability

Bubbles...bubbles everywhere's picture

Here is where sense gets on the way. Those banksters would never go down as long as they serve their masters. They are just not sick enough, and so the door is open for another sociopath.

Zero Govt's picture

yes either the parasites have edged out the last remaining dissenters (hawks) or the hawks have seen what's coming and jumped ship before the Titanic that is central banking meets its guaranteed deep chilly end...

...who gives a fuk, just sit back and watch these clowns turn banking into a bloody farce (have you all got lifejackets Gentlemen becoz these parasites have heavies on the lifeboats?)

buzzsaw99's picture

this means qe infinity, what a surprise. zh matter of factly stated this months ago. it was only logical.



bigargon's picture

and looks like we have the new IMF currancy the Quatloo

hayesy316's picture

And Greenspan was a 100% gold-standard Objectivist... what's your point? These bureaucrats are political animals, they'll sell their own mother if enough government cheese is waved under their nostrils.

London Banker's picture

Add to your conspiracy theory musings the NYTimes hatchet job attacking Mervyn King this week.  I've blogged my skepticism here:

RoRoTrader's picture

Judith Miller always comes to mind whenever the New York Times is mentioned.

King's speech resonates as a warning and is antithetical to the bank elites' interests so it is no surprise to see the beginning of a smeer.

The political maneuver looks to be austerity measures for the public and distribute tax breaks to the banks. Isn't that the essence of Cameron's plan?

lynnybee's picture

When the hell are we ever going to be able to walk into a bank & deposit money into a regular savings account & earn 6% interest on our savings on deposit !!!!!!!!!???    I AM DEMANDING THAT BANKING go back to the way it was when I was a kid !!!  ........... SAVE MONEY & EARN INTEREST !! ....... am I the only one here old enough to remember SAVING MONEY & EARNING INTEREST !    Does anyone else remember the teller taking out a little stamper & ink pad & actually stamping your new balance in the savings passbook !    ROBERT RUBIN HAS RUINED EVERYTHING FOR THE OLDER PEOPLE & OUR YOUNG PEOPLE DON'T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT NORMAL BANKING / SAVING.    DAMN HIM / I'LL GO TO MY GRAVE CURSING THAT S.O.B. ROBERT RUBIN. 

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ah, snowball, mi amigo, mon amis...

Lynnybee is a granny, of the old school...  Just like I am of the old school too.  Take charge of yourself and your finances.

Lynnybee feels outraged that we have ALL ( and I mean ALL) been ripped off by a corrupt system, Rs and Ds...  Fed, .gov and all the banksters...


If the worst happens, they will either cart me off when my ammo is gone, or I will be yucking it up in PERU, as a member of the minor nobility!

Viva el Peru, putaz!

snowball777's picture

I know...I was just being a jerk because whining about return on capital is a little petty in the grand scheme in my eyes.

dcb's picture

helloinflation will be seen as the way out of this mess because to do otherwise shows of much of a failure the central banks were at their jons. plus the bankers control the central bank. wondering what has taken you so long to see the light. was it my post on brain sack

Shameful's picture

"All hands abandon ship!"

This is just a few guys who aren't stone dead retarded getting off the bus before it's slated to pull a Speed and anything under 65% yearly inflation and the bus blows up.

holdbuysell's picture

They see 'it' coming and are abandoning ship to save their reputations, if possible.

I see this as equivalent to a key senior officer of a corporation leaving/being forced out with little notice.

In which case, I'd be taking the short position.

Papaneuf's picture

It's obvious! Weber and many others have decided its time to bunker in!

Guns, grub, and gold bitchez!

whoflungdung's picture

@ London Banker. So great to see you blog back up!!

MadMonkIvan's picture

According to the Daily Telegraph Weber admits he left because he was the only hawk:

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Let the purges begin.



Fíréan's picture

 The title of this article, a recycled Bloomberg item, claims that western banks are pushing out hawks, yet i fail to see ( corect me if i'm wrong and have missed something) any explanation as to why Axel Weber has withdrawn . where is the explanation from Weber's perspective and who is doing the "pushing" if at all ?  i was expecting to see some data not available elsewhere, and at least to substantiate the headline.

TraderMark's picture

I wrote the article a few days ago and now it is coming to light in news articles that Weber essentially was stonewalled by foreign governments who were not "comfortable" with his views.

Gunther's picture

At almost the same time Austrian central bank boss Nowottny stated in a Public discussion with Axel Weber, retiring head of Bundesbank, that a second bank-bailout in a comming financial crisis will be impossible. He stated that it would poitically not doable and fiscally not bearable.

It looks like Weber does not want to preisde over an inflation machine or a monetary breakdown.

Souce in German:

dick cheneys ghost's picture

lets do something about these tax havens. makes me sick

proLiberty's picture

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity publishes studies that show that legal tax competition keeps the pressure on high tax countries to reduce their tax burdens. 

The United States is the world's largest tax haven, at least for non US Persons, because the US does not levy taxes on the interest or capital gains of foreign investment, neither does it report that income to the investor's home tax authorities.  

Already, US policitians are starting to recognize the harm they are doing to our own busness environment (and to tax revenues) by having the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  US companies would not have to employ "tax havens" if the tax rate was more reasonable. 

Some people who use tax havens simply want to enjoy their unalienable right to financial privacy, you know the right we all enjoyed prior to 1913 and the passage of the 16th Amendment.  Should the US ever implement the Fair Tax plan, then were a person keeps their money would return to being a moot issue, for everyone from the pimp on the corner to the CEO in the corner office would pay taxes in a way that does not destroy financial privacy and in a way that encourages everyone to pay the same rate.


snowball777's picture

And that rate would asymptotically LOL

Blankman's picture


I agree. Lets start by being smart and utilizing them ourselves instead of lashing out at what others have that you don't. Or would you want more regulation?

Let's say for instance your blog that you have becomes immensely popular and you start making millions. I would love to bet any sum of money that you would try to find any way possible to either: a. protect your money or b. try to pay as little in taxes as possible. Correct me if I'm wrong and you are the last "wholesome soul" left in the world.

paddy0761's picture

Volker beat 'em to the door.

Zender67's picture

Black Cygnets spotted in Europe and US follwoing departure of Weber and Wash.

Al89's picture

Warsh. Another 'hawk' who voted for QE2. 

ziggy59's picture

axel quits:


Germany's central bank chief resigns, WSJ says Axel Weber, Germany's Bundesbank president, announced his resignation, dashing Chancellor Angela Merkel's hopes of making a German the next head of the ECB, after Trichet's exit, reports the Wall Street Journal. Reference Link :theflyonthewa