ECB Head Forced To Defend His Goldman "Conflicts Of Interest"

As we have discussed a number of times (most recently here), the infiltration of Goldman Sachs alumni into the highest ranks of political and monetary policy 'running the world' ranks is becoming pandemic. What is perhaps even more surprising is the fact that during the ECB's press conference this morning, the head of the world's 'almost' most powerful entity had to defend himself from such crackpot, tin-foil-hat-wearing, digital-dickweed-esque conspiracy theories that Draghi's affiliation to the Mother Squid is of greater importance than his current professional position. The sadly ironic aspect is that Draghi's membership of the Goldman Sachs-sponsored G-30 warranted more discussion during the press conference than that of Italy's Monti debacle (or Greece's "killer medicine").


From ECB Press Conference


Mr. President, I have two questions about your membership in the Group of 30.


First, taking your closeness to the private banks and in face of pending conflicts of interest and ethical issues, how do you explain your ongoing G30 membership?


And my second, of the 30 members, five members are formal or present bankers of Goldman Sachs.


This group is co-founded by Goldman Sachs. You're a former fellow of Goldman Sachs. How do you intend to avoid conflicts of interest?


Well, actually, I don't intend to avoid. I think there aren't any conflicts of interest. But let me - given - I'll read it to you what is – given the objectives and purpose of the organization, the ECB does not consider the membership of the ECB's president in the Group of 30 entails a conflict of interest.


You might have seen that I'm not the only central banker being member of the Group of 30. Just to name a few of my – a few - my predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, Mervyn King, who are not Goldman Sachs bankers, Governor Zhou of China, who was not a Goldman Sachs member, Masaaki Shirakawa, who was not a Goldman Sachs member, and also Mark Carney, who was a Goldman Sachs member.


I have no idea whether Group of 30 is being financed by Goldman Sachs. Actually, it's new to me.


But the European ombudsman was approached by the person claiming that it is a conflict of interest. The ECB has replied to the questions of the European ombudsman by the given deadline, and the answer is publicly available. The final assessment of the European ombudsman is still pending. Thank you.


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