Candidate assessment: Axel Weber lacks diplomatic skills and strategic thinking by Peter Wahl

imfboss has invited candidate assessments from civil society voices in the home countries of the candidates to head the IMF. Throughout the process we will be posting these here for your benefit.

By Peter Wahl, World Economy Ecology and Development (WEED), Berlin, Germany

Axel Weber was head of the German Central Bank, the Bundesbank, from 2004 until April 2011. He had been appointed by the Schröder government, which consisted at that time of the Social-Democratic Party and the Green Party. Before his assignment he was part of the so called “Five wise men” an influential advisory board of five German top economic institutes to the federal government.

Weber, a university professor of economics, represents the hard core monetarist school and the tradition of the Bundesbank from the times of the Deutschmark. This paradigm of the Bundesbank has been imposed to the euro-zone and the anchored in the statutes of the European Central Bank (ECB).

It was therefore no surprise, that Weber did not understand the system in which he was playing quite an important role. When the first German bank, the IKB, was collapsing in August 2007 as a result of the rising tide of the US-subprime crisis, he declared that “the exposure of German Banks in the American real estate market is limited. It is concentrated on investments with a high rating. Any comparison, made by some media reports, between the present economic situation and the banking crisis of 1931 are completely erroneous.

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