Interview with Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa
A charter member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank discusses the evolution of that institution, the upcoming rollout of the euro in 12 European countries and how the ECB and the Fed compare, among other issues.Arthur J. Rolnick - Senior Vice President and Director of Research, 1985-2010
Published December 1, 2001
"...PADOA-SCHIOPPA: Currency is an institutional phenomenon. Of course, it also has a lot to do with habit, but habit in a normal society, in a normal economy, cannot depart too much from institutional arrangements. You have dollarization when you have hyperinflation. You may have euroization in Kosovo because people are desperately looking for an anchor for stability. But in an ordinary society, even if the old Deutsche mark bank notes with the strong face of Sebastian Münster were liked by German people more than the gentler face of Clara Schumann, which is now smiling on the one hundred dm notes, there is little they can do. They have to go with Clara now.
ROLNICK: I agree.
PADOA-SCHIOPPA: People may not be happy that the decision has been made to go to a monetary union, but you know there are still some monarchists in France and some republicans in the United Kingdom.
ROLNICK: And they're still not going to be happy.
PADOA-SCHIOPPA: I ask in taxis I get into, first, whether people like taxes and then would people like the euro. People don't like taxes and still they pay them. They recognize that it's part of the society to which they belong. Here in Germany, where it is notorious that there are people who were reluctant to abandon the Deutsche mark, most people—if you carry on the conversation a little bit—would recognize that it's good for Europe, that Europe is good for Germany, that it was something that had to happen one day...."
More About Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa
Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank
President of the International Center for Monetary and Banking
Studies, Geneva, 2001
Member of the G-7 Deputies,
Member of the G-20 Deputies,
Chairman of the G-10 Committee on Payments and Settlement Systems,
Chairman of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision,
Deputy Director General, Banca d'Italia from 1984-97
Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs at the
Commission of European Communities in Brussels, 1979-83
Joined Banca d'Italia in 1968 and held several positions, including
Central Director for Economic Research
Master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Graduated from the Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
Author of numerous essays and articles. Among the most recent:
"The Road to Monetary Union in Europe: The Emperor, the Kings
and the Genies," published by Oxford University Press in
2000, and "EMU and Banking Supervision," in International