New central bank governor

The Slovak Cabinet on Wednesday agreed with the Finance Ministry proposal to nominate Jozef Makuch for the post of governor of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the central bank of the Slovak Republic. After Parliament votes on the nomination, the current member of the NBS Bank Board will replace the incumbent central bank’s governor Ivan Sramko as of January 1, 2010. Mr. Sramko’s term in office is to expire on December 31.

On the face of it this is a normal change that until last year was mandatory (a central bank governor could not stay on more than one term). Except on an emotional level I am sad to see Ivan Sramko go, he was the architect of the euro accession on so many levels.

Irrespective of all that we must bear in mind that:
  1. The central bank governor of a country of 5.4 million in the eurozone does not hold much sway anymore ever since Slovakia joined the EURO. Policy is decided collectively in Frankfurt by the best policymakers old europe has to offer. It is now a less important post.

  2. The profile of the new central bank governor is quite distinguished and it is normal for power to rotate to reduce the chance of corruption.
My wish would be that Robert Fico would try to promote more people of a varied background with solid professional success rather than political faceless wonders. His government is displaying a passivity about dealing with long term issues.

The new man
Doc. Ing. Jozef Makuch, PhD. was born on 26 August 1953 in Podhajska, Slovakia.

In 1976 he graduated from the Faculty of National Economy of the University of Economics in Bratislava. Mr Makuch ended his post-graduate advanced studies in 1985 and was appointed Associate Professor in 1989.

In July 1976 he was a Loan Inspector in the Bratislava for the Czechoslovak State Bank. From 1978 he was Assistant Professor at the Chair of Finance at the Faculty of National Economy, University of Economics in Bratislava. In September 1989 he became Associate Professor at the same school. In the years 1991 to 1994 he was Dean of the Faculty of National Economy of the University of Economics. From January 1993 till December 1996 he was a Member of the Bank Board of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS).

In February 1994 he was appointed Chief Executive Director of the Research Department of the NBS. In November 2000 he was appointed Chairman of the Financial Market Authority and from April 2002 to December 2005 he was the Chairman of the Board of the Financial Market Authority (FMA).

In the position of the Chairman of the FMA Council he was responsible for the management and coordination of the supervision over the capital market sectors, insurance and pension savings. He represents Slovakia in the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR). He is also a representative in international association of supervisory bodies in insurance (IAIS).

Mr Makuch's professional experience was complemented with further education in banking and currency policy, organized by international financial institutions (International Monetary Fund, World Bank) and foreign central banks. He himself has been a lecturer at several conferences in and outside Slovakia.

Jozef Makuch is a Member of the Scientific Board of the Faculty of National Economy of the University of Economics in Bratislava, a member of the Editing Board of the periodicals of Biatec, (Accounting, Auditing, Taxation) and the scientific periodical of the Faculty of Finance of the Matej Bel University. Mr.Makuch has published dozens of professional works - text books, monographs, research works, etc. both in and outside Slovakia.

He speaks English and has a passive knowledge of German and Russian.

Doc. Ing. Jozef Makuch, PhD. is married and has three children.

On 30 November 2005 the Government of the Slovak Republic appointed Mr Makuch a Member of the Bank Board of the National Bank of Slovakia, effective from 1 January 2006, from 1 February 2007 he is the Executive Director for Security and Premises.

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