It is just a few days until Lucas Papademos steps down as the European Central Bank’s vice president, and the ECB is holding a conference in his honour in Frankfurt. Quiet and thoughtful by character, Mr Papademos has not had a high profile. But he has been active behind the scenes, especially in recent weeks as the eurozone has lurched from crisis to crisis. (The fact that many of the problems have been focused on his native Greece might explain his reticence.)
Mr Papademos has been responsible for financial stability issues. Only a few years ago, that meant working laboriously on “financial stability reports” which at the time attracted little attention, but in hindsight gave clues about the trouble brewing in financial markets. More recently, central bankers have been debating whether central banks should take greater responsibility for the stability of the financial system on top of fighting inflation.