ECB Hawk-Dove Ranking: Visco Leaves, Panetta Stays Put and Cipollone Joins

3 November 2023

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – Econostream has updated our hawk-dove ranking to take into account the latest change in the composition of the European Central Bank Governing Council, and has also made a few tweaks to other rankings.

First, as of 1 November, we have removed ex-Banca d’Italia head Ignazio Visco from the ranking. We replace him with his successor, ex-ECB Executive Board member Fabio Panetta, but despite modifying some details related to the change in his institutional affiliation, we have maintained Panetta’s very dovish ranking.

We have added to the ranking Panetta’s replacement on the Executive Board, Piero Cipollone, previously Banca d’Italia Deputy Governor. Considering it highly unlikely that the Italian government would send anyone but a dove to help set euro area monetary policy, we have ranked Cipollone as very dovish, though somewhat less so than either Visco or Panetta, pending his contributions to the discussion.

Overall, the change in the composition of the Governing Council is unlikely to result in any appreciable difference in monetary policymaking. Panetta already showed little hesitancy about staking out positions at one extreme of the hawk-dove spectrum, but his Executive Board responsibilities were not directly monetary policy-related, so that he spoke more about the digital euro than anything else.

He may thus be more publicly vocal at Banca d’Italia than he was at the ECB, potentially more so than Visco, who was somewhat reticent.

Certainly Panetta is now freer in his public interventions to disregard the line advocated by the ECB, but that does not imply any change in the positions he will support behind the closed doors of Governing Council meetings.

As for his replacement, as noted already, we have to assume that his views will align with those of his predecessor.

In addition to the above, we have implemented the following changes:

  • Banque centrale du Luxembourg Governor Gaston Reinesch, already considered moderately hawkish, is now classified as slightly more hawkish.
  • Central Bank of Ireland Governor Gabriel Makhlouf, previously just on the hawkish side of the centre, now sits just on the dovish side of the centre.
  • Similarly, Central Bank of Malta Governor Edward Scicluna has been shifted from slightly hawkish to slightly dovish.

The latter three modifications of our ranking are the result of having shared the ranking with Governing Council members and solicited their views as to how their colleagues should rank.