If we accept the logic of mainstream free‐market ideology‐based macroeconomic theory, the European Central Bank should, to maximise economic efficiency, be independent of political influence. It is easy to forget that such an understanding of the economy was discredited by the great 1930s slump and banished from government policy in the “Golden Age” of capitalism, between 1950 and 1973. Proposes to move beyond the free‐market/monetarist/new‐classical consensus to consider if the row over who should head the ECB is as trivial as it seems. First considers the work of Michal Kalecki, which typically represents the Golden Age’s prevailing ideology of positive state intervention. Next considers how Europe’s post‐war economic performance can be consistently explained by Kalecki’s work. Then moves on to consider the development of the Single European Currency project with the insight that an alternative economic ideology provides.
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