The age of the celebrity central banker began in the United States with Paul Volcker, who tamed inflation in the early 1980s with eye-watering interest rates. It was taken to a new level by Alan Greenspan, who bestrode the financial world like a colossus as chair of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. Barely more than a year after his retirement, his maestro reputation was trashed by the great financial crisis, but his successor, bearded Ben Bernanke, saved the world. In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked him as the sixth most powerful person on the planet, with Mario Draghi, then president of the European Central Bank, at number eight.
It is painful to recall that David Cameron came in at number ten in the same list – a reminder of how ephemeral these rankings can be. There are no central bankers in the Forbes top ten any more. Fiscal policy is all the rage these days and now we