Don't join central bank if you seek popularity

The likely future governor of the Czech National Bank seems to know the difference between being a central banker and a politician. After all, Jiri Rusnok is former politician himself.

When making the right policy, and to be able to even make the right policy choices, central bankers can't hope to become popular. Quite the opposite is often true - and the public directs its ire at central bankers for taking unpopular decisions like launching QE or currency interventions. The Czech National Bank learned this lesson itself painfully after weakening the country's currency in 2013 (Rusnok was not around at the time as he was serving as caretaker prime minister).

In a media interview published this week (available only in Czech), Rusnok was asked the following question:

Current Governor Miroslav Singer found himself in the media spotlight and was the target even for the media that had ignored the central bank until then. Are you ready to face media criticism that you are someone who robs the people of their savings?

Rusnok's blunt answer:

"Of course, I am counting on that. It's a logical consequence of taking this role. The CNB is not an institution, which would help you become a popular man. However, I no longer have any political ambition, and this works to my advantage."