Romanian Parliament ,majority socialist (irrespective of the party), has voted a new board for the National Bank of Romania. For the first time (except for Mugur Isarescu who qualified on the job and was confirmed for a fifth consecutive term) no one of the board members (nine of them) has had any experience in banking or central banking. There is not a single one in the board that has had an opinion, forget about papers or books, about monetary policy, inflation targeting etc. A pure political board. NBR has never been an independent central bank and now it was time to show this to the entire world. At least it scores some points on transparency and courage.
The appointment of people with no qualification for the job is strange considering that IMF, EC, the EU etc made a big deal few months back appointments to the Financial Services Authority. In that case the IMF and the EC pressed the government to lower the number of the members and demanded that those have at least 10 years of experience related to their activity: regulating the financial markets except banking.
There is a good side to all this madness. Monetary policy in Romania was terrible. It was procyclical, it lacked transparency, and it at times it seemed chaotic although the NBR preferred to call it unconventional. The main risk from such a political board would be the unconditional support of government inflationary policies. But the NBR was already doing that. It fueled the boom in 2005-2008 and hid the disaster for a year in 2009 (presidential elections and new board members).
In other words the Romanian monetary policy cannot get worse. The markets it controls are already the smallest and least competitive in the EU. At least it had the courage to come out of the closet and shout: I am not independent, deal with it.