The Five Most Important People in the World of Currency

A survey of the Forex reveals some of the key players in the currency market today. Ranging from heads of government banks to the head of the International Monetary Fund, these individuals set government policy regarding exchange rates and influence the market with their currency forecasts.

Ben Bernanke

One of the top players on the Forex market is the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Ben Bernanke was born on December 13, 1953.  He started out as a professor at Princeton University and was the chairman of their economics department until 2002. After that, he served on the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System until 2005. Bernanke is famed for his proposed Bernanke Doctrine and was the creator of the Great Moderation theory.

As a chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bernanke is the leader of the group that sets United States monetary policy. They decide on the buying up or selling of government bonds. By doing this, the Federal Reserve influences the exchange rate. As one of the leading governmental agencies in the field of economics, forecasts issued by the Fed immediately impact exchange rates around the world and the decisions investors make. Since 2006, Bernanke has overseen the Federal Reserve’s response to the United States’ economic crisis.

Thomas J. Jordan

In troublesome economic climates, investors put their money into currencies that are considered safe havens. Traditionally, these safe havens have included the United States dollar and the Swiss franc. As the chairman of the governing board at the Swiss National Bank, Thomas J. Jordan is in a key position to influence economic policies around the world. He studied economics at illustrious institutions like the University of Berne and Harvard University. After his studies, Thomas J. Jordan became an Economic Advisor with the Swiss National Bank. He was promoted to Assistant Director of Economic Studies and later to the Head of the Research Unit. By 2004, he started working as Director of the bank. Jordan has written numerous articles on economic topics. He currently serves in a variety of roles in monetary policy including a stint as chairman of International Center for monetary and Banking Policy.

Christine Lagarde

As one of the world’s leading banks, the International Monetary Fund controls investments and loans for countries around the world. The fund came in to existence in 1945 following the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944. It encompasses 188 member countries and works to increase financial stability in global markets. In recent times, the International Monetary Fund has worked to bail out governments and banks in Europe to prevent an economic collapse. As a provider of loans and investment advice, the IMF is uniquely placed to change the way the world monetary system works. In the European example, loans granted by the IMF have helped to prop up the governments of Greece and Spain. By doing so, the IMF influenced investors’ willingness to invest money in Europe and has served to prop up the value of the euro.

As the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde is well-placed to impact the currency markets around the world. As a native of the European Union, she served in the French government and worked as the Minster of Trade. Lagarde later became the first woman to be appointed to a role as the Minister of Economic Affairs as well as head of the IMF. Forbes magazine has ranked her as the 9th most powerful woman in the world. As her five-year term with the International Monetary Fund unfolds, Lagarde’s impact on global currency markets will only be further realized.

Zhou Xiaochuan

China is the largest nation in the world according to population. With over one billion residents and counting, this nation is a key player in the currency markets. In recent years, the People’s bank of China has come under fire by foreign governments for their practice of fixing the currency exchange rates. Foreign governments, banks and investors have decried China’s habit of devaluing their currency to make the exchange rate more favorable for exports.

Zhou Xiaochuan is the current head of the China’s central bank. Born in 1948, Xiaochuan is a leader in China’s monetary policy. Alternatively throughout his career, he has been lauded for his financial foresight and decried for his controversial policy measures. Previously, he worked as the Director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Xiaochuan has served as a governor of China’s central bank since he was appointed in December of 2002.

Mario Draghi

On the Forex market, the top currency pair is between the United States dollar and the European Union euro. The central bank of the European Union represents the financial interests of 27 member countries and is currently based in Frankfurt, Germany.

Since 2011, Mario Draghi has served as the head of the European Central Bank. Originating from Italy, he draws on his years of experience in the Italian banking system. With his role in Europe’s central bank, Draghi plays a direct role in influencing Europe’s monetary policy and exchange rates.