* Buch runs economic institute in eastern city of Halle
* Selection controversial in Merkel's coalition
By Matthias Sobolewski
BERLIN, Feb 24 Claudia Buch, an economics
professor with expertise in international banking and financial
markets, is to become vice president of the Bundesbank following
the departure of Sabine Lautenschlaeger to the European Central
Bank, government sources said on Monday.
The 47-year-old is currently president of the IWH economic
research institute in the eastern city of Halle. She also sits
on a prestigious panel of economic advisers to the German
government, sometimes referred to as the "wise men".
The selection of Buch for one of the Bundesbank's six board
seats was controversial in Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left
"grand coalition' government.
While sources said conservative Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble favoured Buch, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD)
had reportedly been pressing for Bundesbank board member Joachim
Nagel to be promoted.
Buch and the IWH declined to comment. The German government
is expected to make the formal announcement of her appointment
on Wednesday after a meeting of deputy ministers in Berlin on
Monday to finalise the move.
Buch got her Ph.D. in economics at Kiel University, where
she also headed a research group on financial markets at the
renowned Institute for World Economics.
The Bundesbank seat became vacant when Lautenschlaeger was
named to replace Joerg Asmussen, who announced in December he
was leaving the ECB's six-member executive board to become a
deputy minister in the German labour ministry.
Lautenschlaeger was only the third woman appointed to the
ECB's board in its 15-year history, after Finland's Sirkka
Hamalainen and Austria's Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell.
She is also the only woman on the broader governing council
of the ECB, which includes the six-member board and the 18
national central bank chiefs.
Buch, who was mentioned as a candidate for the ECB post that
Lautenschlaeger got, is well known in government circles in
She is a member of the influential Advisory Board of the
European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), one of the early warning
mechanisms created by the ECB to identify risks in the financial
system before they lead to crises.
Buch's candidacy was reportedly backed by Bundesbank
President Jens Weidmann.
(Reporting by Matthias Sobolewski; writing by Monica Raymunt;
editing by Erik Kirschbaum and Noah Barkin)