Reports this week that Germany and France have begun "private discussions" on the succession of Mario Draghi as President of the European Central Bank look like the tip of the iceberg in what will be a feverish year of deals and trade-offs between EU Member States for the continent's top financials sector policy posts. 

The latest speculation is that Germany is now less interested in the ECB Presidency and potentially more willing to allow a French official to take the top job in Frankfurt. If this remains the case, it would have important implications for the distribution of other top jobs, including the Chairmanship of the ECB's banking supervision arm (the SSM) and the leadership of economic and financial services policy in the new European Commission that will take office in late 2019.  

As we've said before, 2019 will be a year of widespread institutional changefor EU financial services policy and is expected to usher in a significant agenda refresh as a result. 

Throughout this process, geographical balance is of vital importance. Don't forget that "southern Europe" was given a big prize earlier this year in Mario Centeno of Portugal becoming President of the Eurogroup, and, of course, Brexit will take the UK out of the mix for EU jobs post-2019. 

Keeping track of the direction of EU financial services policy will, at least for the next year, increasingly be about keeping track of this endless game of musical chairs. Enjoy!