European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi compared himself and other European policymakers to Hercules yesterday.

This wasn't some passing reference to the (genuinely) "Herculean" task he faces trying to kickstart the European economy and stave off deflation. This was a detailed description of the whole Hercules v. the hydra myth (including the part most people forget, where Hercules' nephew deals with the hydra's severed heads).

Note that, as the Wall Street Journal tells it, Draghi seems to be casting himself as one of Europe's Hercules-es:

As policymakers in Italy and in the euro area, it often feels like we face a Herculean task to revive growth and bring down unemployment, he said in prepared remarks for a dinner Wednesday on the eve of the ECBs monthly policy meeting, which takes place in Naples.

And just like Hercules confronting the Hydra, it sometimes seems as though just as we defeat one challenge, such as the sovereign debt crisis, two new challenges spring up, such as low inflation and a weak recovery, he said.

... It is also worth remembering how Hercules defeated the Hydra: While he cut off its head, his nephew cauterized the neck. In other words, he simultaneously tackled the problem on the surface and at the root, Mr. Draghi said.

And this is exactly what we need to do today in the euro area, he said.

Obviously, he's given this some thought.

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