Jean-Claude Trichet

Claire Jones

Those hoping that today’s ECB cut would signal a softening of the central bank’s stance in other areas, notably its purchases of government debt, will have been disappointed by Mario Draghi’s comments at his first press conference.

Mario Draghi with Jean-Claude Trichet. Image by Getty.

Mario Draghi with Jean-Claude Trichet. Image by Getty.

Jean-Claude Trichet may have now decamped to Paris, or possibly St. Malo, but listening to Mr Draghi today, it was as though he had never left. Read more

Ralph Atkins

A moment in monetary policy history! Jean-Claude Trichet has just delivered his last scheduled speech as European Central Bank president. Addressing Berlin’s Humboldt university he did not produce any fireworks - there was no attempt to bounce Italy’s Mario Draghi into a rate cut at next week’s ECB governing council meeting. Instead Mr Trichet pushed his ideas for Europe’s future political union.

Earlier this year, Mr Trichet advocated a European finance ministry – an idea on which he expanded in his interview with the Financial Times earlier this month. The case for such a step had strengthened in recent weeks, he argued in Berlin – and he went further in arguing for a new kind of European federal system. Read more

Ralph Atkins

Fittingly, at the end of a career spent managing global economic crises, Jean-Claude Trichet’s farewell party took a dramatic turn in Frankfurt late on Wednesday.

Trichet and Draghi at the Alte Oper. Image by Getty.

Trichet and Draghi at the Alte Oper. Image by Getty.

As Europe’s statesmen - including Germany’s Helmut Schmidt and France’s Valéry Giscard d’Estaing - paid tribute to the departing European Central Bank president in the city’s Alte Oper, Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris suddenly announced his intention to gatecrash the festivities. Despite his wife just giving birth, the French president jumped on a plane to Frankfurt.

As the farewell ceremony drew to a close, Mr Trichet – along with Angela Merkel, German chancellor and Mario Draghi, the new ECB president – headed for two hours of emergency talks on the latest eurozone rescue plan in a backroom in the grandiose 19th century opera house. Read more

Claire Jones

Jean-Claude Trichet, the departing president of the European Central Bank, talked to the FT’s editor Lionel Barber and Frankfurt bureau chief Ralph Atkins on Wednesday in London.

The transcript and story will appear on FT.com later this evening. But, until then, here’s a sneak peek at what the interview covers:  Read more

Ralph Atkins

If only central bankers could rely on politicians! More than an element of frustration at the ways of governments was clear when Jean-Claude Trichet, European Central Bank president, gave evidence this morning to the European Parliament for the last time.

He urged European governments to “act together swiftly” to address a crisis that had taken on a “systemic dimension”. He also went further than before in hinting that the €440bn European Financial Stability Facility – Europe’s new bail-out fund – might not be up to the job, even if proposed enhancements to its powers are approved by Slovakia. Read more

Claire Jones

We’ll be live blogging the ECB’s press conference today on the FT’s The World blog from 13.30 London time.

The FT’s Frankfurt bureau chief Ralph Atkins has written here on what to expect.

Ralph Atkins

Jean-Claude Trichet holds his last press conference as European Central Bank president on Thursday. It is a moment in the ECB’s short history; Mr Trichet has been in charge for eight of its 13 years. But the time to dwell on such facts is limited. Instead a range of issues remain on the table. Here is a brief guide to what he might have to announce.

On ECB interest rates After September’s meeting, Mr Trichet deliberately left the door open for an interest rate cut. Since then the debate has swirled. Read more

Claire Jones

Our week ahead email will help you to track the most important events in the central banking world. To see all of our emails and alerts visit www.ft.com/nbe

Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will vote on monetary policy on Thursday.

The Monetary Policy Committee decision is out at noon local time (11.00 GMT). According to a Reuters poll, most expect the Bank to hold rates and maintain the stock of asset purchases at £200bn. However, a significant minority predict more QE, with most of these believing that £50bn is the amount that the MPC is most likely to plump for.

Though those expecting more QE in October are in the minority, the bulk of analysts do believe the Bank will expand its asset purchases at some point in the near future, with November considered the most likely option. The Bank also publishes the minutes of its FPC meeting on Monday at 09.30 local time (08.30 GMT), which may shed some light on the rather ambiguous statement that came out this week.   Read more

Claire Jones

Our week ahead email will help you to track the most important events in the central banking world. To see all of our emails and alerts visit www.ft.com/nbe

Rate votes

The key event in next week’s calendar is the Federal Open Market Committee’s policy meeting, which Ben Bernanke announced at Jackson Hole would be a longer-than-usual two-day affair. Read more

Claire Jones

Our new week ahead email will help you to track the most important events in the central banking world. To see all of our email and alerts visit www.ft.com/nbe

Both of next week’s key events are on Monday. Read more

Ralph Atkins

The eurozone debt crisis will overshadow the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision making on Thursday. It is fighting on several fronts. I posted earlier on the wording on inflation risks and interest rates. Here is what Jean-Claude Trichet, president, might say on other topics. As ever, there is always room for surprises… Read more

Claire Jones

Our new week ahead email will help you to track the most important events in the central banking world. To see all of our email and alerts visit www.ft.com/nbe

Public appearances

A busy week is in store for Jean-Claude Trichet.

On Saturday, the ECB president will speak at Jackson Hole at 17:00 GMT. On Monday, Mr Trichet travels to Brussels, where he will field questions from the European parliament on how to restore market confidence (some suggestions from Ralph Atkins and Chris Giles).

The president will be joined by Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup president, Jacek Rostowski, Poland’s finance minister and Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs.  The hearing takes place at 13.00 GMT.

On Thursday, ECB executive board member Jürgen Stark is a participant in a panel on Europe and global competitionRead more

Ralph Atkins

So much for the European Central Bank meeting having a summery feel! Jean-Claude Trichet, president, announced bolder measures to confront the escalating eurozone crisis than expected – but financial markets still decided they did not go far enough.

Even so, Mr Trichet again found himself running into Bundesbank resistance. Jens Weidmann, its new president, interrupted his holiday to attend Thursday’s meeting in Frankfurt – and vote against the decision to revive the ECB’s bond purchasing programme. The word in Frankfurt is that he was not the sole dissenter. Read more

From the FT’s op-ed pages: Ralph Atkins on the ECB president’s final months.

Other eurozone policymakers have fled on holiday, hoping for respite from the region’s debt crisis. Jean-Claude Trichet, however, remains in Frankfurt this week, for August’s European Central Bank governing council meeting and press conference – a fixture since global financial turbulence erupted four years ago.

Still, the euro’s monetary guardian can take stock and draw lessons from recent events – not least for Italy’s Mario Draghi, who takes over as ECB president in three months. A first conclusion is that the crisis is far from resolved, and may have entered a more dangerous phase.

 Read more

Claire Jones

ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet may be unwilling to cede to Angela Merkel’s calls to overrule ratings’ agencies judgement on a Greek default – selective or otherwise. However, Mr Trichet’s position on the big three’s dominance of the industry is in line with that of the eurozone’s political masters.

At both this month’s press conference and in an interview published Tuesday, Mr Trichet made it clear he agreed with German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s point that the oligopolistic structure of the industry was far from ideal.

When asked whether he would favour the creation of a European rating agency – something which Ms Merkel has backed since before Lehman Brothers’ collapse – Mr Trichet was more oblique. Read more

Claire Jones

ECB president Jean-Claude TrichetWelcome to the live blog where we will cover the European Central Bank’s rate decision and ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet’s press conference.

All times are London time; Frankfurt is one hour ahead. By Claire Jones and Chris Giles in London, and Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt.


 

16.39 Ralph Atkins’ key points, in no particular order, from today’s press conference. Read more

The European Central Bank has kept its main interest rate unchanged but left the door open for a further rise in July. Read more

The European Central Bank has left its main interest rate unchanged at 1.25 per cent but is expected to confirm a bias towards another increase in coming months as it combats surging eurozone inflation.

The decision to hold fire on Thursday was expected. Jean-Claude Trichet, president, prefers not to surprise financial markets. However, at its meeting in Helsinki, Finland – one of two occasions each year when it gathers outside its Frankfurt home – the ECB’s 23-strong governing council is thought to have plotted the timing of its next move. Read more

Ralph Atkins

The competition to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet, who steps down as European Central Bank president at the end of October, was a big story in February - when Axel Weber, Germany’s Bundesbank president, withdrew from the race. Since then it has gone quiet.

Now news agency reports from the European Union finance ministers’ meeting near Budapest, Hungary, at the weekend suggest a decision may not be taken until an EU summit at the end of June. Germany’s government “has decided to form its opinion close to that date,” Bloomberg reported Wolfgang Schäuble, the country’s finance minister as saying.

That sounds plausible. Read more

Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president, has been here before. Early in his life as governor of the Bank of France in 1993, Mr Trichet faced down a tidal wave of market pressure and prevented the franc from being devalued.  Read more