Jean-Claude Trichet

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

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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