jurgen stark

Ralph Atkins

How revolutionary are times at the European Central Bank? Mario Draghi, president, produced a surprise on Tuesday by handing Peter Praet, his Belgian colleague on the ECB’s six-man executive board, the powerful economics portfolio. The assumption, at least in Berlin, was that it would go to Germany’s Jörg Asmussen, on the spurious grounds that the position has been held by a German since the ECB was created in 1998. But don’t expect the change to produce radical changes in the bank’s thinking. Read more

Ralph Atkins

Just what the eurozone did not need right now: another possible German-Franco row, this time over jobs at the European Central Bank. In Brussels late on Tuesday, Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, pressed for his deputy Jörg Asmussen to take over the ECB’s economics department from Jürgen Stark when he joins the ECB’s six-man executive board at the start of 2012.

The problem is that France’s Benoit Coeuré, an academic economist as well as French civil servant, who will arrive at the ECB at the same time as Mr Asmussen, is arguably much better suited for the economics portfolio.  Read more

Ralph Atkins

How to upset a German central banker?  Accuse him of “pragmatism”. The word has a negative meaning in Europe’s largest economy, as comments on Friday by Jürgen Stark, an European Central Bank executive board member, illustrate.

Reuters reports the former German Bundesbanker as denying Thursday’s quarter percentage point interest rate cut by the ECB marked a strategic shift towards pragmatism by Mario Draghi, the new ECB president. “Yesterday’s decision has nothing to do with pragmatism,” Mr Stark told a Frankfurt conference. Read more

Claire Jones

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

Ralph Atkins

Germany’s Jürgen Stark sent a tremor through financial markets when he announced his resignation from the European Central Bank’s executive board on September 9. At the time he cited “personal reasons,” but Mr Stark has just confirmed what everyone suspected – that there was much more to his decision.

He told the European Parliament on Monday that he will “very likely” make a statement at the end of this year, when he actually steps down. Expect a blast against the ECB’s government bond-buying programme – which he opposed, like many German conservatives – as well as other steps taken by central banks in Europe and beyond.

In the meantime, I couldn’t help thinking, Mr Stark might regret his decision to resign. 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

Ralph Atkins

Jürgen Stark, who on Friday said he would quit the European Central Bank’s executive  board, is widely-described as the bank’s “chief economist”. This is misleading.

There is no such position at the ECB. It was the title awarded informally by the media to his predecessor, Otmar Issing, who had responsibility for both the research and economics divisions at the ECB – in others words, much of its intellectual firepower. When Mr Stark took over in 2006, the roles were split. Read more

Claire Jones

Jürgen Stark has resigned from the ECB. The central bank’s statement is below.

Today, Jürgen Stark, Member of the Executive Board and Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), informed President Jean-Claude Trichet that, for personal reasons, he will resign from his position prior to the end of his term of office on 31 May 2014. Mr Stark will stay on in his current position until a successor is appointed, which, according to the appointment procedure, will be by the end of this year. He has been a Member of the ExecutiveBoard and Governing Council since 1 June 2006. 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

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

The European Central Bank’s determination to press ahead with interest rate rises has been defended by a top policymaker, even after the escalation of the eurozone debt crisis in Ireland and Portugal, two of the region’s weakest members. Writing in the FT, Jürgen Stark, ECB executive board member, argues a “one size fits all” monetary policy ultimately benefits all members. He says the eurozone’s weakest countries receive exceptional support on a scale not possible if they were not part of Europe’s monetary union.

Mr Stark’s comments will cement expectations that the ECB will react to rising eurozone inflation by lifting its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point next week. The move, flagged by ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet this month, will put the central bank ahead of the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England in embarking on tighter monetary policy. Read more

Ralph Atkins

The arrival of Vítor Constâncio as the European Central Bank’s new vice-president this week has led to a reshuffling of responsibilities on the bank’s six-person Frankfurt-based executive board. For ECB-watchers, the obvious questions are: who’s up and who’s down? I am not sure if much has changed.

As expected, Mr Constâncio, a former Portuguese central bank governor, will take over responsibility for financial stability issues from his predecessor, Lucas Papademos. That will take up much of his time in coming years, so it is probably not a big deal to him that responsibility for ECB research has been transferred to José Manuel González-Páramo, perhaps the biggest winner from today’s moves. Mr González-Páramo remains in charge of market operations – a busy beat in recent years. Read more

Simone Baribeau

Who’s afraid of global growth?

Jürgen Stark, member of the executive board of the ECB, for one. At least, if it’s the wrong kind of growth.

One striking feature of the high global growth rates was the reliance on large and unsustainable global imbalances. In principle, current account imbalances can be desirable, if they channel funds across the world to their most productive use. But in the years prior to the crisis imbalances were a symptom of economic distortions: in some countries asset price bubbles developed and household debt levels rose beyond sustainable levels. Eventually, the rise in the household debt burden resulted in an acceleration of defaults on mortgage and consumer loans, which undermined the stability of the financial system.

In other countries for example, in emerging Asia which held the value of their currencies at artificially low levels to support their export-oriented growth strategies, the vast accumulation of foreign exchange reserves had potentially high opportunity costs. These managed exchange rate regimes may also have contributed to hampering necessary domestic adjustments and distorting the allocation of resources towards export-oriented industries.

His solution (in part): Read more

Ralph Atkins

Jurgen Stark is profiled in the Financial Times, writes Ralph Atkins of the Financial Times Read more

Ralph Atkins

A speech from Jürgen Stark suggests the ECB exit will be gradual, and underlines that there will be no co-ordinaton between the withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures, writes Ralph Atkins of the Financial Times Read more