Ralph Atkins

The problems Axel Weber, Bundesbank president, has faced over Thilo Sarrazin, the controversial Bundesbank board member, whose recently-published book shocked the country’s establishment, continue to attract headlines in Germany. The damage to the famously-reticent Bundesbank’s reputation was seen as a threat to Mr Weber’s chances of succeeding Jean-Claude Trichet when the European Central Bank president’s non-renewable eight year mandate expires in October 2011.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has been investigating the role played by Christian Wulff, Germany’s federal president, in negotiating a deal by which Mr Sarrazin agreed to resign. The thrust of its coverage is that Mr Wulff, in effect, imposed a deal on the Bundesbank, which ended up withdrawing its previous criticism of Mr Sarrazin and thanking him for his work as a board member.

Does all this matter? Read more