Never fear, Jean-Claude is here
Any doubts about financial markets’ faith in European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet’s cure-all ability should have been put to rest after a euro flurry over Trichet cutting short a visit to Sydney to return to Brussels for a meeting of European Union leaders.
The euro recovered from 8-1/2 month lows against the U.S. dollar after the Reserve Bank of Australia said Trichet would leave anniversary celebrations early, as traders bet that his rush to Brussels meant an increased chance of European leaders agreeing a rescue deal for struggling Greece.
When the ECB later clarified that Trichet had been invited to the Thursday meeting last month and had adjusted his flight plans at the last minute to make a connecting flight, the single currency slipped back 20 ticks to just under $1.37.
“The whole absurd situation came from the fact that someone in Australia said that Mr. Trichet was cutting short his stay. It became a big story, while Mr. Trichet only chose an earlier flight because he was afraid he would miss a connection,” an ECB spokesman said.
Deal or no deal, by the time Trichet arrives at the Brussels meeting, he will have achieved at least a lot of frequent flyer points. Since leaving Frankfurt a week earlier for a G7 meeting in Iqaluit, near Canada’s arctic circle, he will have circumnavigated the globe and travelled 73,980 kilometres, according to webflyer’s mileage calculator.