Euro zone policymakers like to talk. They often contradict each other at separate speaking engagements on the same day. But they have struck a chorus in recent weeks, asserting that deflation is not a threat.
As is now customary for retiring central bank chiefs, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has received a warm – but not a standing – ovation from economists for his time in charge.
When it decided the time was right to crack down on inflation, the European Central Bank did so without the man who is often regarded as its toughest inflation hawk: Bundesbank chief Axel Weber. The ECB took financial markets by surprise by announcing on Thursday it could raise rates as soon as April — a decision its policymakers reached without Weber even in the room.
Give European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet a vuvuzela.
Having previously confessed ignorance on all things soccer the ECB chief finally appears to have been bitten by the World Cup bug.
He did a Ronaldo-style double step-over when asked who he would cheer for in Sunday’s final between Spain and the Netherlands but admitted he enjoyed Spain’s slick defeat of Germany the previous evening.
“The last match was beautiful I have to say,” Trichet enthused at the bank’s news conference.
The comments were greeted with laughter by the clutch of international journalists in the audience. Realising that he may have sounded a little too happy about Germany’s loss he quickly backpedalled.
“I don’t have any judgment on the result of the match. I said that it was a beautiful match obviously. And the two teams were very beautiful on the field.”
Germans called for Paul the now infamous “the oracle” octopus to be thrown on the BBQ after he predicted the defeat. Mr Trichet could be next in line. Then again there are economists who would argue that Spain needs ECB support at the moment.