Jean-Claude Trichet

Trichet, a Frenchmen followed the usual trajectory for those wanting to go into business or politics: Sciences Po and the École nationale d’administration (ENA), two French higher education institutions in the field of political science and state administration. In 1987 Trichet became a member of Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. Later, in 1993 he was appointed governor of Banque de France.

On 1 November 2003 he was appointed President of the European Central Bank, and as President of the ECB during the crisis, Trichet seems to have shown considerable unfounded optimism in the ability of ‘business as usual’.

In an interview with La Repubblica on 16 June, 2010 when asked about the dangers of cuts leading to deflation he answered: “I don’t think that such risks could materialise. On the contrary, inflation expectations are remarkably well anchored in line with our definition – less than 2%, close to 2% – and have remained so during the recent crisis. As regards the economy, the idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect.

“In these circumstances, everything that helps to increase the confidence of households, firms and investors in the sustainability of public finances is good for the consolidation of growth and job creation. I firmly believe that in the current circumstances confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery, because confidence is the key factor today.”

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