Hawkish Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann to step down

Jens Weidmann, head of Germany's central bank the Bundesbank for more than a decade, is retiring at the end of the year for personal reasons. In Europe he was best known as a critic of the European Central Bank's loose monetary policy, especially under Mario Draghi. Commentators discuss what his departure will mean.

Open/close all quotes
Corriere della Sera (IT) /

A resigned resignation

Jens Weidmann is finally giving up the fight he started ten years ago against Draghi, Corriere della Sera sums up:

“For him, Draghi was the devil personified. No more and no less. And indeed, in 2012, in a now famous speech, he evoked the scene from Goethe's Faust in which Mephistopheles persuades the emperor to print paper money even though he has no gold to do so. ... He did not mention his name, but everyone understood that in his eyes the evil one was the then president of the ECB, who was guilty of a monetary policy which was too expansionary. A decade later, Jens Weidmann is leaving the battlefield defeated and disappointed.”

Les Echos (FR) /

The ECB may miss him yet

It would be wrong to assume that the ECB's job will now become easier, Les Echos writes:

“With his plea for a restrictive monetary policy aimed at keeping the risk of inflation low, Mr 'No to Everything', as former ECB chief Mario Draghi called him, has pursued a line that has been increasingly difficult to maintain. ... However this victory of the 'doves' (advocates of loose monetary policy) against the 'hawks' (hardliners) could be a Pyrrhic one. For one thing, the fragile balance in the ECB's Governing Council has been upset. ... For another, it is evident that Jens Weidmann asked important questions. And that despite his departure it will be difficult to avoid them.”