Germans have mixed feelings about Christine Lagarde

AT THE END of September Sabine Lautenschläger, the most senior German official at the European Central Bank (ECB), unexpectedly resigned from the bank’s executive board, years before her term was due to end. She gave no reason for her departure, but is known to have opposed the bank’s decision, announced last month, to resume its bond-buying programme until inflation neared its target of close to, but below, 2%. If that opposition was why she stepped down, it would make her the third German official to quit over bond purchases. In 2011 both Axel Weber, then head of the Bundesbank, and Jürgen Stark, a member of the ECB’s executive board, left over an earlier asset-purchase scheme.

The controversy over the ECB’s latest round of stimulus, which also cut interest rates to -0.5%, has heated up. Current and former central bankers in both Germany and other northern countries have attacked the decision to resume bond-buying. Bild, Germany’s biggest-selling tabloid, has accused Mario Draghi, the ECB’s boss, of sucking people’s savings dry. Mr Draghi’s term ends on October 31st. Christine Lagarde, the former boss of the IMF, replaces him.

Perhaps signalling a desire to cool things down, Germany’s government announced on October 23rd that Isabel Schnabel, a member of its council of economic advisers, would...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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