October 20 – Financial Times (Martin Arnold and Guy Chazan): “Jens Weidmann has decided to step down after a decade as head of Germany’s central bank, only weeks after the country’s general election and shortly before a crucial decision on the future of eurozone monetary policy. The president of the Bundesbank has been one of the most vocal critics of the ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by the European Central Bank, where he fought an often lonely battle against its bond buying and negative interest rate policies. The 53-year-old said… he was leaving for ‘personal reasons’. But colleagues said he was tired of opposing ECB policies and expected these frustrations to increase as the economy recovers, inflation rises and the ECB’s generous stimulus becomes harder to justify.”
Jens Weidmann fought the good fight – a superior intellectual warrior overwhelmed by the onslaught of rank inflationism. He is a statesman in an age of few, a too often lone voice for sanity in a world of monetary absurdity. The foundation of Weidmann’s analytical framework rests on the profound importance of two simple words (you won’t hear uttered by a U.S. central banker): “stable money.”
Weidmann’s plight is testament to why virtually every central banker falls in line. From the FT: “Labelled by former ECB president Mario Draghi as nein zu allem, no to everything, Weidmann articulated the view of monetary hawks…” While Weidmann resigns with scant fanfare, inflationist extraordinaire “Super Mario” governs as Italy’s Prime Minister. As for U.S. inflationism luminaries, while it’s unclear if Ben Bernanke still collects millions from lunch dates and appearances ($250k for 40 minutes in Abu Dhabi! ), collaborator Janet Yellen runs the U.S. Treasury.
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