You Can’t Handle The Truth!

September 8, 2011
By

FT Alphaville summarizing yesterday’s press conference with Jean-Claude Trichet:

Reporter: What is your answer to German people and economists who want the return of the DM?

Trichet: You want answers?

Reporter: I think the Germans are entitled.

Trichet: You want answers? (SHOUTING)

Reporter: Germans want the truth! (SHOUTING)

Trichet: *You can’t handle the truth!*  (SHOUTING)

[pauses]…

Trichet: Son, we live in a world that has prices, and those prices have to be guarded by men with bonds. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Sylvia Wadhwa? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Lehman Brothers, and you curse Ben Bernanke. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Lehman’s collapse, while tragic, probably saved banks. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves banks. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that committee, you need me on that committee. We use words like rate, target, expectation. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a profitline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of price stability that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a Greek bond, and suffer a haircut. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

Or something like that. (We’ll bring you the proper transcript as soon as it’s available, for compare and contrast purposes.)

Here is the actual exchange:

 

From: FT Alphaville » A few good central bankers. Hat tip: Paul Kedrosky

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