Jean-Claude Trichet, President of European Central Bank
Wednesday 19 January 2011 - by Andrew Hickley
The former Governor of the Banque de France has gone through arguably his most productive year since becoming President of the European Central Bank in 2003 - only the second in the central bank's lifetime. In spite of sovereign debt problems that have plagued the continent, he has consistently claimed that Europe is in better shape than investors give it credit.
Having argued that banking stress tests should have been conducted sooner, the ESRB and Trichet himself will be tasked in 2011 with pushing through stress tests for both banking and insurance sectors during the summer, after the first round embarrassingly concluded that Irish banks were healthy.
For all the central bank's work over the year, Trichet has his critics. Irish justice minister Dermot Ahern blasted the ECB for its role in pressuring Ireland to take a bailout before the country had even considered the option itself, also accusing him of having the same belligerent stance towards the Portuguese economy.
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