ECB to stop giving journalists advance copies of speeches

Gradually central banks are going backwards on the communication and transparency bit. This blog had pointed how there was an issue with speech of one of the members of ECB (one of the most independent central banks)

Now ECB has decided to act on this and decided to stop giving speech copies in advance to journalists. Though the two are not related as the reporters did not have access to the speech in this case:

The European Central Bank will no longer release in advance the speeches of its executive board members to journalists under embargo, a bank spokesman said Wednesday. The decision, which has been under consideration for several months by the ECB’s communications department, is aimed at ensuring the widest possible access to ECB speeches, the spokesman said, adding that it was becoming increasingly difficult to determine which journalists should have access to embargoed comments. ECB speeches at times contain market relevant information.

The ECB will post speeches of its board members on its website when they are scheduled to begin, without making them available to journalists ahead of time under embargo as the ECB had done for many years.

The decision, which takes effect immediately, came one day after the public release of comments by executive board member Benoit Coeuré caused a stir in financial markets. Mr. Coeuré  said the ECB would front load bond purchases under its €1.1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) quantitative easing program in May and June to account for a summer lull in bond markets.

The comments prompted a surge on Tuesday in European stock and bond prices, and cheapened the euro.

Mr. Coeure had actually made his remarks at a nonpublic event in London on Monday evening that included hedge fund managers and other investors. The ECB didn’t make the speech public until the following morning.

The problem had nothing to do with journalists having speeches under embargo, because the comments weren’t released to reporters until Tuesday morning. The ECB had intended to make Mr. Coeure’s speech available Monday night when he gave it, an ECB spokesman said Tuesday, “but an internal procedural error meant this did not happen until the morning.”

Still, the episode appeared to have accelerated the communications department’s decision to do away with embargoed releases of speeches.

A much more important thing is to stop the central bankers from talking in closed door places..

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