ECB reconsidering Lane’s private calls with investors

The European Central Bank is considering whether chief economist Philip Lane should continue to hold private calls with investors after policy meetings, ECB President Christine Lagarde has said. 

Lane held private discussions with a select group of economists from the world’s biggest banks and investment firms after most of last year’s policy-setting meetings, according to his diaries.

This had irked some who say the timing and the selective nature of the briefings may lead to an uneven distribution of information.

Responding to several queries from members of the European Parliament, Lagarde defended the meetings, but said the ECB was open to changing how it communicates. 

“To this end, the format of the calls you referred to is also being reconsidered,” she said in a letter to several MEPs.

Lagarde argued that the calls took place after meetings, were fully disclosed, and that the ECB rotated the regular ECB-watchers chosen to receive the briefings.