Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Economics

How the ECB Is Overhauling Strategy in the Midst of a Pandemic

An inside look into President Christine Lagarde’s efforts to make the central bank fit for the future

European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt.
Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg
Updated on

In a countryside retreat near Frankfurt this weekend, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and her colleagues will try to settle the last remaining arguments in the biggest overhaul of their monetary policy in almost two decades.

It’s the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic that the entire Governing Council will meet in person, letting the 23 men and two women jettison the virtual-conferencing that they’ve struggled through in nearly a dozen previous debates. Their aim is nothing less than to retool the ECB for the 21st century, with a new inflation goal, better ways of measuring the economy, and agreement on how to treat issues such as climate change and inequality.