European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet sought to reassure European markets Tuesday after another day of turbulence. Speaking from the steps of his office, with Mr. Ruffles, his West Highland terrier in his arms, Mr. Trichet said that Euro-zone market conditions have "progressively gone back to normal".
"As I did after our last meeting, I call on all parties to keep their composure" said Mr. Trichet. He went on to say that recent market "nervousness" had brought about a significant reappreciation of risk. The full statement is available from the Journal here.
Mr. Trichet appeared ill at ease during the announcement, and attempted in vain to avoid reporters' questions. Speaking in broken English, visibly perspiring and displaying a pronounced facial tick, he stonewalled most queries with, as Alan Greenspan has described, his "pseudo-financial Eurobabble".
Later, in an unusual move, the ECB president sought to reassure investors through his Facebook homepage. A video showed a smiling Mr. Trichet speaking from his office about the "return of financial harmony" and the "rupture of sub-prime market having been healed". Sometimes through verse, and on one occasion through song, Mr. Trichet spoke of happier times ahead for the Euro-zone markets.
Talking to reported later Ben Bernanke said he was "relieved" about the calming of the European markets, but "scared as hell" by Mr. Trichet's singing. "He should stick to the knitting" said Bernanke, "And focus on the fundamentals"