Jens Weidmann: The evolving nature of central bank communication

Speech by Dr Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements, at the virtual anniversary event to celebrate 50 years of Reuters Germany, virtual, 30 November 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
30 November 2021

Ladies and gentlemen,

I hope this look back at Reuters' history has not given rise to any misplaced expectations of me on your part. For I can assure you I am not about to spring any surprise announcement on key interest rates.

As I see it, this video from the Reuters archives highlights more than just how important reliable journalism is. The anecdote about the interest rate cut of April 1993 also tells the story of a very different era of monetary policy. For central banks have come a long way since then, particularly when it comes to communication. For example, we have been left with only a very brief job description for the Bank of England's first press officer in the 1940s and 1950s: his remit was simply to "keep the Bank out of the press, and the press out of the Bank". Central banks nowadays have large communications departments and social media teams. Indeed, some central bankers are even said by many to have the popularity of rock stars.