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Published: August 25th 2010
On the way to Heidelberg, we stopped in Frankfurt for a visit to the European Central Bank. One of the great things about the Eurovision trip, is how well organized and planned it is. Our visit to the ECB is a good example of this as it broke up a very long bus ride, with something interesting and worthwhile and made it so a whole day wasn't lost traveling.
Frankfurt is a very modern city with a business like attitude. The ECB, is Europe's version of The Fed, and have there own beautiful skyscraper in the heart of downtown. To get in, you would swear you were visiting a nuclear bomb site... the security was intense! They took us five at a time to check our passports and give us badges. Then we had to line up to go through a metal detector, where every person was asked to removed all metal and yet every person still beeped. Therefore, every person was padded down and had a wand waved over them. Then we were escorted by two's up an elevator to a waiting room outside where the meeting was to take place. It took about 20 minutes to get only
25 people through security.
Anyways, once in, we had water and cookies waiting for us. The talk was very interesting, but rather long and kind of missed the target audience of the group. The talk was led by a PR person, who was very diplomatic in her delivery. We were in the main press / briefing room where most major press conferences take place which was kind of cool. But, I left with still a number of questions in my head and the realization that I have a long ways to go in my econ classes before I can really appreciate and understand what they told us all.
INTERESTING FACT: The ECB is all about stability and maintaining inflation. This differs from the Fed, who why they care about inflation, also emphasize growth. The ECB puts inflation as the priority and once that is stable, focuses on growth. This is the main reason for the great differences in opinion about how to handle the economic crisis. The U.S. wants to continue spending money to stimulate growth, while the ECB cares more about stabilizing the economy and ensuring inflation is minimal. The ECB's approach seems to have been working
well for Europe... at least better than the U.S. which fears of a double dip recession now.
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