PROFILE-ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet

Position: European Central Bank president

Incumbent: Jean-Claude Trichet, 67

Term: November 2003 to October 2011. Not eligible for

Key Facts:

— Trichet has earned plaudits from analysts as a smooth
communicator and astute political operator and for his
pragmatic policy stance. Under his leadership, the ECB reacted
rapidly and aggressively to ease liquidity bottlenecks in the
initial phases of the credit crisis.

— Trichet has seen the limits of his influence tested
during this year’s sovereign debt crisis, when the ECB was
forced to accept International Monetary Fund involvement in
support for Greece and had to backtrack on special lending
provisions for Greece and the purchase of government bonds.

— Originally trained as a mining engineer, Trichet earned
a master’s degree in economics at the Institute for Political
Studies in Paris. In 1969, he attended the elite Ecole
Nationale d’Administration, the civil service training ground
for France’s political leaders.

— Trichet spent his early career in a range of posts in
the French Finance Ministry and Treasury, including adviser to
then President Valery Giscard d’Estaing in 1978. He was
chairman of European Monetary Committee in 1992 during the
Exchange Rate Mechanism crisis, when the United Kingdom and
Italy broke out of the currency trading bands.

— As Bank of France governor from 1993, he aggressively
fought inflation and earned the sobriquet “Ayatollah of the
Strong Franc” for pursuing a strong currency policy. He faced
down calls from political and business leaders for rate cuts.

— Trichet’s move to Frankfurt was almost derailed when he
faced charges of failing to oversee accounts when at the French
Treasury in the Credit Lyonnais financial scandal, but he was
acquitted in June 2003, clearing his path to head the ECB.
(Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Paul Simao)

PROFILE-ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet