Trichet signals recent restart of government bond buys

FRANKFURT (BestGrowthStock) – European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet gave a clear hint on Thursday that the bank had resumed its controversial purchases of government bonds last week amid renewed debt market tensions.

The premiums investors demand to hold Greek, Irish and Portuguese government debt rather than ultra-safe German bunds are at record highs, after a German-led deal by EU leaders last week raised default worries among investors.

ECB figures published on Monday showed the bank had not completed any bond purchases for the third week running last week, but Trichet said the data did not tell the whole story.

“The information comes after the transactions have been settled,” he said during the ECB’s monthly news conference.

“You have always information that are not real-time. They are addressing what has happened a number of working days before… you will see that the program exists.”

ECB and Bundesbank heavyweight Axel Weber renewed his criticism of the purchases last month, saying they had not worked and should be phased out permanently.

The ECB publishes the value of bond buy deals it has completed every Monday but adds the caveat that the total may be higher that the published figure as the deals take a few days to settle. (Reporting by Marc Jones)

Trichet signals recent restart of government bond buys