- Making Monetary Markets Transparent: The European Central Bank’s communication policy and its interactions with the media
- Economy and Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 44 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In the 1990s central banking in Europe and the United States witnessed a paradigm change. A central tenet of the new paradigm was that a central bank which acts in a transparent and predictable manner reduces uncertainty for economic actors and will be better able to control inflationary expectations. Thus, central bankers set out to enhance their institution's transparency. In this paper, I argue that transparency is not limited to the release of economic data or information about decision-making procedures. It entails producing a new type of market order and results in a new agencement. This paper focuses on the European Central Bank (ECB) and on one actor it relies on: the media. Based on ethnographic data, I analyse the role of the media in the production of a transparent market order. I find that prevailing new rules, new frames and reward systems preclude journalists from playing the role the ECB would like them to play: the instrumental role of a neutral transmitter of information. The struggle between the two actors is a struggle with words, in which both journalists and central bankers want to manipulate markets with their communicative utterances, albeit in different and frequently opposing ways.
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