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Germany’s top central banker has acknowledged that economists did not pay enough attention to the losers from globalisation, though he cautioned against protectionism as the right fix.

Jens Weidmann, president of the Bundesbank, used his central bank’s annual report to say that economists had “perhaps failed to emphasise enough in the past… that… the less qualified members of the workforce who feel the competitive pressure stemming from international trade.”

However Mr Weidmann continued to rail against anti-trade sentiment, which has found its most prominent advocate in US President Donald Trump. The Bundesbank chief said the solution instead was more access to education.

“A more appropriate course of action [rather than protectionism] would be to enable every citizen to participate in the rewards of globalisation,” Mr Weidmann said.

“Better schools and universities, and lifelong learning, can give people the skills and agility they need to capitalise on the benefits a changing environment can offer.”

The Bundesbank made a profit of €1bn this year, down from €3.2bn last year, according to the annual reports.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.

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