The Bundesbank discusses digitalisation, climate risks and future monetary policy with young people

On 13 and 14 May, the Bundesbank invited motivated young people to its fourth Euro20+ event in Frankfurt am Main, where they discussed key economic and societal issues relating to future monetary policy and the role of government in the economy.

Questions put to Mr Nagel and Mr Hernández de Cos at the town hall meetings

The highlight of the event was the town hall meetings, the first of which was with Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel, chaired by presenter Louis Klamroth. Many of the young people participating seized the opportunity to ask Dr Nagel questions about cooperation on the ECB’s Governing Council, green monetary policy and the distributional effects of monetary policy. President Nagel was, of course, also asked about when an interest rate hike could be expected. “There are already many voices – including mine – that would say the first interest rate hike could take place as soon as July,” he responded, adding that “we would then have to see how quickly further interest rate moves could follow.” In his view, this naturally depends greatly on the path taken by inflation and how the war in Ukraine develops, for instance. Nevertheless, Mr Nagel was confident that negative interest rates in the euro area will be a thing of the past “fairly soon”. At present, the ECB’s key interest rate is -0.50%.

At the second town hall meeting, with Pablo Hernández de Cos, Governor of the Banco de España, participants discussed the future course of European monetary policy, the particularities of the Spanish economy and the responsibility of central banks in the fight against climate change. “Governments play the leading role in the fight against climate change,” said Mr Hernández de Cos. “They are responsible for legislation, and, through taxation, they have the more efficient instruments.” He stated that central banks, too, naturally bear some responsibility – in the area of financial stability, for instance. Here, he continued, central banks need to encourage banks to include the risks posed by brown and green activities in their balance sheets.

Discussions with members of the Executive Board

During the workshop “The new generation of stock investors – young people leading the way, right?”, Bundesbank Executive Board member Sabine Mauderer discussed investments and building wealth with YouTuber Saidi Sulilatu from Stiftung Finanztip, and then invited everyone to work in groups in a plenary session. Vice-President Claudia Buch discussed why a stable financial system is important for society and Executive Board member Joachim Wuermeling spoke about artificial intelligence in the financial sector.

High level of interest in complex topics

Michael Best, the Bundesbank’s spokesman, gave a positive account of the event: “We are delighted that the participants have shown such a high level of interest in what are rather complex topics. This interaction with young people is very important to us as a central bank.

The participants themselves also gave a lot of positive feedback: “Interesting discussions on financial stability, the climate and shadow banking with Joachim Nagel and Pablo Hernández de Cos at Euro20+. Thank you to the Bundesbank, Louis Klamroth and Salwa Houmsi!” tweeted participant Gaston. Philipp wrote on LinkedIn: “Given the difficult times we currently live in, I really enjoyed the in-depth face-to-face dialogue with experts and participants at the numerous workshops. [...] I look forward to participating in the event again next year.