Christine Lagarde Defends Massive ECB Interventions, Says Her Son Trades Crypto

The ECB president appeared on Dutch talk show "College Tour" last weekend.

AccessTimeIconMay 26, 2022 at 1:57 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:19 p.m. UTC

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde urged patience as the bank looks to pare back its now 8 trillion euro balance sheet in the face of galloping inflation, and asked viewers of a Dutch talk show to imagine the damage to the economy had the central bank not intervened in such a large way during the COVID crisis.

"It will come, it will come, in due course, yeah," responded an at least a modestly uncomfortable Lagarde when presented with the sharp upward-and-to-the-right graph of the central bank's balance sheet, and asked how she plans to bring it down. "How?" the questioner during an episode of the "College Tour" TV show pressed again. "In due course, it will come," she assured.

The EU's most recent report estimated inflation in the Euro area at 7.5% in April, up from 5.1% three months earlier and 1.6% a year prior.

Look at the "counterfactual," argued Lagarde. Had the ECB not stepped in with an emergency package of asset purchases as the COVID lockdowns began, and massively boosted that program as the pandemic continued, the damage to EU economies would have been devastating.

Earlier in the interview, Lagarde said that crypto (bitcoin included) was worth nothing. Asked by an audience member if she owned digital assets, Lagarde said no, but allowed that her son had invested. As for his success, or lack thereof, Lagarde said he hadn't told her.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about