Trichet’s high conviction speech

Brilliant blog by Izabella Kaminski in, finding strong similarities between Jean Claude Trichet’s swan song at the ECB defending the bank’s record, and Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan Jessup, delivering his speech in the courtroom to defend his decisions at Guantanomo Bay in “A Few Good Men. Another example where financial markets love decision makers and actors with high conviction. The speech also highlights the power of compelling story telling.

See Klamer (2007) and McCloskey (1990) for the importance of story telling in economice. This is especially relevant for investment consultants and analysts; creating a good story is interpreted as a convincing one. For example, Klamer argues that all the right elements have to be there: 1) once upon a time – orginal state 2) dragon threatening princess – suspense 3) prince coming to the rescue – 4) happily ever after – end state. Trichet and Jack Nicholson certainly have picked up on this!

Klamer, A., 2007, Speaking of economics : how to get in the conversation, Routledge, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York.
McCloskey, D. M., 1990, If you’re so smart. The narrative of economic expertise, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

About Alfred Slager

Alfred Slager is professor of pension fund management at TiasNimbas Business School, and director of CentER Appplied Research at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. His expertise includes international financial services, with a particular interest in investment management and pension funds. He regularly teaches courses to investment managers and pension fund trustees. Prior to this he worked as Chief Investment Officer at Stork Pension Fund, as investment strategist and policy advisor at PGGM Investments, and as manager research and investment manager at Fortis Investments. Slager regularly publishes on pension and investment management subjects and teaches executive courses for pension fund trustees.
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