By Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers are increasingly divided over how to steer the economy through a second wave of COVID-19, threatening President Christine Lagarde’s hard-won peace, conversations with eight ECB insiders show.
Lagarde has managed to end the public infighting that left the ECB in disarray in the final months of Mario Draghi’s tenure last year and she has seamlessly pushed through several record stimulus packages to keep the economy afloat amid the pandemic.
Her pledge to seek consensus and bring sceptics onboard is in stark contrast to her predecessor Draghi, who rarely engaged key opponents of his policies and signalled moves even before any discussion within the Governing Council.
But tensions are rising again as a fresh surge in infections forces the ECB to contemplate even more stimulus, with old rifts resurfacing and chief economist Philip Lane coming under fire from