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European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to skip Jackson Hole event

August 28, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • ECB President Mario Draghi addresses the media during a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany earlier this month. Draghi has called off his trip to an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., due to a heavy workload.
ECB President Mario Draghi addresses the media during a news conference… (AP Photo / Michael Probst )

WASHINGTON — Late summer is a beautiful time to be in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyo., particularly if you're an economic bigwig, but European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is canceling his reservations.

He's got a more pressing matter at home: trying to solve the European debt crisis.

The ECB said Tuesday that Draghi would not participate in the eagerly anticipated Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium later this week, the annual gathering of central bankers and economists hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, according to media reports.

An ECB spokesman told CNN that Draghi would not attend "due to the heavy workload foreseen in the next few days."

The ECB's policymaking Governing Council — the European counterpart to the Federal Open Market Committee — meets next week and is trying to decide if it will buy bonds from struggling nations in the euro zone.

Analysts and market watchers have their eyes on Jackson Hole, where Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will speak Friday. Bernanke could indicate if the Fed is ready to launch another round of stimulative bond-buying, known as quantitative easing, when it meets next month.

Bernanke and Fed officials have been hinting they might act in response to concerns about the sluggish economic recovery. And Jackson Hole is a high-profile public event where central bankers can solidify their signals.

Draghi was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion Saturday and his comments were also highly anticipated for investors and others looking for hints of future ECB action.

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