13 December 2011

ECB to the Rescue, Not

Last week's excitement about a summit to save the Euro was all based on the idea that once a "fiscal compact" was agreed the ECB would act. I was sceptical, and even before the summit reached agreement on the pact Mario Draghi was explaining why he could not do what was expected.

So why did everyone get so excited? The problem is that ECB political independence means that there can be no explicit deal between the Bank and governments. Yet markets and commentators alike thought there was some kind of a deal.

I know I've said this before but I think the logic went like this:
1 - A deal between Angela Merkel and the ECB could not be announced publicly.
2 - No deal was announced publicly.
3 - Therefore there they have done a deal.

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