Friday, November 18, 2011
It seems that EELV's finances are in as parlous a state as its presidential candidacy. Even if the party doesn't go bankrupt, everyone is wondering about the significance of Eva Joly's decision to withdraw from a televised debate and take a break from all media activity. Some say she'll be back in action next week, but others say that her candidacy is in tatters after several major gaffes and she is about to withdraw. Then what? Hulot? Duflot? Cohn-Bendit? Or a decision not to run a candidate, which was Cohn-Bendit's preference in the first place. It would make more sense to concentrate on inflecting the policy choices of the PS and working toward seats in the Assembly.
Thinking back on all the complacent conversations I used to have in Brussels, I was struck by a quotation I read this week in The Economist. A European central banker said he had always wondered how Europe’s leaders could have stumbled into World War I. “From the middle of a crisis,” he said recently, “you can see how easy it is to make mistakes.”
The EZ crisis is approaching a tipping point beyond which market panic and slow government reaction threaten to create a generation-defining loss of jobs, savings, and pensions. This open letter to the president of the German central bank presents arguments that counter German objections to using the Eurozone’s last remaining defence against economic calamity – the ECB.
A growing number of competent economists have come to the conclusion that the debt crisis will not come to an end until the ECB intervenes as lender of last resort. You have taken the opposite view. The question, for me, is why?
As I see it, your objection rests on three points:
- Legality of bailouts;
- moral hazard; and
These are important issues, but the answer cannot be simply: “No, never.”
- independence of the ECB.