Sebastian Mallaby faults the governance structure of the ECB--one member, one vote. Germany, he argues, originally saw the ECB as an extension of the Bundesbank and an instrument for promoting its own economic views. But he believes that German influence has been overwhelmed by the sheer number of opponents.
There is some truth in this, but the argument is overstated. Throughout its history, the ECB has for the most part acted in consonance with German views. Its charter limits its freedom of action, its staff, drawn from national finance ministries, is dominated by Germans, and its directors have always had to pass muster with German vettors, even if they have on occasion demonstrated a certain independence, which is only to be expected.
Still, it is true, as Mallaby also indicates, that the crisis has introduced new tensions into the relationship between Germany and the ECB. But where has the crisis not introduced new tensions? And perhaps these tensions are productive, in that German views about economic management need to evolve if the dilemmas that Mallaby evokes are to be overcome.