Well Banks Are Bad, Aren’t They?

So what’s the big deal? Now all of ze Europe officially has a bad bank, too.

It’s called the ECB and is the “bad bank for all the junk debt of Europe.”

“Blank cheque for the indebted states,” was the headline of the top-selling Bild newspaper, a harsh, populist critic of the bailouts for Greece and other struggling euro zone nations, adding that the ECB move could render the euro “kaput”.

“Financial markets cheer the death of the Bundesbank.”

The Symptoms Of The Times

Withdrawal, I am told, can refer to any sort of separation, but is most commonly used to describe the group of symptoms that occurs upon the abrupt discontinuation/separation or a decrease in dosage of the intake of medications and recreational drugs.

In order to experience the symptoms of withdrawal, one must have first developed a physical/mental dependence (often referred to as chemical dependency).

„Notenbankfinanzierung kann süchtig machen.“

So Much For That Shootout

I still don’t know who Gary Cooper was here, but Mario Draghi just went from “I will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro” (and buy up Spanish and Italian bonds) to “the ECB may consider” doing so at a later date.

Needless to say, the markets were not amused. Cherchez la femme, I’d say (and it ain’t Grace Kelly).

What’s the hold up? Germany, perhaps. During a press conference afterwards, ECB vice-president Vítor Constâncio noted that only one member of the ECB was adamantly opposed to bond purchases. This seems to be a reference to Germany’s Bundesbank, which had vigorously opposed a central-bank bailout of Spain and Italy. And even though the Bundesbank doesn’t have a direct veto over ECB actions, it seems Germany, as the richest country in the euro zone, still has plenty of sway.

“For all the criticism of Merkel, she distinguishes herself from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic in that she has a plan.”

It’s High Noon

But which one is Gary Cooper?

Big spending Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank boss who is shooting for the outright central-bank purchase of European sovereign debt, or lonely Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann (and pretty much the rest of conservative Germany) who is gunning to resist such a move as it would “dilute debt-laden governments’ incentive to reform, and lumber the central bank with too many risks and responsibilities, endangering its independence and credibility.”

And more importantly, who is Grace Kelly here and where is she when we need her?

“I will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.”

Hardline German ECB Presidential Candidates Dropping Like Flies

After Bundesbank President Axel Weber threw in the towel, crusty old Peer Steinbrueck said don’t even think about asking.

A hardliner on monetary policy matters, Weber has been at odds with several European governments since the outbreak of the eurozone debt crisis.

He vehemently opposed the ECB buying the bonds of debt-stricken peripheral eurozone nations as part of a concerted strategy to calm down the markets.

His public criticism of an ECB council decision in May, 2010, to buy the bonds had angered several EU leaders.