ANALYSE - The ECB promised to do whatever it had to, to save the euro. But it might be a problem to act like the US Federal Reserve, when modelled after the Bundesbank.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told a London conference of bankers On July 26th 2012 that ‘the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to save the euro.’ He paused, somewhat theatrically. ‘And believe me, it will be enough.’ His comments were an exercise in expectations management. The ECB was trying to convince financial markets that betting on the euro’s downfall would be a fool’s errand.
To all appearances, the plan seems to have worked. In the first half of 2012, investors had been withdrawing capital at an accelerating pace from Spain and Italy. Banks had been finding it increasingly difficult to get funding. Borrowing costs for the Spanish and Italian governments had risen to unsustainable levels. After Draghi’s comments in July, the ECB announced it would buy government bonds in Spain and Italy in unlimited quantities, if necessary (a plan it dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions, or OMT). This plan has not yet been activated, but Spanish and Italian borrowing costs have fallen by a fifth. This has led some to claim that the worst of the euro crisis is behind us. José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission’s president, said that ‘the existential threat to the euro has essentially been overcome.’ The Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, said the crisis is ‘almost over.’ Is this so?More like US or UK