Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank: ECB ne sme financirati držav

Za tiste, ki ste slučajno spregledali intervju Jensa Weidmanna, guvernerja nemške Bundesbanke, v Spieglu. V intervjuju Weidmann odločno brani stališče monetarne neodvisnosti ter ostro nasprotuje temu, da bi ECB služila kot tiskarna denarja z namenom financiranja držav. S tem je sicer, kot sem pisal zadnjič, naletel na nejevoljo ne samo vseh ostalih članov sveta ECB (guvernerjev nacionalnih centralnih bank), pač pa tudi glavnih nemških politikov.

Nekaj glavnih poudarkov iz intervjuja:

SPIEGEL: The governments of the European Union take a similar view and have approved the fiscal pact, which will allow Brussels to more effectively monitor individual national budgets. Is this the right approach?

Weidmann: It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but that alone is not enough. The causes of the crisis lie in the high level of indebtedness, the lack of competitiveness of some member states and, last but not least, the lost confidence in the architecture of the monetary union. These fundamental problems must all be tackled rigorously, without hesitation, and with perseverance. This will contribute to the cohesiveness and credibility of the monetary union.

SPIEGEL: But that’s already happening. Government spending is being reduced and reforms are being introduced across Southern Europe, but the financial markets don’t seem to recognize this progress and are pushing up interest rates on sovereign bonds to dizzying heights. Why are you opposed to European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi’s plans to purchase large quantities of Southern European sovereign bonds to ease the situation?

Weidmann: I was already critical of the sovereign bond purchases that have been made to date — and I was by no means alone in that respect. Such a policy is too close to state financing via the money press for me. The central bank cannot fundamentally solve the problems this way. It runs the risk of creating new problems.

SPIEGEL: Isn’t it necessary to occasionally break dogma to prevent something worse from happening?

Weidmann: It’s not about dogma. It’s about reinstituting confidence during a crisis of confidence, and it’s about key monetary policy lessons from the past.

SPIEGEL: Now you’re going to refer to the German hyperinflation of 1923 again.

Weidmann: No, lessons from European postwar history are reflected in the Maastricht Treaty. During the 1970s, the central banks of many Western industrialized nations were chained to economic and fiscal policies. The idea was that it’s better to have 5 percent inflation than 5 percent unemployment. This resulted in inflation and unemployment rising simultaneously. Based on such experiences, the Eurosystem (ed’s note: the ECB and the central banks of the euro-zone members) was aimed solely at the objective of achieving monetary stability, in accordance with the traditions of the Bundesbank.

SPIEGEL: Do you mean that if the rest of Europe were to follow the German example then everything would be fine?

Weidmann: Not at all, it has to do with successful monetary policy principles, and it just so happens that the Bundesbank in particular has apparently succeeded in building up an enormous amount of confidence. It has proved effective for a central bank to remain independent of financial policy and not finance government budgets. These principles are not an end in themselves — rather, they are designed to prevent the central bank from running the risk of neglecting its key mission: keeping prices stable. In the 1970s, a number of countries that are now members of the monetary union experienced double-digit inflation. Remember the story of the Banca d’Italia: how hard it had to fight to free itself of the clutches of the Finance Ministry, and how this was then rightly celebrated as a great success.

Celoten intervju je dosegljiv tukaj.

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