Političnost, ne pa neodvisnost ECB

Kot sem zapisal v prejšnjem postu, je ECB glede Grčije ravnala izrazito politično, ko je grške banke odrezala od običajne likvidnosti, ko je grški vladi de facto onemogočila tekoče refinanciranje prek zakladnih menic in ko je grškim bankam zaprla tudi izredno likvidnostno pomoč. Si predstavljate, da bi se kaj takšnega lahko zgodilo denimo Škotski v primeru zmage SNP in potencialne možnosti referenduma o neodvisnosti Škotske? Bi Bank of England škotske banke odrezala od likvidnosti? Simon Wren-Lewis iz univerze v Oxfordu pravi, da ne.

ECB je ravnala politično. Ravnala je kot ena izmed “strank v postopku”, kot članica trojke, z namenom prisiliti Grčijo v podpis vsiljenega in škodljivega sporazuma. ECB ni ravnala kot neodvisna inštitucija, ampak motivirana s političnimi interesi. In to ni naredila prvič, kot pravita monetarna strokovnjaka Paul De Grauwe in Charles Wyplosz ter prekoračila svoj mandat.

Why should the failure to reach an agreement influence the solvency of the Greek banks? Is it because without an agreement there would be a Greek exit? But Greece does not want to abandon the Euro, and the other Eurozone countries have no formal grounds to expel Greece. Greece will only leave the Eurozone if the ECB stops supplying Euros. We reach exactly the same self-fulfilling logic of a bank run. Is it because without an agreement the Greek government would default on some of its debts, and that might adversely influence the solvency of Greek banks? But the fact that the Greek government will not get money from the Troika to pay back the Troika seems to have no implications for the underlying solvency or either the Greek state or its banks. (Paul De Grauwe discusses this further.) If the Troika can make Greece insolvent by itself withholding money we have another self-fulfilling justification.   

The real explanation for the ECB’s actions is much simpler. Limiting funding on 28th June was the Greek government’s punishment for failing to agree to the Troika’s terms and calling a referendum the day before. The ECB was not, and never has been, a neutral actor just following the rules of a good central bank. It has always been part of the Troika, and right now it is the Troika’s enforcer.

As Charles Wyplosz recounts, this is not the first time the ECB has chosen to bow to political pressure. There will be some on the left who will say of course – what else do you expect of a central bank? In response, let me go back to my hypothetical example involving Scotland and the Bank of England. I may be wrong, but I think in that case the Bank of England would have supplied unlimited cash to the Scottish banks. I may be naive, but I believe it would have realised that to do anything else was an overtly partisan political act, and recoiled from doing that. Just as I do not think it was inevitable that the Eurozone committed itself to austerity, I also think it was possible that the ECB could have been a more independent central bank. The really interesting question is why it has turned out not to be such a bank.

Vir: Simon Wren-Lewis

%d bloggers like this: