Axel Weber Attacks ECB Decision to Buy Bonds

For the first time a governor of a central bank of a Member State has criticized the policy of the European Central Bank. It was no other than Axel Weber, the president of the German Bundesbank. He said that he was critical of the new direction of the ECB monetary policy given the underlying risks. Weber criticized in particular the purchase of government bonds by the ECB, and advocated for quick exit from this purchase. Italian central bank governor Mario Draghi also called for an end of such purchases as quickly as possible, but without openly criticizing ECB policy.

The thing is, both Mr. Weber and Mr. Draghi are candidates for the post of President of the ECB. So the criticism of Mr. Weber can be explained by his differing vision for the future policy of the ECB. However, monetary policy of the eurozone is not decided unilaterally by the President of the ECB, and Mr. Weber is actually criticizing all his fellow governors that have collectively taken the decision to purchase those bonds. Even if we set aside the concerns expressed by Jean Quatremer about the breach of confidentiality, it is apparent that Mr. Weber is frustrated with his colleagues and attempts to shift the debate to the public arena. This is dangerous. The ECB must at all cost remain independent in its deliberations in order to guarantee that professional, and not political considerations, guide its decision-making.

2 responses to “Axel Weber Attacks ECB Decision to Buy Bonds

  1. I think Axel Weber will be the next ECB President. Without Germany the EU would not survive. Also, I don’t think the Northern EU members would want two Southern EU members controlling their financial fate. Having Mario Draghi as President and Vítor Constâncio as Vice-President would not be tolerated from Northern EU members. So I would surmise Alex Weber will be the next ECB President.

    I’m not a Spaniard but I live in Southern Spain and realize that even in a crisis Spaniards still spend every cent they earn. The general population has no clue of the ECB or who is controlling their monetary system and this is Spain’s achilles heal. The people still want all the benefits their government provides but do not want to pay for it by austerity measures. The only thing they complain about is when they had the peseta, goods were less expensive but still they do not understand why and the correct actions that they should take to resolve their debt crisis. So how is Spain going to get out of this? Default is the only answer and this would separate the EU region into the Southern Debtors EU Region and the Northern Producing EU Region.

    It’s just a matter of time before this plays out, either the election of Axel Weber as ECB President, where Weber imposes austerity on Southern EU Members or if the Southern EU takes control, they will bankrupt the whole European Union by devaluing the Euro and this will cause an exodus of Northern EU Members form the EU.

    • Вихър Георгиев

      David,

      It’s more complicated than that. The problem is that the single currency exacerbates existing macroeconomic imbalances. Nor Mr. Weber, neither anyone else can overcome these imbalances by imposing austerity on Southern Europe. The excessive focus on trade deficit countries only keeps the attention off the trade surplus countries, who are equally responsible for this crisis. The tragic miscalculation of trade surplus countries is that they believe their policies can be continued forever. They can’t.

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