Sonntag, 12. Oktober 2014

EZB-Alternativen

Ein paar nicht ganz ernstgemeinte Vorschläge von FT Alphaville:
"Here are the options Mario Draghi might like to think about after a few snifters of grappa – or perhaps more than a few.
  • Rename the currency. No need to overcome German opposition to easier monetary policy: the ECB balance sheet can stay unchanged, with just a few little shifts of letters. We suggest calling it the European Lira would produce an automatic devaluation and an associated boost to exports and the economy. “In the old days, if you had nothing else to do and it was a really boring day you would be short the Italian lira,” said Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon. Music to Mr Draghi’s ears.
  • Cancel the €500 (and other large denomination) notes. The Russian vory, and mafiosi everywhere, would be forced to stop hoarding their ill-gotten gains in the note known as a “Bin Laden”, and shift elsewhere. There are probably legitimate uses for a €500 note (the creator of the notes came up with one – we’d love to hear of any others) but the benefit of forcing the rest of the €294bn of them, plus the €232bn in €100 and €200 notes, into $100 bills would surely provide a bigger benefit through the weaker currency.
  • Scrap the OMT. The outright monetary transactions were Mr Draghi’s brilliant invention in 2012 to save the euro. He promised to buy bonds of any eurozone government suffering higher yields due to fears it might leave the euro. They did their job, bringing several peripheral government bond yields down below those of the US – but in the process helped the European Lira recover from its low of $1.20 to a peak of $1.40, before the recent decline. Taking away support from peripheral bonds might seem a nuclear option, but it would achieve the twin goals of weakening the euro while being popular in Germany – if perhaps not in Rome, Madrid or Athens.
  • Relocate the ECB. In line with the law of new headquarters, the ECB started building a fabulously expensive HQ in Frankfurt just before the crisis began in 2008. It can’t actually move its head office, thanks to a 1993 deal where the rest of Europe agreed it should be in Germany, but there appears to be nothing to stop it leaving just a brass plaque on a small building in Offenbach and moving all the staff somewhere that would send a message – Rome and Madrid are obvious choices, or if Mr Draghi wants to be really obvious, he could relocate to Harare.
  • Open up the meetings. Instead of a few carefully chosen code words at a post-meeting press conference, invite the cameras in to the governing council’s meeting room. Seeing the ECB’s policymakers at work would surely lead to an instant loss of confidence in the central bank, and its currency.
  • Change the inflation target. A bit obvious, and the Germans really wouldn’t like it, but the governing council defines its own inflation target, which it has set at below to but close to 2%. Raise that to 3, 4, or 10,000,000 per cent and it would send a much more serious message that the euro should be going down, even if the ECB treated the new target as it treats the current one (i.e, ignoring it entirely).
Alla salute!"

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