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In February 2010 everyone lied through their teeth about the impossibility of buying sovereign debt in the secondary market. That was a deliberate stance to leverage market pressure to force a political agenda on Greece.

You know, currently Jens "Worst Central Banker of the World"  Weidmann is going around and gives speeches where he basically argues that the ECB should not fulfill its Mandate, to force specific political decisions upon various European Governments! This should definitely be an issue in the political discussion.

by rz on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 06:49:45 AM EST
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I agree, a lot of noise should be made about Weidmann. That it is not the case is a major part of the blame that can be apportioned to the various non-German Eurozone countries.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 07:07:49 AM EST
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Krugman is on the case :
What about resolving the problem of too little inflation in Germany? Very aggressive monetary policy might do the trick (although I wouldn't count on it), but German monetary officials are warning against such policies because they might let debtors off the hook.
by rz on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 09:33:55 AM EST
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Why? Weidmann is nowadays a total outsider at the ECB.
by IM on Tue Dec 2nd, 2014 at 06:22:51 PM EST
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Same reason you need to prosecute war criminals long after the war has stopped.

And let's be totally candid about this: Weidman's policies have killed more people than most of the successfully prosecuted war criminals from the Yugoslav wars.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 3rd, 2014 at 03:34:58 PM EST
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  1. Because it is totally outrageous that the Bundesbank want to force its policy preferences onto other countries, by failing to fulfill its mandate.

  2. At present Jens "Worst entral banker of the world" Weidmann has little impact on the policy of the ECB, since it turned out that everything he says is total shit (inflation expectations are well anchored...not). But there is no doubt that he is still slowing down the ECB in adopting QE. Therefore attacking him makes total sense.
 
by rz on Thu Dec 4th, 2014 at 03:45:22 AM EST
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Weidmann is going around and gives speeches where he basically argues that the ECB should not fulfill its Mandate, to force specific political decisions upon various European Governments!

This needs clarification. It is hard to imagine that he means PIGS should not be cutting public services, and I rather doubt that he is concerned that countries are not meeting inflation targets.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 10:34:14 AM EST
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His concern is that certain countries are not implementing required reforms with enough alacrity, surely?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 10:45:32 AM EST
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Well, I am pretty certain he does not oppose 'austerity' measures as contingent requirements to ECB or Troika bailout measures.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 10:54:11 AM EST
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What is unclear? In order to force PIGS to do what he wants, he wants the ECB not to fulfil its Mandate.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 11:15:45 AM EST
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A naive reader might assume that Jens has had second thoughts on the wisdom of enforced austerity - depending on how much they know about him.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Dec 1st, 2014 at 11:20:24 PM EST
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After all, when I think of Germany, the ECB and the Troika I cannot avoid thinking of the influence over policy held by the Bundesbank and how it has used that influence self righteously to force austerity on the periphery. The devastation wrought by enforced austerity in the most outstanding and noteworthy result of its efforts to enforce its Mandate. Thus, when I read: 'Weidmann is going around and gives speeches where he basically argues that the ECB should not fulfill its Mandate, to force specific political decisions upon various European Governments!' my first reaction is 'WTF', not enforce its Mandate'? It is Germany's Mandate'> But of course he is simply being hypocritical. He must be referring only to such minor aspects of that Mandate as enforcing the minimum inflation requirements. (How long has it been since the Eurozone has had inflation equal to or greater than 2%?) Weidmann decides for himself and Germany which aspects of the EU and EMU agreements are to be enforced and which neglected while denying that right to others.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Dec 2nd, 2014 at 10:43:56 AM EST
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The ECB is currently not fulfilling its mandate because its (self-defined) mandate is to keep inflation "below (but close to) 2% over the medium(-to-long) term" and it is failing on that score. The ECB should be reflating the economy, but it isn't.

That's what's meant by "Weidmann advocates not fulfilling its mandate".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 2nd, 2014 at 10:46:25 AM EST
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Indeed. And that is certainly not a minor point.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Dec 2nd, 2014 at 04:20:45 PM EST
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