Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Bear in mind that the US central bank is not "a" central bank, but a network of regional central banks, de jure privately owned, but with their core central bank functions controlled by a majority government appointed external board of governors.

This evolved, of course, in the aftermath of an entrenched anti-central-bank ideology among agrarian populists, so that chartered "third Bank of the United States" would have been politically much harder to get established than the "network of clearing houses".

Quite the same trick could be done to provide for EU central commission overdraft facilities in some privately owned but publicly governed bank. The pretext, being a pretext, would be any useful function that would involve a subordinate clearing house role ... it could be related to trade promotion (say, with low-income nations), with regulating some variety of transaction, or insuring deposits in some class of institution ... , and with the privately owned shareholder banks being under some legal requirement to  hold some share of their Eurobank reserves on account with the subordinate clearing house by transfer to its own Eurobank reserve account.

That gets around the letter of the law regarding discrimination between public and private institutions.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Apr 15th, 2010 at 12:56:32 PM EST
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