Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Very interesting first roundup of the year from Eurointelligence: A year of truth for the eurozone
In an editorial, [Frankfurter Allgemeine] noted that Germany could count on Estonia for support of a northern European monetary union - without the countries of the Mediterranean.
So, does Germany really want to split the Eurozone into an exporters' union and an importers' union? That would nullify the advantages of Euro membership for Germany.

Trolling from the FAZ editorial pages aside, there's more:

Nobody, of course, has switched any substantive positions. A good example was the comment from Wolfgang Schäuble in a German newspaper interview:  "The higher yield level expressed in so-called spreads is both incentive and sanction... That's why this mechanism should not be put out of work through a collectivisation of the yield level, including in the form of euro bonds."
But the most interesting bit is

Is Merkel ready to drop Axel Weber for the ECB job?

Frankfurter Allgemeine has an interesting if speculative article about why Merkel might drop Weber in the race for the ECB presidency. The theory goes like this: Merkel is getting closer to Sarkozy on the euro because Germany wants the ECB to help out where governments are constrained for political reasons  - through bond purchases, continuation of flexible lending policies, and low interest rates. For example, Germany opposes an extension of the EFSF's size and mandate, while the ECB wants governments to solve the problem. Weber might not be the most conducive candidate for a compliant ECB. The paper quotes an official close to Merkel as saying that Germany was no longer pushing for a German central banker at the top of the ECB, but for the most qualified central banker. The authors of the Herdentrieb blog predicted that Klaus Regling would get the job.

Who is Klaus Regling? Would we like him as a Central Banker?

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 3rd, 2011 at 06:12:19 AM EST
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European Financial Stability Facility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Chief Executive Officer of the EFSF is Klaus Regling, a former Director General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, having previously worked at the IMF and the German Ministry of Finance.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 3rd, 2011 at 06:13:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Economist: Klaus Regling: Chief bail-out officer

IT IS registered in Luxembourg, the "offshore" domicile of many hedge funds. It has hundreds of billions of euros with which to place macroeconomic bets. And from July 1st the newly formed European Financial Stability Facility, the special-purpose vehicle (SPV) set up to support ailing euro-zone countries, is even being run by a former hedgie. But this is one fund that will never short its investments.

That might not be an entirely bad thing: it means the man knows how to swim with the sharks. But is he too close to the industry for comfort?
Klaus Regling owes his appointment as the SPV's chief executive to his nationality as well as his expertise. The fund will be able to borrow as much as €440 billion ($537 billion) to lend to struggling countries. Its borrowing will be guaranteed by euro-zone countries, and Mr Regling's native Germany could be on the hook for €148 billion of those guarantees.

But his past experience also recommends Mr Regling for the job. The 59-year-old has spent the better part of four decades flitting between the IMF, Germany's finance ministry and Brussels. He played a key role in drawing up the Stability and Growth Pact in the 1990s while based at the German finance ministry. The pact, which was a condition Germany insisted on before agreeing to give up its precious D-mark, was intended to rein in profligacy among countries using the euro and prevent the mess that they are now in. Mr Regling then spent much of the past decade trying to enforce it as the director-general for economic and financial affairs at the European Commission. He also did a stint working at Moore Capital, a big hedge fund that specialises in macro strategies such as bets that currencies or commodities will rise or fall.

Oh, dear, let us not get a Central Banker who is in love with the German Stupidity Pact.

Of all the ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today — Mervyn King, 25 October 2010
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 3rd, 2011 at 06:20:00 AM EST
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