e-bonds

Ralph Atkins

The European Central Bank seems almost as divided as politicians over E-bonds, or common eurozone bonds. Jürgen Stark, executive board member, voiced opposition in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Every country must take responsibility for their own debts,” he said. Similarly, Nout Wellink, the Netherlands’ central bank governor, said in Amsterdam that such burden-sharing would weaken the system.

But ECB policymakers who take, let’s say, a less-German view of the world, have been more sympathetic. Jean-Claude Trichet, president, last week told the European Parliament such ideas should not be ruled out. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, another executive board member, has just told CNBC that “it’s useful to think about these issues”.

One worry at the ECB’s Frankfurt headquarters might be that Germany’s government and its central bankers are fuelling financial market concerns about an apparent lack of political will behind the European project and the continent’s 12-year-old monetary union.