Draghi May Do Something at Some Point

By Clive Crook

Another euro clarification. The ECB may be willing to do whatever it takes, at some future point, once plans have been drawn up, and provided the countries whose bonds it may buy have received a stamp of approval from the EFSF/ESM.

The only clear thing in Mario Draghi's press conference today wasn't about what the ECB would do, it was about it wouldn't do. It wouldn't go along with giving the ESM a banking license, which would let the ECB finance it and hence support a greatly expanded scale of operation. Of course, that raises another question. If not from the ECB, where will the ESM get the resources it needs to intervene on the necessary scale? Assuming, of course, it ever decides to intervene on the necessary scale.

In all, I'm not surprised the markets weren't impressed. I wrote a column earlier in the week arguing that Draghi should step up--and that Germany should let it. It looks as though he'd like to, but we're certainly not there yet, and German opposition appears to be the reason.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/draghi-may-do-something-at-some-point/260647/