Thursday, September 6, 2012

Draghi to go on a Shopping Spree…Why Now?

The big economic news of the day was made by Mario Draghi:

Seeking to back up his July pledge to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro, ECB President Mario Draghi said the new plan, aimed at the secondary market, would address bond market distortions and "unfounded" fears of investors about the survival of the euro.

The scheme, to which Germany's Bundesbank reiterated its opposition, would focus on bonds maturing within three years and was strictly within the ECB's mandate, Draghi said.

Markets loved the news.  Germans, not so much:

Already a huge backlash in Germany to Draghi's plans to buy unlimited bonds.

From the Economics Editor of Handelsblatt...

German press is going beserk [at Draghi]: “Black day for democracy”, “death of Bundesbank”, “prisoner of politics”, “highly dangerous”

Why now?  Why would the ECB take an action that was certain to raise hackles in Germany only days before the highly anticipated decision from the German Constitutional Court?

Germany's Constitutional Court holds the fate of the euro in its hands when it rules next week on whether a crucial euro zone financial rescue fund can go ahead.

A negative ruling, considered improbable by legal experts, would cast the 17-nation European single currency area into turmoil, spurring panic on bond markets by raising doubt over any more rescues of debt-laden southern states.

But if, as expected, the court gives a green light on September 12 to the euro zone's permanent bailout mechanism and a pact on stricter budget discipline, it may add conditions that constrain Berlin's power to pursue further European integration.

They have waited years for a definitive action by any political entity in Europe; Draghi could not have waited six more days?

Either Draghi knows the German court decision is in the bag, or he wants to gum up the works. 

Or he wants to force the court's hands - give the markets a big wet kiss, thus forcing the court into the corner of either being supportive, or spoiling the "solution."

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