Another Misunderstanding

Paul De Grauwe, John Paulson Professor in European Political Economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, was quoted in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal as saying

They in fact triggered the banking crisis. They’ve failed in their duty to ensure financial stability.

De Grauwe was asserting that the ECB’s decision to not increase the amount the central bank already had loaned to Greek banks for liquidity purposes was a mistake.

This criticism is nonsense. The ECB triggered no crisis; the Greek crisis already was in full swing, and had been for a number of years and two bailouts wasted by Greek profligacy. The ECB simply said, rightly, that enough was enough. Far from “ensuring financial stability,” the ECB protected their constituent members by ceasing to pour more of their money into a bottomless dry well. Financial stability was, and is, solely in Greek hands to achieve.

OPM is not methadone for the addicted. It’s a hand up for those trying to recover from bad luck and those willing to learn from their mistakes and do better.

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