NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, and the death of EU Fiscal Union

Interesting Telegraph Blog post by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

It has certainly been an electrifying few weeks.

I happened to be in the room with a group of Nobel economists in Lindau last month when German President Christian Wulff lashed out at Europe, accusing the ECB of violating its mandate and subverting the Lisbon Treaty.

“I regard the huge buy-up of bonds of individual states by the ECB as legally and politically questionable. Article 123 of the Treaty on the EU’s workings prohibits the ECB from directly purchasing debt instruments, in order to safeguard the central bank’s independence,” he said.

“This prohibition only makes sense if those responsible do not get around it by making substantial purchases on the secondary market,” he said.

Mr Wulff said Germany itself risks being engulfed by escalating debts. Who will “rescue the rescuers?” as the dominoes keep falling, he asked.

"Solidarity is the core of the European Idea, but it is a misunderstanding to measure solidarity in terms of willingness to act as guarantor or to incur shared debts.

"With whom would you be willing to take out a joint loan, or stand as guarantor? For your own children? Hopefully yes. For more distant relations it gets a bit more difficult."

More distant relations?

“All I heard was Germany, Germany, Germany. There was nothing about Europe. It was astonishing,” said Myron Scholes, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize.

Indeed it was. Fellow laureate Joe Stiglitz said that if President Wulff’s views reflected the outlook of the German government, monetary union would have collapsed already.

Well yes. Quite.