The Monetary Policies of the European Central Bank and the Euro's (Mal-)Performance: A stability-oriented assessment
The stability-oriented macroeconomic framework established in the Treaties on European Union, especially the unparalleled status of independence and peculiar mandate of the European Central Bank (ECB), were promised virtually to guarantee price stability and a strong euro. Shattering these hopes and promises in a rather drastic way, the euro's external value has declined markedly while consumer price inflation has quadrupled since the new currency's inception. This paper assesses the ECB's role in relation to the euro's (mal-)performance. It challenges the truly odd conventional wisdom that, despite these dismal monetary developments, neither the Maastricht regime nor the ECB might possibly be at fault. Reviewing the ECB's interest rate policies and scrutinising its rationale, a conspicuous anti-growth bias is diagnosed that has produced rather perverse consequences.This stability-oriented assessment concludes that the ECB has been key to the 'euro puzzle', propagating euro weakness and pushing up inflation. Euroland's democratically elected representatives are therefore urged to reform Europe's key structural problem, namely, the ECB, an independent monetary policymaker whose unbounded discretion allows it to pursue ill-guided and thoroughly idiosyncratic policies without being held to account for the consequences.
Volume (Year): 16 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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