Germany’s supreme judges have decided to let Mario Draghi be the euro’s monetary judge, at least for now.Paper Tiger
While doubting the legality of the European Central Bank’s 2012 bond-buying plan that defused the euro crisis, the top German court conceded yesterday that it is powerless to impose a veto. It bowed to a future judgment by the European Union’s high court, leaving Draghi’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro unquestioned for a year or more.
“This German court, which everyone’s so frightened of, turns out to be a bit of a toothless tiger,” Charles Dumas, chairman of Lombard Street Research, a London-based consulting firm, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “They’re copping out.”
By a vote of 6-2, the German judges sided with the Bundesbank -- which plays the role of an economic supreme court in the German imagination -- in arguing that Draghi’s ECB overstepped its authority in rolling out the bond-buying initiative known as Outright Monetary Transactions, or OMT.
At the same time, acknowledging that Europe’s largest economy is bound by EU laws, the court stopped short of overstepping its own authority and asked for a ruling from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, made up of judges from all 28 EU countries.
The German court found OMT to be unconstitutional but instead of doing anything about it, the court bowed down before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
If this is the kind of toothless action the court is going to take, it may as well disband. Here is a fitting musical tribute.
Link if video does not play: Sue Thompson-Paper Tiger-1965
Mike "Mish" Shedlock