The ECB’s dismal performance and the European elections

By Lorenzo

These two graphs, taken from here, express vividly how much worse the performance of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been compared to the US Federal Reserve (the Fed). Between the two of them, they caused the Great Recession, but the Fed has done much better since.

The ECB’s dismal performance also helps explain the recent European election results. Andrew Sullivan’s commentary on the EU election results is by far the most sensible thing on the results I have read, since he gets both sides and realises the underlying conflict has to be managed, not “won”. I particularly liked:

And, more to the point, Europeans increasingly feel they are not given a choice in any of this. So they vented.

Making folk feel ignored and powerless is not the path to social harmony. Also:

But when the money ran out, and the recession hit, and the EU only bailed out members on the basis of brutal austerity … the deal began to fray. Now that growth is returning, if only anemically, it appears, moreover, to be benefiting Blue Europe – the elites, the property-owners, the transnationals – while leaving ordinary, working- and middle-class Europeans in the dust. That fuels another layer of mistrust and despair.

The consequences of the ECB’s “hard money” policy continue to resonate, badly.

ADDENDA: Sociologist Frank Furedi also has very sensible things to say about the Eurosceptic vote and how not to think about it (via).

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