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Saturday, May 15, 2010

ECB's Trichet: "Most difficult situation" since World War

by Calculated Risk on 5/15/2010 11:30:00 AM

From an intereview in Der Spiegel with European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet: A 'Quantum Leap' in Governance of the Euro Zone Is Needed. A few excerpts:

Trichet: "[I]t is clear that since September 2008 we have been facing the most difficult situation since the Second World War -- perhaps even since the First World War. We have experienced -- and are experiencing -- truly dramatic times."
On buying government bonds of EU countries:
Trichet: Our measures are explicitly authorized by the (EU) treaty. We are not embarking on quantitative easing. We are helping some market segments to function more normally. And, as I said, we will take back all the additional liquidity that we will supply in our Securities Markets Program.
On countries leaving the euro:
SPIEGEL: Would it not be good if a country such as Greece were able to leave the euro area?

Trichet: No. This is excluded. If a country joins the euro area, it shares a common destiny with the other members. There is a need for a quantum leap in the governance of the euro area. There need to be major improvements to prevent bad behavior, to ensure effective implementation of the recommendations made by "peers" and to ensure real and effective sanctions in case of breaches (of the Stability and Growth Pact).