Former BOE Policymaker On ECB Hike: "Pretty Big Mistake" - Explaining The Irreconcilable Euro Tensions In One Paragraph

Tyler Durden's picture

David Blanchflower, professor of
economics at Dartmouth College and a former policy maker at the
Bank of England, was on Bloomberg earlier, discussing the flawed ECB decision to hike rates by 25 bps, just a day after Portugal went bankrupt, and calling it quite right, "a pretty big mistake." Blanchflower understandably compares today's move to the ill-fated hike in 2008 when the ECB was forced to promptly reverse course and loosen substantially when the bottom fell out of the market, although in reality today's situation is nothing like 2008 when one accounts for the EFSF which is essentially a Central Bank within a Central Bank: a pseudo pre-funded SPV whose only job is to provide liquidity to those countries in the block who are insolvent (and in the process keeping peripheral inflation rampant), while at the same time tightening liquidity in the core. In essence the ECB has been split in two: a good central bank and a bad central bank. The problem is the funding for the bad central bank is contingent on Germany which is becoming increasingly disenchanted with the whole failed Euro experiment, yet which is unable to leave the EUR since the DEM would surge by orders of magnitude to account for the country's strong economy, thereby burying the export sector. That in a nutshell is the summary of the tensions in Europe. And yes, Blanchflower is spot on that this house of cards construct held together by spit, superglue and prayer will all fall apart very soon.

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GFORCE's picture

Watched this earlier on Bloomberg. Blanchflower's been vocal in calling for the BoE not to raise. The ECB moving alone seems a bit bizarre but then at least one CB is thinking about the little people.

bigelkhorn's picture

yes those phuckers are moving oil too.


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Timmay's picture

What does this mean for the value of used German cars here in the U.S.?

tmosley's picture

Why do these fools protect their export sectors so at the expense of their citizens?  Don't these morons understand that upward revaluation makes EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN wealthy?

Why does no-one in charge of a government anywhere in the world actually understand economics?

ConfusedIdiot's picture

Right on TM.. Say the same for the USD... strength makes us all wealthier.

nah's picture

Go Euro! Go Euro! Go Euro! Go Euro!


shake it baby

Lord Peter Pipsqueak's picture

THis is David -I vote for a rate cut - Blanchflower,to use his full name.

It is impossible to think of a set of circumstances where he would have voted for an increase in rates.No matter what happened to the economy,oil prices,house prices,external events,Blanchflowers reaction was always the same,cut rates.So no big surprise him crticising the ECb is it?Anyway,the ECB rates are STILL NEGATIVE.

Josephine29's picture

I agree Peter that Tyler has called this one wrong. David Blanchflower is a fool...

SDRII's picture

Nonsense have you seen the PMIs. This is a recovery. sarc/

plocequ1's picture

No problem. Just reverse the rate hike and say it was a mistake and will not happen again. What the fuck? 

Global Hunter's picture

Ententes and Alliances!!!  What the global economy needs is for European countries to ally themselves in two distinct camps led by two equally powerful yet opposing nations.  This has worked well in the past.

bogey4's picture

1.  This move seems to have been "baked in the cake" as core Euro area debt didn't even move and the Euro is slightly weaker.

2.  What's 25 bps when your're already trading at 8-9% (Portugal,) 9 and change % (Ireland) 12-17% (Greece) ?

Slipmeanother's picture

Blanchflower is an asshole, at least the ECB doing the right thing. King and Bernake on the same page, both of them say fuck you to the people

Global Hunter's picture

agree, its face a lot of pain now or full scale collapse later.

Tyler Durden's picture

If they were doing the right thing they would promptly undo the EFSF and allow countries and companies to get funded at market clearing rates. Nothing wrong with tightening. Everything wrong with schizophrenic tightening.

Pepe's picture

It is just script following. I would like to know the original author.

Finn's picture

EU is schizophrenic, no two ways about it, and that's probably easy to forget for someone who lives in what's been in federated union for centuries. Mediterranean people have different mindset from those who actually suffered the loss in WW2, especially Lutherans (that's Germans and some other Northerners) have some half a millennia of religious brainwashing to work hard, former Eastern block (including half of Germany) is still slowly recovering from half a century of cold war oppression and wrecked economies, and the Germans still remember the disaster of hyperinflation. I think that a description "a millennium of continuous trauma" would not be wrong.

One of the problems for big money in the EU is that the union is so new that the power is still pretty much in the hands of the people via EU parlament. And the EU parlament representatives still think themselves part of the member nation instead of some abstract massive whole. Politicians are as corrupt here as elsewhere, but I don't think there's any similar established massive lobby power as in US. That's not for lack of trying, I don't think, it's probably more because of the massive expansion, and that the newer members are still not properly assimilated. I for example consider myself primarily a Finn and not an EU citizen, after just a decade in the EU -- of course it's nice not to need passport or currency exchange when travelling, but that's about the limit of it.

I fail to see how you arrive that conclusion that controlling rampant inflation by raising interest rates is wrong; I can see the problem with EFSF, but I cannot see why EU needs to follow the Bernank print-yourself-to-oblivion way. We also need to remember that ECB main mandate is controlling inflation, not to push the stock market up. If ECB visibly violates that mandate, the major issue for German citizens, Trichet will no doubt have hell to pay. Merkel is already suffering for pandering to the banksters, and a lame duck, she'll no doubt be done for pretty soon.

I still expect EU to split, but the decision needs to come from the troubled PIIGS. And I trust it will, once the realities of the new standard of living sink in.

tomster0126's picture

Exactly, it's easy to throw stones right now but in awhile the hikes will play out and do their job...Blanchpetal is a moron but not as bad as Bernutty.

Hedge Hunter's picture

Disunity Bitchez. Ok, had to be said.

TBT or not TBT's picture

How about "markets, bitchez!"

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

I see this Professor was a Bankster Policy maker.

Then he goes on to teach economics.

Thats the FUCKING PROBLEM...!!!!!!


Guess whos side he's on....????????

mberry8870's picture

Isn't the term "good bank" an oxymoron? Essentially equivalent to saying "an essential government employee"?

Hondo's picture

I think Mr. Blanchflower is wrong.  The sooner we normalize rates and let those zombies fail that must the better and quicker economies will recover.  His and our FED's solution of continious IV of money will eventually doom not only the current economic conditions but for many generations to come.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Out of this(bailouts and manipulations) will come an even more spectacular division of Europe into its very diverse component parts, a little later rather than now.  

Some of the component parts might actually decide to hunker down and, oh, WORK HARD, which is what results from government getting out of the way in favor of free markets and private initiative and private reward.   Right now their ain't much of that hard work happening, thanks to incentives being systematically destroyed.

Cole Younger's picture

The PIIGS will never be solvent. They should exit the european union.....Actually, the european union should break-up...They will always be slaves to the ECB...

Quinvarius's picture

These guys are trying to counter money printing by starving their economies of money.  It doesn't work that way.  It is foolish to raise rates before the money sinks in.  It will not stop inflation, but it will slow their economies.  All raising rates does is slow bank lending.  The money still exists. 

There is a huge difference between raising rates on a gold standard and raising rates on fiat debt standard as well.  Savers are still losers when fiat rates go up.  The printing presses still roll.  They roll even faster as the higher interest is paid out by the central bankers.  But the savers lose the ability to compensate with economic activity.  Now they are just completely screwed.

Today's bankers and economists are all about show and confidence.  How did they like the price of gold in Euros spiking today based on their idiot moves?

alangreedspank's picture


What is this theory about a strong currency being bad for exports ? AFAIK, with a strong currency, you have more bang for the buck for commodities therefore, producing is cheaper so it all evens out ?



alex_g's picture

Depends on how much of your input pricing is commodities.  My guess would be that the over/under is 50%.

rufusbird's picture

I liked his comments about Spain. "Too big to bail"....

Mises's picture

This guy is nuts....who cares about Santander??? How about the European citizens that will now get a higher return on their savings!!

TBT or not TBT's picture

Denominated in Euros?     Good luck with that.

Diplodicus Rex's picture

Blanchflower is a one-trick pony. His only solution to all problems financial is to print more money. He never stops bleating on about it. As another poster said, I cannot imagine any set of circumstances where he would recommend the stopping of the money-printing. As such there's no point in asking for his opinion because he always gives the same answer.

johny2's picture

Blanchflower thinks the same way Bernanke does. While the euro is going to come under attack again, no matter what ECB does, I think it would be even bigger mistake for ECB to cut the rate to 0.25 and start printing even more money, like FED does.

gwar5's picture

Sure the countries of Eurozone are all bankrupt so, absolutely, lets raise that rate some more.... make them all pay dearly. It can't possibly be harsh enough. After all, they deserve to be punished severely for embarrassing the EU and the crony-crats running the show. 

Seriously, if the EU really wants to survive, how do they think they'll get away with this? Unless they really don't and just want to roll things on over to the IMF in the future anyway?




rawsienna's picture

The country with the most undervalued currency and does the most damage to the US in not CHINA, it is GERMANY - which if it left the EURO,  the DM would increase by 25-35% vs current EURO level. They will kick the can down the road as long as possible 

disabledvet's picture


"You can thank us later."

KickIce's picture

house of cards construct held together by spit, superglue and prayer will all fall apart very soon


Add some duct tape and it'll hold for another six months.

Hedgetard55's picture

Re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.


Blanchflower is a skeezer.

sureseam's picture

Have listened to Blanchflower over his years at the BoE.

He seems to believe the perpetual solution to a hangover; is yet more alcohol. A popular choice but with a price attached.


adonisdemilo's picture

blanchflower was a wet whilst on the BOE commitee, hadn't got a clue then still hasn't a clue now.

 just another statist, works only with theory, never had to go to work to produce anything.

they start with the number they require, to fit the policy they want and work backwards until it appears to fit.

a perfect example is inflation, finish with 3 %, that looks ok, that'll keep the sheeple quiet a bit, work out all the numbers from there and base policy on that.THAT'S WHY NOTHING FUCKING WORKS ANYMORE.