Yesterday, the EU-Parliament adopted a report, which calls on the ECB “to ensure that the Ethics Committee is not chaired by a former president of the ECB” and stresses that the president or board members of the ECB should not be members of the G30 or other groups which include executives from banks supervised by the ECB.
The EU Ombudsman has issued her judgement that it constitutes maladministration on the part of the ECB that they have been letting their president, Mario Draghi, be a member of the private club of bankers G30. It would be an insult to the European people, if former ECB-president Jean-Claude Trichet, long-time chairman of said club G30 and its current honorary-chairman, would continue to serve as the chairman of the ethics committee of the ECB.
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney has at least two things in common with Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB): He worked for Goldman Sachs before becoming a central banker, and he is a member of the Group of Thirty. The EU-Ombudsman has just called it maladministration on the part of the ECB to let Mario Draghi be a member of that secretive bankers’ club. This should invite the question: What about Mark Carney and the Bank of England? The British press, apparently, couldn’t care less.
The ECB has answered questions posed by the European Ombudsman to president Mario Draghi regarding his membership and his participation in closed-door meetings of the Group of Thirty (G30), a Group in which the world’s most central bankers and commercial bankers comingle. The 17-page reply manages to evade several questions, is quite selective in the information given and even contains some false statements.
Emily O‘Reilly is the EU Ombudsman, an arbiter for the public’s complaints about EU-institutions. She has earned a reputation for being tough. She wants written answers from Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, the EU’s monetary and banking surveillance institution. He has to explain how he makes sure that he does not divulge insider information or runs into conflicts of interest as a participant of secret talks with bankers in the so-called Group of Thirty (G30). O’Reilly’s questions, published on her website, make it plain that she will not easily be convinced.
At a symposium of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament on “The ECB – Europe’s unelected government” (video from min. 22), I gave a presentation on the nature and motives of central banks in general and the European Central Bank in particular, characterizing it as an integral part of the banking community. Harald Schumann (from min. 47) presented a lot of juicy detail about highly questionable machinations of the ECB during the bank-“rescues” in Greece and Cyprus. The text of my intervention is below.
The Group of Thirty, a mixed group of international commercial bankers and central bankers, has just released a report on central banking. The report is again presented as if it was representing the opinion of the group as a whole, including Mario Draghi. This proves that the new guidelines for communication of the members of the Executive Board of the ECB are nothing but window dressing.