Franco-German Spat on Role of ECB Renewed

Not long ago France would have conducted a nuclear test to make the point.
Today, it takes a core meltdown to make the point:

Franco-German Spat on Role of ECB Renewed

By Tony Czuczka and Mark Deen

November 18 (Bloomberg) — The failure of European leaders to end the debt crisis with their broadest effort yet has revived a Franco-German dispute over theEuropean Central Bank’s role and fueled investor concerns over policy makers’ economic impotence.

ECB chief Mario Draghi today slammed governments for failing to implement policy commitments as holders of Greek debt began talks in Athens on structuring a 50 percent writeoff that was the cornerstone of a deal pieced together last month at an all-night summit. Officials in Berlin and Paris yesterday swapped barbs and European borrowing costs outside of Germany rose to euro-era records.

The discord highlighted markets’ brushoff of a package that included a scaled-up rescue fund, proposed guarantees of sovereign debt and a bid to attract more international loans. The accord, which finance ministers aim to implement next month, was at least the fourth plan billed as a comprehensive strategy to end the crisis born in Greece in 2009, none of which provided a lasting fix.

“Where is the implementation of these long-standing decisions?” Draghi said in a speech in Frankfurt today. “We should not be waiting any longer.”

Stocks slid, dragging the MSCI All Country World Index to a six-week low. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 0.7 percent. The premium France pays over Germany to borrow for 10 years jumped to a record 200 basis points yesterday, as yields on bonds of countries from Portugal to Finland, the Netherlands to Austria also rose relative to Germany.