It does not stand out because it is good news. Silently, Europe has just saved the danger of embarking on a new recession. Just when the eurozone faces the arduous journey to equip itself with a budgetary capacity, consolidates the other great anti-crisis cannon, monetary policy.
That is the reading that deserves the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) of the 11th, endorsing the monetary expansion (quantitative easing) through the purchase of public bonds (PSPP program) launched by the European Central Bank (ECB) of Mario Draghi in 2015.
To assess the scope of the decision, it is enough to explore what would have happened if the opposite had been the case. Let's handle the hypothesis that it only had effects in the future. Because toward past operations it would have been unimaginable. Since 2008, the ECB has tripled its balance, and since 2011 it has more than doubled, up to 4.6 trillion euros. Billions (from a large part of this program) that counteracted the Great Recession; They stimulated the anemic growth that followed, and have driven the last 22 quarters of continuous GDP growth.
That money is there, in the veins of the economy. And although the Central Bank has just put an end to the new purchases of bonds (first were at a rate of 60,000 million monthly, then 30,000, and recently, 15,000), the amount of the investment made will be renewed, at the expiration of each bond purchased .
If the CJEU had declared the program illegal, it would have guillotined that automatic renewal of the investment. With the result, from now on, of the exponential increase of the invoice of the national public debts that the BCE had incorporated to its balance.
An extracoste that would have to be financed via budgets, causing the compression of other expenses (cuts) or generalized tax increases to be able to finance it. The crash The resulting economic situation is not discounted by any witch tale, but by memory.
Two small restrictive measures in the monetary policy of Frankfurt – in those cases, the untimely increases in interest rates – triggered the devastating effects of the Great Recession: in 2008, just in its infancy, and in 2011, when it contributed other factors to its rebound, the dreaded recession in W.
The most prospective transcendence is long-term. The ruling leaves intact, and legally unassailable, the availability of the only major measure at the community level, the monetary expansion, which the EU could use to save the Great Recession, and whose efficiency is experienced and fine-tuned: its replacement can be dictated almost automatically
That does not mean that the loneliness of monetary policy in the face of crises persists. The toolbox has been expanded (rescue funds, greater fiscal flexibility, the still incomplete banking union, the new financial regulation …). But the machine for printing banknotes in series is incomparable in its speed, autonomy and immediate effectiveness.
Nor is the fact that this sentence, together with that of the Gauweiler case (which validated the UNWTO support program for vulnerable countries announced in 2012 by Draghi with his magic words: "I will do everything I can to save the euro") enshrines a broad, rich and progressive reading of the possibilities that the Treaty of Union offers to the performance of the central bank.
Which is the opposite of the reductionist, petty and reactionary with which the Bundesbank wanted to dye the ECB from before its founding. Not in vain, one of Draghi's most implacable critics, and declared enemy of the expansion of his expansion program was, until as close as 2016, the then German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaüble. Auf wiedersehen!