Interesting to get a view from within the ECB as to the state of the euro-zone crisis.
Benoît Coeuré, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank:
On 29 June, the Euro Summit took a further series of steps to strengthen crisis management. They agreed that loans to Spain as part of its bank recapitalisation programme would not have a senior status, removing a key concern for investors about the programme and their continued purchases of Spanish government debt. They committed themselves to use the full range of EFSF and ESM instruments in a flexible and efficient manner. And most importantly, they decided that the ESM should have the ability to recapitalise banks directly, once a single supervisory mechanism is in place involving the ECB. These are all very significant developments. Let me elaborate.
First, the possibility for direct bank recapitalisation by the ESM is crucial to break the vicious circle between banks and their sovereigns that is at the heart of the crisis. It would allow for banks to be stabilised without increasing the debt level of the sovereign, thereby avoiding further damage to sovereign debt markets and banks’ balance sheets. This would move the euro area closer to the type of financial union we see in federations like the U.S. or Switzerland, where banking sector problems are dealt with at the federal level and have no implications on the finances of the federated units…..