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|dc.description.abstract||The Eurosystem is the fifth decentralized system in the history of central banks. It consists ofthe European Central Bank (ECB) and twelve National Central Banks (NCBs) forming theEuropean Monetary Union (EMU). The stark decentrality of this System is so little knownthat ubiquitous statements by high level Euro experts on its supposed similarity with otherdecentralized systems, like the former Bundesbank System and the existing Federal ReserveSystem, are met with no protest. A closer look on European documents and the balance sheetof the ECB reveals, however, that the ECB – far from being the monopoly supplier of centralbank money – cannot set the refinancing conditions to credit institutions in EMU. The latterare determined by the Council of Governors of the Eurosystem, while the main refinancingoperations are executed by the NCBs leaving to the ECB the role of vicarious agent. The ECBcan neither control all types of securities accepted for the NCBs’ credit operations nor is itable to act as lender of last resort. Yet, every possible manoeuvre to make the ECB look like acentral bank of the NCBs is relentlessly employed, most obviously in the design of the Eurobanknotes which are issued by the NCBs but carry only the imprint of the ECB, as well as bythe ECB’s balance sheet as at 31 December 2002. The latter contains for the first time theitem “banknotes in circulation” that are, however, issued by the NCBs and only allocated tothe ECB.||-|
|dc.relation.ispartofseries|||aZEI working paper |xB 09-2003||en_US|
|dc.title||The European Central Bank and the eurosystem: An analysis of the missing central monetary institution in European Monetary Union||en_US|
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