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dc.contributor.authorHeinsohn, Gunnaren_US
dc.contributor.authorSteiger, Ottoen_US
dc.description.abstractThe Eurosystem is the fifth decentralized system in the history of central banks. It consists of the EuropeanCentral Bank (ECB) and twelve National Central Banks (NCBs) forming the European Monetary Union (EMU).The stark decentrality of this System is so little known that ubiquitous statements by high level Euro experts onits supposed similarity with other decentralized systems, like the former Bundesbank System and the existingFederal Reserve System, are met with no protest. A closer look on European documents and the balance sheet ofthe ECB reveals, however, that the ECB – far from being the monopoly supplier of central bank money – cannotset the refinancing conditions to credit institutions in EMU. The latter are determined by the Council ofGovernors of the European Central Banks, while the main refinancing operations are executed by the NCBsleaving to the ECB the role of vicarious agent. The ECB can neither control all types of securities accepted forthe NCBs’ credit operations nor is it able to act as the lender of last resort. Yet, every possible manoeuvre tomake the ECB look like a central bank of the NCBs is relentlessly employed, most obviously in the design of theEuro banknotes, which are issued by the NCBs but carry only the imprint of the ECB.-
dc.publisher|aZEI |cBonnen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries|aZEI working paper |xB 11-2002en_US
dc.subject.stwEuropäische Wirtschafts- und Währungsunionen_US
dc.subject.stwLender of Last Resorten_US
dc.titleThe Eurosystem and the art of central bankingen_US
dc.type|aWorking Paperen_US

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