Looking out from the top of the European Central Bank’s new tower in Frankfurt, it’s easy to find dark clouds on the horizon.
The view for policy makers is of a euro-zone populace so weary of years of economic turmoil that it’s increasingly electing politicians who say no to pan-European cooperation, and spurn reforms that the ECB says are vital to revive the economy. Trapped by their mandate to prevent deflation, officials fret they might soon be forced to roll out quantitative easing that can never succeed by itself.
In speech after speech, central bankers led by President Mario Draghi have urged governments from Paris to Rome to complement ECB stimulus by overhauling economies and bolstering investment. The response — national foot-dragging on reform and an infrastructure plan from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that won’t deliver spending until well into next year — has disappointed.
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