ECB’s Draghi gives Germans “perverse” lesson

January 9, 2014


When Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, told Der Spiegel magazine at the end of last year that “there was this perverse Angst” in Germany that things were turning bad, he caused an outcry in  German media, already suspicious of his policies. What had perhaps slipped by Draghi is that the English word perverse can also mean kinky in German.

Was his outburst really helpful, a German journalist queried during the monthly press conference on Thursday, and the Italian tried to set the record straight.

Scrambling for the right sheet of paper, he started: “First of all, … if I can find the actual definition of perverse in English I’d be very glad, but as usual … anyway there is a difference between perverse and perverted.” The whole room burst into laughter.

“There was a misunderstanding,” Draghi said and explained that he was referring to the German Angst of inflation, which clearly had not materialised as a result of the ECB’s recent policy.

There was another Angst, he continued, turning serious. “That’s the Angst of people who have their pension plans being reduced in capital value by the very low level of interest rates. That’s different thing, that’s a serious problem,” he said.

Eventually, he found the right piece of paper. “The definition of perverse is persistent in error or different from what is reasonable.  This is the one I was referring to. Is it ok? Thank you.”

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The 2006 edition of Chambers Giant Paperback Dictionary says that one of the other meanings of “perverse” is awkward.

The 1966, 3rd edition, of the Bantam New College Latin-English dictionary says “perversus” means turned the wrong way, awry, crooked.

The French Petit Larousse Illustré 2011 confirms that the etymological origin of the French adjective “pervers” is the Latin “perversus, ” “renversé”, upside down.

Some of the non-sexual meanings of “kinky” are eccentric, crazy, says Chambers.

Here’s the eccentricity.

The euro’s value is not determined by its purchasing power parity
but by its free-floating gold-reserves?

The price of gold is down?

The ECB has ample [gold] resources to deal with all “its” emergencies (1),
said Draghi in the last 15 minutes of the Question and Answer session, in reply to a Scandinavian journalist.
Ergo, added Draghi, the ECB can technically never run out of money.

The ECB has a mandate to maintain or ensure price stability in both directions
the governing council is ready to use all instruments that are allowed by the treaty,
said Draghi earlier in the Question and Answer session.

The kinky Freegold-picture becomes clearer by the day.

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