Top European Central Bank policymaker Juergen Stark took aim at investors and ratings agencies for playing up worries about the future of the euro zone, accusing credit agencies of irresponsible behaviour and saying there was “no alternative” to the single currency.
“Markets are clearly, in the current circumstances, overshooting,” he told a Reuters Insider panel discussion in Frankfurt, saying investors were not taking the region’s economic fundamentals into account when they drove down the euro and drove up the cost of some countries’ debt.
Credit rating agencies compounded the problem by downgrading countries even as they announced ambitious plans to cut costs and debt, he said, pointing darkly to the possibility of “vested interests” at work.
During a lively exchange of views, Stark scolded fellow panellist Thomas Mayer, from Deutsche Bank, for saying the euro zone had become a region of transfers and told Goethe University’s Volker Wieland the ECB was not fuelling inflation with its purchases of government bonds.
“There is only one among the three of us who takes responsibility for what he decides on a day-by-day basis,” Stark said, having the final word in the discussion.