Banking and Finance
AT LEAST there is hope. Grim-faced European leaders gathered in Brussels on December 8th for their summit to save the euro with the news that Pope Benedict XVI was praying to the Virgin Mary for the sake of Italy and Europe. He should also spare a prayer for Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank.
As the dinnertime negotiations stretched into the wee hours of Friday morning, leaked drafts of a communiqué indicate that the summiteers intend to agree to a “fiscal compact” to ensure the stability of the euro zone. These words matter: they are the same ones that Mr Draghi had used a few days earlier in a Delphic judgment that many interpreted to mean that he would intervene more heavily in the bond markets, once the politicians had delivered a more credible system to impose budget discipline.