Germany's Merkel is isolated, but it goes beyond that. They are worried about talk of Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble leading the Eurogroup after Jean-Claude Junker’s term expires in June. They want another candidate.
This would have been unthinkable even a month ago, but Europe is a vastly different place now.
Second, there are new proposals for the meeting, and they all involve more Europe. Eurowide guarantees of bank deposits. Eurozone bonds, or perhaps some type of infrastructure bonds for specific projects guaranteed by the entire eurozone. Changing the ECB mandate from a focus exclusively on inflation, toward a "dual mandate" of inflation and growth.
All this is creating some excitement that the growth guys are going to win out: that stimulus will save the day.
But how? Merkel cannot just write a check. The German parliament will not allow her to move without their approval. The only hope is that her nemesis--the Social Democrats--will back Europe's desire for more growth and drag her, kicking and screaming, into writing a check. A big check.
Changing the ECB will be even harder, involving constitutional changes in Germany and other countries.
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