There's an interesting article in FT Deutschland today, highlighting a survey of ECB staff. According to a survey conducted by the ECB's trade union IPSO recently, 55.1% of ECB staff believe that current ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet has overstepped the ECB's mandate with his actions (implicitly referring to the ECB's purchase of government bonds under the so-called Securities Markets Programme). We've questioned the ECB's actions in the past, but have always pointed out that it has been put in a near impossible position by the lack of action on the part of eurozone leaders and the structural flaws in the eurozone set up. Interestingly, it seems that the ECB staff feel the same way, with only 35.6% willing to condemn his actions.
Overall, it might be fair to say that Mario Draghi - Trichet's successor - is about to enter a fairly hostile environement. His early actions will likely set the tone for much of his tenure.
In other ECB related news, Juergen Stark, ECB Governing Board member, who recently announced his resignation for 'personal reasons' (read objections to ECB bond buying programme) gave an interesting speech to the European Parliament yesterday. Not only did he have a lot to say in favour of stronger economic governance (clearly a shot across the bow of those profligate economies which forced the ECB's hand) but also argued vehmently against eurobonds (he is still German after all). Most interestingly though he told the Parliament that he will "most likely" make a full statement when he steps down at the end of the year.
Now that should make for an interesting speech...