Spiegel: ECB’s Draghi briefed German Chancellor Merkel & finmin Schaeuble on quantitative-easing plans

Spiegel magazine (without citing sources) reports that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has briefed German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on quantitative-easing plans Plan is national central banks would buy bonds issued by their own country Envisages limits of 20 percent to 25 percent on purchases of each country’s debt Says Greece will be excluded from the program because its bonds don’t fulfill the necessary quality criteria An ECB spokesman declined to comment on the design of any QE program A German government spokesman said earlier that Merkel and Draghi met on Jan. 14 for “regular informal talks,” while declining to comment on the topic – Klaas Knot, governor of the Dutch central bank, told Spiegel that he’d support putting national central banks in charge of implementing QE: “If each central bank was only buying debt of its own country, the danger of an unwanted redistribution of financial risk would be lower” “We have to avoid that decisions are taken through the back door of the ECB balance sheet that have to continue to be reserved for elected politicians in euro-area countries.” By keeping the risk of government-bond purchases at the national level, the ECB would show that it is “exclusively concerned about monetary and not fiscal policy” Bloomberg

How Westminster helped squander Scotland’s black gold | Kevin McKenna

The collapse in North Sea oil prices is being used to score cheap political points by the SNP’s opponents As an illustration of why the Labour party in Scotland might be wandering in the wilderness for many years to come, last week was a classic. The new party machine seems to have decided that the SNP government is vulnerable on collapsing global oil prices.