Fed not part of gov't

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Fri Feb 12 13:25:30 PST 1999

Rosser Jr, John Barkley wrote:

> BTW, still haven't heard who owns the new ECB.

>From reading the Maastricht Treaty, which I inexplicably did a few months
ago, it looks like a creature of the Treaty, whose signatories are the heads of state of the member governments. Here's what Maastricht says about who runs the thing:

> 11.2. In accordance with Article 109a(2)(b) of this Treaty, the
> President, the Vice-President and the other Members of the Executive
> Board shall be appointed from among persons of recognized standing and
> professional experience in monetary or banking matters by common accord
> of the governments of the Member States at the level of the Heads of
> State or of government, on a recommendation from the Council after it
> has consulted the European Parliament and the Governing Council.
> Their term of office shall be 8 years and shall not be renewable. Only
> nationals of Member States may be members of the Executive Board.

"Consulting" the Parliament is a very vague term, isn't it?

>that matter, I suppose the participating governments own
>the IMF and the World Bank. But who owns the Bank for
>International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland?

Here's what Alexandre Lamfalussy, former managing director of the BIS, says about it in his article in the New Palgrave Dictionary of Money & Finance: "[F]rom a legal and institutional angle, it is a rather complex entity.... The BIS is a company limited by shares but it is also an international organization established by the Hague Agreement of 20 January 1930 and is as such governed by international law. The legal status of the BIS in Switzerland was reconfirmed by the Headquarters Agreement concluded by the Bank with the Swiss Federal Council on 10 February 1987. The bank is subject neither to the Swiss Federal Law concerning bank and savings banks nor to the provisions of Swiss Company Law. Twenty-nine shareholding central banks - not governments - currently have representation and voting rights...." Shares of the BIS trade in Switzerland, I believe, for like $5,000 apiece last I checked.


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