The Shoving Match Over Rates
When German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine sat in on a meeting of the new European Central Bank (ECB) for the first time on Feb. 18, the talk left him squirming in his seat. The 17 central bankers, who now dictate Europe's monetary policy from a 36-story skyscraper in Frankfurt, barely mentioned Germany's economic travails. In the end, they decided unanimously to keep rates at 3%.
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