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‘A move too far’

Helmut Schieber, a Bundesbank board member, has criticised the decision by Germany’s federal finance ministry to outsource national debt management. Speaking at the bank in Frankfurt, he dismissed the finance minister’s move as nonsensical: "I know that outsourcing and privatisation are very popular current trends. However, privatising a central political function, which also closely concerns the budgetary rights of parliament, is perhaps going too far," he said.
Outsourcing would deprive the bank of its traditional role as the government’s fiscal agent, something, Schieber said it does very well. He said the federal bonds’ undisputed position as the benchmark among euro-area issuers was testimony to the bank’s expertise and the loss of overseeing monetary stability to Europe makes it all the more important to address the Bundesbank’s future role. "One must question the wisdom-also in view of the implications for the Bundesbank’s influence within the European system of central banks – of depriving it of traditional functions and of failing to make full use of existing resources. As I see it, the federal finance minister’s move makes neither business or fiscal sense," he said.

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