The ECB Resorts to Omissions, Half-truths and Misrepresentations to Defend Draghi’s G30-Membership

By Norbert Häring and cross-posted from his blog

The ECB has answered questions posed by the European Ombudsman to president Mario Draghi regarding his membership and his participation in closed-door meetings of the Group of Thirty (G30), a Group in which the world’s most central bankers and commercial bankers comingle. The 17-page reply manages to evade several questions, is quite selective in the information given and even contains some false statements.

Reacting to a complaint by Corporate Europe Observatory the Ombudsman (which is a woman), started an investigation into Draghi’s membership, which culminated in 16 written questions to Mario Draghi dated 4 July 2017.

The ECB has answered Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly’s letter a few days ago. The reply starts with “Preliminary observations” which state that “The Group of Thirty was established in 1978 as a forum for exchanging views on topical issues related to the functioning of the international economic system”, forgetting to mention by whom. A look at the website of the G30 does not answer the question, either. Wikipedia does:

The Group of Thirty was founded in 1978 by Geoffrey Bell at the initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation, which also provided initial funding for the body.

In several instances, the ECB points to the fact that other central bank representatives, like those from the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York are also members of the G30, implying that if they see fit to participate in this group, it should be okay for the ECB too. What they do not mention in this context, though, is the fact that it is only the New York Fed, a private institution owned and controlled by Wall Street banks, which sends a representative. No member of the Federal Reserve Board has become or remained a G30-member while holding this office, at least not during the last few decades. The reason is obviously that strict rules against conflicts of interest in the US do not allow a high-ranking public official to be in such an intransparent group together with high ranking private sector representatives

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