The ECB has tonight withdrawn the eligibility as collateral for ‘normal’ liquidity provision of self-issued Greek bank paper guaranteed by the Greek government, effective February 11th. The banks must henceforth rely on ELA from the Greek central bank, permission for which is reviewed fortnightly by the ECB, next meeting February 18th. The ECB statement contains this sentence:
‘The Governing Council decision is based on the fact that it is currently not possible to assume a successful conclusion of the programme review and is in line with existing Eurosystem rules.’
Note that the decision is based on a fact! The opinion formed, presumably today, that the programme review may not be successfully completed, was reasonable yesterday and the day before, but has miraculously assumed the status of a fact this evening.
Surely the ECB would not deliberately encourage a run on the banks (presumed solvent, rightly or wrongly, if they are to be ELA-eligible) in a member state? Whaddya mean they did it before?