Op-Ed: “The European Central Bank’s pandemic bazooka: mandate fulfilment in extraordinary times” by René Smits
In the last few weeks we have seen the eruption of a world-wide pandemic of the COVID-19 virus (‘coronavirus’). After the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan (China), it spread globally, affecting first thousands, then millions of people whose lives were turned upside-down as they were asked, or compelled, to respect ‘social distancing’ to prevent contagion, to stay at home, work at a distance, and self-isolate or go into quarantine. The social and economic effects of the pandemic are huge.
Allow this sociologist-cum-lawyer to begin with the social disruption before focusing on the legal issues of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) response. Suddenly, values are resurfacing that, in the ‘normal’ economic life of m