This time it’s tick-tock of what happened earlier this year in the days and hours leading up to the establishment of EuroTARP.
You should read the article for the all the details, but it’s hard to read it and feel any confidence that the Euro is in good shape. All of the problems you could possibly imagine — too many cooks, competing national interests, massive egos, dispute about the proper role of the ECB, etc. — are on display. And of course, they’re all still there.
As for the fun details of the night of the agreement…
As the talks stretched deep into the night, the ministers were left without anything to eat. The EU’s catering staff is a skeleton crew on Sundays, so the finance ministers shared the rubbery cellophane-wrapped sandwiches laid out for journalists. For refreshment, they received small glasses with an inch or two of beer.
The ministers sat around an oval table, their aides in rows of desks behind them. Banks of interpreters stood at the ready, but the ministers spoke in English to keep the meeting moving. BlackBerrys and mobile phones began to die. Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg premier, puffed through one cigarette after another despite the smoking ban in EU buildings.
At 10 minutes to midnight, with trading set to start in Sydney, Ms. Lagarde said the meeting should extend its deadline to 2 a.m., to beat the opening of markets in Tokyo. “Nothing against the Australians, but they aren’t that important,” she said.
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