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Reports are floating that the International Monetary Fund will receive loans for European national central banks and in turn use them to stabilize the struggling euro-zone countries.

This creative workaround bypasses legal limitations and could prove to be a great solution, but the figure that is reported casts a shadow: only €150 billion. This is no big bazooka…

This report, from Reuters, quotes a “senior euro-zone source”. If this is the main news coming out of the EU summit, it will be a big disappointment, and can accelerate the Greek exit of the zone.

A much bigger sum than 150 billion euros is needed. If the ECB announces that it is ready to spend 1 trillion euros, or an unlimited sum in order to make Italian debt sustainable, this announcement alone could calm the markets.

The president of the ECB, Mario Draghi, needs some assurances from the governments that they, in turn, will work to balance their balance sheets. The suggestions made by Merkel and Sarkozy aren’t tough enough.

Slovakia moved forward and introduced a debt ceiling constitutional law, following the footsteps of Spain. Perhaps if all countries do the same, this will satisfy Draghi and the German bloc members, such as Jens Weidmann.

The ECB will announce its rate decision soon. See the ECB preview for more.

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