As a student in Amsterdam I once took Russian studies to become an expert in Kremlinology: the study of the balance of power in the Soviet Union. I particularly remember the musty smell of piles of Russian newspapers in the Eastern Europe Institute. The Soviet Union collapsed and I had little use for Kremlinology, until as an MEP I got a little insight into the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB doesn't publish minutes, doesn't really explain itself, doesn't give access to internal affairs and forces us to read between the lines. The Italian ECB president, Mario Draghi, speaks in a code language which - having been educated by Jesuits - he masters like no other.
The ECB is based on the model of the German central bank, the Bundesbank. Its main task was the taming of inflation. The first president, Wim Duisenberg , did just that; and at first, so did his successor, the Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet did. This changed after 2008. The EU didn't see the euro crisis coming. In 2010, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, called the euro the 'protective shield' against the crisis, while the euro had fuelled the debt crisis with low interest rates. By the end of 2011, the euro stood on the brink of collapse, so the ECB injected €1.1 trillion into the banking sector. When that proved insufficient, Draghi stated in mid-2012 that he would do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. He became the monetary James Bond, albeit with a 'license to print'.
The ECB is no longer the brainchild of the Bundesbank and is going beyond its statutory mandate. That provoked a struggle within the Governing Council of the ECB, which consists of a Board of six people along with the governors of central banks of the euro zone. The majority advocated an expansionary monetary policy. A minority, led by the Bundesbank, is critical of such action. Draghi stands on the side of the majority, but the ECB is nothing without the Bundesbank, the main shareholder of the ECB.