Today, the European Central (ECB) bank opened its loan windows to Europe’s commercial banks, lending some 800 banks nearly 530 billion euros at just one percent interest. It’s the second such rescue operation since Mario Draghi became ECB chief in December, when Europe’s central bank pumped out over 489 billion Euros.

This policy is an improvement on the ECB’s earlier tightwad stance (thank heavens the new top guy is Italian rather than German), but it still reflects a terrible double standard. Banks can refinance their operations, but countries can’t. Central bankers with guilty consciences extract fiscal austerity policies on pummeled nations like Greece to offset their more liberal monetary interventions.

The slogan might as well be: bankers first, women and children last. It’s a recipe for treading water, not for broad based recovery.

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