Saturday, September 03, 2005

Payments and Settlements News nr 25: interesting stuff

This edition of P&S News has good some interesting stuff amongst which:
- more info on the Berlin Gruppe
- information on Mastercard study on EU-payments with Cards
- BAH report on Mobile Payments.. (the time is ripe...).

And of course I should not forget that to mention that the ESCB has issued a policy statement which essentially reads that central banks will price their settlement systems on the basis of cost-recovery. And the non-Euro national central banks also subscribe to this vision.

What's interesting is the redundancy of this statement. According to their statute the ESCB is already held to act in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition, favouring an efficient allocation of resources. So why bother issuing a separate statement? Generally such reassuring statements, coming out of the blue, can be understood to imply the reverse.

And another question. Who checks this policy principle? Are we just to take the central banks word for it? Or are accountants checking this and issuing declarations of conformance..? The recent Italian affairs have made it clear that also central banks are prone to make misstakes just as any other organisation.

Interesting people those Romans...