European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels are on track to agree the creation of a banking union before the end of the year.
Such a union which would have the power to close failing banks in the eurozone.
That is widely seen as crucial to avoiding the kind of situation where governments are forced to bail out banks and then find they have over-committed themselves and cannot borrow to meet their sovereign debt needs:
But will it be enough? Market analyst Michael Hewson with CMC Markets doesn’t think so: “For the full sovereign feedback debt loop to be broken between banks and sovereigns you need a strong banking union, completely independent with a single supervisor, funded completely separately without external interference from Germany, France, Italy or Spain and I really don’t think there is a political will for that to happen.”
To have the banking union in place from the start of 2015, the finance ministers have to reach an agreement amongst themselves by the end of the year.
The devil is in the details – sticking points include how much investors in failed banks would lose and who would have the final say on closing down a eurozone bank.