The markets are getting excited about Thursday's meeting of the ECB's governing board, so much so that even The Guardian
is moved to comment.
It cites Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets UK, who reminds us that the Karlsruhe judgement won't be ready until 12 September, and ECB officials have already indicated that they will wait for that before unleashing the Draghi plan.
Actually, that was picked up by Handelsblatt on 24 August, which suggested that it could then take a month or more to digest the judgement. This, it would seem, renders completely pointless the current flurry of interest.
Even then, the German government is bringing out the big guns, with Schäuble speaking on German radio to warn against "excessive expectations of the ECB". The German finance minister is convinced, we are told, that the ECB will not make decisions that fall outside its mandate. The Federal Government's position is clear, he said once again: "sovereign debt may not be financed by monetary policy".
And singing from the same hymnsheet (for once) is Philipp Rösler, who has come out in support of Jens Weidmann in his "lonely battle" against the ECB, declaring that the ECB must be " limited to its mandate to ensure monetary stability". He adds: "Bond purchases cannot remain a permanent solution as they drive the danger of inflation".
Weidmann also gets backing from Lutz Goebel, president of the powerful Association of Family Businesses, stating that ECB bond purchases would not reduce the risks to investors. "They would just be hidden in the basement of the central bank", he says.
However, Financial Times Deutschland is beginning to smell a rat. In a lengthy article, it questions whether the spat between Weidmann and the ECB is real. Peter Ehrlich for the newspaper argues that Asmussen and Weidmann have a common goal, the euro rescue, and they are personal friends. Is the apparent enmity between the two, "all just a big bluff in the political power game?"
Ehrlich is not the first to be suspicious. A week ago we saw Hans-Olaf Henkel in Handelsblatt suggest that there was an element of shadow boxing going on.
As long as it is theatre, it seems, this suits Merkel's interests, but it also seems that Weidmann has a "bazooka" of his own. The Bundesbank's ultimate weapon would be to take the ECB before the European Court for going beyond its mandate. This is regarded as a nuclear option, so disruptive that it could scarcely be used. But the threat remains, a bankers' form of mutually assured destruction.
That rather gives game, set and match to Weidmann but, as Börsen Zeitung observes, Draghi still has to deliver. But, since he cannot give the markets their bond purchases, he will have to choose his words with care, says the paper. And that might be all he has – just words.