(Bloomberg) — When the European Union presents its plan to rebuild its economy after the coronavirus, it’s likely to include three kinds of funding: taxpayers’ money, borrowed money and theoretical money.
Officials in Brussels have a tendency to pad out their flashy headline figures with the theoretical stuff. But investors trying to gauge the strength of the policy response would be advised to peer a little closer.
The last EU Commission’s flagship initiative aimed to spur 315 billion euros ($340 billion) of investment with 5 billion euros of public money from the European Investment Bank and a 16 billion-euro guarantee from the EU budget. The commission boasted that it beat that initial target by almost 50%. But its auditors weren’t convinced.