London's attitude to the European Central Bank is similar to its perspective on other European institutions: if the rules can be changed to suit the British, then they might grudgingly be prepared to join in.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and the rest of Britain's economic establishment are never openly critical of the ECB's structure and operations, but they leave little room for doubt that they see considerable room for improvement.
Buoyed by Britain's apparent success - so far - in evading the worst of the global downturn, and recording the strongest growth in the Group of Seven high-income countries, Mr Brown and his colleagues have felt able to praise the British model as the ultimate in monetary policy frameworks, and by implication to damn the ECB for falling short of that ideal.
The ECB's price objective, for example, is contrasted unfavourably with the Bank of England's inflation target. While the ECB has the objective of keeping inflation below 2 per cent in the medium term, the Bank of England has a precise target of 2.5 per cent inflation, which is symmetric in the sense that inflation below target is considered as undesirable as inflation above it.
The ECB's objective, chosen by itself as a working definition of its treaty mandate to deliver price stability, is also disliked by many British experts as undemocratic. In Britain, the target is set by the elected government, and can be changed by it at any time.
Further concerns about the ECB's accountability are often raised over the council's policy of not voting on decisions - which is seen as stifling the genuine differences of view that exist - and not publishing minutes or voting records from the council meetings.
For some, the questions of ECB procedure are closely tied to those of personalities. Wim Duisenberg is seen in London as a supporter of the status quo and a believer in sustaining the legacies of the Bundesbank, such as close monitoring of the money supply.
When he is replaced - and particularly if he is replaced by a candidate nominated by France, which Britain sees as an ally on many of these issues - then it is hoped in London that the reform of the ECB will gain fresh impetus.
In Washington, there is less criticism of the ECB, even in private. It is clear from speeches and private conversations that the US Federal Reserve thinks the ECB is doing the best it can under circumstances beyond its control.
Fed governor Laurence Meyer held up the ECB as an example in a speech he gave earlier this year advocating the Fed's adoption of explicit inflation targets.
Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman, made clear in a recent speech in Washington that from the Fed's vantage point, the cause of the euro's weakness on foreign exchange markets lay far beyond the remit of monetary policy.
Mr Greenspan said Europe's labour markets remained too tight, making firing workers harder and more expensive than in the US.
American companies, he said, enjoyed relatively more freedom to use labour-saving, productivity-raising, profit-enhancing technologies and management techniques. Those technologies and techniques were available to all, but the freedom to apply them was greater in the US, he said.