Following the American Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton became the first Treasury Secretary of the newly-formed United States.
It is also possible that, faced with the prospect of having to repay €750bn, a future Commission simply decides to reissue the debt for another 40 years.
Possibly more significant is the prospect of an EU-wide tax on non-recycled plastic waste and carbon levies on imports from countries with inferior environmental standards, the proceeds of which would go to EU funds. This begins an expansion of the EU's funding base independent of national governments.
At the same time, the EU adjusted its long-term budget to take account of the UK's departure as a major net contributor, and the frugal members were successful in changing rebate allocations to ongoing EU membership fees.
Overall, the EU agreed a €1.074trn budget to 2027, rather sooner than expected.
The EU has long-dreamed of being self-funding, and although it has issued very limited debt before, this does mark a crossing of the Rubicon. The funds will be helpful to badly-hit nations such as Italy but are not really game-changing.
However, a precedent has been established that the EU can issue debt in a crisis. After all, quantitative easing used to be regarded as controversial, but the European Central Bank announced a €1.350bn pandemic emergency purchase programme on top of all its other quantitative easing commitments with little dissent.
The EU now has tax and debt-raising powers, and that power-ratchet tends to work one way. Technically, this is a temporary programme, but as Milton Friedman said, there is nothing so permanent as a temporary government programme.
While the frugal five may not be ecstatic about the change, French President Emmanuel Macron's negotiations have moved the EU much closer to a centralised Treasury, crucial for long-term euro stability.
The real-world effect can be seen in the chart below, which shows the drop in Italian sovereign spreads over German bunds, and is a proxy for Eurozone break-up risk.
The EU has not mutualised all debt but the effect is much the same on yields:
It has been suggested that this is not a true Hamiltonian moment for Europe, since the various nations spent five days in heated discussions lacking in the requisite European spirit.
President Macron apparently banged his fists on the table at one stage accusing the Dutch of behaving like Brexit Britain. The Dutch also tried to tie disbursement of funds to the 'rule of law' in an apparent sideswipe at Viktor Orban's Hungary, prompting Orban to ask why Dutch premier Mark Rutte apparently hated him. So much for European bonhomie.
However, this is a huge step-forward for European integration, but which seemed impossible without a treaty change until the Covid-19 crisis presented itself as an opportunity not to be wasted.
Olly Russ is co-manager of the Liontrust European Income Process fund