Where to make a lot of money in ECB
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Print Can the European Central Bank hold its nerve, as the pressure mounts for it to pump more money into a struggling economy? The eurozone is bracing for a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the euro is getting uncomfortably strong — a danger to exports —and inflation is falling further and further short of the ECB's target.
ECB ready to help Greece by not taking bond profit
To complicate matters further, the U. Federal Reserve made it tougher for any other central bank to make an impact on the world economy when it effectively loosened its monetary policy less than two weeks ago.
At first glance, that would suggest the pressure on Frankfurt to do something, and fast, is irresistible. Yet most economists expect it to sit on its hands for at least another three months.
It will also allow the ECB to focus its stimulus where it is most needed and extend it for as long as it wants without resorting to its emergency bond purchases, known as Outright Monetary Transactions, two sources told Reuters. But it leaves the ECB exposed to legal challenges and accusations that it is bankrolling governments directly. Germany and some other northern states with high credit ratings, which would de facto guarantee such bonds, remain opposed to this form of common euro zone debt despite the economic devastation that the epidemic has triggered.
Schnabel told Reuters that what eurozone exporters may lose in price competitiveness when the dollar weakens is compensated by the greater spending power of other countries as their currencies strengthen. But the chain of causation is never simple, and the coronavirus has complicated it further.
Still, the latest figures show that the shock of the pandemic, on balance, tends to push prices downward — the opposite direction of the ECB's target, for inflation of a bit less than 2 percent.
She pointed out that the two previous shocks to the eurozone economy — in and in with the worst of the euro crisis — both led to a sharp fall in underlying inflation. The ECB already expects to undershoot its inflation target over the next two years. Vistesen argued that revising down its forecast for on Thursday would be tantamount to admitting it has to do more to keep the economy on course. From the eurozone, banking union, CMU, and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the Financial Services policy agenda.