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ECB

European Central Banks: it’s not just the ECB meeting on Thursday

While the market gears up for the much anticipated European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, there are two other European central banks due to meet earlier in the day; Sweden and Norway.

I was in Washington a couple of weeks ago for the World Bank and IMF conferences, which was a great opportunity to hear from policy makers and economists. It served as a timely reminder that the European centr…

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German unemployment rate and real GDP growth

Angela Merkel’s Pyrrhic victory

And they say German elections are boring… As the preliminary results are in, here are our three key takeaways.

(1) Merkel goes fourth

First things first, as expected Angela Merkel has won the election. Her CDU, in combination with its Bavarian sister party CSU, is going to remain the largest faction in parliament (33.0% of votes combined). All roads lead to a fourth term for her as chancellor. …

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Poor old ECB. Damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t.

The votes are in and it’s pretty unanimous. Despite Mario Draghi’s best efforts to persuade otherwise, the market is clear that today’s announcements are tantamount to tapering. Frankly anything less than an extension of Euro 80bn per month, irrespective of the duration, was likely to have been taken as such, with scant evidence of the inflation target being achieved during the forecast horizon…

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Is QE unquestionably supportive for risk assets? I think not.

We have written about quantitative easing (QE) many times over the years, yet there remains more to be said: the great QE experiment is not yet over. Given the result of the EU referendum, speculation is rife as to whether the Bank of England will embark on another round of QE to stimulate the UK economy; arguably making this a good time to debate the efficacy of such strategies.

It’s safe to s…

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Four years of the ECB doing “whatever it takes”

Transport yourself back to July 26, 2012. Borrowing costs for the “peripheral” European nations are uncomfortably high. Ireland, Portugal and Greece were in the process of applying for bailouts, while the Spanish banking system was dangerously close to falling over. It wasn’t a question of when an EU member would leave the single currency bloc, but who? Step forward ECB President Mario Draghi, …

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Which corporate bonds has the ECB been buying?

Having recently blogged about the potentially eligible universe of the Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), we were naturally eager to find out which corporate bonds the European Central Bank (ECB) has actually been buying. On Monday, the ECB eventually published the highly-anticipated list of their bond holdings.

Except that’s not what happened. Instead of the ECB releasing a neat conso…

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A Germanic problem

I attended a conference last week where European Central Bank (ECB) bashing was approaching fever pitch. The crux of the argument goes a little something like this:

“The ECB have lost the plot. Monetary policy has become impotent. The ECB is at the lower bound and the law of diminishing returns results only in an ever greater misallocation of resources, punishing savers and rewarding speculatio…

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Which corporate bonds will the ECB buy?

Bond markets have reacted strongly to the 10th March announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) of its new corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). Credit spreads of euro-denominated investment grade (IG) corporate bonds have tightened by around 20 bps on average. Still, a lot of the CSPP’s particulars are anybody’s guess at this point. The publication of the account of the last monetar…

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Inflation expectations

Has the ECB reached the limits of monetary policy?

The simple answer is a no. Eric Lonergan in a guest blog has already (see here) debunked the idea that central banks are at the zero bound. And since then the market has become increasingly confident that the ECB will cut its deposit rate further into negative territory at tomorrow’s meeting. And it has reason to do so. Inflation and growth will be lower than the Bank had forecast a mere three …

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The ECB, negative rates, and the Swiss experience

Ahead of tomorrow’s ECB monetary policy meeting, the market has high expectations of rates being cut further into negative territory (consensus is a cut in the deposit rate by 10 to 20 bps).  However, a report this week from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) suggests that cutting rates further could be counterproductive and damaging for the banking sector.

The BIS’s quarterly review,…

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