Andrea Enria, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Supervisory Board, said in an interview that he expects banks to keep back over $27 billion of the $35 billion they planned to distribute in dividends as capital on their balance sheets. In addition to this, Enria said the institutions have also cancelled their current and planned share buy-back programmes
DWS | The ruling of the German Federal Constitutional Court on the expansion of the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) balance sheet has given new impetus to an old question. Does this seeming expansion of the money supply, which currently is mainly achieved through bond purchases by the Bundesbank and other national central banks of the Eurozone, bring a substantial risk of inflation?
Spain has announced this week measures to impose a 14-day quarantine on international travellers. These spark new doubts over the tourism sector. Only the new EU coordinated plan for tourism, which recommends reopening borders and reviving the sector, could cancel the Spanish government’s decision.
If the European Central Bank (ECB) were to introduce a digital currency for citizens, with the possibility of them being able to open deposit accounts directly with the institution, it would undermine the role of the banking sector as an intermediary. This disintermediation would lead to legal problems and economic inefficiencies, stated Yves Mersch, Luxembourg’s representative on the ECB’s board.
Just a few weeks before the ECB’s key meeting (4th June), Lagarde has responded to Germany with the biggest weekly purchase since the start of the pandemic: 44 billion euros, 54% higher than the weekly average since April. Furthermore, Olli Rehn affirmed that the German Constitutional Court’s ruling could have an impact on the central banks’s ability to exercise its price stability mandate.
Intermoney | On Friday, the first support measures within the EU worth €540 Bn were given the final go-ahead, but there are still some clouds around. There is a general requirement for accessing these loans for all countries, linked only to their use for direct or indirect Covid-19 health costs. There is no particular conditionality. In Italy, however, there are concerns about the conditionality of ESM resources in the future. If the recovery allows it, the conditions would already be a reality in 2022 at the latest.
Patrik Lang, Head Equities (Julius Baer) | We have downgraded eurozone equities to Underweight given slower earnings recovery expectations, increasing political risk and unfavourable sector exposure. In our view, relative valuations do not fully reflect these negatives. On the other hand, we have upgraded US equities, which should benefit from a relatively fast post-Covid-19 recovery.
Intermoney | In the name of the ECB independence, Christine Lagarde, made it clear that the only guide for the institution is the fulfilment of its mandate and no resources or efforts will be spared in this task. Once the central bank has made it clear that it does not accept the authority of the German courts, it must move on towards a more political phase in which it can build bridges and provide a solution to the problem. If it does not do so within three months, the Bundesbank could find itself in a difficult legal mess.
David Page (Head of Macro Research at AXA Investment Managers) | The Bank of England (BoE) today announced its monetary policy decision for May. It left the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.10% as widely expected, by unanimous vote. It also left QE unchanged, leaving the Asset Purchase Facility target unchanged at £645bn. This was in line with the median consensus forecast, but we had expected a £100bn increase in QE today as the current programme is set to expire in early July. This was by split decision, with two members voting for an immediate £100bn increase. The majority of the Committee decided to wait for “more information… that was likely to become available over the coming weeks”, but these members “all” acknowledged prospective weakness in the economy and downside risks to the medium term outlook “might necessitate further monetary policy action to support the economy in the future”. We fully expect the MPC to increase QE, probably by £100bn at its next meeting on 18 June.
The German Constitutional Court surprised everyone yesterday with a ruling that some of the European Central Bank (ECB)’s actions, carried out as part of its 2015 bond purchase programme (PSPP), are unconstitutional. This decision clashes directly with the judgement of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The decision does not call into question the entire debt purchase programme, but rather the part relating to the Bundesbank’s intervention.