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.
Ewald Nowotny, a member of the ECB Governing Council said recently he was comfortable with the possibility of an increase in the deposit rate, from -0.4% to -0.2%, “as a first step” before any change in the official interest rate. At April 6, European banks kept 690, 384 million euros in the ECB. It’s the first time, since interest rates have been at a record low of 0%, that an ECB member has talked so clearly about a rise.
Francesco Saraceno | This post is nothing new. It is just a reminder for non European readers (or for distracted European readers), about the way things work in the EMU. The German Bundesbank President Weidmann violently attacked the European Commission for failing to enforce fiscal discipline within the Stability Pact.
Milton Friedman once wrote (1969) something like a short story about money creation. A helicopter drops banknotes amongst the population: a few lines in an article on how ‘to create’ inflation when the economic policy measures are thought to be exhausted.
Indeed, the ECB can go further. Draghi broke the discipline again by skilfully taking advantage of a dull reference in the communiqué to the ECB’s intention to study all potential possibilities should the need arise.
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Guess which country pioneered Quantitative Easing in Europe… Exactly: Germany!
BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | The German economy has gone from growing at 0.8% q-o-q earlier this year to being on the verge of recession as a result of the geopolitical situation, especially after the sanctions against Russia. Only now in December the country seems to recover its confidence. However, an expected GDP growth of around 1% in 2015 continues to be insufficient to spur growth in the Eurozone.
MADRID | The Corner | It’s speculation day before the European Central Bank’s tomorrow meeting. Will a QE plan finally be announced? Experts at Santander bank think that, if announced too early, it could damage TLTROs. JP Morgan economists believe there is a 30% chance we’ll get a QE shot in 2014, 50% next year. And they’ve come with a proposal we find erratic: 17 different bond buying plans, one for each state member. That is exactly the opposite direction the EU needs to be heading to.
BERLIN | Alberto Lozano | After the strong performance of the German stock market yesterday, one of the hardest hit in recent weeks by the greater exposure of its companies to the Russian market, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann expressed his confidence in the growth of the German economy and the euro area during the second half of the year after the paralysis of the second quarter. In fact, Bundesbank considers that the “accumulation of bad news” is responsible of the decline in the 2Q, what could change the spring forecasts, although the basic trend suggests a strengthening in the second half of the year. Moreover, the Bundesbank wanted to make clear that although “the sentiment has deteriorated from a high level, the fact that the trend for domestic demand continues basically high suggests the economy has not changed direction.”