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Policy Contribution

European Central Bank quantitative easing: the detailed manual

This Policy Contribution examines the detail of how quantitative easing will actually take place in the euro area and its implications, following the European Central Bank's announcement in January 2015 of a massive expansion of its asset purchase programme. 

By: , and Date: March 11, 2015 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

  • The European quantitative easing programme, the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP), started on 9 March 2015 and will last at least until September 2016. Purchases will be composed of sovereign bonds and securities from European institutions and national agencies.
  • The European Central Bank Governing Council imposed limits to ensure that the Eurosystem will not breach the prohibition on monetary financing. However, these limits will constrain the size and duration of the programme, especially if it is sustained after September 2016. The possibility for national central banks to also buy national agency securities could alleviate this, but the small number of eligible agencies could limit their role as a back-up purchase.
  • The Eurosystem should find other eligible agencies, especially in countries in which public debt is small, or waive the limits for countries respecting the investment grade eligibility criteria. The same issue arises with European institutions: their number and outstanding debt securities are limited. The waiver of the limits proposed for sovereigns should be applied to institutions with high ratings.
  • The PSPP profits that will ultimately be repatriated to national treasuries will be small. This was to be expected, given current very low yields. Profits will also come from the major increase in reserves resulting from the implementation of QE, combined with the negative deposit rates on excess reserves at the ECB.
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Past Event

Past Event

The Sound of Economics Live: The macroeconomic policy response to the COVID-19 crisis

Which macroeconomic policy response is the best option to deal with the crisis currently unfolding and will ensure that the recovery will be as quick as possible?

Speakers: Grégory Claeys, Giuseppe Porcaro, Lucrezia Reichlin and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 31, 2020
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Past Event

Past Event

CANCELLED: How adequate is the European toolbox to deal with financial stability risks in a low rate environment?

Bruegel is delighted to welcome the governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Gabriel Makhlouf. He will deliver a keynote address about how adequate the European toolbox is to tackle financial stability risks in a low rate environment. Following his speech, a panel of experts will further discuss the topic.

Speakers: Gabriel Makhlouf, Guntram B. Wolff and Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 31, 2020
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External Publication

Facing the lower bound: what will the ECB do in the next recession?

In responding to the global financial crisis, the ECB has pushed its monetary policy into unchartered territories . Today, it appears increasingly constrained by persistently low interest rates. This paper seeks to understand this challenge and assess whether its toolkit would allow the ECB to weather a European recession.

By: Aliénor Cameron, Grégory Claeys and Maria Demertzis Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 27, 2020
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Blog Post

COVID-19 Fiscal response: What are the options for the EU Council?

It is time for the EU Council to make quick progress on the fiscal front and announce something as soon as possible to show that it taken full measure of the severity of the situation.

By: Grégory Claeys and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 26, 2020
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Past Event

Past Event

The Sound of Economics Live: Banks and Loan Losses in the Pandemic Turmoil

At this online event we will record an episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel's podcast series. In this episode, we discuss the implications of the coronavirus crisis on financial stability and credit availability.

Speakers: Giuseppe Porcaro, Nicolas Véron and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: March 25, 2020
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Blog Post

Coronavirus and the politics of a common fiscal instrument

Coronavirus means many European Union countries will soon face major increases in their sovereign debt burdens, exacerbated by the sudden collapse of economic activity. What should the European Union do to address these debt problems?

By: Mark Hallerberg and Stavros Zenios Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 25, 2020
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Blog Post

What should be done to reduce euro-area spreads?

Spreads are rising again in the euro-area at the worst possible time, when fiscal policy is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the related economic shock. This blog post reviews the main options available to European policymakers, their feasibility and potential effectiveness to deal with this issue.

By: Grégory Claeys Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 18, 2020
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Opinion

The European coronavirus response must be a solution, not more stigma

Lagarde needs a different bazooka in responding to a natural disaster like COVID-19.

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 18, 2020
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Opinion

A letter to Santa, the G7

The G7 should set an example of international cooperation and come out with a strong signal of unity and support for the euro-area. Only then will the cost of the crisis be temporary and manageable. This is our letter to Santa. I hope at least some -if not all -of these wishes can be fulfilled.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 17, 2020
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Blog Post

Inflation targets: revising the European Central Bank’s monetary framework

The ECB is looking to evaluate whether its definition of price stability is effective in helping anchor inflation expectations. We argue that the current definition does not make for a very good focal point. To become a focal point the ECB needs to do two things. Price stability should be defined as inflation at 2 percent,. Remove therefore the unnecessary ambiguity of "below but close to 2 percent". But that is not enough. Around that 2 percent, the ECB should say which levels of inflation it is prepared to tolerate. There need to be explicit bands defined around that 2 percent to provide a framework for economic agents to evaluate Central Bank performance. And as the ECB will have to operate under high levels fo uncertainty these bands need to be wider than tolerance of inflation between 1 and 3 percent, which is what many inflation targeting Central Banks have tolerated over the years.

By: Maria Demertzis and Nicola Viegi Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: February 20, 2020
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Policy Contribution

European Parliament

From climate change to cyber attacks: Incipient financial-stability risks for the euro area

The European Central Bank’s November 2019 Financial Stability Review highlighted the risks to growth in an environment of global uncertainty. On the whole, the ECB report is comprehensive and covers the main risks to euro-area financial stability, we highlight issues that deserve more attention.

By: Zsolt Darvas, Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, European Parliament, Finance & Financial Regulation, Testimonies Date: February 6, 2020
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Opinion

Europe’s banking union must be cyberproofed

The EU urgently needs to conduct joint preparedness exercises and create uniform information and disclosure requirements that help build a true pan-European insurance market for cyber risks

By: Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: January 30, 2020
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