The ECB Takes a Page From the Fed Playbook, Monetizes Anything That Isn't Nailed Down
Hell, they may get desperate and monetize whatever IS nailed down if things don't look up and quick. Wonder if Trichet has Bernanke on speed dial for this one. At least the ECB is being completely clear about its intentions.
Jean-Claude Trichet said the European Central Bank will extend its offerings of unlimited cash and keep buying government bonds as it tries to ease tensions in money markets and fight the European debt crisis.
“It’s appropriate to continue to do what we’ve decided” on purchases of sovereign and corporate bonds, Trichet, who heads the ECB, said at a press conference in Frankfurt today. Earlier, the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent. “We have a money market which is not functioning perfectly.”
The ECB is buying state debt and pumping unlimited funds into the banking system as part of a strategy by European policy makers to stop the euro region from breaking apart. While Trichet refused to bow to some investors’ demands for more details on the bond purchases, he said the ECB plans to offer further help to banks struggling to raise cash in money markets.
“The ECB is really in fire-fighting mode and is no longer thinking about exit,” said Nick Kounis, chief European economist at Fortis Bank Nederland NV in Amsterdam. “Interest rates will be lower for longer because of this euro-region sovereign debt crisis.”
Whatever it takes!