Senior Economics Correspondent, Germany
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Mar 26, 2015

G20 watchdog to study bond market liquidity, asset managers

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The global financial system is safer but there is no room for complacency because of concerns about the international bond market, Financial Stability Board Chairman Mark Carney said on Thursday.

The FSB coordinates financial regulation for the Group of 20 leading economies (G20) and has been introducing tougher rules for banks and markets to plug gaps highlighted by the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Mar 26, 2015

Euro zone lending dips in February, pointing to slow recovery in credit

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lending to euro zone households and firms fell slightly in February, dashing expectations for the first rise in three years but pointing to a slow turnaround in credit supply that should support an economic recovery.

Loans to the private sector fell by 0.1 percent on the year after a downwardly revised drop of 0.2 percent in January, the ECB said. A Reuters poll had pointed to an increase of 0.1 percent. EUM3PC=ECI The last rise was in March 2012.

Mar 19, 2015

Banks load up on cheap ECB loans in positive sign for economy

FRANKFURT, March 19 (Reuters) – Banks took 97.8 billion
euros ($104.50 billion) in cheap long-term loans from the
European Central Bank on Thursday, far exceeding expectations
and offering fresh evidence that a nascent euro zone recovery is
spurring lending.

The ECB is offering banks the loans as part of a cocktail of
measures aimed at pumping around 1 trillion euros into the euro
zone economy, with a view to shifting inflation from below zero
towards its target of just under 2 percent.

Mar 18, 2015

Protesters clash with police near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Thousands of anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday, hours before the ceremonial opening of the 1.3-billion-euro ($1.4-billion) building.

Several cars were set on fire and streets were blocked by burning stacks of tires and rubbish bins. At least one police officer was injured, police said.

Mar 16, 2015

ECB spends 10 billion euros in first week of bond-buy plan

FRANKFURT, March 16 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
said on Monday it settled 9.751 billion euros ($10.30 billion)
of public-sector bond purchases in the first week of a programme
to pump more than 1 trillion euros into the euro zone economy.

The programme, which the ECB began last Monday, will see the
central bank print money, in effect, to buy sovereign bonds with
the aim of lifting inflation in the 19-country euro zone from
below zero back toward the ECB target of just under 2 percent.

Mar 13, 2015

Insight – Nerves set in as ECB unbottles policy genie

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – For the first time in years, the European Central Bank is embarking on a policy course with a following wind. But already some officials are fretting that the gale they are unleashing may turn into a hurricane.

The concern is that the bond-buying plan launched on Monday to pump more than a trillion euros into the 19-country economy will send stronger members such as Germany that could arguably do without the support into overdrive, while fostering complacency among laggards.

Mar 13, 2015

Nerves set in as ECB unbottles policy genie

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – For the first time in years, the European Central Bank is embarking on a policy course with a following wind. But already some officials are fretting that the gale they are unleashing may turn into a hurricane.

The concern is that the bond-buying plan launched on Monday to pump more than a trillion euros into the 19-country economy will send stronger members such as Germany that could arguably do without the support into overdrive, while fostering complacency among laggards.

Mar 12, 2015

Weidmann rejects Greek criticism of ECB, puts onus on governments to help Athens

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) – ECB policymaker Jens
Weidmann put the onus squarely on governments on Thursday to
decide whether they wanted to cover Greece’s funding needs,
saying this was “less than ever” a task for the euro zone’s
central banks.

Rejecting the Greek finance minister’s characterisation of
ECB policy towards Athens as “asphyxiating”, Weidmann said
Greece had lost a lot of trust and that he did not see the
country regaining access to capital markets by mid-year.

Mar 11, 2015

Draghi: ECB action shields euro zone states from Greek contagion

FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) – European Central Bank buying
of government and other debt may be shielding countries in the
euro zone from any knock-on effect from events in Greece, ECB
President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday.

The ECB began a policy of printing money to buy sovereign
bonds, or quantitative easing, on Monday with a view to
supporting growth and lifting euro zone inflation from below
zero up towards its target of just under 2 percent.

Mar 2, 2015

ECB uncomfortable with leading role in Greek funding drama

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers decamp to Cyprus on Wednesday wrestling with the uncomfortable fact that they may hold the keys to Greece’s continued membership of the euro.

With no political appetite for a ‘transfer union’ that could see wealthier countries subsidize Greece, the central bank figures prominently among the main options for staving off an impending funding crunch in Athens.

    • About Paul

      "I lead our economic news file from Berlin, where we report on the performance of the German economy – Europe’s largest – and economic policy: everything from financial regulation to dealing with the euro zone debt crisis. I previously reported on political and economic news from Paris and on earlier assignments worked in Frankfurt, Vienna and London."
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