Senior Economics Correspondent, Germany
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Apr 2, 2015

ECB policymakers agree to ‘remain firm’ in executing bond-buy plan: minutes

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers agreed at their March meeting to “remain firm” in implementing their large-scale asset-purchase program, even though the economic outlook is improving, records published on Thursday showed.

The Governing Council, at its policy meeting on March 5, said it would begin printing money to buy bonds — so-called quantitative easing (QE) — on the following Monday (March 9). It also presented updated forecasts from its staff economists that gave a more rosy outlook, but policymakers agreed that did not reduce the need for QE.

Mar 31, 2015

Analysis – How Grexit bill could dig deep into ECB pockets

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A Greek departure from the euro could expose the European Central Bank to losses on tens of billions of credit, a hole Germany and other euro members may have to fill.

As political wrangling with Athens freezes the country’s access to loans from euro zone states, Greece has been drawing heavily on the ECB, running up an ever larger tab.

Mar 31, 2015

How Grexit bill could dig deep into ECB pockets

FRANKFURT, March 31 (Reuters) – A Greek departure from the
euro could expose the European Central Bank to losses on tens of
billions of credit, a hole Germany and other euro members may
have to fill.

As political wrangling with Athens freezes the country’s
access to loans from euro zone states, Greece has been drawing
heavily on the ECB, running up an ever larger tab.

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.

    • 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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