Shock And Awe – European Version

I am rushing so I will only point to the relevant pieces from Bloomberg. Perhaps the most significant thing for me will that the ECB will now be buyers of real assets (albeit that these bids will be sterilised).

No. 1 from Bloomberg …

European policy makers unveiled an unprecedented loan package worth almost $1 trillion and a program of bond purchases as they spearheaded a global drive to stop a sovereign-debt crisis that threatened to shatter confidence in the euro. Jolted into action by last week’s slide in the currency and soaring bond yields in Portugal and Spain, the 16 euro nations agreed to offer financial assistance worth as much as 750 billion euros ($962 billion) to countries under attack from speculators. The European Central Bank will counter “severe tensions” in “certain” markets by purchasing government and private debt.

“The message has got through: the euro zone will defend its money,” French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told reporters in Brussels early today after the 14-hour meeting.

No. 2 from Bloomberg …

The European Central Bank said it will buy government and private bonds as part of an historic bid to stave off a sovereign-debt crisis that threatens to destroy the euro.

The ECB wants “to address severe tensions in certain market segments which are hampering the monetary policy transmission mechanism and thereby the effective conduct of monetary policy,” the central bank said in a statement today, minutes after European finance ministers announced a loan package worth almost $1 trillion to staunch the market turmoil. The central bank said it will intervene in “those market segments which are dysfunctional,” signaling it views the recent surge in some of the region’s bond yields as unjustified. Policy makers are seeking to restore confidence in markets and protect the economy from a double-dip recession. The bank said the moves won’t affect monetary policy and the resulting liquidity will be reabsorbed.

It will be very interesting to see whether this will be followed by an honest recognition that some economies in the Eurozone still face debt restructuring. I believe this is the key.


This was a post by Claus Vistesen, who also blogs at his own site Alpha.Sources.

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