European Central Bank contemplates negative rates, purchase of bank assets

Section:

ECB's Praet: All Options on Table

By Brian Blackstone
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FRANKFURT, Germany -- The European Central Bank could adopt negative interest rates or purchase assets from banks if needed to lift inflation closer to its target, a top ECB official said, rebutting concerns that the central bank is running out of tools or is unwilling to use them.

"If our mandate is at risk we are going to take all the measures that we think we should take to fulfill that mandate. That's a very clear signal," ECB executive board member Peter Praet said in an interview Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal. ...

Mr. Praet didn't rule out what some analysts see as the strongest, and most controversial, option: purchases of assets from banks to reduce borrowing costs in the private sector.

"The balance-sheet capacity of the central bank can also be used," said Mr. Praet, whose views carry added weight as he also heads the ECB's powerful economics division. "This includes outright purchases that any central bank can do."

... For the full story:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230424390457919563101...



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