European Central Bank now considering even negative interest rates

Section:

ECB Mulls Bolder Moves to Guard Against Low Inflation

By Brian Blackstone
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

European Central Bank officials sent strong signals Tuesday that they are willing to consider dramatic steps to guard against dangerously low inflation, suggesting that the bank is prepared to shed some of its traditionally cautious approach.

The possible tools, cited by some top policy makers from different parts of the euro zone, include effective negative interest rates -- meaning rates so low that commercial banks would essentially pay the ECB to park their extra cash overnight. They also include purchases of government or private-sector debt to hold down long-term rates and spur lending. ...

"We haven't exhausted our maneuvering room" on interest rates, Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview in Helsinki. Mr. Liikanen is on the ECB's 24-member governing council. Asked what tools the ECB has remaining, Mr. Liikanen cited a negative deposit rate as well as additional loans to banks and asset purchases. ...

For the full story:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405270230372540457946119107...



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