Currency and Financial Markets ECB Monetary Policy

Monetary policy in the euro area will remain expansionary for a long time to come

The ECB has reached a historic turning point and will now end its QE program. So far, the ECB has been very successful in engineering the monetary policy reversal without triggering financial market volatility. This week’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in favor of the ECB and against German euro critics is an important confirmation for the ECB’s course.

Monetary policy in the euro area will remain expansionary for a long time to come. The ECB has … [continue reading]

Read more
ECB Monetary Policy

Comment on the latest ECB council meeting

The rising global uncertainty is now making it much harder for the European Central Bank to identify the right timing and speed for exiting its expansionary monetary policy stance. I still expect the ECB to end its QE program by the end of 2018, but the ECB will need to change its communication strategy. In order to remain flexible the ECB should not pre-commit itself to a particular policy path. This will fuel German objections, but it is important for … [continue reading]

Read more
ECB Economic Policy Monetary Policy

“European Central Bank has to keep all its options open”

The ECB is keeping its course and following its expansionary monetary policy stance. There had been expectations in Germany that the ECB would promise to end its purchase program in September, but these have been disappointed. The ECB has to keep its options open. The recent turmoil in financial markets, the stronger euro and disappointingly weak inflation in the euro area don’t bode well for a swift end of the purchase program. Despite the change in forward guidance, I now … [continue reading]

Read more
ECB Europe Monetary Policy

The ECB can only tighten its monetary policy gradually

The ECB has chosen a gradual and cautious exit from its expansionary monetary policy stance. The decision gives the ECB a maximum of flexibility for exiting QE. I expect the ECB to terminate its QE program after September 2018 and to raise rates for the first time in 2019 at the earliest. The ECB can tighten policy only gradually as it is only slowly approaching its price stability mandate. The ECB has to maintain a high degree of flexibility in … [continue reading]

Read more
ECB Europe Monetary Policy

Statement on the lawsuit against ECB QE program

The decision of the German constitutional court concerning the lawsuit against ECB QE program is a false compromise. The constitutional court signals that it considers the ECB QE program as a violation of European law and to constitute monetary financing. Yet the constitutional court is not willing to take a decision itself at this stage, but rather asks the European court of justice (ECJ) for “advice”.

I expect that the ECJ will again support the ECB, as it did with … [continue reading]

Read more
Currency and Financial Markets ECB Europe Monetary Policy

Statement on ECB interest rate decision

The ECB keeps its options open about the exit of its expansionary monetary policy stance. There has been no significant change in ECB communication. The statement by President Draghi makes a very gradual tapering of its bond purchases in 2018 the most likely path. Many open questions about ECB monetary policy remain unanswered. It is still open when the ECB will end its bond purchases and when it will start raising interest rates.

The overreaction of financial markets to ECB … [continue reading]

Read more
Currency and Financial Markets Economic Policy Monetary Policy ZEIT ONLINE op-ed column

Germany’s savings madness

This text was also published in German in  ZEIT ONLINE on February 17,  as part of the op-ed column “Fratzschers Verteilungsfragen“.

Germany is generating substantial export surpluses – but the profits are being squandered abroad. The solution? Investing in Germany.

Since the year 2000, every German has lost an average of €7,500 euros in savings abroad.

How could that be? Didn’t our country just post a record surplus, exporting significantly more to its foreign partners than it is importing? Yes, … [continue reading]

Read more
Currency and Financial Markets ECB Monetary Policy

Statement on the meeting of the Council of the European Central Bank

ECB President Draghi has clearly signaled a continuation of its current course of monetary policy. The rising inflation trend is a positive, welcome development for everyone. Especially Germany should welcome the positive trend in inflation. The sooner the ECB can achieve its price stability objective of 2%, the sooner the ECB can end its expansionary monetary policy stance. … [continue reading]

Read more
ECB Europe Monetary Policy

Statement on the ECB decision

The ECB decision is wise and balanced. It may disappoint many in Germany. The extension of the PSPP programme was inevitable as the risks to the euro area economy are still huge and the ECB is likely to miss its price stability mandate through 2019.

The ECB decision is wise as it leaves all options open. The ECB is introducing more flexibility through the changes to the PSPP programme. The ECB decision implies a longer period of low interest rates … [continue reading]

Read more
ECB Europe Foreign Trade and International Economic Relations Macroeconomics Monetary Policy

Statement on today’s meeting of the Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), July 21, 2016

The European Central Bank is facing a difficult dilemma. The slower the euro area economy is growing, the lower interest rates and the harder it becomes for the ECB to implement its public sector purchase program. The ECB has assumed a wait-and-see strategy in the hope that its new measures will be effective and the economy will not deteriorate further. Italy’s banking crisis, more than the Brexit, is an enormous risk for the entire euro area, also for Germany, and … [continue reading]

Read more