Europe’s Chief Bubblemakers (ECB)

Late last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a raft of policy actions designed primarily to address the supposed threat of deflation. Paraphrasing Jim Grant, they’re planning on saving Europeans from everyday lower prices. The policy changes included a reduction in the refinancing rate from microscopic to sub-atomic (now 0.15% p.a.). More controversially, the ECB deposit rate drops from zero to minus 0.1%—negative interest rates. If a commercial bank deposits cash with the ECB overnight, it now pays rather than receives interest (making it much like my transaction account, really). This is intended encouragement for banks to lend more...

Late last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a raft of policy actions designed primarily to address the supposed threat of deflation. Paraphrasing Jim Grant, they’re planning on saving Europeans from everyday lower prices.

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