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ECB's €40bn stimulus gamble to boost European economy


Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank

THE European Central Bank is set to launch a €40bn gamble to get credit flowing in the flagging eurozone economy.

The move will directly benefit Ireland, which has begun to show signs of recovery but is being hampered by insipid economic growth across the other 17 countries that use the euro.

The hope is that money pumped into the eurozone economy will trickle down into under-pressure households here.

ECB boss Mario Draghi is expected to outline plans to inject as much as €40bn into the flagging economy.

According to US investment bank JP Morgan Chase, he plans to buy bundles of bank loans which would be paid for by effectively creating money.

This extra money would be paid to the banks that had owned the bonds, so that they in turn can provide much-needed loans to businesses.

The aim is to stimulate economic activity by increasing lending, creating jobs and eventually allowing more people to spend money in the eurozone.

This is part of a bid to revive lending to small-and medium-sized businesses, as it is expected the new funds will go to banks and then flow into the EU economy.

SMEs employ about 70pc of the EU's private-sector workers, which are important employers in this country.

Formally approving it would send a strong signal that officials are concerned about ultra-low inflation and are serious about boosting the zone's economy.

The euro has fallen about 1pc since Mr Draghi's hint last month that he was preparing to print money in a bid to avoid deflation and the spectre of another damaging recession in Europe.

Justin Doyle, a treasury analyst with Dublin-based specialist bank Investec, predicted the ECB would buy up the loans of big private companies.

"This action is priced in by the financial markets. The ECB won't necessarily start this now, but it will signal that it's coming down the line."


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