Thursday 22 March 2018

ECB must try harder

In the six months since taking over as its president, Mario Draghi has done much to restore the ECB's battered reputation. He quickly undid the misguided interest rate increases of his predecessor Jean-Claude Trichet and, by unleashing €1 trillion of emergency liquidity, staved off a eurozone banking crisis that had the potential to destroy the entire single currency experiment.

That's the good news. The bad news is that most of the European economy remains mired in deep recession. Indeed, such is the depth of the slump that many peripheral eurozone economies are experiencing something close to a 1930s-style depression. While the measures taken by Mr Draghi since last November may have prevented things from getting even worse they are still very, very bad.

Yesterday, Mr Draghi missed the opportunity to provide some much-needed stimulus to the eurozone's weaker economies when he left official ECB interest rates unchanged at 1pc. This was a serious mistake. He should have followed the example of the United States Federal Reserve and the Bank of England which have reduced their official interest rates to 0.25pc and 0.5pc respectively. Merely leaving official ECB rates unchanged was not enough.

Please sign in or register with for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss