Mario Draghi says he won’t sit back and wait for stimulus to reach the economy. The European Central Bank president said a planned asset-purchase program shows that policy makers will steer the size of the institution’s balance sheet to avert deflation. In comments in Brussels yesterday, he underlined the need for that approach to revive the 18-nation economy.
The ECB is moving to a more “active and controlled management of our balance sheet,” Draghi said in his quarterly testimony to European lawmakers. “Unacceptably high unemployment and continued weak credit growth are likely to curb the strength of the recovery. The risks surrounding the expected expansion are clearly on the downside.”
Even after cutting borrowing costs for banks to record lows and offering long-term loans, Draghi is struggling to persuade them to take more ECB cash to finance lending to the real economy. In contrast to other major central banks, the ECB’s assets have shrunk by a third since 2012.
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