Mario Draghi led the European Central Bank into a new era, committing to a quantitative easing program worth at least 1.1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) to counter the threat of a deflationary spiral.
The ECB president shrugged off determined opposition led by German officials with a pledge to buy 60 billion euros every month through September next year in a once-and-for-all push to put more cash into circulation and revive inflation. To assuage critics, the region’s 19 national central banks will make 80 percent of the purchases and take on any risk they carry.
A near-stagnant economy and outright declines in consumer prices forced Draghi’s hand six years after the Federal Reserve took a similar step — and three months after the U.S. central bank ended its purchases. The 67-year-old Italian’s gamble is that the benefits of QE — should it work — outweigh the threat of a backlash in Germany.
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