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THE ECB BLOG

Monetary policy normalisation in the euro area

As the expected date of interest rate lift-off draws closer, it gets more important to clarify the path of policy normalisation ahead of us – especially given the complex environment that monetary policy in the euro area is facing, says President Christine Lagarde in The ECB Blog.

The ECB Blog
ECB & YOU 23 May 2022

President Lagarde talks to Dutch students

President Christine Lagarde joins journalist Twan Huys on the Dutch TV show “College Tour”, answering questions from students about inflation, crypto-assets, career advice, her personal life and more.

College Tour episode
PUBLICATION 23 May 2022

Climate-related risks to financial stability

Financial markets are becoming more aware of climate-related risks as firms get better at disclosing their exposures, an analysis in our latest Financial Stability Review finds. Yet the risk of greenwashing remains a concern, one which may be increasing.

Article
SCHOLARSHIP 19 May 2022

ECB Scholarship for Women

We have extended the deadline for applications to the ECB Scholarship for Women until 1 June. The programme offers €10,000 grants and expert mentoring to women doing a master’s degree in economics, statistics, engineering or computing.

Scholarship
20 May 2022
Presentation by Philip Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Nobel Symposium in Economics on "Covid-19 and the Economy: Policies and Impacts"
19 May 2022
Speech by Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, at the 20th annual symposium on “Building the financial system of the 21st century: an agenda for Europe and the United States” organised by the Program on International Financial Systems and Harvard Law School (by videoconference)
16 May 2022
Keynote speech by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the National College of Ireland
11 May 2022
Speech by Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at a conference organised by the Österreichische Vereinigung für Finanzanalyse und Asset Management
11 May 2022
Speech by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the international conference to mark the 30th anniversary of Banka Slovenije
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7 May 2022
Interview with Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, conducted by Miha Jenko and published on 7 May 2022
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6 May 2022
Interview on Twitter with Frank Elderson, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted and published on 6 May 2022
5 May 2022
Interview with Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Marco Zatterin
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3 May 2022
Interview with Isabel Schnabel, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, conducted by Jan Mallien and Frank Wiebe on 29 April 2022
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1 May 2022
Interview with Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, conducted by Adolfo Lorente and Manu Álvarez on 26 April
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23 May 2022
Blog post by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB
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Summary
As the expected date of interest rate lift-off draws closer, it gets more important to clarify the path of policy normalisation ahead of us – especially given the complex environment that monetary policy in the euro area is facing, says President Christine Lagarde in The ECB Blog.
10 February 2022
Blog post by Philip R. Lane, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
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Summary
Looking at inflation dynamics, the relative price dislocations associated with bottlenecks are intrinsically short-term, Chief Economist Philip R. Lane writes in The ECB Blog. An increase in the relative price for a scarce item will stimulate new supply, while cooling demand.
31 December 2021
Blog post by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB
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Europe and the euro have become inseparable, President Christine Lagarde writes in The ECB Blog to mark the 20th anniversary of euro banknotes and coins. She recalls her first encounter with a euro banknote, and reflects on how far the euro has come and what lies ahead.
19 November 2021
Blog post by Fabio Panetta, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB
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To continue playing its role as the anchor of the monetary system, central bank money will need to respond to evolving needs, says Executive Board member Fabio Panetta. This means that we must intensify the work on central bank digital currencies.
4 November 2021
Blog post by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB
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The COP26 summit is a vital opportunity to set out a clear path towards a zero-carbon world, President Lagarde writes in a blog post. While the road ahead may seem daunting, she argues that a credible transition path will need clear signposts to break it up into more manageable stages.
23 May 2022
FINANCIAL STABILITY REVIEW - ARTICLE
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2022
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Abstract
The ECB is continuing its work on incorporating climate-related risks into assessments of financial stability. This includes a new analysis of disclosure, pricing and greenwashing risks in financial markets, as well as continued monitoring of financial institutions’ exposure to transition and physical risks. There is some encouraging evidence of better disclosure by non-financial corporations and increasing awareness of climate-related risks in financial markets. Progress made by banks, however, has been more limited. Established and newer metrics show no clear evidence of a reduction in climate-related risks, revealing instead a potential for amplification mechanisms stemming from exposure concentration, cross-hazard correlation and financial institutions’ overlapping portfolios. These findings can inform evidence-based international and European policy debates around climate-related corporate disclosure, standards for sustainable financial instruments and climate-related prudential policies. More generally, amid high uncertainty around governments’ transition policies in an environment of volatile energy prices, further investments in the transition to a net-zero economy would also have a positive impact on medium-term growth and energy security.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q51 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Valuation of Environmental Effects
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
23 May 2022
SURVEY OF MONETARY ANALYSTS
20 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2665
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Abstract
The analysis of the conditions under which, and extent to which climate-adjusted financial risk assessment affects firms’ investment decisions in the low-carbon transition, and the realisation of the climate mitigation trajectories, still represent a knowledge gap. Filling this gap is crucial to assess the “double materiality” of climate-related financial risks. By tailoring the EIRIN Stock-Flow Consistent model, we provide a dynamic balance sheets assessment of climate physical and transition risks for the euro area, using the climate scenarios of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). We find that an orderly transition achieves important co-benefits already in the mid-term, with respect to carbon emissions abatement, financial stability, and economic output. In contrast, a disorderly transition can harm financial stability, thus limiting firms’ capacity to invest in low-carbon activities that could decrease their exposure to transition risk and help them recover from climate physical shocks. Importantly, investors’ climate sentiments, i.e. their anticipation of the impact of the carbon tax across NGFS scenarios, play a key role for smoothing the transition in the economy and finance. Our results highlight the importance for financial supervisors to consider the role of firms and investors’ expectations in the low-carbon transition, in order to design appropriate macro-prudential policies for tackling climate risks.
JEL Code
B59 : History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches→Current Heterodox Approaches→Other
Q50 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→General
19 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2664
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Abstract
This paper documents a durable increase in the cross-sectoral dispersion of earnings expectations during the COVID-19 crisis. The rise in dispersion of earnings forecasts can be explained by the introduction of lockdown measures, which had a particularly adverse impact on the travel sector. Accordingly, in terms of earnings expectations, countries that are relatively independent of the travel sector were least affected by a tightening of lockdowns. At the same time, vaccinations have been a game changer: more stringent lockdown measures added far less to the cross-sectoral dispersion in earnings expectations once vaccines started to be rolled out in late 2020. Going forward, the dispersion in earnings expectations continues to stand at elevated levels.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
19 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2663
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Abstract
Using large panel data of public and private firms, this paper dissects the growth of bond financing in the Euro Area through the lens of the cross-section of issuers. In recent years, the composition of bond issuers has shifted, with the entry of many smaller and riskier issuers. New issuers invest and grow, instead of simply repaying bank loans. Moreover, holdings of ‘buy-and-hold’ bond investors are large in aggregate but small for weaker issuers. Nevertheless, the bond investors’ sell-off after March 2020 was largely directed at bonds of larger, safer issuers. This micro-evidence can shed light on the implications of corporate bonds market development for smaller firms and financial stability.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
Network
Research Task Force (RTF)
19 May 2022
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 294
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Abstract
The paper provides an overview of studies on the social and private costs of retail payments conducted since 2013 in nine EU countries and collates the results obtained. Social costs of retail payments are the overall costs resulting from providing payment services to society and deriving from the resource costs incurred by all parties along the payment chain. Private costs, in contrast, are the costs incurred by the individual stakeholder only, such as banks and other payment intermediaries. Understanding the social and private costs of retail payments is crucial for assessing the impact of the rapidly changing retail payment landscape, such as the shift to electronic payments, and for designing strategies for moving towards cost efficient retail payments.
JEL Code
D23 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Organizational Behavior, Transaction Costs, Property Rights
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
16 May 2022
EURO AREA BALANCE OF PAYMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT POSITION STATISTICS - QUALITY REPORT
Annexes
13 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2662
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Abstract
We study a model of financial intermediation, payment choice, and privacy in the digital economy. Cash preserves anonymity but cannot be used for more efficient online transactions. By contrast, bank deposits can be used online but do not preserve anonymity. Banks use the information contained in deposit flows to extract rents from merchants in need of financing. Payment tokens issued by digital platforms allow merchants to hide from banks but enable platforms to stifle competition. An independent digital payment instrument (a CBDC) that allows agents to share their payment data with selected parties can overcome all frictions and achieves the efficient allocation.
JEL Code
D82 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Asymmetric and Private Information, Mechanism Design
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
13 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2661
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Abstract
In this study, we reassess the links between commercial bank ownership and lending growth during the 1996–2019 period. We find evidence that the lending activities of foreign state-controlled and foreign privately owned banks differ, particularly during different crisis type periods and origins. Foreign state-controlled banks’ loan growth rates are higher than those of foreign private-owned banks during host banking crises. By contrast, foreign state-controlled banks reduce their credit growth during a home banking crisis, while foreign private-owned banks increase lending in the host countries. Moreover, we find evidence that bank-specific characteristics were more important determinants of credit growth than ownership structure during the global financial crisis of 2008 and gain in importance in the post-crisis period.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
12 May 2022
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 293
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Abstract
In July 2021 the Eurosystem decided to launch the investigation phase of the digital euro project, which aims to provide euro area citizens with access to central bank money in an increasingly digitalised world. While a digital euro could offer a wide range of benefits, it could prompt changes in the demand for bank deposits and services from private financial entities (ECB, 2020a), with knock-on consequences for bank lending and resilience. By inducing bank disintermediation, a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, could in principle alter the transmission of monetary policy and impact financial stability. To prevent this risk, options to moderate CBDC take-up are being discussed widely.In view of the significant degree of uncertainty surrounding the design of a potential digital euro, its demand and the prevailing environment in which it would be introduced, this paper explores a set of analytical exercises that can offer insights into the consequences it could have for bank intermediation in the euro area.Based on assumptions about the degree of substitution between different forms of money in normal times, several take-up scenarios are calculated to illustrate how the potential demand for a digital euro might shape up. The paper then analyses the mechanisms through which commercial banks and the central bank could react to the introduction of a digital euro. Overall, effects on bank intermediation are found to vary across credit institutions in normal times and to be potentially larger in stressed times. Further, a potential digital euro’s capacity to alter system-wide bank run dynamics appears to depend on a few crucial factors, such as CBDC remuneration and usage limits.
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
12 May 2022
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 292
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Abstract
After addressing the securitisation of non-performing loans (NPLs) within the broader context of the ECB’s efforts to reduce NPL stocks and inflows, we investigate the structural and pricing features of NPL securitisations, issued by large banks in the euro area, by drawing on a unique and comprehensive dataset. In doing so, we provide an overview and typology of NPL securitisations issued in the past five years by large banks in the euro area and propose a concrete framework to compare and assess NPL securitisations across multiple dimensions. Despite methodological constraints resulting from the inherently bespoke nature of securitisations, we are able to identify structural differences between transactions that rely solely on private market participants and transactions that benefit from government guarantee schemes. Indeed, the existing data indicates that transactions involving government guarantee schemes display distinct structural features and higher costs for originating banks when compared with purely private market transactions in our dataset. Our analysis indicates that government guarantee schemes might not solely act as an incentive to new investors who would otherwise not invest in NPLs, but possibly also create conditions, for a new market, distinct in particular from the private NPL securitisations market (in terms of asset quality, capital efficiency, etc.). We believe that further research on the impact of government guarantee schemes on market participants’ behaviour and on the pricing and structuring of NPL transactions, as well as their impact over time would greatly help policymakers and supervisors to strengthen the design of future policy options for dealing with NPL stocks.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
G29 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Other
6 May 2022
MEP LETTER
6 May 2022
MEP LETTER
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6 May 2022
T2S ANNUAL REPORT
4 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2660
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Abstract
Political science research has established that trust in institutions, including central banks, is shaped by socio-economic and demographic factors, as well as by the assessment of institutional features and by slow-moving components such as culture. However, the role of cognitive processes has largely been neglected, especially in the analysis of central bank trust. In this paper we aim to address this gap focusing on the case of the European Central Bank (ECB). We introduce the concepts of “instinctive trust”, which captures an on-the-spot judgement on the institution’s trustworthiness, and of “reflective trust”, which refers to a more pondered opinion on the matter. Using a survey experiment, we find that deeper consideration about the ECB promotes less trust in the institution compared to an on-the-spot judgement. This result is mainly driven by women, and in particular by those who say they possess a low understanding of the central bank’s policies.
JEL Code
C83 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Survey Methods, Sampling Methods
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
Z13 : Other Special Topics→Cultural Economics, Economic Sociology, Economic Anthropology→Economic Sociology, Economic Anthropology, Social and Economic Stratification
3 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2659
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Swift changes in investors' sentiment, such as the one triggered by COVID-19 global outbreak in March 2020, lead to financial tensions and asset price volatility. We study the interactions of behavioral and financial frictions in an environment with endogenous risk-taking and capital accumulation. Agents form diagnostic expectations about future stochastic outcomes: recent realizations of aggregate shocks are expected to persist. This behavioral friction gives rise to sentiment cycles with excessive investment and occasional safety traps. The interactions with financial frictions lead to an endogenous amplification of financial instability. We discuss implications for policy interventions.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E71 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
3 May 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2658
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Abstract
We offer a theory of financial contagion based on the information choice of investors after observing a financial crisis elsewhere. We study global coordination games of regime change in two regions linked by an initially unobserved macro shock. A crisis in region 1 is a wake-up call to investors in region 2. It induces them to reassess the regional fundamental and acquire information about the macro shock. Contagion can occur even after investors learn that region 2 has no ex-post exposure to region 1. We explore normative and testable implications of the model. In particular, our results rationalize evidence about contagious currency crises and bank runs after wake-up calls and provide some guidance for future empirical work.
JEL Code
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
29 April 2022
OTHER PUBLICATION
28 April 2022
OTHER PUBLICATION
28 April 2022
ECONOMIC BULLETIN

Interest rates

Marginal lending facility 0.25 %
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18 September 2019 Past key ECB interest rates

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