Speeches published in 2014

19/12/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Where to from here?
Remarks by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 17th Annual International Banking Conference, Policy panel: Where to from here? Chicago, 7 November 2014
15/12/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Nonlinearities in Macroeconomics and Finance
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, 15 December 2014
09/12/2014
Peter Praet:  Current issues in monetary policy
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, 9 December 2014

Summary

Current issues in monetary policy

Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC,
9 December 2014

The ECB has responded forcefully to counter growing risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation. The current set of measures will enhance our monetary policy stance, incentivise bank lending, overcome remaining impairments in our transmission mechanism and underpin the firm anchoring of medium- to longer-term inflation expectations. Tentative evidence suggests that our credit easing package is delivering some tangible first benefits. But we need to remain vigilant as to whether the force of monetary stimulus already in the pipeline remains sufficient to reach our objective. If needed, one option for the ECB to ease the monetary policy stance further would be to extend its asset purchases towards other asset classes. Purchases of different asset classes will affect private sector financing conditions to varying degrees as they will activate different transmission channels and affect different spread components.

29/11/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  How innovative should central banks be?
Keynote speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at Wirtschaftsgipfel 2014 “Wirtschaft neu denken – die Kraft der Innovation” organised by Süddeutsche Zeitung in Berlin, 29 November 2014
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27/11/2014
Mario Draghi:  Stability and Prosperity in Monetary Union
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, at the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 27 November 2014

Summary

Stability and Prosperity in Monetary Union

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
at the University of Helsinki,
Helsinki, 27 November 2014

ECB President Mario Draghi outlined the minimum requirements needed to complete monetary union in a way that offers stability and prosperity for all its members in a speech to students of the University of Helsinki.

Acknowledging that, “for all its resilience, our union is still incomplete”, Mr Draghi argued that, ultimately, Member States “have to be better off inside than they would be outside.”

“If there are parts of the euro area that are worse off inside the Union, doubts may grow about whether they might ultimately have to leave”.

“The euro is – and has to be – irrevocable in all its member states, not just because the Treaties say so, but because without this there cannot be a truly single money”, he said.

In the absence of permanent fiscal transfers among Member States, there are two minimum requirements to achieve these objectives: the first is that all euro area countries need to be able to thrive independently, the second is that euro area countries need to invest more in other mechanisms to share the cost of shocks.

In a monetary union, the economic performance of any single country cannot be seen as a purely national concern. “There is a strong case for sovereignty over relevant economic policies to be exercised jointly. That means above all structural reforms”, the President remarked.

But even so, economic adjustments can have short term costs.

To ensure that countries are better off being in the Union when a shock hits than they would be outside, “we need other ways to help spread those costs…there is a particular onus on private risk-sharing to play this role”. In this context Mr Draghi said barriers to capital markets integration needed to be addressed with urgency.

Sovereign debt needs also to act as a safe haven in times of economic stress. It can do so first of all through a strong fiscal governance framework. Secondly, by having some form of backstop for sovereign debt in place. “Over the longer-term”, the President concluded, “it would be natural to reflect further on whether we have done enough in the euro area to preserve at all times the ability to use fiscal policy counter-cyclically. But it is also clear that… this could only take place in the context of a decisive step towards closer Fiscal Union”.

Stabilität und Wohlstand in der Währungsunion

Rede von Mario Draghi, Präsident der Europäischen Zentralbank,
an der Universität Helsinki
Helsinki, 27. November 2014

In einer Rede vor Studierenden der Universität Helsinki skizzierte EZB-Präsident Mario Draghi die Mindestanforderungen für die Vollendung der Währungsunion, sodass sie allen Mitgliedern Stabilität und Wohlstand bringt.

Draghi räumte ein, dass „unsere Union trotz ihrer Widerstandsfähigkeit noch nicht vollendet ist“, und stellte klar, dass die Mitgliedstaaten letztendlich „innerhalb der Union besser dastehen müssen als außerhalb“.

„Stehen einzelne Länder innerhalb der Union schlechter da, könnten sich Zweifel über den Sinn ihres Verbleibs in der Union mehren.“

„Der Euro ist in allen Mitgliedstaaten des Euroraums unwiderruflich – und daran ist nicht zu rütteln –, nicht nur, weil es so in den Verträgen steht, sondern weil es ansonsten keine wirklich einheitliche Währung geben kann“, sagte Draghi.

Gebe es keine dauerhaften Finanztransfers zwischen den Mitgliedstaaten, seien zwei Mindestanforderungen zu erfüllen, um diese Ziele zu erreichen: Erstens müssten alle Euro-Länder imstande sein, eigenständig wirtschaftlich zu florieren, und zweitens müssten die Euro-Länder stärker in andere Mechanismen investieren, die eine Lastenverteilung nach Schocks ermöglichen.

In einer Währungsunion könne der wirtschaftliche Erfolg eines einzelnen Landes nicht als rein nationale Angelegenheit betrachtet werden. „Es sprechen starke Argumente dafür, die Souveränität über relevante Bereiche der Wirtschaftspolitik gemeinsam auszuüben. Das betrifft vor allem Strukturreformen“, so der Präsident.

Gleichwohl könnten wirtschaftliche Anpassungen auf kurze Sicht immer mit Kosten verbunden sein.

Um zu gewährleisten, dass Länder im Falle eines Schocks innerhalb der Union besser dastehen als außerhalb, „brauchen wir andere Möglichkeiten zur Verteilung dieser Kosten. In einer Währungsunion wie der unseren fällt diese Rolle insbesondere der Risikobeteiligung des Privatsektors zu.“ In diesem Zusammenhang sagte Draghi, der Euroraum müsse dringend die Barrieren beseitigen, die der Integration der Kapitalmärkte im Wege stünden.

Auch müssten Staatsanleihen in wirtschaftlich angespannten Zeiten eine sichere Anlageform sein. Eine Möglichkeit, dies zu gewährleisten, bestehe in einem starken finanzpolitischen Steuerungsrahmen. Die zweite Möglichkeit liege in der Einführung eines Sicherungsmechanismus für Staatsanleihen. „Auf längere Sicht“, schloss der Präsident, „läge es also nahe, wenn wir uns weiter darüber Gedanken machen, ob im Euroraum genug getan wurde, um jederzeit die Fähigkeit zum Einsatz einer antizyklischen Finanzpolitik aufrechtzuerhalten. […] Möglich wäre dies nur im Rahmen eines entschiedenen Schritts hin zu einer engeren Fiskalunion.“

Estabilidad y prosperidad en la Unión Monetaria

Discurso pronunciado por Mario Draghi, presidente del Banco Central Europeo, en la Universidad de Helsinki,
Helsinki, 27 de noviembre de 2014

En su discurso ante los estudiantes de la Universidad de Helsinki, el presidente del BCE, Mario Draghi, explicó las condiciones mínimas necesarias para completar la unión monetaria de forma que traiga estabilidad y prosperidad a todos sus miembros.

Reconociendo que «pese a toda su capacidad de resistencia, nuestra unión aún no está terminada», Draghi argumentó que, en última instancia, sus Estados miembros «deben estar mejor dentro que fuera».

«Si algunas partes de la zona del euro están peor dentro de la Unión, surgirá la duda de si en última instancia tendrán que abandonarla».

«El euro es, y tiene que ser, irrevocable en todos sus Estados miembros, no solo porque lo digan los Tratados, sino también porque es imprescindible para que exista una auténtica moneda única», declaró el Presidente.

En ausencia de transferencias fiscales permanentes entre los Estados miembros, deben cumplirse dos condiciones mínimas para alcanzar estos objetivos: la primera es que todos los países de la zona del euro deben poder prosperar por sí mismos, la segunda es que los países de la zona del euro necesitan invertir más en otros mecanismos para compartir el coste de las perturbaciones.

En una unión monetaria la evolución económica de un país no puede considerarse una cuestión puramente nacional. «Existe un argumento de peso a favor del ejercicio conjunto de la soberanía sobre determinadas políticas económicas, referido, sobre todo, a las reformas estructurales», subrayó el Presidente.

Sin embargo, los ajustes económicos pueden tener costes a corto plazo.

Para asegurar que, en presencia de perturbaciones, los países estén en mejor situación dentro de la Unión que fuera de ella, «necesitamos otras vías que ayuden a distribuir dichos costes… existen razones de peso para que la distribución del riesgo privado desempeñe este papel». En este contexto Draghi declaró que necesitamos eliminar urgentemente las barreras a la integración de los mercados de capitales.

Es necesario que la deuda soberana actúe como refugio en tiempos de dificultades. Esto puede lograse, en primer lugar, mediante la aplicación de un marco sólido de gobernanza fiscal y, en segundo lugar, mediante alguna forma de respaldo de la deuda soberana. El Presidente concluyó que «a más largo plazo, sería lógico seguir reflexionando sobre si en la zona del euro hemos hecho bastante para mantener en todo momento la capacidad para aplicar una política fiscal contracíclica. Pero también es evidente que... esto solo podría tener lugar en el contexto de un paso decisivo hacia una unión fiscal más estrecha».

Vakaus ja vauraus rahaliitossa

EKP:n pääjohtajan Mario Draghin puhe Helsingin yliopistossa,
Helsinki 27.11.2014

Helsingin yliopiston opiskelijoille pitämässään puheessa EKP:n pääjohtaja Mario Draghi kävi läpi edellytyksiä, joiden on täytyttävä, jotta rahaliitto saadaan valmiiksi ja se voi tuoda vakautta ja vaurautta kaikille jäsenilleen.

Pääjohtaja Draghi totesi, että vaikka rahaliitto on selvinnyt monesta koitoksesta, se ei ole vielä valmis. Rahaliitosta on oltava jäsenilleen hyötyä.

Jos jollekin maalle on haittaa euroalueen jäsenyydestä, voidaan ruveta epäilemään sen mahdollisuuksia pysyä rahaliitossa.

Euro on tullut jäädäkseen kaikkiin euroalueen maihin, ja näin täytyykin olla – ei vain siksi, että perussopimuksissa määrätään niin, vaan siksi, että muuten yhteinen raha ei olisi aidosti yhteinen.

Koska euroalueella jäsenvaltioiden välillä ei tehdä jatkuvia tulonsiirtoja, tavoitteiden saavuttaminen edellyttää kahta asiaa: kaikkien euroalueen maiden täytyy pystyä menestymään myös omin avuin, ja niiden on pystyttävä hyödyntämään enemmän muita mekanismeja häiriöiden kustannusten jakamiseksi.

Rahaliitossa yksittäisen maan talouskehitys ei ole vain sen oma asia. Pääjohtaja Draghin mukaan olisi vahvat perusteet sille, että olennaisista talouspolitiikan osa-alueista – ennen kaikkea rakenneuudistuksista – päätettäisiin yhteisesti.

Silloinkin talouden sopeutuksesta voi aiheutua lyhyellä aikavälillä kustannuksia.

Jotta voidaan varmistaa, että mailla on rahaliitossa paremmat mahdollisuudet selviytyä häiriöistä kuin rahaliiton ulkopuolella, on löydettävä parempi tapa jakaa nämä kustannukset – etenkin yksityisen sektorin saaminen mukaan on tärkeää. Pääjohtaja Draghin mukaan tämän saavuttamiseksi on tärkeää poistaa esteitä pääomamarkkinoiden yhdentymisen tieltä.

Valtion velan on oltava turvallinen sijoituskohde silloinkin, kun talouskehitys on heikkoa. Se voidaan varmistaa ennen kaikkea vahvalla finanssipolitiikan ohjaus- ja valvontajärjestelmällä. Toinen tapa olisi taata julkinen velka varautumisjärjestelyin. Pääjohtaja Draghi totesi lopuksi, että pitemmällä aikavälillä on luontevaa pohtia, tulisiko euroalueella vielä pyrkiä vahvistamaan maiden valmiuksia käyttää finanssipolitiikkaa suhdannekehityksen tasoittajana. ”On kuitenkin selvää, että ennen kuin voimme tehdä voitavamme, meidän on otettava ratkaiseva askel kohti finanssiunionia.”.

Stabilité et prospérité dans une union monétaire

Intervention de M. Mario Draghi, président de la Banque centrale européenne
à l’Université d’Helsinki
le 27 novembre 2014

Dans un discours devant des étudiants de l'Université d'Helsinki, le président de la BCE a indiqué quelles étaient les exigences minimales en vue de parachever l'union monétaire de manière à apporter stabilité et prospérité à l'ensemble de ses membres.

Reconnaissant que « si elle est résiliente, notre union n'en demeure pas moins incomplète », M. Draghi a souligné que « l'appartenance à une telle union doit être bénéfique » pour les pays participants.

« Si certains membres de la zone euro sont pénalisés par leur appartenance à l'union monétaire, des doutes peuvent naître sur leur éventuelle sortie ».

« L'euro est - et doit être - irrévocable dans tous les pays participants, pas uniquement parce que les traités le veulent ainsi, mais parce que c'est la condition sine qua non de l'existence d'une monnaie véritablement unique », a-t-il déclaré.

En l'absence de transferts budgétaires permanents entre les pays participants, il existe deux exigences minimales devant permettre d'atteindre ces objectifs : la première est que tous les pays de la zone euro doivent pouvoir prospérer de façon autonome et la deuxième est que les pays appartenant à l'UEM doivent investir davantage dans d'autres mécanismes de partage du coût des chocs.

Dans une union monétaire, les performances économiques d'un pays ne peuvent être considérées comme une préoccupation strictement nationale. « Des arguments solides plaident pour l'exercice en commun de la souveraineté sur certaines politiques économiques. En particulier dans le domaine des réformes structurelles », a noté le président de la BCE.

Les ajustements économiques peuvent malgré tout entraîner des coûts à court terme.

Afin que l'appartenance des pays à l'union monétaire leur permette de mieux supporter un choc que s'ils n'en faisaient pas partie, « nous devons disposer d'autres moyens permettant de répartir ces coûts... Il incombe au partage du risque privé un rôle particulier à cet égard ». Dans ce contexte, « nous devons de toute urgence démanteler les barrières entravant l'intégration des marchés financiers », selon M. Draghi.

La dette souveraine doit également jouer le rôle de refuge en période de tensions économiques. Elle peut le faire, tout d'abord, grâce à un cadre de gouvernance budgétaire solide. Il faut disposer ensuite d'un mécanisme de soutien de la dette souveraine. « Sur le long terme », a conclu le président de la BCE, « il serait logique d'approfondir la réflexion sur la question de savoir si notre action a été suffisante dans la zone euro pour préserver à tout moment la capacité d'utiliser la politique budgétaire de manière contracyclique. Mais il clair également que... cela ne pourrait se réaliser que dans le contexte d'une étape décisive vers une union budgétaire plus étroite ».

La stabilità e la prosperità nell’Unione monetaria

Intervento di Mario Draghi, Presidente della Banca centrale europea,
presso l’Università di Helsinki, Helsinki,
27 novembre 2014

Il Presidente della BCE Mario Draghi ha illustrato, in un incontro con gli studenti dell’Università di Helsinki, i requisiti minimi necessari a completare l’unione monetaria attraverso modalità atte ad apportare stabilità e prosperità per tutti i suoi membri.

Poiché, “malgrado la sua tenuta, la nostra unione è ancora incompleta”, Draghi ha argomentato che, in definitiva, gli Stati membri “devono trovarsi in condizioni migliori aderendovi anziché restandone fuori”.

“Se vi sono parti dell’area dell’euro che si trovano in condizioni peggiori partecipando all’unione, potrebbe sorgere il dubbio che alla fine si ritrovino a doverla lasciare”.

“L’euro è – e deve essere – irrevocabile in tutti gli Stati membri che l’hanno adottato, non solo perché è scritto nei trattati, ma perché senza irrevocabilità non può esistere una moneta realmente unica” ha affermato.

In assenza di trasferimenti di bilancio permanenti tra Stati membri, vi sono due requisiti minimi per conseguire questi obiettivi: il primo è che tutti i paesi dell’area dell’euro devono essere in grado di prosperare in maniera indipendente, il secondo che gli stessi paesi devono investire maggiormente in altri meccanismi per ripartire il costo degli shock.

In un’unione monetaria i risultati economici di un singolo paese non possono essere considerati una questione puramente nazionale. “Vi sono [...] ottime ragioni perché la sovranità sulle politiche economiche pertinenti sia esercitata in maniera congiunta. Si tratta innanzitutto delle riforme strutturali”, ha osservato il Presidente.

Anche così, però, gli aggiustamenti economici possono avere un costo nel breve periodo.

Per assicurare che, a fronte di uno shock, i paesi stiano meglio all’interno dell’unione che al suo esterno, “occorrono altre modalità per agevolare la ripartizione di tali costi [...] l’onere di espletare questo ruolo incombe in modo particolare sulla ripartizione del rischio nel settore privato”. A questo proposito Draghi ha dichiarato che il problema delle barriere all’integrazione dei mercati dei capitali va affrontato con urgenza.

Il debito sovrano, peraltro, deve agire quale attività rifugio nei periodi di tensioni economiche. Questa condizione può realizzarsi grazie innanzitutto a un solido quadro di riferimento per la governance dei conti pubblici e, in secondo luogo, ai meccanismi di sostegno per il debito sovrano. “Nel più lungo termine” ha concluso “bisognerebbe approfondire se sia stato sufficiente ciò che abbiamo fatto nell’area dell’euro per salvaguardare in ogni circostanza la possibilità di utilizzare la politica di bilancio in modo anticiclico. È anche evidente tuttavia che [...] ciò potrà avvenire solo nell’ambito di un cammino risoluto verso una più stretta unione di bilancio”.

Stabiliteit en welvaart in de Monetaire Unie

Toespraak door Mario Draghi, President van de Europese Centrale Bank,
aan de Universiteit van Helsinki, Helsinki, 27 november 2014

In een toespraak voor studenten aan de Universiteit van Helsinki schetste de President van de ECB, Mario Draghi, de minimumvereisten die nodig zijn voor de voltooiing van de monetaire unie op een wijze die stabiliteit en welvaart biedt voor al haar leden.

Mario Draghi, die erkende dat "ondanks al haar schokbestendigheid onze unie nog lang niet is voltooid", zei dat de leden uiteindelijk "binnen de unie beter af [moeten] zijn dan erbuiten".

"Als er delen van het eurogebied slechter af zijn binnen de Unie, dan zouden er twijfels kunnen ontstaan over of die delen uiteindelijk het eurogebied zouden moeten verlaten."

"De euro is - en moet dat ook zijn - onherroepelijk in al zijn lidstaten, niet alleen omdat de Verdragen dat zeggen maar omdat zonder die onherroepelijkheid er geen werkelijk gemeenschappelijk geld zou kunnen zijn", zei hij.

In de afwezigheid van permanente budgettaire overdrachten tussen de lidstaten, zijn er twee minimumvereisten om deze doelstellingen te verwezenlijken: het eerste is dat alle landen van het eurogebied onafhankelijk van elkaar moeten kunnen gedijen, en het tweede is dat landen van het eurogebied meer dienen te investeren in andere mechanismen om de kosten van schokken te delen.

In een monetaire unie kunnen de economische prestaties van één enkel land niet worden beschouwd als een zaak van puur nationaal belang. "En om deze reden kan goed worden verdedigd dat de soevereiniteit over relevant economisch beleid gezamenlijk dient te worden uitgeoefend. Dit betekent bovenal structurele hervormingen", aldus de President.

Maar economische aanpassingen kunnen kortetermijnkosten met zich mee brengen.

Om ervoor te zorgen dat landen ingeval van economische schokken beter af zijn binnen de Unie dan erbuiten, “moeten we andere manieren vinden om deze kosten te helpen spreiden…daarbij is met name een rol weggelegd voor private risicodeling”. In deze context zei Draghi dat er dringend iets moet worden gedaan aan de belemmeringen voor kapitaalmarktintegratie.

Staatsobligaties moeten tevens fungeren als veilige haven in tijden van economische stress. Dit kan in de eerste plaats via een krachtig kader voor begrotingsgovernance. De tweede manier is te zorgen voor een soort vangnet voor staatsschulden. “Op de langere termijn”, zei de President ter afsluiting, “zou het logisch zijn om verder na denken over de vraag of we in het eurogebied genoeg hebben gedaan om te allen tijde in staat te zijn begrotingsbeleid anticyclisch in te zetten. Maar het is ook duidelijk dat … dat alleen kan plaatsvinden in de context van een vastberaden stap naar een hechtere begrotingsunie”.

Stabilitet och välstånd i den monetära unionen

Tal av Mario Draghi, Europeiska centralbankens ordförande,
vid Helsingfors universitet
Helsingfors den 27 november 2014

ECB:s ordförande Mario Draghi presenterade i ett tal till studenter vid Helsingfors universitet vilka minimikrav som behövs för att fullborda den monetära unionen på ett sätt som erbjuder stabilitet och välstånd till alla dess medlemmar.

Draghi konstaterade att "trots motståndskraften står det emellertid klart att vår union fortfarande är ofullständig" men han sa samtidigt att medlemsstaterna "ska ha det bättre i unionen än utanför den."

"Om det finns delar av euroområdet som har det sämre inom unionen så kan det ge upphov till tvivel om att de till slut kan bli tvungna att lämna unionen".

Euron är, och ska vara, oåterkallelig i alla dess medlemsstater, inte bara för att det står så i fördraget utan för att en genuint gemensam valuta inte kan existera annars, sa han.

I avsaknad av permanenta finanspolitiska överföringar mellan medlemsstater finns det två minimikrav för att uppnå dessa mål. Det första är att alla länder i euroområdet var för sig ska kunna ha framgångar, det är att länderna i euroområdet behöver investera mer i andra mekanismer för att dela kostnader för chocker.

I en monetär union kan den ekonomiska utvecklingen i ett enskilt land inte ses enbart som en nationell angelägenhet. Det finns viktiga orsaker till att relevant ekonomisk politik ska utövas gemensamt. Detta innebär framför allt strukturreformer, sa ordföranden.

Inte desto mindre kan ekonomiska anpassningar innebära kostnader på kort sikt.

För att säkerställa att länder har det bättre ställt i unionen när en chock inträffar än utanför den behövs andra sätt som hjälper till att sprida dessa kostnader ... det är särskilt privat riskdelning som förväntas anta den rollen. Draghi sa också att de hinder som står i vägen för integrationen av kapitalmarknaderna snabbt måste åtgärdas.

Statsskuldspapper behöver också kunna fungera som en säker tillflyktsort i tider av ekonomisk stress. Detta kan ske genom ett starkt finanspolitiskt styrsystem. Den andra vägen är en form av säkerhetsmekanism för statspapper. På lång sikt vore det, enligt ordförande Draghi, naturligt att reflektera över om det har gjorts tillräckligt i euroområdet för att alltid bevara förmågan att använda finanspolitik kontracykliskt. Det står också klart att detta skulle kunna ske inom ramen för ett avgörande steg mot en allt fastare finanspolitisk union.

27/11/2014
Mario Draghi:  Introductory remarks at the Finnish parliament
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Helsinki, 27 November 2014
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Summary

Introductory remarks at the Finnish parliament

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
Helsinki, 27 November 2014

In his speech at the Finnish Parliament the President highlighted that, over the past crisis years, the ECB has acted forcefully to safeguard price stability and to contribute to financial stability in the euro area as a whole.

In particular, the ECB has taken several non-standard measures to ensure the transmission of its monetary policy to the economy. The latest unconventional measures announced by the ECB (the targeted long term refinancing operations (TLTROs), and the covered bond and ABS purchase programmes) will have a sizeable impact on our balance sheet, which we expect to move towards its early 2012 dimension. This will ensure the necessary degree of monetary accommodation and contribute to a gradual recovery and a return of inflation to levels closer to below, but close to, 2%. If, however, it becomes necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate.

Accountability and transparency are the essential elements balancing the independence of a central bank, especially in times where unconventional measures are being taken. The ECB regularly publishes a variety of data on the execution of monetary policy operations and the liquidity conditions of the Eurosystem. (i.e. the SMP, the Covered Bonds Programmes and the ABS Purchase Programme portfolios). Additionally, the Governing Council committed to the publication of an account of monetary policy discussions.

As regards fiscal policy and structural reforms, while the Stability and Growth Pact should remain the anchor for confidence in sustainable public finances, a comprehensive strategy is needed to put the euro area economy back on track. This involves further sharing of sovereignty, i.e a leap forward from common rules to common institutions. The upcoming report commissioned by the Euro Summit on the future of economic governance will present a good starting point for further reflection.

Puheenvuoro Suomen eduskunnassa

EKP:n pääjohtajan Mario Draghin puhe
Helsinki 27.11.2014

Puheessaan Suomen eduskunnalle EKP:n pääjohtaja korosti, että EKP on meneillään olevan kriisin aikana toiminut päättäväisesti varmistaakseen hintavakauden ja edistääkseen rahoitusjärjestelmän vakautta euroalueella.

EKP on toteuttanut useita epätavanomaisia toimia varmistaakseen rahapolitiikan välittymisen talouteen. Uusimmilla EKP:n ilmoittamilla epätavanomaisilla toimilla (kohdennetut pitempiaikaiset rahoitusoperaatiot sekä katettujen joukkolainojen ja omaisuusvakuudellisten arvopaperien osto-ohjelmat) tulee olemaan huomattava vaikutus eurojärjestelmän taseeseen, jonka suuruusluokan odotetaan kehittyvän samankaltaiseksi kuin alkuvuodesta 2012. Niiden avulla varmistetaan, että rahapolitiikan mitoitus tukee kasvua ja edistää talouden vähittäistä elpymistä sekä paluuta lähemmäksi tavoitteen mukaista inflaatiovauhtia (hieman alle kahden prosentin). Jos uudet toimet ovat tarpeen sen varmistamiseksi, että hitaan inflaation kausi ei pitkity liikaa, EKP:n neuvosto on yksimielisesti valmis käyttämään mandaattinsa rajoissa muitakin epätavanomaisia välineitä.

Tilivelvollisuus ja avoimuus ovat olennaisen tärkeitä seikkoja keskuspankin riippumattomuuden vastapainona erityisesti epätavanomaisia toimia toteutettaessa. EKP julkaisee säännöllisesti erilaisia tietoja rahapoliittisten toimien toteuttamisesta ja eurojärjestelmän likviditeettitilanteesta. (Tietoja julkaistaan muun muassa velkapaperiohjelmasta, katettujen joukkolainojen osto-ohjelmista ja omaisuusvakuudellisten arvopaperien osto-ohjelmasta). Lisäksi EKP:n neuvosto on sitoutunut julkaisemaan selonteon käymistään rahapoliittisista keskusteluista.

Finanssipolitiikan ja rakenteellisten uudistusten saralla vakaus- ja kasvusopimus ylläpitää luottamusta kestävään julkiseen talouteen. Lisäksi tarvitaan kuitenkin kattava strategia, jolla euroalueen talous saadaan jälleen kasvuun. Määräysvaltaa on jaettava entisestään, eli yhteisistä säännöistä tulisi edetä yhteisiin instituutioihin. Euroalueen huippukokouksen tilaama raportti tulevasta talouden ohjaus- ja hallintajärjestelmästä tulee olemaan hyvä lähtökohta syvemmälle tarkastelulle.

Inledningsanförande inför den finska riksdagen

Tal av Mario Draghi, ECB:s ordförande,
Helsingfors, 27 november 2014

I sitt tal inför den finska riksdagen poängterade ordföranden att ECB under de senaste krisåren med kraft agerat för att säkra prisstabilitet och bidra till finansiell stabilitet i hela euroområdet.

Framför allt har ECB vidtagit flera extraordinära åtgärder för att säkerställa att den penningpolitiska transmissionsmekanismen till ekonomin fungerar. De senaste okonventionella åtgärderna som ECB tillkännagivit (de riktade långfristiga refinansieringstransaktionerna (TLTRO), programmet för köp av säkerställda obligationer och ABS-programmet) kommer att få en betydande inverkan på vår balansräkning, som vi räknar med kommer att närma sig samma omfattning som i början av 2012. Detta kommer att säkerställa att penningpolitiken blir tillräckligt ackommoderande och bidra till en gradvis återhämtning och återgång till inflationsnivåer under men nära 2 procent. Om det skulle bli nödvändigt att vidta ytterligare åtgärder för att hantera de risker som en alltför utdragen period av låg inflation medför, är ECB-rådet enigt i sitt åtagande att inom ramen för sitt mandat använda andra okonventionella instrument.

Ansvarighet och öppenhet är nödvändiga förutsättningar för att en centralbank ska bevara sitt oberoende, särskilt i tider då okonventionella åtgärder vidtas. ECB publicerar regelbundet en mängd uppgifter om genomförandet av penningpolitiska transaktioner och Eurosystemets likviditetssituation. (t.ex. värdepappersmarknadsprogrammet, programmen för köp av säkerställda obligationer och ABS-programmet). ECB-rådet har vidare förbundit sig att publicera en redogörelse av de penningpolitiska diskussionerna.

Vad gäller finanspolitik och strukturreformer ska stabilitets- och tillväxtpakten även fortsättningsvis fungera som ett ankare för förtroendet för hållbara offentliga finanser men en omfattande strategi behövs för att få fart på ekonomin i euroområdet. Detta innebär att man ytterligare delar på befogenheter, dvs. ett steg framåt från gemensamma regler till gemensamma institutioner. Den kommande rapport som eurotoppmötet har beställt om den framtida ekonomiska styrningen kommer att vara en bra utgångspunkt för vidare funderingar.

26/11/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  The role of the banking union in achieving financial stability
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the FT Banking Summit “Ensuring Future Growth”, London, 26 November 2014
24/11/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Central counterparty recovery and resolution
Keynote Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, At Exchange of Ideas #2 “Central clearing – guarantee of stability or new moral hazard?” organised by Eurex Clearing London, 24 November 2014

Summary

Central counterparty recovery and resolution

Keynote Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
At Exchange of Ideas #2 “Central clearing – guarantee of stability or new moral hazard?” organised by Eurex Clearing
London, 24 November 2014

The mandatory use of central clearing is a relatively new regulatory tool for mitigating systemic risk in the OTC derivatives space. It has brought the central counterparties (CCPs) to the forefront of financial market regulation. It is therefore crucial for CCPs to have comprehensive and effective recovery plans, relying on a wide range of recovery tools, to continue providing their critical services also in a very severe crisis without requiring the use of resolution powers by authorities. Obviously the stability of CCPs primarily depends on the establishment and implementation of robust risk management framework. But CCPs are also in a unique position to set up efficient and comprehensive recovery plans as they can base them on contractual arrangements with members. But CCPs need to have appropriate procedures for managing conflicts of interest between stakeholders - it is vital to involve all those who would bear losses in the design of the recovery plan. And on the regulatory side, we need to make sure our approach is cautious and non-prescriptive at this stage. I am confident that CCPs, authorities and stakeholders will work together constructively to meet the ambitious objectives set out in the recent CPMI-IOSCO report.

21/11/2014
Mario Draghi:  Monetary policy in the euro area
Opening keynote speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB at the Frankfurt European Banking Congress Frankfurt am Main, 21 November 2014
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Summary

Monetary policy in the euro area

Opening keynote speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB
at the Frankfurt European Banking Congress
Frankfurt am Main, 21 November 2014

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, today opened the Frankfurt European Banking Congress, with an analysis of the economic situation facing the euro area and of the ECB’s monetary policy response.

The economic situation in the euro area remains difficult and confidence in the overall economic prospects is fragile and easily disrupted, feeding into low investment, Mr Draghi said. In this context, the inflation situation in the euro area has also become increasingly challenging.

The ECB President emphasised the risk that a too prolonged period of low inflation becomes embedded in inflation expectations, and that the firm anchoring of inflation expectations is critical under any circumstances. This is why the Governing Council has communicated its expectation that the combination of all the monetary policy measures it has decided on will expand the Eurosystem’s balance sheet towards the levels prevailing in early 2012, Mr Draghi said. The addition of purchases of covered bonds to ABS purchases will allow us to conduct interventions on a scale that will achieve the intended effects in terms of portfolio rebalancing and signalling.

He added the ECB would continue to meet its responsibility: “We will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price stability mandate requires of us. If on its current trajectory our policy is not effective enough to achieve this, or further risks to the inflation outlook materialise, we would step up the pressure and broaden even more the channels through which we intervene, by altering accordingly the size, pace and composition of our purchases,” Mr Draghi said.

Geldpolitik im Euroraum

Grundsatzrede von Mario Draghi, Präsident der Europäischen Zentralbank,
zur Eröffnung des Europäischen Bankenkongresses,
Frankfurt am Main, 21. November 2014

Mario Draghi, Präsident der Europäischen Zentralbank, hat heute den Europäischen Bankenkongress in Frankfurt mit einer Analyse der wirtschaftlichen Lage im Euroraum und der geldpolitischen Reaktion der EZB eröffnet.

Die wirtschaftliche Situation im Euroraum bleibeschwierig, und dass Vertrauen in die Konjunkturaussichten insgesamt sei zerbrechlich und leicht zu erschüttern, was zu einer geringen Investitionstätigkeit führe, so Draghi. In diesem Kontext sei auch die Inflationslage im Euroraum eine immer größere Herausforderung geworden.

Der Präsident hob das Risiko hervor, dass eine über einen zu langen Zeitraum niedrige Inflation sich in den Inflationserwartungen festsetzen könnte. Eine feste Verankerung der Inflationserwartungen sei aber entscheidend. Aus diesem Grund hat der EZB-Rat die Erwartung geäußert, dass durch das Zusammenwirken aller beschlossenen geldpolitischen Maßnahmen die Bilanzsumme des Eurosystems eine Größenordnung wie Anfang 2012 erreichen werde, erklärte Draghi. Der Ankauf von Kreditverbriefungen (ABS) und Covered Bonds werde der EZB Interventionen in solch einem Umfang ermöglichen, dass sie die beabsichtigten Effekte im Hinblick auf Portfolioumschichtungen und Signalwirkungen erreichen werde.

Draghi fügte hinzu, dass die EZB auch weiterhin ihre Pflicht erfüllen wird: „Wir werden tun, was wir tun müssen, damit die Inflation und die Inflationserwartungen so bald wie möglich steigen, wie es unser Preisstabilitätsmandat erfordert. Wenn unser derzeitiger geldpolitischer Kurs nicht wirkungsvoll genug ist, um dies zu erreichen, oder weitere Risiken für die Inflationsaussichten auftreten, würden wir den Druck erhöhen und die Kanäle, über die wir intervenieren, noch stärker ausweiten – indem wir den Umfang, den Rhythmus und die Zusammensetzung unserer Ankäufe entsprechend ändern“, so Draghi.

La política monetaria en la zona del euro

Discurso pronunciado por Mario Draghi, presidente del Banco Central Europeo,
en el Congreso Europeo de Banca,
Fráncfort, 21 de noviembre de 2014

Mario Draghi, presidente del BCE, ha inaugurado hoy el Congreso Europeo de Banca en Fráncfort con un análisis de la situación económica a la que se enfrenta la zona del euro y de la respuesta de política monetaria del BCE.

“La situación económica en la zona del euro sigue siendo difícil y la confianza en las perspectivas económicas generales es frágil, debido al bajo nivel de inversión”, declaró Mario Draghi. En este contexto, la situación de la inflación en la zona del euro es cada vez más problemática.

El presidente del BCE destacó el riesgo de que un período demasiado prolongado de baja inflación pueda reflejarse en las expectativas de inflación, y subrayó que el firme anclaje de dichas expectativas es fundamental en cualquier circunstancia. «Por este motivo el Consejo de Gobierno ha manifestado su expectativa de que el conjunto de medidas de política monetaria adoptadas amplíe el balance del Eurosistema hasta los niveles de principios del 2012», señaló Mario Draghi. «Las compras de bonos garantizados sumadas a las compras de bonos de titulización de activos nos permitirán actuaciones de la envergadura necesaria para lograr los efectos deseados en términos de reajuste de carteras y señalamiento».

Mario Draghi añadió que el BCE continuará asumiendo su responsabilidad: «haremos lo que sea necesario para elevar la inflación y las expectativas de inflación lo antes posible, como requiere nuestro mandato de mantener la estabilidad de precios. Si la trayectoria actual de nuestra política no resulta suficientemente eficaz, o se materializan nuevos riesgos para las perspectivas de inflación, elevaríamos la presión y ampliaríamos aún más los canales a través de los que actuamos, modificando convenientemente el tamaño, el ritmo y la composición de nuestras compras».

La politique monétaire dans la zone euro

Discours d’ouverture de M. Mario Draghi, président de la Banque centrale européenne,
au Congrès bancaire européen,
Francfort-sur-le-Main, le 21 novembre 2014

M. Mario Draghi, président de la Banque centrale européenne, a ouvert ce jour le Congrès bancaire européen à Francfort (Frankfurt European Banking Congress), proposant une analyse de la situation économique dans la zone euro et des réponses de politique monétaire apportées par la Banque centrale européenne (BCE).

La situation économique dans la zone euro reste difficile et la confiance dans les perspectives économiques globales est fragile et facilement ébranlée, ce qui se traduit par une faiblesse de l’investissement, a déclaré M. Draghi. Dans ce contexte, la situation sur le front de l’inflation dans la zone euro pose également un défi de plus en plus grand.

Le président de la BCE a souligné le risque qu’une période trop longue de faible inflation se fixe dans les anticipations d’inflation et indiqué que l’ancrage solide de celles-ci est crucial en toutes circonstances. C’est la raison pour laquelle le Conseil des gouverneurs a annoncé qu’il s’attendait à ce que l’ensemble des mesures de politique monétaire qu’il a prises se traduise par une hausse du bilan de l’Eurosystème l’amenant à un niveau proche de celui observé début 2012, a déclaré M. Draghi. En cumulant les achats d’obligations sécurisées et les achats d’ABS, nous pourrons mener des interventions d’une ampleur permettant d’atteindre les résultats escomptés en termes de recomposition des portefeuilles et de signal.

M. Draghi a ajouté que la BCE continuera d’assumer ses responsabilités : « Nous mettrons tout en œuvre pour faire remonter aussi rapidement que possible l’inflation et les anticipations d’inflation, comme le commande notre mandat de sauvegarde de la stabilité des prix. Si la trajectoire actuelle de notre politique ne s’avérait pas assez effective pour ce faire, ou si de nouveaux risques se concrétisaient pour les perspectives d’inflation, nous renforcerions la pression et élargirions davantage encore les canaux par lesquels nous intervenons, en modifiant l’ampleur, le rythme et la composition de nos achats », a indiqué M. Draghi.

La politica monetaria nell’area dell’euro

Intervento di apertura di Mario Draghi, Presidente della BCE,
in occasione del Congresso bancario europeo
Francoforte sul Meno, 21 novembre 2014

Mario Draghi, Presidente della Banca centrale europea, ha aperto oggi il Congresso bancario europeo con un’analisi della situazione economica nell’area dell’euro e della risposta di politica monetaria fornita dalla BCE.

Draghi ha affermato che le condizioni nell’area restano difficili e la fiducia nelle prospettive economiche in generale è fragile e facilmente soggetta a perturbazioni, il che si traduce in bassi investimenti. In questo contesto è diventata sempre più problematica nell’area anche la situazione dell’inflazione.

Il Presidente ha posto l’accento sul rischio che un periodo troppo prolungato di bassa inflazione si radichi nelle aspettative di inflazione e ha rilevato che il loro solido ancoraggio è critico a prescindere dalle circostanze. Draghi ha dichiarato che per questa ragione il Consiglio direttivo ha comunicato l’attesa secondo la quale l’insieme di tutte le misure di politica monetaria decise farà aumentare il bilancio dell’Eurosistema, che si porterà in prossimità dei livelli osservati agli inizi del 2012. Grazie agli acquisti di obbligazioni garantite che si aggiungono a quelli di ABS, sarà possibile condurre interventi di una portata tale da conseguire gli effetti voluti in termini di riequilibrio dei portafogli e di segnalazione.

Ha aggiunto che la BCE continuerà ad assolvere i propri compiti, concludendo: “Faremo ciò che dobbiamo per conseguire il prima possibile un aumento dell’inflazione e delle aspettative di inflazione, nel rispetto del nostro mandato di preservare la stabilità dei prezzi. Se la direzione attuale della nostra politica non risulterà sufficientemente efficace a tale scopo, o se si concretizzeranno ulteriori rischi per le prospettive di inflazione, saremo pronti a esercitare maggiori pressioni e ad ampliare ancora i nostri canali di intervento, ricalibrando di conseguenza l’entità, il ritmo e la composizione degli acquisti”.

Monetair beleid in het eurogebied

Door de heer Draghi, President van de Europese Centrale Bank,
op 21 november 2014 te Frankfurt uitgesproken openingsrede van het Euro Banking Congress

De President van de Europese Centrale Bank, Mario Draghi, heeft vandaag het European Banking Congress in Frankfurt geopend met een analyse van de economische situatie in het eurogebied en de wijze waarop de ECB daarop met haar monetair beleid gereageerd heeft.

De economische situatie in het eurogebied blijft precair en het vertrouwen in de algehele vooruitzichten voor de economie is broos en snel verstoord, waardoor er weinig wordt geïnvesteerd, aldus Draghi. In deze omstandigheden is ook de inflatie in het eurogebied een steeds grotere uitdaging gaan vormen.

De ECB-President wees nadrukkelijk op het risico dat een te lang aanhoudende lage inflatie in de inflatieverwachtingen verankerd raakt en op het grote belang van een in alle omstandigheden stevige verankering van de inflatieverwachtingen. Daarom heeft de Raad van Bestuur zijn verwachting uitgesproken dat de combinatie van alle besloten monetaire beleidsmaatregelen ertoe zal leiden dat de balans van het Eurosysteem naar het niveau van begin 2012 groeit, aldus Draghi. Dat de ECB naast ABS ook gedekte obligaties gaat aankopenstelt ons in staat op zo'n schaal te interveniëren dat de beoogde doelen in termen van portefeuilleverschuivingen en signaalfunctie bereikt worden.

Hij voegde daaraan toe dat de ECB haar verantwoordelijkheid zal blijven nemen: "Wij zullen doen wat we moeten doen om de inflatie en de inflatieverwachtingen zo snel mogelijk te verhogen, zoals ons mandaat – prijsstabiliteit – van ons verlangt. Als ons beleid in zijn huidige richting niet afdoende is om dat te bereiken, of als zich andere risico's voor de inflatievooruitzichten voordoen, dan verhogen wij de druk en zullen wij onze interventiekanalen verder verbreden door de omvang, het tempo en de samenstelling van onze aankopen dienovereenkomstig te wijzigen,", aldus Draghi.

20/11/2014
Mario Draghi:  Stronger together in Europe: the contribution of banking supervision
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, marking the inauguration of the ECB’s new supervisory responsibilities, Frankfurt, 20 November 2014

Summary

Stronger together in Europe: the contribution of banking supervision

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
marking the inauguration of the ECB's new supervisory responsibilities,
Frankfurt, 20 November 2014

Speaking at the Inauguration of the European Central Bank's new supervisory responsibilities, Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, reflected on the creation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, reminding the context that lead the Council and the Parliament to entrust the ECB with supervisory tasks.

According to Mr Draghi, the setting-up of European banking supervision has been the largest step towards deeper integration since the creation of our Economic and Monetary Union.

The President restated that the ECB was and remains determined to protect the euro, while reminding that more works needs to be done to improve "our" union, not only in the banking sector but also in relation to capital markets and in the economic and fiscal realms. "Our responsibility towards the people of this continent is indeed to put in place a sustainable economic model that helps to increase employment and boost growth", he said.

17/11/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Taking stock of the global role of the Renminbi
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the European-Chinese Banking Day, Frankfurt, 17 November 2014
17/11/2014
Mario Draghi:  Introductory remarks at the EP’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, 17 November 2014
17/11/2014
Peter Praet:  Repairing the bank lending channel: the next steps
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at European Macro Conference organised by Credit Suisse, London, 17 November 2014

Summary

Repairing the bank lending channel: the next steps

Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at European Macro Conference organised by Credit Suisse,
London, 17 November 2014

The effectiveness of monetary policy in the euro area depends on a well-functioning banking sector as it operates through the bank lending channel. In recent years, efforts have been made to repair this channel. Policymakers agreed to establish Banking Union and the ECB assumed supervisory responsibilities within it. Against that background, we expect the monetary policy initiatives we adopted in June and September to gain pace in the coming months, thus incentivising lending to the real economy and ultimately bringing inflation closer to 2%. Indeed we have already observed a considerable easing of the effective monetary policy stance. We sustain that these measures will have a sizeable impact on the Eurosystem's balance sheet, which is expected to move towards the dimensions it had at the beginning of 2012. But as banks adjust to a new business environment, it is essential to ensure that they continue to have microeconomic incentives that coincide with our desired macroeconomic objectives, while we keep developing a banking landscape that is sufficiently efficient and diversified to sustain credit supply.

17/11/2014
Yves Mersch:  Aktuelle geldpolitische Herausforderungen
Rede von Yves Mersch, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB, Auf der 17. Euro Finance Week, Frankfurt, 17. November 2014
14/11/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  The global and European aspects of policy coordination
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Global Research Forum on International Macroeconomics and Finance Washington D.C., 14 November 2014
13/11/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  The interplay between macro-prudential, micro-prudential and monetary policies at the ECB (slides from the presentation)
Presentation by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the conference “Macroprudential policy: Implementation and Interaction with other Policies” jointly organised by Sveriges Riksbank and the IMF in Stockholm, 13 November 2014
12/11/2014
Mario Draghi:  The economic policy of Federico Caffè in our times
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, to mark the centenary of the birth of Federico Caffè at the Lecture room of the School of Economics and Business Studies “Federico Caffè”, Rome, 12 November 2014
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04/11/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Laying the foundations of the Cypriot recovery
Keynote speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the 10th Cyprus Summit "Current developments in the euro area", Nicosia, 4 November 2014
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03/11/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Thomas Philippon’s contribution to macro-finance
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the ceremony awarding the Germán Bernácer Prize for Promoting Economic Research in Europe to Thomas Philippon Madrid, 3 November 2014
24/10/2014
Mario Draghi:  Economic situation in the euro area (slides from the presentation)
Presentation by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the Euro Summit, Brussels, 24 October 2014
22/10/2014
Yves Mersch:  Capital markets union – the “Why” and the “How”
Dinner speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Joint EIB-IMF High Level Workshop, Brussels, 22 October 2014
22/10/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Towards retail payments 2.0: The new security challenges
Opening remarks by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at a Joint European Central Bank/Banque de France conference, Paris, 22 October 2014
17/10/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Beyond traditional banking: a new credit system coming out of the shadows
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the 2nd Frankfurt Conference on Financial Market Policy: Banking Beyond Banks, organised by the SAFE Policy Center of Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, 17 October 2014
17/10/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Structural reforms: learning the right lessons from the crisis
Keynote speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Economic conference, Latvijas Banka, Riga, 17 October 2014

Summary

Structural reforms: learning the right lessons from the crisis

Keynote speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
Economic conference, Latvijas Banka,
Riga, 17 October 2014

One lesson that we learned after the financial crisis is that achieving sustainable economic growth is always about both demand and supply. Moreover, policies that support demand empower policies that support supply, and vice versa.

In the post crisis environment of a large debt overhang, partly structural unemployment and weak productivity levels, supply-side policies can increase the effectiveness of demand-side policies and help empower demand. By raising potential growth they create more space for spending (governments, firms and households). Additionally, by reactivating/reskilling the workforce, they allow employment to respond faster to higher demand. Finally, they ensure that higher demand is channelled towards the right sectors.

While their long-term positive effects are undisputed, structural reforms, especially in times when monetary policy is at the lower bound, are seen to have negative short-term effects through increasing real interest rates. However, structural reforms can be effective in the short run as they raise expectations of higher incomes and cause firms to increase investment today and bring forward the economic recovery.

Achieving a positive short-term impact from structural reforms depends on both the pace and composition of reforms. First, instead of the traditionally gradual approach, reforms need to be frontloaded (as e.g. in Latvia). Second, they must focus not only on competitiveness, but also on increasing the rate of productivity growth in the economy.

When thinking about the composition of reforms, one should have in mind innovation (see firms’ market entry and turnover), adoption (e.g. information and communication technology) and reallocation (labour market reforms).

But while the full benefits of these efforts are still emerging, aggregate demand should be supported to counteract the potentially destabilising effect of lower prices and higher real interest rates. This can be done by fiscal policy, when it is available without questioning long-term debt sustainability. And it can be done by monetary policy, even when interest rates have reached the lower bound, by expanding the central bank’s balance sheet and channelling liquidity to the real economy.

17/10/2014
Yves Mersch:  Monetary policy and economic inequality
Keynote speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Corporate Credit Conference, Zurich, 17 October 2014
16/10/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Maintaining price stability in the euro area
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the 18th Annual Central Bank and Investment Authority Seminar organised by Commerzbank, Berlin, 16 October 2014
15/10/2014
Mario Draghi:  Towards the banking union – Opportunities and challenges for statistics
Introductory speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Seventh ECB Statistics Conference “Towards the banking Union. Opportunities and challenges for statistics”, Frankfurt am Main, 15 October 2014
10/10/2014
Peter Praet:  Recent monetary policy measures supporting the euro area recovery
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the IIF Annual Membership Meeting, Washington D.C., 10 October 2014
10/10/2014
Mario Draghi:  Statement by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the Thirtieth meeting of the IMFC
Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Washington, D.C., 10 October 2014
09/10/2014
Mario Draghi:  Recovery and Reform in the euro area
Opening remarks by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Brookings Institution, Washington, 9 October 2014

Summary

Recovery and Reform in the euro area

Opening remarks by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
Brookings Institution,
Washington, 9 October 2014

In remarks delivered at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Mario Draghi underlined the urgent need to raise potential output in the euro area through reforms. “Put simply, I cannot see any way out of the crisis unless we create more confidence in the future potential of our economies”, he said, adding that “given demographic trends, raising structural growth will have to take place primarily through productivity”.

Referring to an open letter written by the economist John Maynard Keynes in 1933 to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on reform and recovery in the US, Mr Draghi argued that in the euro area today “without reform, there can be no recovery”.

The crisis has been tackled on several fronts: actions have been undertaken to “repair money”, that is to keep money fungible across space eliminating redenomination risks; to repair the financial sector and credit allocation; to repair monetary policy and fiscal policies.

On monetary policy, the ECB President noted that the ECB is now transitioning from a monetary policy framework predominantly founded on passive provision of central bank credit to a more active and controlled management of the balance sheet, in an attempt to lift inflation from its low levels. “We are accountable to the European people for delivering price stability, which today means lifting inflation from its excessively low level. And we will do exactly that,” Mr Draghi said. This could include changing the size and/or composition of unconventional policies.

On fiscal policies Mr Draghi emphasised the importance of the governance framework established in order to restore confidence in public finances.

“So to now call into question not just the letter, but also the spirit of the fiscal governance framework would be self-defeating. If this were to again cast doubt over fiscal sustainability, it would create a risk that borrowing costs, and hence fiscal policies, turn procyclical once more”.

At the same time, Mr Draghi reiterated the idea that for governments and European institutions that have fiscal space, it makes sense to use it, so that fiscal policy can work with rather than against monetary policy in supporting aggregate demand.

And for those without fiscal space, fiscal policy can still support demand by altering the composition of the budget – in particular by simultaneously cutting distortionary taxes and unproductive expenditure.

06/10/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  A new phase of the ECB’s monetary policy
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the “ECB’s workshop on non-standard monetary policy measures”, Frankfurt am Main, 6 October 2014
30/09/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  National supervision in a European system: What is the new balance?
Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Fifth FMA supervisory conference, Vienna, 30 September 2014
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26/09/2014
Yves Mersch:  Tackling unemployment in Europe – increasing mobility, enhancing flexibility, optimising education
Keynote speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, 26 September 2014
26/09/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Credit and Investment in the European Recovery
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at IMF/Banka Slovenije high-level seminar on “Reinvigorating Credit Growth in Central, Eastern and Southern European Economies”, Portoroz, 26 September 2014
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Summary

Credit and Investment in the European Recovery

Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at IMF/Banka Slovenije high-level seminar on “Reinvigorating Credit Growth in Central, Eastern and Southern European Economies”,
Portoroz, 26 September 2014

To revive the euro area economy recapitalisation not only in the banking sector but also a repairing of private sector balance sheets is needed. The banking sector is undergoing a necessary process of structural reforms. With concluding the Comprehensive assessment there is potential to ensure that credit supply constraints diminish and the cycle turns.

For a stronger rebound in investment the private non-financial sector needs to raise equity. One instrument especially for smaller and medium size enterprises is to allow EU investment funds to be distributed in the form of equity and not only in the form of debt, as the European Bank for Reconstruction and development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) already do in many countries. Also the fragmentation in venture capital markets should be reduced.

For smaller firms with the need of deleveraging debt-for-equity-swaps, possibly fostered by tax incentives, could facilitate private debt workouts.

What is also needed is to raise productivity. An “upward shock” to total factor productivity is needed but only possible in highly competitive markets.

Posojila in naložbe v evropskem okrevanju

Govor Benoîta Cœuréja, člana Izvršilnega odbora ECB,
na seminarju MDS/Banke Slovenije na visoki ravni z naslovom “Oživljanja rasti posojil v srednji, vzhodni in jugovzhodni Evropi”,
Portorož, 26. september 2014

Za oživitev gospodarstva euroobmočja sta potrebna tako dokapitalizacija v bančnem sektorju kot tudi popravilo bilanc stanja v zasebnem sektorju. V bančnem sektorju poteka nujni proces strukturnih reform. Z zaključkom celovite ocene obstaja možnost, da se omejitve pri ponudbi kreditov postopno zmanjšajo in da se gospodarski cikel obrne.

Za močnejši odboj naložb mora nefinančni zasebni sektor zbrati lastniški kapital. En instrument, ki bi ga lahko uporabila posebej mala in srednje velika podjetja, je možnost, da se naložbena sredstva EU razdeljujejo v obliki lastniškega kapitala in ne le v obliki dolga, kar Evropska banka za obnovo in razvoj (EBRD) in Mednarodna finančna korporacija (IFC) v mnogih državah že počneta. Poleg tega bi bilo treba zmanjšati razdrobljenost trgov tveganega kapitala.

Za manjša podjetja, ki morajo zmanjšati svojo zadolženost, bi bilo zasebni dolg mogoče prestrukturirati z zamenjavo terjatev v lastniške deleže, po možnosti ob podpori davčnih spodbud.

Kar potrebujemo, je dvig produktivnosti. Potreben je “pozitiven šok” na področju skupne faktorske produktivnosti, vendar pa je ta mogoč samo na zelo konkurenčnih trgih.

25/09/2014
Mario Draghi:  Keynote speech at the Euro Conference – Lithuania
Keynote speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Euro Conference – Lithuania, Vilnius, 25 September 2014
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Keynote speech at the Euro Conference – Lithuania

Keynote speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
Euro Conference – Lithuania,
Vilnius, 25 September 2014

The euro area benefits from Lithuania’s accession in at least two ways: first, Lithuania has shown that adjustment is not only necessary, but also possible – even without currency devaluation; second, Lithuania’s decision to join the euro area demonstrates that our common currency is attractive.

Lithuania itself will – amongst others – benefit from having a say in the monetary policy-making of the world’s second largest economy. Initial scepticism among some Lithuanians regarding the introduction of the euro is already transforming into increasing support now that people become more informed about their new currency and the changeover modalities. Joining the euro area does not only follow from economic considerations: it is a binding commitment to European values.

Kalba konferencijoje „Euras Lietuvoje“

ECB pirmininko Mario Draghi kalba,
konferencijoje „Euras Lietuvoje“,
2014 m. rugsėjo 25 d., Vilnius

Euro zonai Lietuvos prisijungimas naudingas mažiausiai dviem aspektais: pirma, Lietuva parodė, kad koregavimas ne tik būtinas, bet ir įmanomas – net ir nedevalvuojant valiutos; antra, Lietuvos sprendimas prisijungti prie euro zonos rodo, kad mūsų bendroji valiuta yra patraukli.

Lietuvai ir pačiai bus naudinga tai, kad ji kartu su kitomis šalimis dalyvaus formuojant antros pagal dydį pasaulio ekonomikos pinigų politiką. Pirminis kai kurių lietuvių skeptiškumas dėl euro įvedimo jau keičiasi į didėjantį palaikymą, kai tik žmonės daugiau sužino apie naująją valiutą ir perėjimo prie jos sąlygas. Tačiau į euro zoną stojama ne tik ekonominiais sumetimais. Tai saistantis įsipareigojimas puoselėti europines vertybes.

22/09/2014
Mario Draghi:  Introductory remarks at the EP’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Brussels, 22 September 2014
17/09/2014
Yves Mersch:  Towards a new collateral landscape
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the 2nd Joint Central Bank Seminar on Collateral and Liquidity hosted by the ECB and the Deutsche Bundesbank, Hamburg, 17 September 2014
11/09/2014
Mario Draghi:  Keynote speech at the Eurofi Financial Forum
Keynote speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Eurofi Financial Forum, Milan, 11 September 2014
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Summary of the speech at the Eurofi Financial Forum

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
Milan, 11 September 2014

We are facing a set of conditions – low growth and low inflation, high debt and high unemployment – that can only be addressed by concerted action on both the demand and supply sides of the economy. This requires that all actors – both at national and European levels – play their parts in line with their respective mandate as laid down in the EU Treaties.

No monetary or fiscal stimulus can be successful if not accompanied by the right structural policies -- policies that foster potential growth and instil confidence.

Investment has been one of the great casualties of the crisis. From peak to trough business investment in the euro area decreased by around 20% since 2008, against 15% in the 1992 recession. We will not see a sustainable recovery unless this changes.

A decisive rise in investment is essential to bring inflation where we would want to see it, to kick-start the economy and to bring down unemployment.

There are two key areas where national and European level government action can help revive investment. First, the regulatory environment should be made more favourable to economic growth. Second, companies need to have access to more diversified sources of financing: the launch of a capital markets union could contribute to achieving this. It is an idea that the ECB fully supports.

The development of the market for simple and transparent Asset Backed Securities deserves particular support. Member States should consider the provision of public guarantees to support lending to small and medium sized enterprises.

There also needs to be a consistent and credible application of the Stability and Growth Pact across time and across countries. Within the existing framework, countries should explore how to support productive investment.

In monetary policy, we have deployed a number of non-standard tools to ensure our very accommodative monetary policy stance is transmitted to the real economy. Last week, the Governing Council decided to start the purchase of certain high-quality asset-backed securities and covered bonds in October. Senior tranches of such ABS have proven to be high quality assets.

Alongside our Targeted Longer Term Refinancing Operations, we expect these measures will enhance the functioning of monetary policy transmission, provide further accommodation now that we are at the lower bound, and have a sizeable impact on our balance sheet.

10/09/2014
Yves Mersch:  For a European capital markets union – Securing stability, overcoming fragmentation
Closing keynote speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Zeit Konferenz “Banken & Wirtschaft”, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Frankfurt am Main, 10 September 2014
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09/09/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Life below zero: Learning about negative interest rates
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Presentation at the annual dinner of the ECB's Money Market Contact Group, Frankfurt am Main, 9 September 2014
08/09/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  Banking supervision – a challenge
Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Hamburg, 8 September 2014
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Die Bankenaufsicht - Eine Herausforderung

Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung,
Hamburg, 8 September 2014

The effectiveness of monetary policy will be bolstered when the European Central Bank (ECB) assumes its banking supervision responsibilities under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), believes Sabine Lautenschläger, member of the ECB's Executive Board. Bringing together the supervision of individual banks, the macro-prudential supervision of the financial system and monetary policy under one roof will help to ensure that monetary policy can focus entirely on safeguarding price stability, Lautenschläger said in a speech at the Annual Conference of the Verein für Socialpolitik in Hamburg. The interaction between the three policy areas of the central bank will reduce the risk of financial dominance, strengthen the transmission of monetary policy and improve the management of the financial system.

"Both areas have a very strong interest in sound banks with viable business models that can provide credit to the real economy", said Lautenschläger. Given that banks have already been preparing over recent months for the requirements that will apply following the imminent launch of the SSM and have strengthened their capital bases, their capacity to provide credit to the economy has increased even before the official start of the SSM. This strengthens the transmission of monetary policy.

For the central bank, which provides financing for commercial banks, it is very important – particularly in times of crisis – to make a clear distinction between sound banks that are solvent but suffering from liquidity shortages and insolvent banks that will not be able to survive in the long run. A strong European supervisor would be able to dispel some of the uncertainty attached to solvency assessments. This will help the ECB to fulfil its tasks, because it will be able to provide liquidity support without fear of exceeding its mandate, said Lautenschläger. However, reliable solvency information would only be able to help reduce financial dominance if there is a credible regime for resolving banks. This requires a common regulatory framework and a resolution fund with ample resources. In addition, stricter rules regarding the granting of emergency liquidity assistance to commercial banks by Eurosystem national central banks could reduce potential conflicts of interest.

Particularly in times of economic growth, the ECB's new tasks could permit an appropriate reaction to potential excesses in asset markets, for example. Using interest rates to counter such developments is not appropriate, warned Lautenschläger, because it could jeopardise the primary objective of price stability. It is thus all the more important that the ECB's Governing Council should have more tools at its disposal to counter imbalances.

Die Bankenaufsicht - Eine Herausforderung

Sabine Lautenschläger, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB,
Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung,
Hamburg, 8. September 2014

Die Übernahme der gemeinsamen europäischen Bankenaufsicht durch die Europäische Zentralbank wird nach Einschätzung von EZB-Direktorin Sabine Lautenschläger die Wirksamkeit der Geldpolitik zusätzlich stärken. Die Zusammenführung der Aufsicht über einzelne Banken, der makroprudenziellen Aufsicht über die Finanzsysteme und der Geldpolitik unter einem Dach werde dazu beitragen wird, dass sich die Geldpolitik ganz auf die Wahrung von Preisstabilität konzentrieren könne, sagte Lautenschläger in einer Rede auf der Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik in Hamburg. Das Zusammenwirken der drei Politikbereiche der Zentralbank verringere das Risiko der finanziellen Dominanz, stärke die Wirkungskette der Geldpolitik und verbessere die Steuerung des Finanzsystems.

"Beide Bereiche haben großes Interesse an soliden Banken mit tragfähigen Geschäftsmodellen, die die Realwirtschaft mit Krediten versorgen können", sagte Lautenschläger. Weil sich die Banken schon in den vergangenen Monaten auf die Bedingungen des bevorstehende Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) vorbereitet und ihre Kapitalbasis gestärkt haben, sei ihre Fähigkeit, die Wirtschaft mit Krediten zu versorgen, schon vor dem eigentlichen Beginn der gemeinsamen europäischen Bankenaufsicht gewachsen. Das stärke die Transmissionskette der Geldpolitik.

Insbesondere in Krisenzeiten sei es für die Zentralbank, die die Geschäftsbanken mit Krediten versorgt, von großer Bedeutung sauber zu unterscheiden zwischen gesunden Banken, die zwar solvent sind, aber trotzdem in Liquiditätsnot geraten sind, und insolventen Banken, die langfristig nicht überleben können. Eine starke europäische Bankenaufsicht könne einige der Unsicherheiten, mit denen die Solvenzeinschätzungen behaftet sind, ausräumen. Das werde der Zentralbank bei der Erfüllung ihrer Aufgaben helfen, denn dann könne sie Liquiditätshilfen geben, ohne dass sie befürchten müsse, ihr Mandat zu überschreiten, sagte Lautenschläger. Zuverlässige Solvenzinformationen könnten allerdings nur dann zum Abbau von finanzieller Dominanz beitragen, wenn es eine glaubwürdige Regelung für die Abwicklung von Banken gebe. Dafür seien ein gemeinsames Regelwerk und ein ausreichend finanzierter Abwicklungsfonds notwendig. Außerdem könnten strengere Regeln für die Vergabe von Notkrediten (Emergency Liquidity Assistance, ELA) durch nationale Notenbanken des Eurosystems an Geschäftsbanken mögliche Interessenkonflikte verringern.

Besonders in Zeiten eines wirtschaftlichen Aufschwungs könnten die neuen Kompetenzen der EZB eine angemessene Reaktion auf möglichen Übertreibungen etwa auf den Märkten für Vermögenswerte ermöglichen. Ein Gegensteuern durch die Zinspolitik sei ungeeignet, weil dann das primäre Ziel der Preisstabilität gefährdet werden könnte, warnte Lautenschläger. Umso wichtiger sei deshalb, dass sich nun der Instrumentenkasten erweitere, der dem EZB-Rat zur Verfügung stehe, um Übertreibungen entgegen zu wirken.

08/09/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Understanding the yield curve
Opening address by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the ECB workshop “Understanding the yield curve: what has changed with the crisis?”, Frankfurt, 8 September 2014
03/09/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  Countdown to November: European supervision ready for lift-off
Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Handelsblatt Konferenz “Banken im Umbruch”, Frankfurt am Main, 3 September 2014
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Countdown to November: European supervision ready for lift-off

Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
Handelsblatt Konferenz “Banken im Umbruch”,
Frankfurt am Main, 3 September 2014

European banking supervision will draw on the long-standing experience of 18 – soon 19 – Member States and incorporate it into a new European supervisory culture, said Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) in a speech at the “Banken im Umbruch” conference in Frankfurt am Main.

A significant advantage of the new Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) is the possibility to make cross-country comparisons. “I am not just thinking of the assessment of specific portfolios here, but also of the early identification of risks, which only become visible, or are at least easier to identify, in horizontal analysis”, she said. The asset quality review has already given us a deeper insight into the banks’ procedures, thereby making it possible for us to check “which differences between banks are justified and to ascertain where we need to probe critically”.

Ms Lautenschläger stressed that, although decision-making in the new European banking supervision will be organised centrally, the SSM can build on regional knowledge and experience. “As national supervisory authorities participate in the supervisory process, the ECB remains close to regional market and banking structures”, she said. Also in terms of staffing, the SSM will bring together people from different supervisory cultures. The heads of Joint Supervisory Teams will come from a country other than that in which the institution it is supervising is established. “In concrete terms: the head supervisor for Deutsche Bank will be a French lady; BNP Paribas will be supervised by an Italian man.”

Countdown to November: European supervision ready for lift-off

Rede von Sabine Lautenschläger, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB,
Handelsblatt Konferenz „Banken im Umbruch“,
Frankfurt am Main, 3. September 2014

Die europäische Bankenaufsicht wird sich auf die langjährigen Erfahrungen von 18 – bald 19 – Ländern stützen und diese in eine gemeinsame neue europäische Aufsichtskultur einfließen lassen, sagt Sabine Lautenschläger, Mitglied des Direktoriums der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB), in einer Rede auf der Konferenz „Banken im Umbruch“ in Frankfurt.

Ein wesentlicher Vorteil der neuen europäischen Aufsicht („Single Supervisory Mechanism“ – SSM) bestehe darin, Quervergleiche über Ländergrenzen hinweg nutzen zu können. „Ich denke hier nicht nur an die Bewertung bestimmter Portfolios, sondern auch an die frühzeitige Identifizierung von Risiken, die erst oder leichter in der horizontalen Analyse sichtbar werden“, erklärt sie. Bereits durch den Bilanzcheck („Asset Quality Review“) dieses Jahres erhalte die EZB tiefere Erkenntnisse über die Prozesse der Banken, sodass geprüft werden könne, „welche Unterschiede zwischen Banken gerechtfertigt sind und wo wir kritisch nachfragen müssen.“

Lautenschläger betont, dass Entscheidungen in der neuen europäischen Bankenaufsicht zentral gefällt werden, der SSM aber auf regionale Kenntnisse und Erfahrungen aufbauen könne. „Mit der Beteiligung der nationalen Aufsichtsbehörden am Aufsichtsprozess bleibt die EZB nah an den regionalen Markt- und Bankenstrukturen“, sagt sie. Auch auf der Ebene der Personalpolitik setze man auf das Zusammenführen verschiedener Aufsichtskulturen. Die Leiter der gemeinsamen Aufsichtsteams würden beispielweise nicht dem Land entstammen, in dem das von ihnen beaufsichtigte Institut seinen Hauptsitz habe. „Um es konkret zu machen: die Chefaufseherin für die Deutsche Bank wird eine Französin sein. BNP Paribas wird von einem Italiener beaufsichtigt werden.“

02/09/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  On the optimal size of the financial sector
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the ECB Conference “The optimal size of the financial sector” Frankfurt, 2 September 2014
22/08/2014
Mario Draghi:  Unemployment in the euro area
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Annual central bank symposium in Jackson Hole, 22 August 2014
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Unemployment in the euro area

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
Annual central bank symposium in Jackson Hole,
22 August 2014

Everyone in society is affected by high unemployment. For central banks it is at the heart of the macro dynamics that determine inflation, and even when there are no risks to price stability it increases pressure on us to act. The key issue, however, is how much we can really sustainably affect unemployment, which depends on whether the drivers are predominantly cyclical or structural.

In the euro area, unemployment has been caused by a large and particularly sustained negative shock to GDP: first through the Great Recession, which affected all advanced economies, and second, through sovereign debt crisis, where job losses were concentrated in countries affected by financial stress. The sovereign debt crisis operated in part by disabling the tools of macroeconomic stabilisation, as fiscal policy had to switch towards convincing investors of debt sustainability, and monetary policy transmission became disrupted.

Cyclical factors have therefore played an important role in the rise in unemployment, and the weak economic situation in the euro area suggests they continue to do so. At the same time, there is evidence that a significant share of unemployment is also structural. This is suggested by patterns of long-term unemployment and skill mismatches.

Making firm conclusions about the degree of structural unemployment in the euro area, however, is complicated by uncertainty over estimation methods. There is also considerable heterogeneity across countries in terms of initial conditions, and in the way that demand shocks interact with labour market institutions.

In these circumstances, the only conclusion that policymakers can safely draw is that we need action on both sides of the economy: aggregate demand policies have to be accompanied by national structural policies.

Demand side policies are not only justified by the significant cyclical component in unemployment. They are also relevant because, given prevailing uncertainty, the risks of “doing too little” – i.e. that cyclical unemployment becomes structural – outweigh those of “doing too much” – that is, excessive upward wage and price pressures.

At the same time, aggregate demand policies will ultimately not be effective without action on the supply side. Advanced economies are operating in a set of initial conditions which include low inflation, low interest rates and a large debt overhang. In this context, structural policies are needed to engineer higher potential growth and allow both fiscal and monetary policy regain traction over the economic cycle.

On the demand side, monetary policy can and should play a central role. The package of measures announced by the ECB in June should provide the intended boost to demand, and we stand ready to adjust our policy stance further. Acknowledging the downward path of inflation, the Governing Council would use also unconventional instruments to safeguard the firm anchoring of inflation expectations over the medium- to long -term.

On the demand side, monetary policy can and should play a central role. The package of measures announced by the ECB in June should provide the intended boost to demand, and we stand ready to adjust our policy stance further. Acknowledging the downward path of inflation, the Governing Council would use also unconventional instruments to safeguard the firm anchoring of inflation expectations over the medium- to long -term.

It would nonetheless be helpful for the overall stance of policy if fiscal policy could play a greater role alongside monetary policy. The euro area has suffered from fiscal policy being less effective and available, especially compared with other advanced economies, reflecting the fact that the central bank in those countries could act and has acted as a backstop for government funding. While respecting our specific initial conditions and legal constraints, there are four key elements.

First, the existing flexibility within the rules could be used to better address the weak recovery and to make room for the cost of needed structural reforms. Second, there is leeway to achieve a more growth-friendly composition of fiscal policies, for instance by lowering the tax burden in a budget-neutral way. Third, stronger coordination among the different national fiscal stances should in principle facilitate a more growth-friendly aggregate fiscal stance for the euro area. Fourth, complementary action at the EU level would also seem to be necessary to ensure both an appropriate aggregate position and a large public investment programme.

No amount of fiscal or monetary accommodation, however, can replace necessary structural reforms. Structural unemployment was already very high in the euro area before the crisis and the national structural reforms to tackle this problem can no longer be delayed.

Two types of labour market measures are a priority: first, measures that help workers redeploy quickly to new job opportunities and thus lower unemployment duration; and second, those that raise the skill intensity of the work force, which is also very important for potential growth due to demographic prospects.

In short, the way back to higher employment is a policy mix that combines monetary, fiscal and structural measures, which requires a coherent strategy at the union and national levels. This will allow each member of our union to achieve a sustainably high level of employment.

The stakes for our monetary union are high. Without permanent cross-country transfers, a high level of employment in each country is essential for the long-term cohesion of the euro area. Given the very high costs if the cohesion of the union is threatened, all countries should have an interest in achieving this.

26/07/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  High-level policy dialogue of EMEAP central banks and the Eurosystem
Introductory remarks to the press conference, Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, 26 July 2014
22/07/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Policy coordination in a multipolar world
Remarks by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the 5th annual Cusco conference organised by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru and the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee: "70 years after Bretton Woods: Managing the interconnectedness of the world economy", Cusco, 22 July 2014
14/07/2014
Mario Draghi:  Hearing at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament
Introductory statement by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Strasbourg, 14 July 2014
09/07/2014
Mario Draghi:  Memorial lecture in honour of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, London, 9 July 2014

Summary

Memorial lecture in honour of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa

Summary of the speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
at the Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Memorial Lecture in London, 9 July 2014

The governance of structural reforms deserves as much attention as enforcing fiscal rules and should be done at the euro area level, ECB President Mario Draghi said in a speech in London on Wednesday.

Structural reforms need strong domestic ownership since they reach deeply into societal arrangements. But at the same time, the example of the International Monetary Fund shows that there is a convincing case to be made for a supranational body that makes it easier to frame national debates on reform. This can shift the debate from whether to how to implement reforms, Mr Draghi argues.

The outcome of structural reforms – a higher level of productivity and competitiveness – is not merely in a country’s own interest, but in the interest of the monetary union as a whole.

In the euro area, there is therefore a case for establishing rules on structural reform at the EU-level. While a lack of reform can threaten cohesion of the union, the recovery shows us how decisive reform can strengthen it.

09/07/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Investing in Europe: towards a new convergence process
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Panel “The big rethink for a stronger Europe”, The Economist Roundtable with the Government of Greece, Athens, 9 July 2014
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Investing in Europe: towards a new convergence process

Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
Panel “The big rethink for a stronger Europe”, The Economist Roundtable with the Government of Greece,
Athens, 9 July 2014

Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is a political triathlon. It requires resilience and resolve to perform well at all times in the three disciplines of a currency union: fiscal policy, economic policy and financial policy. EMU is a team effort. Only if every participant performs well can the euro area team be strong. This is the most important lesson from the crisis.

The European economy is undergoing a moderate recovery, but complacency would be unwarranted. To really overcome the crisis, there are some remaining major challenges still to be faced. The euro area is not in a financial crisis anymore, but it must still contend with high debt, low growth and unacceptably high unemployment. These are reason enough to remain alert and continue acting. In recent years, economic policy-making rightfully focused on re-establishing the most important necessary condition for growth: stability. For companies to invest, for firms to hire, for households to consume, a stable economic environment is paramount.

There are three relevant dimensions of economic stability: price stability, financial stability and macroeconomic stability, including the health of public finances. In all these areas, we have made substantial progress in recent years. During the crisis, the ECB took all appropriate measures to ensure that price stability provided an anchor in an uncertain and volatile economic environment. As for financial stability, the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism and the launch of banking union, with its Single Supervisory Mechanism and Single Resolution Mechanism, have been milestones in this respect. As a third dimension, the crisis has shown us the kind of existential threat to monetary union that can be brought about by the build-up of excessive imbalances, i.e. by the lack of fiscal and macroeconomic stability. New growth will not be generated by new debt. Sound fiscal policies are essential for growing out of debt. Therefore, the existing rules should be applied in a credible manner.

That said, we cannot claim “mission accomplished”. What has been achieved so far is not enough. The answer to the remaining challenges could take the form of a “convergence process 2.0”, which should have an agreed timeline and milestones. But convergence can only be sustainable if it is associated with a commensurate deepening of integration, if it is a race towards best practice institutions and policies rather than towards mere nominal outcomes. In this context, structural reforms, if properly designed, lead to greater prosperity in each country and, at the same time, ensure greater resilience of EMU as a whole, thereby contributing to economic and social stability. Growth and stability are therefore mutually reinforcing.

The convergence process should consist of two legs: on the one hand, it should underpin the convergence of economic policies and structures at the national level. On the other hand, it should facilitate joint action.

At the national level, convergence implies that euro area governments need to step up structural reforms, in particular those which have the greatest efficiency gains given the relative distance to best practices. And policy-makers should pay due attention to ensure that the burden of the adjustment effort is shared fairly.

The convergence in national structures could be complemented by joint action at the European level to increase investment and by the transfer of certain budgetary responsibilities to the European level with a view to strengthening risk-sharing within the currency union. But joint action can only occur once trust has been restored across countries and within countries, and the convergence process has advanced successfully. The level and the form of budgetary responsibilities, and how they are matched by appropriate democratic arrangements, should emanate from the political process.

The biggest threat to the Single Market is not euro area integration: it would be euro area stagnation. The challenge of making the EMU work is far from over. Let’s get ready for the next stage of the race.

Επενδύοντας στην Ευρώπη: προς μια νέα διαδικασία σύγκλισης

Ομιλία του Benoît Cœuré, μέλους της Εκτελεστικής Επιτροπής της ΕΚΤ,
Ενότητα «The Big Rethink for a Stronger Europe» (Ευρεία αναθεώρηση για μια ισχυρότερη Ευρώπη), Συζήτηση στρογγυλής τραπέζης του Economist με την Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση,
Αθήνα, 9 Ιουλίου 2014

Η Οικονομική και Νομισματική Ένωση (ΟΝΕ) είναι το τρίαθλο της πολιτικής. Απαιτεί από τους συμμετέχοντες αντοχή και αποφασιστικότητα ώστε να αποδίδουν καλά ανά πάσα στιγμή και στους τρεις τομείς της νομισματικής ένωσης: τη δημοσιονομική πολιτική, την οικονομική πολιτική και τη χρηματοπιστωτική πολιτική. Η ΟΝΕ στηρίζεται στην ομαδική προσπάθεια. Μόνο όταν όλοι οι επιμέρους συμμετέχοντες αποδίδουν καλά μπορεί η ομάδα της ζώνης του ευρώ να είναι ισχυρή. Αυτό είναι και το σημαντικότερο δίδαγμα της κρίσης.

Η ευρωπαϊκή οικονομία βρίσκεται σε πορεία μέτριας ανάκαμψης, αλλά δεν δικαιολογείται ο εφησυχασμός. Προκειμένου η κρίση να αποτελέσει οριστικά παρελθόν, πρέπει ακόμη να αντιμετωπιστούν κάποιες σημαντικές προκλήσεις. Η ζώνη του ευρώ έχει πλέον ξεπεράσει τη χρηματοπιστωτική κρίση, αλλά βρίσκεται ακόμη αντιμέτωπη με υψηλό χρέος, χαμηλό ρυθμό ανάπτυξης και απαράδεκτα υψηλή ανεργία. Αυτοί οι λόγοι είναι αρκετοί για να μας κρατήσουν σε επαγρύπνηση και συνεχή δράση. Τα τελευταία χρόνια, οι φορείς χάραξης της οικονομικής πολιτικής εύλογα επικεντρώθηκαν στην αποκατάσταση της σημαντικότερης απαραίτητης προϋπόθεσης για την ανάπτυξη: της σταθερότητας. Η διασφάλιση ενός σταθερού οικονομικού περιβάλλοντος έχει καθοριστική σημασία, καθώς αυτό ενθαρρύνει τις επιχειρήσεις να επενδύουν, τις εταιρείες να κάνουν προσλήψεις, τα νοικοκυριά να καταναλώνουν.

Υπάρχουν τρεις συναφείς διαστάσεις της οικονομικής σταθερότητας: η σταθερότητα των τιμών, η χρηματοπιστωτική σταθερότητα και η μακροοικονομική σταθερότητα, στην οποία περιλαμβάνεται και η ευρωστία των δημόσιων οικονομικών. Σε όλους αυτούς τους τομείς σημειώσαμε σημαντική πρόοδο τα τελευταία χρόνια. Στη διάρκεια της κρίσης, η ΕΚΤ έλαβε όλα τα απαραίτητα μέτρα ώστε να διασφαλίσει ότι η σταθερότητα των τιμών παρείχε ένα σημείο αναφοράς σε ένα οικονομικό περιβάλλον αβεβαιότητας και αστάθειας. Όσον αφορά τη χρηματοπιστωτική σταθερότητα, η θέσπιση του Ευρωπαϊκού Μηχανισμού Σταθερότητας και η έναρξη της τραπεζικής ένωσης, με τον Ενιαίο Εποπτικό Μηχανισμό και τον Ενιαίο Μηχανισμό Εξυγίανσης, αποτελούν ορόσημα από αυτή την άποψη. Σε ό,τι αφορά την τρίτη διάσταση, η κρίση μας έδειξε πώς ακριβώς η συσσώρευση υπερβολικών ανισορροπιών μπορεί να απειλήσει την ύπαρξη της νομισματικής ένωσης – αν δεν διασφαλίζεται δηλαδή η δημοσιονομική και μακροοικονομική σταθερότητα. Η νέα ανάπτυξη δεν θα δημιουργηθεί με νέο χρέος. Υγιείς δημοσιονομικές πολιτικές είναι απαραίτητες για την απαλλαγή από το χρέος. Επομένως, οι ισχύοντες κανόνες πρέπει να εφαρμόζονται κατά τρόπο αξιόπιστο.

Έχοντας υπόψη τα παραπάνω, δεν είμαστε σε θέση να ισχυριστούμε ότι η αποστολή μας εξετελέσθη. Αυτά που έχουμε επιτύχει μέχρι τώρα δεν είναι αρκετά. Η λύση για την αντιμετώπιση των προκλήσεων που εξακολουθούν να υφίστανται θα μπορούσε να έχει τη μορφή μιας «νέας διαδικασίας σύγκλισης», η οποία θα πρέπει να έχει καθορισμένο χρονοδιάγραμμα και ορόσημα. Όμως, η βιωσιμότητα της σύγκλισης είναι εφικτή μόνον εάν συνδέεται με ανάλογη εμβάθυνση της ολοκλήρωσης, εάν δηλαδή πρόκειται για έναν αγώνα για τη διασφάλιση βέλτιστων θεσμών και πολιτικών και όχι για την επίτευξη ονομαστικών απλώς αποτελεσμάτων. Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο, οι διαρθρωτικές μεταρρυθμίσεις, εφόσον σχεδιαστούν σωστά, οδηγούν σε μεγαλύτερη ευημερία για κάθε χώρα και, ταυτόχρονα, αυξάνουν την ανθεκτικότητα της ΟΝΕ συνολικά, συμβάλλοντας έτσι στην οικονομική και στην κοινωνική σταθερότητα. Επομένως, η ανάπτυξη και η σταθερότητα αλληλοενισχύονται.

Η διαδικασία σύγκλισης θα πρέπει να έχει δύο σκέλη: αφενός να υποστηρίζει τη σύγκλιση των οικονομικών πολιτικών και δομών σε εθνικό επίπεδο και αφετέρου να προάγει την από κοινού ανάληψη δράσης.

Σε εθνικό επίπεδο, η σύγκλιση συνεπάγεται ότι οι κυβερνήσεις της ζώνης του ευρώ πρέπει να επιταχύνουν την υλοποίηση διαρθρωτικών μεταρρυθμίσεων, ιδίως των μεταρρυθμίσεων που αποφέρουν τα περισσότερα οφέλη αποδοτικότητας με δεδομένη τη σχετική απόσταση από τις βέλτιστες πρακτικές. Οι δε φορείς χάραξης πολιτικής θα πρέπει να μεριμνήσουν δεόντως ούτως ώστε να διασφαλίσουν ότι τα βάρη της προσπάθειας προσαρμογής κατανέμονται δίκαια.

Η σύγκλιση των εθνικών δομών θα μπορούσε να συμπληρωθεί με την από κοινού ανάληψη δράσης σε ευρωπαϊκό επίπεδο για την αύξηση των επενδύσεων και με τη μεταβίβαση ορισμένων δημοσιονομικών αρμοδιοτήτων στο ευρωπαϊκό επίπεδο με σκοπό να ενισχυθεί ο επιμερισμός του κινδύνου εντός της νομισματικής ένωσης. Όμως, η από κοινού ανάληψη δράσης μπορεί να γίνει πραγματικότητα μόνον από τη στιγμή που θα αποκατασταθεί η εμπιστοσύνη μεταξύ των χωρών αλλά και εντός των χωρών και εφόσον η διαδικασία σύγκλισης θα έχει προχωρήσει επιτυχώς. Η έκταση και η μορφή των δημοσιονομικών αρμοδιοτήτων, καθώς και οι κατάλληλες ρυθμίσεις δημοκρατικού ελέγχου τους, θα πρέπει να είναι το αποτέλεσμα μιας πολιτικής διαδικασίας.

Η μεγαλύτερη απειλή για την ενιαία αγορά δεν είναι η ολοκλήρωση της ζώνης του ευρώ, αλλά μάλλον μια ενδεχόμενη στασιμότητα της ζώνης του ευρώ. Η επίτευξη μιας πλήρως λειτουργικής ΟΝΕ αποτελεί μια πρόκληση η οποία δεν έχει πάψει να υφίσταται. Ας ετοιμαστούμε λοιπόν για την επόμενη φάση του αγώνα.

09/07/2014
Peter Praet:  Keynote speech at the Europlace Financial Forum
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Europlace Financial Forum, Paris, 9 July 2014
07/07/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  Low inflation as a challenge for monetary policy and financial stability?
Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Parliamentary Evening, Hamburg, 7 July 2014
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Summary

Low inflation as a challenge for monetary policy and financial stability?

Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
Parliamentary Evening, Hamburg,7 July 2014

Although low interest rates might have side effects with respect to financial stability, they were necessary for the ECB to fulfil its mandate of ensuring price stability, said Sabine Lautenschläger, member of the ECB’s Executive Board, in a speech at an event organised by the Deutsche Bundesbank in Hamburg. “The risks of the rate of inflation being too low over a long period are not to be underestimated,” she explained. The experience of Japan had proven that an unanchoring of inflation expectations could start a downward spiral – consumers and investors could change their behaviour and defer spending.

The ECB’s Governing Council had therefore cut the main refinancing rate and had decided on a package of instruments to encourage banks to lend more to corporations and households. Excessively low inflation rates made it harder for stressed countries to adjust their economies and regain competitiveness. “We [could] soon find ourselves in a vicious circle in the euro area”, Lautenschläger warned. It would take some time before the measures adopted took effect, especially the instruments designed to increase liquidity, she explained. “I would expect that to happen next year, rather than this year.”

Should inflation rates not increase gradually as expected, the Governing Council was unanimous in its readiness to decide on further unconventional measures to effectively counter the risks related to an excessively long period of low interest rates, said Ms Lautenschläger. A broadly ranging programme of securities purchases was basically an instrument that a central bank could use, Lautenschläger claimed. But the requirement to be met for such a use had to be very high, because of the significant potential side effects, she said. What was also being discussed was a revitalisation of the market for asset-backed securities (ABSs), which Lautenschläger regarded as a worthwhile goal to the extent that transparent and simple securitisations were involved. For such ABSs, a purchase programme would be possible, but the ECB should only take on liquidity risk and no credit risk. Taking on credit risk, for example to encourage lending to small and medium-sized companies, was the responsibility of the governments of Member States, said Lautenschläger.

An easing of monetary policy has side effects on asset prices, said Lautenschläger. That could reduce risk aversion and increase the threat of asset price bubbles. In addition, indebtedness could increase further and the flexibility of monetary policy action could be undermined. Those were risks that should not be addressed by monetary policy to the detriment the central bank’s price stability mandate. On the other hand, this did not mean that there could not be any response. Instruments of macro-prudential supervision should be used, said Lautenschläger. For example, higher capital requirements could slow down lending in the event of excesses on regional real estate markets.

Niedriginflation als Herausforderung für Geldpolitik und Finanzstabilität?

Rede von Sabine Lautenschläger, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB,
Parlamentarischer Abend organisiert von der Deutschen Bundesbank, Hauptverwaltung Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern und Schleswig-Holstein,
Hamburg, 7. Juli 2014

Niedrige Zinsen im Euroraum seien zwar mit Nebenwirkungen auf die Finanzstabiltät verbunden, sie seien aber notwendig, damit die Europäische Zentralbank ihrem Mandat der Preisstabilitätsicherung gerecht werde, sagt Sabine Lautenschläger, Mitglied im Direktorium der Europäischen Zentralbank, in einer Rede auf dem Parlamentarischen Abend der Bundestag in Hamburg. „Auch die Risiken einer zu niedrigen Inflationsrate sind nicht zu unterschätzen“, erläutert Lautenschläger. Das Beispiel Japans zeige, dass die Entkoppelung der Inflationserwartungen eine Abwärtsspirale auslösen könne, denn dann drohe unter anderem, dass Konsumenten und Investoren ihr Verhalten änderten und Anschaffungen aufschöben.

Darauf habe der EZB-Rat in der vergangenen Woche reagiert und eine Senkung des Leitzinses sowie ein Paket von weiteren Maßnahmen beschlossen, um die Kreditvergabe an Unternehmen und Haushalte zu stimulieren. Zu niedrige Inflationsraten erschwerten zudem den Anpassungsprozess in den Reformländern. Es dauere dann noch länger, bis sie ihre Wettbewerbsnachteile aufholen könnten. „Und dann befinden wir uns im Euroraum schnell in einem Teufelskreis“, warnt Lautenschläger. Es werde eine Weile dauern, bis die Maßnahmen der EZB wirkten, erläutert sie. Das gelte insbesondere für die Instrumente, mit denen die Liquidität im Bankensystem erhöht werden. „Ich denke da eher an das nächste und nicht an dieses Jahr.“

Für den Fall, dass sich anders als erwartet die Inflationsaussichten nicht schrittweise verbessern sollten, habe der EZB-Rat einstimmig die Bereitschaft zu weiteren unkonventionellen Instrumente geäußert, um den Risiken einer zu lang anhaltenden Phase niedriger Inflation wirksam entgegenzutreten. Ein breit angelegtes Kaufprogramm von Wertpapieren zählt grundsätzlich zum Instrumentenkasten der Zentralbank, sagt Lautenschläger. Jedoch müssten die Anforderungen an gerade diese Art von geldpolitischem Eingriff besonders hoch sein, da seine Nebenwirkungen besonders groß seien. Diskutiert werde auch die Wiederbelebung des Marktes für Kreditverbriefungen. Das sei ein lohnendes Ziel, wenn es um transparente und übersichtlich strukturierte Verbriefungen gehe. Für solche Wertpapiere käme auch ein Programm in Frage, bei dem die EZB Liquiditätsrisiken übernehme, so Lautenschläger. Die Übernahme von Kreditrisiken zur Stimulierung des Marktes, etwa um die Kreditvergabe an mittelständische Unternehmen zu fördern, sei aber nicht ihre Aufgabe. Das falle in die Verantwortung der Mitgliedsstaaten.

Gleichwohl habe die Lockerung der Geldpolitik Nebenwirkungen unter anderem auf die Vermögenspreise, erläutert Lautenschläger. Sie könne zu einer Verringerung der Risikoscheu führen und das Risiko von Vermögenspreisblasen erhöhen. Außerdem könne die Tendenz zur Überschulding zunehmen und der geldpolitische Handlungsspielraum könne schrumpfen. Diesen Risiken dürfe die Geldpolitik nicht begegnen, indem sie Abstriche am Ziel der Preisstabilität mache, sagt Lautenschläger. Das bedeute aber nicht, dass die Nebenwirkungen unvermeidlich seien. Vielmehr müssten die Instrumente der makroprudentiellen Aufsicht genutzt werden. So könne über erhöhte Kapitalanforderungen an die Banken die Kreditvergabe gebremst und so regionalen Übertreibungen etwa auf den Immobilienmärkten entgegen gewirkt werden.

03/07/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Price stability as the basis of a sustained recovery
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Wirtschaftstag 2014, Berlin, 3 July 2014
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Summary

Price stability as the basis of a sustained recovery

Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
Wirtschaftstag 2014,
Berlin, 3 July 2014

Only sustainable growth via enhancing the productive potential in the euro area will lead to an environment that secures fair prices for credit and fair compensation for savers, said Benoît Cœuré, member of the ECB’s executive board. Cœuré explained in his speech at the Wirtschaftstag in Berlin the ECB’s monetary policy in the current environment of a stagnating economy. “In a stagnating economy savers complain about low returns while borrowers complain about too restrictive credit conditions”. Only an economy with sustainable growth and price stability can solve this dilemma.

“The only way to move on from the current low interest rate environment is to reinvigorate the productive potential of the euro are economy”, Cœuré said. Like Ludwig Erhard did by establishing the social market economy after the war, euro area countries today need to go on with fiscal, structural and institutional reforms to revive the area’s productivity potential. Monetary policy can only facilitate that process but not change the long-term path. “Governments should not view the current period of low interest rates and favourable market sentiment as an invitation to abandon the path of fiscal prudence.”

Cœuré said that the measures the ECB’s governing council had agreed in June have been warranted because of the low inflation in the euro area as a whole and also in Germany. The fall in German inflation was adding the risk of a race to the bottom for the euro area as a whole, with potentially disruptive economic consequences. “We had to act, otherwise we would not have lived up to our mandate.”

On the complaints of German savers he said that, as shown by the Bundesbank, the current low real rate of return is not exceptional historically. In fact, the real rate of return on deposits had been persistently negative during previous decades, but savers had not realised it because of higher inflation.

Preisstabilität – Grundlage einer nachhaltigen Erholung

Rede von Benoît Cœuré, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB,
Wirtschaftstag 2014,
Berlin, 3. Juli 2014

Nur durch eine Stärkung des Produktionspotenzials, die durch nachhaltiges Wachstum in der Eurozone und die Sicherung der Preisstabilität erreicht wird, wird zu einer Normalisierung der wirtschaftlichen Bedingungen führen, einschließlich der Normalisierung der Renditen auf Spareinlagen, sagte Benoît Cœuré, Mitglied des EZB-Direktoriums. Cœuré erläuterte beim Wirtschaftstag in Berlin die geldpolitischen Entscheidungen der EZB vor dem Hintergrund geringer Wachstumsraten und niedriger Inflation. „In einer stagnierenden Wirtschaft klagen Sparer über niedrige Erträge, während sich Kreditnehmer über zu restriktive Darlehenskonditionen beschweren.“ Nur eine Wirtschaft mit nachhaltigem Wachstum und Preisstabilität könne dieses Dilemma auflösen.

„Die einzige Möglichkeit, einen Weg aus diesem Niedrigzinsumfeld zu finden, besteht darin, das Produktionspotenzial der Wirtschaft im Euroraum wieder anzukurbeln“, sagte Cœuré. Wie es Ludwig Erhard nach dem Krieg gelungen sei, die soziale Marktwirtschaft einzuführen, müssten heute die Regierungen der Euro-Staaten ihre haushaltspolitischen, strukturellen und institutionellen Reformen konsequent fortsetzen, um das Produktionspotenzial zu steigern. Geldpolitik könne diesen Prozess nur erleichtern, nicht aber den langfristigen Wachstumspfad verändern. „Regierungen sollten die aktuelle Phase niedriger Zinsen und einer positiven Stimmung an den Märkten nicht als Einladung verstehen, ihren vorsichtigen haushaltspolitischen Kurs aufzugeben.“

Cœuré erklärte, die bei der Juni-Sitzung des EZB-Rates beschlossenen Maßnahmen seien wegen der niedrigen Inflation in der Eurozone insgesamt und auch in Deutschland gerechtfertigt gewesen. Der Rückgang der Preissteigerung in Deutschland sei ein zusätzliches Risiko für einen Abwärtswettlauf im gesamten Währungsgebiet und ein Risiko für die Erreichung des von den Europäischen Verträgen strikt vorgegeben Mandats der Preisstabilität. „Wir mussten handeln, sonst wären wir unserem Auftrag nicht gerecht geworden.“

03/07/2014
Peter Praet:  Current issues of monetary policy
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, 8th Kiel Institute Summer School on Economic Policy: Reassessing Monetary Policy, Kiel, 3 July 2014
24/06/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Rethinking economics after the crisis
Introductory remarks by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, during the panel discussion at the third conference of the ECB Macro-prudential Research Network, Frankfurt, 24 June 2014
23/06/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  The ECB and Macro-prudential policy: from research to implementation
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Third Conference of the Macro-prudential Research Network, Frankfurt-am-Main, 23 June 2014
19/06/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Recent challenges to monetary policy in the euro area
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Athens Symposium on Banking Union, Monetary Policy and Economic Growth, Athens, 19 June 2014
11/06/2014
Yves Mersch:  Next steps for European securitisation markets
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the IMN Global ABS Conference, Barcelona, 11 June 2014
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10/06/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Making macro-prudential policy work
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at high-level seminar organised by De Nederlandsche Bank, 10 June 2014
04/06/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Accounting and Financial Reporting by Central Banks
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the fourth ECB conference on accounting, financial reporting and corporate governance for central banks, Frankfurt am Main, 3 June 2014
31/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Law, money and market: the legal dimension of monetary policy
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Information Club Meeting, Luxembourg, 31 May 2014
30/05/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Challenges for global economic growth
Remarks by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at 71st Plenary Meeting of the Group of Thirty, Versailles, 30 May 2014
27/05/2014
Peter Praet:  Monetary policy and balance sheet adjustment
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at ECB Forum on Central Banking, Sintra, 27 May 2014
26/05/2014
Mario Draghi:  Monetary policy in a prolonged period of low inflation
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the ECB Forum on Central Banking, Sintra, 26 May 2014

Summary

Monetary policy in a prolonged period of low inflation

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
at the ECB Forum on Central Banking,
Sintra, 26 May 2014

In the context of a certain disconnect between economic performance and inflation the monetary policy response has to be carefully considered and precisely designed. We are not resigned to allowing inflation to remain too low for too long. But to understand “what is too low for too long”, we need to answer two questions.

First, why is inflation so low?

Second, once we have a decomposition of inflation, we can ask: how likely is it that it persists over the medium-term? Falling commodity prices have accounted for around 80% of the decline in euro area inflation since late 2011. But there are two factors specific to the euro area that contribute to low inflation: the rise in the euro exchange rate and the process of relative price adjustments in certain euro area countries.

At present, our expectation is that low inflation will be prolonged but gradually return to 2%. Our responsibility is nonetheless to be alert to the risks to this scenario that might emerge and prepared for action if they do. What we need to be particularly watchful for at the moment is the potential for a negative spiral to take hold between between low inflation, falling inflation expectations and credit, in particular in stressed countries.

There is a risk that disinflationary expectations take hold. This may then cause households and firms to defer expenditure in a classic deflationary cycle – especially when monetary policy is at the effective lower bound and so cannot steer the nominal rate down to compensate.

On aggregate, euro area firms and households do not seem to be particularly exposed to debt deflation dynamics. But this picture masks the heterogeneity within the euro area. Debt service-to-income ratios tend to be higher in stressed countries. Credit weakness appears to be contributing to economic weakness in these countries. Our analysis suggests that credit constraints are putting a brake on the recovery in stressed countries, which adds to the disinflationary pressures. And heterogeneity becomes a factor in assessing low inflation in the euro area.

In terms of the monetary policy response, the key issue is timing. We have to be mindful of mismatches between the various trends: the rise in demand for credit; the repair of bank balance sheets; and the development of capital markets as a complement to bank lending. At this point of the cycle, these considerations feature prominently in the discussions of the Governing Council members. There is no debate about our goal, which is to return inflation towards 2% in the medium-term, in line with our mandate.

Geldpolitik in einem längeren Zeitraum niedriger Inflation

Rede von Mario Draghi, Präsident der Europäischen Zentralbank,
beim ECB Forum on Central Banking,
Sintra, 26. Mai 2014

Im Kontext einer gewissen Entkopplung von Wirtschaftsleistung und Inflation sind eine sorgfältige Abwägung und präzise Gestaltung der geldpolitischen Reaktion erforderlich. Wir lassen es nicht zu, dass die Inflation zu lange auf einem zu niedrigen Niveau verharrt. Um jedoch zu verstehen, was „zu lange auf einem zu niedrigen Niveau“ bedeutet, müssen wir zwei Fragen beantworten.

Zum einen müssen wir uns fragen, warum die Inflation so niedrig ist.

Und sobald uns die Aufgliederung der Inflation bekannt ist, können wir uns zum anderen die Frage stellen, wie hoch die Wahrscheinlichkeit ist, dass die Inflation auf mittlere Sicht anhält. Rund 80 % des Rückgangs der Inflation im Eurogebiet seit Ende 2011 sind auf sinkende Rohstoffpreise zurückzuführen. Es gibt allerdings zwei für das Eurogebiet spezifische Faktoren, die zu einer niedrigen Inflation beitragen: der Anstieg des Wechselkurses des Euro und der Prozess der relativen Preisanpassungen in bestimmten Ländern des Euroraums.

Gegenwärtig gehen wir davon aus, dass die niedrige Inflation zwar länger anhalten, jedoch schrittweise auf ein Niveau von 2 % zurückkehren wird. Dennoch liegt es in unserer Verantwortung, wachsam gegenüber Risiken für dieses Szenario zu sein, die möglicherweise auftreten, sowie handlungsbereit zu sein, falls sie sich manifestieren. Besonders wachsam müssen wir gegenwärtig in Bezug auf die Möglichkeit sein, dass sich – insbesondere in finanziell angeschlagenen Ländern – eine Negativspirale aus niedriger Inflation, sinkenden Inflationserwartungen und zurückgehendem Kreditangebot bildet.

Es besteht ein Risiko, dass sich Disinflationserwartungen verfestigen. Dies könnte dann dazu führen, dass private Haushalte und Unternehmen in einem klassischen Deflationszyklus geplante Investitionen verschieben – insbesondere wenn die Geldpolitik an der effektiven Zinssatz-Untergrenze angelangt ist und so den Nominalzinssatz nicht zum Ausgleich senken kann.

Insgesamt scheinen Unternehmen und Privathaushalte des Euroraums der Schuldendeflationsentwicklung nicht besonders ausgesetzt zu sein. Hinter diesem Bild verbirgt sich jedoch die Heterogenität innerhalb des Eurogebiets. Das Verhältnis des Schuldendienstes zum Einkommen ist in finanziell angeschlagenen Ländern meist höher. Eine schwache Kreditvergabe scheint zur Wirtschaftsschwäche in diesen Ländern beizutragen. Unsere Analysen weisen darauf hin, dass Kreditbeschränkungen die Erholung in finanziell angeschlagenen Ländern bremsen, was den Disinflationsdruck verstärkt. Und Heterogenität wird zu einem Faktor bei der Beurteilung der niedrigen Inflation im Eurogebiet.

Was die geldpolitische Reaktion betrifft, ist der richtige Zeitpunkt von zentraler Bedeutung. Wir müssen auf Missverhältnisse zwischen den verschiedenen Trends achten: dem Anstieg der Kreditnachfrage, der Sanierung der Bankbilanzen und der Entwicklung der Kapitalmärkte als Ergänzung zur Kreditvergabe der Banken. An diesem Punkt des Zyklus spielen diese Überlegungen eine wichtige Rolle bei den Erörterungen der Mitglieder des EZB-Rats. Es gibt keine Debatte über unser Ziel, das darin besteht, die Inflationsrate im Einklang mit unserem Mandat auf mittlere Sicht wieder auf ein Niveau von 2 % zurückzuführen.

La política monetaria en un período prolongado de baja inflación

Discurso pronunciado por Mario Draghi, presidente del Banco Central Europeo,
en el Foro del BCE sobre banca central
Sintra, 26 de mayo de 2014

En el contexto de una cierta desconexión entre el comportamiento de la economía y la inflación, la respuesta de la política monetaria ha de considerarse cuidadosamente y diseñarse con precisión. No nos resignamos a permitir que la inflación se mantenga demasiado baja durante demasiado tiempo. Pero para entender qué significa «demasiado baja durante demasiado tiempo», tenemos que plantearnos dos preguntas.

En primer lugar, ¿por qué está la inflación en un nivel tan bajo?

En segundo lugar, una vez desglosados los componentes de la inflación, podemos preguntarnos ¿cuál es la probabilidad de que se mantenga a medio plazo? El descenso de los precios de las materias primas explica un 80 % aproximadamente de la caída de la inflación en la zona del euro desde finales de 2011. Pero existen dos factores específicos de la zona del euro que contribuyen a la baja inflación: la apreciación del tipo de cambio del euro y el proceso de ajuste de los precios relativos en algunos países de la zona del euro.

Actualmente, nuestra expectativa es que la inflación continúe en niveles bajos y que retorne gradualmente al 2 %. No obstante, nuestra responsabilidad es prestar atención a los riesgos que podrían afectar a este escenario y estar preparados para actuar si se materializan. En este momento, lo que tenemos que vigilar en particular es la posibilidad de que surja una espiral negativa entre el bajo nivel de inflación, el descenso de las expectativas de inflación y el crédito, especialmente en los países con dificultades.

Existe el riesgo de que las expectativas de desinflación se consoliden, lo que a su vez podría hacer que hogares y empresas difieran su gasto en un ciclo deflacionista clásico —especialmente en un momento en el que la política monetaria se encuentra en el nivel efectivo mínimo y no puede guiar hacia abajo el tipo nominal para compensar―.

En términos agregados, las empresas y los hogares de la zona del euro no parecen especialmente expuestos a la dinámica de deflación de la deuda, aunque este cuadro enmascara la heterogeneidad de la zona del euro. La ratio carga financiera-renta tiende a ser más elevada en los países con dificultades. La debilidad del crédito parece estar contribuyendo a la debilidad económica en esos países.

Nuestro análisis sugiere que las restricciones al crédito están frenando la recuperación en los países con dificultades, lo que alimenta las presiones desinflacionistas. Y la heterogeneidad se convierte en un factor para evaluar la baja inflación en la zona del euro.

En lo que se refiere a la política monetaria, la cuestión clave es el calendario. Hemos de tener en cuenta los desfases entre las diversas tendencias: el aumento de la demanda de crédito, el saneamiento de los balances de las entidades de crédito y la evolución de los mercados de capital como complemento del crédito bancario. En el momento actual del ciclo, estas consideraciones ocupan un lugar preeminente en las discusiones entre los miembros del Consejo de Gobierno. No existe debate acerca de nuestro objetivo que, de acuerdo con nuestro mandato, es que la inflación vuelva a situarse en un nivel próximo al 2 % a medio plazo.

La politique monétaire dans une période prolongée d’inflation basse

Discours de Mario Draghi, Président de la Banque centrale européenne,
lors du Forum de la BCE sur l’activité de banque centrale
Sintra, le 26 mai 2014

Dans le contexte d’une relation distendue entre les performances économiques et l’inflation, il convient d’examiner attentivement et de concevoir avec précision la réponse de politique monétaire. Nous ne sommes pas résignés à permettre à l’inflation de demeurer trop basse pendant une trop longue période. Toutefois, pour comprendre ce que signifie « une inflation trop basse pendant une trop longue période », nous devons répondre à deux questions.

Premièrement, pourquoi l’inflation est-elle si basse ?

Deuxièmement, une fois que nous connaissons la décomposition de l'inflation, nous pouvons poser cette question : quelle est la probabilité qu’elle persiste à moyen terme ? La baisse des prix des matières premières compte pour environ 80 % dans le recul de l’inflation dans la zone euro depuis fin 2011. Mais il existe deux facteurs spécifiques à la zone euro qui contribuent au bas niveau de l’inflation : la hausse du taux de change de l’euro et le processus d’ajustement des prix relatifs dans certains pays de la zone euro.

À l’heure actuelle, notre anticipation est que l’inflation basse devrait se prolonger, mais qu’elle reviendrait progressivement à 2 %. Néanmoins, il nous incombe d’être vigilants face aux risques pesant sur ce scénario, qui pourraient se manifester, et d’être prêts à agir s’ils se concrétisent. Un élément requiert en ce moment toute notre vigilance : il s’agit de la possibilité qu’une spirale négative se mette en place entre une faible inflation, le repli des anticipations d’inflation et le crédit, notamment dans les pays en difficulté.

Il existe le risque que les anticipations désinflationnistes gagnent du terrain. Cette évolution pourrait alors inciter les ménages et les entreprises à différer leurs dépenses, phénomène classique dans un cycle déflationniste, notamment lorsque la politique monétaire a touché la limite inférieure effective et ne peut donc réduire le taux nominal pour compenser.

Dans l’ensemble, les entreprises et les ménages de la zone euro ne semblent pas être particulièrement exposés à la dynamique dette-déflation. Mais ce tableau masque l’hétérogénéité observée au sein de la zone euro. Les ratios service de la dette/revenu sont généralement plus élevés dans les pays en difficulté. L’atonie du crédit semble contribuer à la faiblesse de l’activité économique dans ces pays.

Il ressort de notre analyse que les contraintes de crédit freinent la reprise dans les pays en difficulté, ce qui amplifie les pressions désinflationnistes. Et l’hétérogénéité devient un facteur à prendre en compte dans l’évaluation de la faible inflation dans la zone euro.

Du point de vue de la réponse de politique monétaire, la question essentielle concerne le choix du moment. Nous devons être conscients des asymétries des diverses tendances : la progression de la demande de crédits ; le redressement des bilans des banques ; et l’évolution observée sur les marchés des capitaux, complétant les prêts bancaires. À ce point du cycle, ces considérations sont au cœur des discussions menées au sein du Conseil des gouverneurs. Il ne s’agit pas d’un débat portant sur notre objectif, qui est de ramener l’inflation vers 2 % à moyen terme, conformément à notre mandat.

La politica monetaria in un periodo prolungato di bassa inflazione

Intervento di Mario Draghi, Presidente della Banca centrale europea,
in occasione dell’ECB Forum on Central Banking
Sintra, 26 maggio 2014

A fronte di un certo scollamento tra andamento dell’economia e inflazione, l’azione di politica monetaria va considerata attentamente e formulata con precisione. Non ci rassegneremo a lasciare che l’inflazione resti su un livello troppo basso per troppo tempo. Ma per comprendere quale sia un “livello troppo basso per troppo tempo” dobbiamo rispondere a due interrogativi.

Innanzitutto, perché l’inflazione sia così contenuta. Secondariamente, sulla scorta di una sua scomposizione, possiamo chiederci quanto sia probabile che un tale livello persista nel medio termine. La flessione dei prezzi delle materie prime ha inciso per circa l’80% sul calo dell’inflazione dell’area dell’euro dalla fine del 2011. Ma vi sono due fattori specifici dell’area che contribuiscono a un’inflazione moderata: l’incremento del tasso di cambio dell’euro e il processo di aggiustamento dei prezzi relativi in alcuni dei paesi aderenti.

Al momento ci attendiamo che l’inflazione resterà contenuta, per poi tornare gradualmente sul 2%. Tuttavia, è nostra responsabilità prestare attenzione ai rischi che potrebbero emergere per questo scenario e prepararci a intervenire, se tali rischi si dovessero manifestare. Allo stadio attuale, dobbiamo tenere un atteggiamento particolarmente vigile riguardo alla possibilità che si affermi una spirale negativa tra bassa inflazione, aspettative di un calo dell’inflazione e credito, in particolare nei paesi soggetti a tensioni.

Vi è il rischio che si consolidino aspettative di disinflazione. Ciò può indurre famiglie e imprese a differire le decisioni di spesa in una classica spirale deflazionistica, specie se la politica monetaria ha raggiunto il limite inferiore effettivo e quindi non può influenzare il tasso nominale verso il basso per compensare.

In termini aggregati, le imprese e le famiglie dell’area dell’euro non sembrano essere particolarmente esposte alla dinamica della deflazione da debito. Questo quadro, tuttavia, cela l’eterogeneità presente all’interno dell’area. Il rapporto fra servizio del debito e reddito tende a essere più elevato nei paesi soggetti a tensioni. La moderata dinamica del credito sembra contribuire alla debolezza dell’economia in quei paesi.

La nostra analisi suggerisce che le restrizioni all’offerta di credito frenano la ripresa nei paesi sottoposti a tensioni, intensificando le pressioni disinflazionistiche. L’eterogeneità diventa un fattore di cui tenere conto nel valutare il basso livello di inflazione nell’area dell’euro.

Quanto all’azione di politica monetaria, la questione fondamentale sono i tempi. Dobbiamo essere consapevoli dei disallineamenti tra varie tendenze: l’incremento della domanda di credito, la correzione dei bilanci bancari e l’andamento dei mercati dei capitali, quale complemento dei prestiti bancari. In questa fase del ciclo economico, tali considerazioni assumono particolare rilievo nelle discussioni dei membri del Consiglio direttivo. Oggetto del dibattito non è il nostro obiettivo, che è un ritorno dell’inflazione verso il 2% nel medio termine, in linea con il nostro mandato.

Monetair beleid tijdens een langdurige periode van lage inflatie

Toespraak door Mario Draghi, President van de Europese Centrale Bank,
Bij het ECB Forum on Central Banking
Sintra, 26 mei 2014

In de context van een zeker gebrek aan samenhang tussen economische prestaties en inflatie, moet de monetairbeleidsreactie zorgvuldig worden overwogen en precies vormgegeven. Wij leggen ons er niet bij neer de inflatie te lang te laag te laten blijven. Maar om inzicht te krijgen in wat “te lang te laag” is, moeten we een antwoord geven op twee vragen.

Ten eerste: waarom is de inflatie zo laag?

Ten tweede, wanneer we eenmaal de inflatie ontleed hebben, kunnen we vragen: hoe waarschijnlijk is het dat deze op de middellange termijn aanhoudt? Dalende grondstoffenprijzen vertegenwoordigen sinds eind 2011 rond 80% van de daling van de inflatie in het eurogebied. Maar er zijn twee specifiek voor het eurogebied geldende factoren die bijdragen aan de lage inflatie: de stijging van de wisselkoers van de euro en het proces van relatieve prijsaanpassingen in bepaalde landen van het eurogebied.

Op dit moment is onze verwachting dat de lage inflatie lang zal aanhouden maar geleidelijk zal terugkeren naar 2%. Het is desalniettemin onze verantwoordelijkheid waakzaam te blijven ten aanzien van de risico’s voor dit scenario die zich zouden kunnen voordoen, en klaar te staan om actie te ondernemen als zij dit doen. Waar we op dit moment met name waakzaam voor moeten blijven is de mogelijkheid dat een negatieve spiraal ontstaat tussen lage inflatie, dalende inflatieverwachtingen en de kredietverschaffing, in het bijzonder in landen die onder druk staan.

Er bestaat het risico dat verwachtingen van desinflatie ontstaan. Dit zou dan, in een klassieke deflatoire cyclus, huishoudens en bedrijven ertoe kunnen brengen uitgaven uit te stellen – met name wanneer het monetair beleid aan de effectieve ondergrens zit en dus niet het nominale inflatiecijfer kan doen dalen ter compensatie.

Over het geheel genomen lijken bedrijven en huishoudens in het eurogebied niet bijzonder blootgesteld aan schulddeflatiedynamiek. Maar dit beeld maskeert de heterogeniteit binnen het eurogebied. De schuld/inkomen-quotes zijn over het algemeen hoger in landen onder druk. Kredietzwakte lijkt in deze landen bij te dragen aan economische zwakte.

Onze analyse suggereert dat kredietbeperkingen het herstel in landen onder druk remmen, hetgeen aan de desinflatoire druk bijdraagt. En heterogeniteit wordt een factor bij het beoordelen van lage inflatie in het eurogebied.

Wat betreft de monetairbeleidsreactie is het essentiële element timing. Wij dienen op te passen voor mismatches tussen de diverse tendensen: de stijging van de vraag naar krediet, het herstel van de balans van banken en de ontwikkeling van kapitaalmarkten als aanvulling op de bancaire kredietverlening. In de huidige conjunctuurfase spelen deze overwegingen een belangrijke rol in de besprekingen van de leden van de Raad van Bestuur. Er bestaat geen discussie over ons doel, namelijk het terugbrengen van de inflatie naar 2% op de middellange termijn, overeenkomstig ons mandaat.

A política monetária num período prolongado de inflação baixa

Discurso de Mario Draghi, Presidente do Banco Central Europeu,
no Fórum do BCE sobre Banca Central
Sintra, 26 de maio de 2014

No contexto de uma certa dissociação entre o desempenho económico e a inflação, a resposta da política monetária tem de ser cuidadosamente ponderada e concebida com precisão. Não nos resignamos a permitir que a inflação se mantenha num nível muito baixo durante demasiado tempo. Porém, para entender o que significa “um nível muito baixo durante demasiado tempo”, é necessário responder a duas questões.

Em primeiro lugar, por que razão a inflação é tão baixa?

Em segundo lugar, após uma decomposição da inflação, podemos perguntar: qual é a probabilidade de a inflação muito baixa persistir no médio prazo? A diminuição dos preços das matérias-primas é responsável por cerca de 80% da descida da inflação na área do euro, desde finais de 2011. No entanto, dois fatores específicos à área do euro contribuem para a baixa inflação: o aumento da taxa de câmbio do euro e o processo de ajustamento dos preços relativos em alguns países da área do euro.

A nossa expectativa atual é de que a inflação permaneça baixa durante um período prolongado, mas regresse gradualmente a 2%. Compete-nos, todavia, estar atentos ao eventual surgimento de riscos para este cenário e prepararmo-nos para agir caso tal aconteça. Neste momento, devemos estar particularmente vigilantes em relação ao potencial para a ocorrência de uma espiral negativa entre a inflação baixa, a descida das expectativas de inflação e o crédito, em especial nos países sob tensão.

Existe o risco de as expectativas desinflacionistas se concretizarem. Tal pode levar as famílias e as empresas a adiar a despesa, como é típico num ciclo deflacionista – sobretudo quando a política monetária se situa no seu limite inferior efetivo e, consequentemente, não pode orientar a taxa nominal no sentido descendente para compensar.

Na área do euro, a nível agregado, as empresas e as famílias parecem não estar particularmente expostas a uma dinâmica de deflação da dívida. Contudo, este cenário oculta a heterogeneidade da área do euro. Os rácios do serviço da dívida em relação ao rendimento tendem a ser mais elevados nos países sob tensão. A fraqueza do crédito está aparentemente a contribuir para a fragilidade económica nesses países.

A nossa análise sugere que as restrições de crédito estão a travar a recuperação nos países sob tensão, o que intensifica as pressões desinflacionistas. A heterogeneidade passa, assim, a ser um fator na avaliação do nível baixo da inflação na área do euro.

Em termos da resposta da política monetária, a questão fundamental prende-se com o momento oportuno. É necessário ter em consideração os desfasamentos entre as várias tendências: o aumento da procura de crédito, a correção de balanços por parte dos bancos e a evolução dos mercados de capitais como complemento do crédito bancário. Na presente fase do ciclo, tais considerações dominam os debates dos membros do Conselho do BCE. Não há, porém, discussão quanto ao nosso objetivo, que consiste em fazer a inflação regressar a valores próximos de 2% no médio prazo, em conformidade com o nosso mandato.

24/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Finance in an environment of downsizing banks
Keynote speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at Shanghai Forum 2014 “Asia Transforms: Identifying New Dynamics” Shanghai, 24 May 2014
23/05/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  Making the comprehensive assessment a success
Speech by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Expansión – 5th Financial Event, Madrid, 23 May 2014
19/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Rede bei der BayernLB Fixed Income Conference
Rede von Yves Mersch, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB, München, 19. Mai 2014
19/05/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Completing the single market in capital
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, ICMA Capital Market Lecture Series 2014, Paris, 19 May 2014
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19/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Euro banknotes – a means of payment recognised worldwide
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Bargeldsymposium of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt, 19 May 2014
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15/05/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Growth challenges for Asia and Europe
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Asia Europe Economic Forum, Berlin, 15 May 2014
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15/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  EU integration and the road to the euro area
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the conference “The World isn’t Flat – Why place matters and what it means for us” organised by ASPIRE, Kraków, 15 May 2014
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14/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Keynote speech at 70th Banking Conference of German Cooperative Banks
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, 70th Banking Conference of German Cooperative Banks, Berlin, 14 May 2014
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14/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Keynote speech
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the “Welt” Währungskonferenz, Berlin, 14 May 2014
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12/05/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Banking Union and European integration
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the OeNB Economics Conference, Vienna, 12 May 2014
05/05/2014
Yves Mersch:  Institutional overhaul of the euro area – progress and remaining challenges
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at a conference organised by the Association Européenne de Droit Bancaire et Financier Luxembourg, Luxembourg, 5 May 2014
30/04/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  The internationalisation of monetary policy
Keynote address by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the ECB-IMF conference on the “International dimension of conventional and unconventional monetary policy”, Frankfurt, 30 April 2014

Summary

The internationalisation of monetary policy

Keynote address by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at the ECB-IMF conference on the “International dimension of conventional and unconventional monetary policy”,
Frankfurt, 30 April 2014

The case for formal central bank cooperation remains limited, and practical consideration makes its implementation difficult. That said, central banks need to be engaged in a constant dialogue so as to remain ready for rapid coordinated action in exceptional circumstances. And they should strive to strengthen the global financial safety nets so that they can better address global or regional liquidity crises and limit the case for self-insurance by countries.

28/04/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Reflections on financial integration and stability
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Joint ECB-EC Conference on Financial Integration and Stability in a New Financial Architecture, Frankfurt, 28 April 2014
24/04/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Banking Union: meaning and implications for the future of banking
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at Banking Union Conference organised by the Master in Banking and Financial Regulation, Navarra University, Madrid 24 April 2014
24/04/2014
Mario Draghi:  Monetary policy communication in turbulent times
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the Conference De Nederlandsche Bank 200 years: Central banking in the next two decades, Amsterdam, 24 April 2014

Summary

Monetary policy communication in turbulent times

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
at the Conference De Nederlandsche Bank 200 years: Central banking in the next two decades,
Amsterdam, 24 April 2014

Communication and transparency have become more important for central banks like the ECB in recent decades, and will become even more important in the decades to come. A transparent central bank is not only more accountable, but also more effective in implementing its monetary policy. If the general public and financial markets can understand how the ECB is likely to respond in a given situation – its so-called “reaction function” – they can form reasonable expectations about future monetary policy. This in turn gives the ECB the capacity to influence interest rates at longer maturities and steer broader financial and economic conditions.

While such “management by expectations” worked relatively well in normal times, the crisis inevitably made our decision-making process more complicated and our policies more difficult to understand. For example, the use of unconventional measures implied a wider range of possible monetary policy responses to a given shock. To continue to steer expectations in this environment, the ECB had to be more explicit in its communication. This involved reaffirming our mandate and explaining its medium-turn orientation and euro area perspective. Furthermore, the Governing Council will be equally active in guarding against inflation and deflation. And, faced with the effective lower bound and different contingencies, we had to explain our future policy intentions and clarify our more complex reaction function.

With our forward guidance, we aim to give guidance on the expected level of future interest rates, and to remove uncertainty about that level by strengthening communication on our reaction function. We have also further simplified our reaction function by laying out some contingencies that would warrant a monetary policy reaction. These are, first, an unwarranted tightening of monetary policy stance (from developments in short-term money markets, global bond markets or foreign exchange markets) that could be tackled through more conventional measures. Second, a further impairment in the transmission of our stance, in particular via the bank lending channel, for which a targeted LTRO or an ABS purchase programme might be the right response. Third, a worsening of the medium-term outlook for inflation, which would warrant a more broad-based asset purchase programme. The Governing Council is committed – unanimously – to using both unconventional and conventional instruments to deal effectively with the risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation.

Despite these efforts to enhance transparency, the predictability of the past will not readily return. Hence, judgement is likely to play a greater role in decision-making, and this involves trade-offs that need to be explained. That is why the Governing Council has been reflecting on the publication of a record or account of its policy deliberations. Such a written account would provide a more detailed explanation of the reasoning behind the Governing Council’s decisions, and give a sense of the discussion and the main arguments.

Any written account needs to preserve the independence of the Governing Council members and the collegiality of their decision-making. Releasing an account of the main arguments considered, in a non-attributed form, should on balance achieve these goals. Such a release should complement the real-time messages conveyed in the press conferences and offer additional information to improve understanding of our reaction function.

„Kommunikation von Geldpolitik in turbulenten Zeiten“

Amsterdam, den 24. April 2014

Kommunikation und Transparenz haben in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten für Zentralbanken wie die EZB an Bedeutung gewonnen – und werden in den vor uns liegenden Jahrzehnten noch wichtiger werden. Eine transparente Zentralbank erfüllt nicht nur ihre Rechenschaftspflicht besser, sondern sie setzt auch ihre Geldpolitik effektiver um. Können die breite Öffentlichkeit und die Finanzmärkte verstehen, wie die EZB in einer bestimmten Situation voraussichtlich reagiert – wie sie also ihre sogenannte Reaktionsfunktion ausübt –, so können sie begründete Erwartungen in Bezug auf die künftige Geldpolitik formulieren. Dies wiederum versetzt die EZB in die Lage, die Zinssätze bei längeren Laufzeiten zu beeinflussen und die allgemeine Finanz- und Wirtschaftslage zu steuern.

Während dieses „Management by expectations“ zu normalen Zeiten relativ gut funktionierte, wurden unsere Entscheidungsprozesse durch die Krise unweigerlich komplizierter und unsere Politik schwerer verständlich. Durch den Einsatz unkonventioneller Maßnahmen zum Beispiel erweiterte sich die Palette möglicher geldpolitischer Reaktionen auf einen bestimmten Schock. Damit sie die Erwartungen in diesem Umfeld weiterhin steuern konnte, musste die EZB in ihrer Kommunikation deutlicher werden. Dazu gehörte es, unseren Auftrag zu bekräftigen und seine mittelfristige Orientierung und seine auf den Euroraum ausgerichtete Perspektive zu erklären. Außerdem war zu erläutern, dass der EZB-Rat hinsichtlich des Schutzes vor Inflation und Deflation gleichermaßen aktiv ist. Ferner mussten wir in Anbetracht der effektiven Zinssatz-Untergrenze und verschiedener Eventualfälle unsere künftigen geldpolitischen Absichten darlegen und unsere komplexere Reaktionsfunktion klarstellen.

Mit unserer Forward Guidance möchten wir Hinweise zur voraussichtlichen Leitzinsentwicklung geben und Unsicherheiten hinsichtlich des Zinsniveaus beseitigen, indem wir die Kommunikation zu unserer Reaktionsfunktion stärken. Außerdem haben wir unsere Reaktionsfunktion weiter vereinfacht, indem wir einige Eventualfälle beschrieben haben, die eine geldpolitische Reaktion erfordern würden: Erstens eine (aus Entwicklungen am kurzfristigen Geldmarkt, an den internationalen Anleihemärkten oder den Devisenmärkten herrührende) unerwünschte Anspannung der monetären Lage, die mit eher herkömmlichen Maßnahmen bewältigt werden könnte. Zweitens eine weitere Beeinträchtigung der Transmission unseres geldpolitischen Kurses ‒ insbesondere über den Bankkreditkanal. In diesem Fall wäre gegebenenfalls ein gezieltes längerfristiges Refinanzierungsgeschäft oder ein Programm zum Ankauf von Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) eine geeignete Reaktion. Drittens eine Verschlechterung der mittelfristigen Inflationsaussichten, die ein breiter angelegtes Programm zum Ankauf von Vermögenswerten erfordern würde. Der EZB-Rat hat sich – einstimmig – verpflichtet, sowohl konventionelle als auch unkonventionelle Instrumente einzusetzen, um den Risiken einer zu lang anhaltenden Phase niedriger Inflation wirksam entgegenzutreten.

Trotz dieser Bemühungen um Erhöhung der Transparenz wird sich die in der Vergangenheit gekannte Berechenbarkeit nicht ohne Weiteres wiedereinstellen. Deshalb werden Einschätzungen wahrscheinlich eine größere Rolle bei der Beschlussfassung spielen, und dazu zählen auch Trade-offs, die einer Erläuterung bedürfen. Aus diesem Grund hat der EZB-Rat Überlegungen zur Veröffentlichung von Aufzeichnungen oder Zusammenfassungen seiner geldpolitischen Beratungen angestellt. In einem solchen Papier könnten die Erwägungen, die den Beschlüssen des EZB-Rats zugrunde liegen, ausführlicher dargelegt und ein Eindruck von den Erörterungen und Hauptargumenten vermittelt werden.

Bei einem schriftlichen Resümee gleich welcher Art müssen jedoch die Unabhängigkeit der Mitglieder des EZB-Rats und die Beschlussfassung als Kollegium gewahrt bleiben. Die Veröffentlichung einer Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten Argumente in einer nicht attribuierten Form sollte insgesamt diese Ziele erreichen. Sie sollte die Aussagen, die in der Pressekonferenz in Echtzeit getroffen werden, ergänzen und zusätzliche Informationen bieten, damit unsere Reaktionsfunktion besser nachvollzogen werden kann.

«La comunicación de la política monetaria en tiempos de turbulencias»

Ámsterdam, 24 de abril de 2014

La comunicación y la transparencia han adquirido en las últimas décadas una importancia creciente para los bancos centrales como el BCE, que seguirá incrementándose en el futuro. Un banco central que actúa con transparencia, no solo cumple mejor su obligación de rendir cuentas, sino que aplica su política monetaria de forma más efectiva. Si los ciudadanos y los mercados financieros entienden las posibles reacciones del BCE ante una situación determinada ―su llamada «función de reacción»―, podrán formarse expectativas fundadas sobre la política monetaria. Ello, a su vez, da al BCE la capacidad para influir sobre los tipos de interés a plazos más largos y orientar las condiciones financieras y económicas en sentido más amplio.

Si bien esta «gestión de las expectativas» funcionó relativamente bien en tiempos normales, la crisis ha hecho, inevitablemente, que nuestro proceso de adopción de decisiones sea más complicado y que nuestras políticas sean más difíciles de entender. Por ejemplo, el empleo de medidas no convencionales trajo consigo una gama más amplia de posibles respuestas de política monetaria ante una turbulencia concreta. Para seguir guiando las expectativas en este entorno, el BCE tuvo que ser más explícito en su comunicación. Para ello, hemos reafirmado nuestro mandato y explicado su orientación a medio plazo y su perspectiva orientada al conjunto de la zona del euro. Asimismo, el Consejo de Gobierno hará frente igualmente a la inflación y a la deflación. Y, ante el límite inferior efectivo de los tipos de interés y diversas contingencias adversas, hemos tenido que explicar nuestras intenciones respecto a la política monetaria futura y aclarar nuestra compleja función de reacción.

Con nuestra forward guidance, nos proponemos dar indicaciones sobre el nivel esperado de los tipos de interés y eliminar la incertidumbre acerca de ese nivel reforzando la comunicación sobre nuestra función de reacción. Para simplificar esa función hemos introducido algunas contingencias que requerirían una respuesta de política monetaria. En primer lugar, un endurecimiento injustificado de las condiciones de política monetaria (debido a la evolución de los mercados monetarios a corto plazo, los mercados internacionales de renta fija o los mercados de divisas), que podría remediarse aplicando medidas más convencionales. En segundo lugar, un mayor deterioro del mecanismo de transmisión de nuestra orientación monetaria, especialmente a través del canal del crédito bancario, frente al que una operación específica de financiación a plazo más largo (OFPML) o un programa de adquisición de bonos de titulización de activos (ABS) podrían ser la respuesta correcta. En tercer lugar, un empeoramiento de las perspectivas de inflación a medio plazo, que justificaría un programa de compras de activos más amplio. El Consejo de Gobierno es unánime en su compromiso de utilizar instrumentos tanto convencionales como no convencionales para afrontar eficazmente los riesgos de un período de baja inflación demasiado prolongado.

Pese a los esfuerzos por mejorar la transparencia, la previsibilidad del pasado no volverá fácilmente. Probablemente la valoración del Consejo del Gobierno tendrá mayor peso en la adopción de decisiones, lo que conlleva soluciones de compromiso que deberán ser explicadas. Por ello, el Consejo de Gobierno ha estado considerando la posibilidad de publicar un acta o resumen de sus deliberaciones, que ofrecería una explicación más detallada de los fundamentos de sus decisiones y permitiría entender el debate y los principales argumentos esgrimidos.

Toda acta debe preservar la independencia de los miembros del Consejo de Gobierno y el principio de colegialidad de su proceso de adopción de decisiones. Publicar los principales argumentos considerados, presentados de manera anónima, debería cumplir estos objetivos. También debería complementar los mensajes en tiempo real comunicados en las conferencias de prensa y ofrecer información adicional para entender mejor nuestra función de reacción.

La communication de la politique monétaire durant les périodes de turbulences

Amsterdam, le 24 avril 2014

Pour les banques centrales telles que la BCE, la communication et la transparence sont devenues de plus en plus importantes au cours des dernières décennies et seront amenées à l’être encore davantage dans les décennies à venir. Une banque centrale transparente est non seulement plus responsable mais aussi plus efficace dans la mise en œuvre de sa politique monétaire. Si le grand public et les marchés financiers sont à même de comprendre comment la BCE est susceptible de réagir dans une situation donnée – c’est ce que l’on appelle sa « fonction de réaction » – ils peuvent former des anticipations raisonnables au sujet de la politique monétaire future, ce qui lui donne la possibilité d’influencer les taux d’intérêt sur des échéances plus longues tout en pilotant les conditions financières et économiques au sens large.

Tandis que cette « gestion par les anticipations » a relativement bien fonctionné en période normale, la crise a inévitablement compliqué notre processus de décision et rendu nos politiques plus difficiles à comprendre. Ainsi, le recours aux mesures non conventionnelles a entraîné une diversification des réponses de politique monétaire possibles face à un choc donné. Pour continuer à orienter les anticipations dans ce contexte, la BCE a dû se montrer plus explicite dans sa communication. Il nous a fallu réaffirmer notre mandat et expliquer son orientation à moyen terme et sa perspective du point de vue de la zone euro. En outre, le Conseil des gouverneurs jouera un rôle tout aussi actif dans la lutte contre l’inflation que dans celle contre la déflation. Et, devant faire face à la limite inférieure effective et à divers événements imprévus, nous avons dû expliquer quelles étaient nos intentions en matière de politique monétaire et apporter des éclaircissements au sujet de notre fonction de réaction à présent plus complexe.

En fournissant des indications sur la trajectoire future des taux directeurs de la BCE (forward guidance), nous visons à donner une orientation sur le niveau attendu des taux d’intérêt futurs, et à éliminer les incertitudes à ce sujet en renforçant la communication sur notre fonction de réaction. En outre, nous avons encore simplifié notre fonction de réaction en illustrant certaines éventualités qui nécessiteraient une réaction de politique monétaire. Il s’agit, tout d’abord, d’un durcissement injustifié de l’orientation de la politique monétaire (à partir des évolutions constatées sur les marchés monétaires à court terme, les marchés obligataires mondiaux ou les marchés des changes) auquel il pourrait être remédié par des mesures plus conventionnelles. En deuxième lieu, un nouvel affaiblissement de la transmission de l’orientation de notre politique monétaire, en particulier via le canal du crédit bancaire, auquel une opération de refinancement à plus long terme ciblée ou un programme d’achats d’ABS pourrait apporter une réponse appropriée. Et troisièmement, une dégradation des perspectives d’inflation à moyen terme, qui justifierait un programme d’achats d’actifs généralisé. Le Conseil des gouverneurs est déterminé – à l’unanimité – à recourir à des instruments tant conventionnels que non conventionnels pour contrer efficacement les risques d’une période trop prolongée de faible inflation.

En dépit de ces efforts visant à améliorer la transparence, un retour de la prévisibilité passée ne sera pas facile. Dès lors, il semble vraisemblable que la prise de décision s’appuiera davantage sur l’appréciation, impliquant des arbitrages qui doivent être expliqués. C’est la raison pour laquelle le Conseil des gouverneurs réfléchit à la publication d’un compte rendu de ses délibérations. Un tel compte rendu écrit fournirait une explication plus détaillée des motivations à l’origine des décisions du Conseil des gouverneurs, et donnerait une idée des discussions et des principaux arguments avancés.

Tout compte rendu écrit doit préserver l’indépendance des membres du Conseil des gouverneurs et le caractère collégial de la prise de décision. La publication d’un compte rendu des principaux arguments pris en considération, de manière anonyme, doit globalement permettre d’atteindre ces objectifs. Elle doit compléter les messages transmis en temps réel lors des conférences de presse et fournir des informations supplémentaires en vue d’améliorer la compréhension de notre fonction de réaction.

“La comunicazione sulla politica monetaria in tempi di turbolenza”

Amsterdam, 24 aprile 2014

Negli ultimi decenni la comunicazione e la trasparenza hanno acquisito maggiore importanza per banche centrali quali la BCE e questa tendenza è destinata a intensificarsi in futuro. La trasparenza comporta per una banca centrale non soltanto un rafforzamento per quanto riguarda la responsabilità di dar conto del proprio operato, ma anche una maggiore efficacia nell’attuazione della politica monetaria. Se possono comprendere quale sarà la probabile risposta della BCE in determinate circostanze, ovvero la “funzione di reazione”, l’opinione pubblica e i mercati finanziari saranno in grado di formulare aspettative ragionevoli circa il corso futuro della politica monetaria. Ciò conferisce, a sua volta, alla BCE la capacità di influenzare i tassi di interesse su scadenze più lunghe e di orientare le condizioni economiche e finanziarie in senso più ampio.

Se questa “gestione delle aspettative” ha funzionato relativamente bene in tempi normali, la crisi ha per noi inevitabilmente complicato il processo decisionale e reso più difficile la comprensione delle nostre politiche. Il ricorso a misure non convenzionali ha, ad esempio, comportato una più ampia gamma di possibili risposte a un determinato shock in termini di politica monetaria. Per continuare a orientare le aspettative in un simile contesto la BCE ha dovuto rendere più esplicita la propria comunicazione. È stato quindi necessario riaffermare il nostro mandato e spiegarne l’impostazione a medio termine e la prospettiva orientata all’intera area dell’euro. Inoltre il Consiglio direttivo si attiverà a salvaguardia dall’inflazione e altrettanto dalla deflazione. Trovandoci di fatto in prossimità del limite inferiore delle possibilità offerte dagli strumenti convenzionali della politica monetaria e in presenza di varie contingenze avverse, abbiamo dovuto spiegare le nostre intenzioni future in materia di politica monetaria e chiarire la nostra, più complessa, funzione di reazione.

Attraverso le indicazioni prospettiche (forward guidance) vogliamo dare l’idea del livello atteso dei tassi di interesse futuri e intendiamo fugare le incertezze al riguardo rafforzando la comunicazione sulla nostra funzione di reazione. Inoltre abbiamo ulteriormente semplificato la funzione di reazione illustrando alcune contingenze avverse che renderebbero necessaria una risposta di politica monetaria. Fra queste figura, innanzitutto, un ingiustificato inasprimento delle condizioni di politica monetaria (derivante da andamenti nei mercati monetari a breve termine, nei mercati obbligazionari mondiali o in quelli valutari) che potrebbe essere affrontato con misure più convenzionali. Vi è poi un’ulteriore disfunzione nella trasmissione dell’orientamento di politica monetaria, in particolare attraverso il canale del credito bancario, alla quale si potrebbe adeguatamente rispondere con un’operazione di rifinanziamento a più lungo termine (ORLT) mirata, oppure attraverso un programma di acquisti di attività cartolarizzate (asset-backed securities, ABS). Assistiamo infine a un peggioramento delle prospettive di inflazione nel medio termine, che richiederebbe un più ampio programma di acquisti di attività. Il Consiglio direttivo si impegna, unanimemente, a utilizzare strumenti sia non convenzionali che convenzionali per affrontare con efficacia i rischi connessi a un periodo troppo prolungato di bassa inflazione.

Malgrado gli sforzi per accrescere la trasparenza, non torneremo in tempi brevi alla prevedibilità del passato. È dunque probabile che il giudizio del Consiglio direttivo assuma maggior peso nel processo decisionale, con conseguenti trade-off che occorrerà spiegare. Per questo motivo il Consiglio direttivo ha riflettuto sulla pubblicazione di un resoconto riguardo alle proprie decisioni di politica monetaria. Un resoconto scritto fornirebbe spiegazioni più dettagliate circa le motivazioni alla base delle sue decisioni, oltre a dare un’idea del dibattito e delle principali argomentazioni.

Un tale resoconto deve in ogni caso preservare l’indipendenza dei membri del Consiglio direttivo e la collegialità del processo decisionale. La divulgazione delle principali argomentazioni considerate, senza precisarne la provenienza, dovrebbe nel complesso consentire di raggiungere questi obiettivi. Inoltre, andrebbe a integrare i messaggi in tempo reale comunicati nelle conferenze stampa e fornirebbe informazioni aggiuntive utili a migliorare la comprensione della nostra funzione di reazione.

‘Monetairbeleidscommunicatie in roerige tijden’

Amsterdam, 24 April 2014

Communicatie en transparantie zijn de afgelopen tientallen jaren steeds belangrijker geworden voor centrale banken als de ECB, en zullen de komende tientallen jaren nog belangrijker worden. Een transparante centrale bank kan niet alleen beter ter verantwoording worden geroepen, maar is tevens effectiever in het ten uitvoer leggen van haar monetair beleid. Als het algemene publiek en de financiële markten inzicht kunnen hebben in hoe de ECB in een bepaalde situatie waarschijnlijk zal reageren – haar “reactiefunctie” – kunnen zij zich redelijke verwachtingen vormen omtrent het toekomstige monetair beleid. Dit geeft op haar beurt de ECB de mogelijkheid de rentetarieven bij langere looptijden te beïnvloeden en de algemenere financiële en economische voorwaarden te sturen.

Hoewel dergelijk “verwachtingenbeheer” in normale tijden betrekkelijk goed heeft gewerkt, heeft de crisis ons besluitvormingsproces onvermijdelijk gecompliceerder gemaakt en ons beleid lastiger te begrijpen. Het gebruik van onconventionele maatregelen bijvoorbeeld betekende een breder scala van mogelijke monetairbeleidsreacties op een bepaalde schok. Om in dit klimaat de verwachtingen te blijven sturen, heeft de ECB in explicieter termen moeten communiceren. Dit behelste herbevestiging van ons mandaat en uitleg over de oriëntatie op de middellange termijn en het eurogebiedperspectief ervan. De Raad van Bestuur zal daarnaast in gelijke mate actief waken tegen inflatie en deflatie. En wij moesten, gezien de effectieve lagere ondergrens van de rente en de verschillende eventualiteiten, onze toekomstige beleidsvoornemens uitleggen en onze complexere reactiefunctie verduidelijken.

Met onze “forward guidance”, de door ons gegeven indicaties omtrent het toekomstige rentebeleid, beogen wij een leidraad te geven ten aanzien van het verwachte niveau van de toekomstige rentetarieven, en onzekerheid over dat niveau weg te nemen door de communicatie over onze reactiefunctie te versterken. Wij hebben tevens onze reactiefunctie verder vereenvoudigd door een aantal mogelijkheden aan te geven die een monetairbeleidsreactie zouden rechtvaardigen. Dit zijn, ten eerste, een ongewenste verkrapping van de monetairbeleidsvoorwaarden (voortvloeiende uit ontwikkelingen in de kortetermijngeldmarkten, de mondiale obligatiemarkten of de valutamarkten) die door conventioneler maatregelen het hoofd zou kunnen worden geboden. Ten tweede, een verdere verslechtering van de transmissie van onze beleidkoers, in het bijzonder via het bancaire kredietkanaal, waarvoor een gerichte langerlopende herfinancieringstransactie of een programma voor de aankoop van effecten op onderpand van activa de juiste reactie zou kunnen zijn. Ten derde, een verslechtering van de middellangetermijnvooruitzichten voor de inflatie, die een breder-gebaseerd aankoopprogramma van activa zou billijken. De Raad van Bestuur heeft zich – unaniem – verplicht tot het gebruik van onconventionele en conventionele instrumenten om op effectieve wijze de risico’s van een te lang aanhoudende periode van lage inflatie tegen te gaan.

Ondanks deze inspanningen om de transparantie te verbeteren, zal de voorspelbaarheid van voorheen niet snel terugkeren. Oordeelsvorming zal dus waarschijnlijk een grotere rol spelen bij de besluitvorming, en dit betekent dat er afwegingen moeten worden gemaakt die moeten worden uitgelegd. Dit is waarom de Raad van Bestuur nadenkt over het publiceren van een verslag van zijn beraadslagingen over het beleid. Via een dergelijk schriftelijk verslag zouden de redeneringen achter de besluiten van de Raad van Bestuur gedetailleerder kunnen worden uitgelegd, en kan een indruk worden gegeven van de besprekingen en de belangrijkste argumenten.

Een schriftelijk verslag dient de onafhankelijkheid van de leden van de Raad van Bestuur en de collegialiteit van hun besluitvorming te waarborgen. Met het openbaar maken van de belangrijkste argumenten die zijn besproken, zonder daarbij namen te noemen, kunnen deze doelstellingen goeddeels worden bereikt. Het publiceren van een dergelijk verslag dient ter aanvulling van de real-time beleidsboodschappen die tijdens de persconferenties worden overgebracht, en zou aanvullende informatie moeten verschaffen om het inzicht in onze reactiefunctie te verbeteren.

17/04/2014
Yves Mersch:  Launching the ECB-coordinated technical cooperation with central banks of the Western Balkan
Introductory remarks by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the press conference on the opening of cooperation programme in Western Balkans, Tirana, Albania, 17 April 2014
13/04/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Asset purchases as an instrument of monetary policy
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the high-level conference on "Monetary Policy in the New Normal” organised by the IMF Washington D.C., 13 April 2014
10/04/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Growing out of the crisis: Is fixing finance enough?
Speech by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, at the Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the US and World Economies Washington D.C., 10 April 2014
10/04/2014
Mario Draghi:  Euro area economic outlook, the ECB’s monetary policy and current policy challenges
Statement by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, prepared for the twenty-ninth meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, Washington D.C., 10 April 2014
10/04/2014
Peter Praet:  The financial cycle and real convergence in the euro area
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the US and World Economies, Washington D.C., 10 April 2014
07/04/2014
Vítor Constâncio:  Presentation of the ECB Annual Report 2013 to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament
Introductory Statement by Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, Brussels, 7 April 2014
07/04/2014
Yves Mersch:  Banks, SMEs and securitisation
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Deutsche Boerse – Clearstream ‘Exchange of Ideas’ event, London, 7 April 2014
31/03/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  The known unknowns of central clearing
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the meeting on global economy and financial system hosted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Initiative on Global Markets, Coral Gables, 29 March 2014
25/03/2014
Mario Draghi:  A consistent strategy for a sustained recovery
Lecture by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at Sciences Po, Paris, 25 March 2014

Summary

A consistent strategy for a sustained recovery

Lecture by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
at Sciences Po,
Paris, 25 March 2014

The crisis is not over but the turning point has passed, ECB President Mario Draghi said in a speech in Paris. In the summer of 2012 Europe’s policymakers shifted from “real-time” crisis fighting to a consistent strategy that outlines the path to recovery. Before that point, policy measures, often commendable in themselves, were taken under the pressure of events and often in the wrong order. Combined with the euro area’s institutional set-up this delayed the recovery.

The early phase of the “Great Recession” that came after the global financial crisis followed roughly the same pattern across advanced economies. A retrenchment in investment, trade and hiring sent government budgets into large deficits as they sought to offset the shock to nominal spending. Nonetheless by mid-2010 most advanced economies were showing signs of a gradual return to growth.

The euro area however suffered a second recession lasting until the second quarter of 2013. With hindsight, we can see that one reason for this was the policy response, which was the reverse of the ideal sequence: the Deauville agreement on private sector involvement in 2010 and Greek debt restructuring in 2011 took place while an effective backstop for solvent governments was still being constructed. The stress testing of banks and capital raising took place without a clear backstop for solvent banks.

This created market pressure on banks and governments, exacerbated by the euro area’s incomplete financial integration and a fiscal framework that was not strictly enforced. A number of governments did not have the fiscal space to absorb the shock presented to them or were unable to maintain the trust of the market while doing so. Instead of providing a counter-cyclical buffer, these countries had to convince investors of their debt sustainability, making it unavoidable that fiscal consolidation was front-loaded.

The turning point came when European policymakers acknowledged the need to complete the euro area’s institutional architecture, with banking union as a first step. This marked the beginning of a consistent strategy towards sustained recovery.

While the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions removed unfounded redenomination fears that put price stability at risk, banking union was needed to bring together fragmented national banking systems. The single supervisory mechanism (SSM), the single resolution mechanism and single resolution fund are important conditions for the reintegration of the single financial market.

The SSM now provides a catalyst for cleaning up the banking system in a way that promotes “good deleveraging,” avoids creating “zombie banks” and sets the stage for economic recovery.

The unavoidable consolidation of public finances has placed a larger burden on monetary policy to achieve price stability by managing aggregate demand. This has led to record low interest rates and forward guidance. The ECB’s accommodative stance will support a gradual closing of the output gap in coming years.

Meanwhile potential growth must be raised, although this is not a task for monetary policy. Structural policies to increase productivity and attract investment need to be put in place – the latter can be supported by a healthier banking sector, but regulation, tax and education also play important roles. Moreover, those who have experienced the crisis, or the economic volatility of the 1970s and early 1980s, know that recovery also stems from joint action. By making policies consistent across borders we have achieved positive results.

24/03/2014
Yves Mersch:  Efficient retail payments: key in strengthening the competitiveness and growth potential of the EU
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB at the ECB/Banca d’Italia Workshop on Interchange Fees, Rome 24 March 2014
13/03/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Monetary Policy Transmission and Bank Deleveraging
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at “The Future of Banking Summit” organised by “The Economist”, Paris, 13 March 2014
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Summary

Monetary Policy Transmission and Bank Deleveraging

Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at “The Future of Banking Summit” organised by “The Economist”,
Paris, 13 March 2014

Deleveraging is not a process that policy-makers should seek to avoid; rather, it needs to take place and be properly managed, explains ECB Executive Board member Benoît Cœuré. Describing the good, the bad and the ugly deleveraging at the Future of Banking Summit organised by “The Economist” in Paris, he emphasises how the wrong type of deleveraging could impede recovery and make it more difficult for central banks to engineer an appropriate degree of monetary accommodation.

To ensure the right type of deleveraging is achieved, Mr. Cœuré highlights, “both monetary policy and prudential supervision – notably the ECB’s ongoing comprehensive assessment – have a key role to play.” According to him, the comprehensive assessment of banks’ balance sheets and the steps taken towards the banking union are crucial to establish the conditions necessary for a transparent, competitive and stable banking sector. He adds, “and they will help monetary policy to regain traction across the euro area.”

He concludes by explaining why it is important for the banking union to be complete, “Not moving promptly towards a single resolution mechanism (SRM) and a single resolution fund (SRF) would prolong financial fragmentation, leave the financial system exposed to systemic fragility, and, ultimately, be harmful for growth and jobs. This would in particular be the case if the SRF is only slowly mutualised, and if it cannot resort to a common European backstop from the outset.”

12/03/2014
Peter Praet:  Current issues and challenges for central bank communication
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the conference The ECB and Its Watchers XV, Frankfurt am Main, 12 March 2014

Summary

Current issues and challenges for central bank communication

Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at the conference The ECB and Its Watchers XV
Frankfurt am Main, 12 March 2014

Communication is always key for effective monetary policy-making, and the benefits of good communication are greatly increased in difficult times, says ECB Board member Peter Praet. Speaking at a conference of ECB watchers at Frankfurt he emphasises that central banks have been communicating more intensely during the crisis and by steering expectation more firmly their communication have had a stabilising effect. “We communicate what we are trying to achieve, and how we go about achieving it”, Mr Praet says. Notably, forward guidance has emerged as a useful complement to existing tools, he adds.

The introduction of Outright Monetary Transactions is according to Mr Praet an example of how communication added to the effectiveness of monetary policy tools. The ECB reaffirmed its commitment to the price stability mandate, as the pricing-in of unwarranted denomination scenarios could be a potential serious obstacle to fulfilling the mandate. He adds, “The OMT communication – unusual as it was in substance, for the ECB and probably for the entire community of central banks – was in fact strictly coherent with our general communication approach. It was a well-articulated frame of reference for our actions.”

Until now the ECB has resisted publishing accounts of the Governing Council meetings, Mr Praet states. One reason was according to him, that offering even more information on the ECB’s policy deliberations, in addition to what was already being provided, would come at the expense of clarity. On the other hand, publishing an account of the policy deliberations has now become “best practice” in the central banking community. Moreover, circumstances have changed, economic uncertainty has increased and the tools used now include non-standard measures. He highlighted: “It is important for us to provide the public with a fuller picture of the internal debate: we need to explain ourselves better.” To avoid a “cacophony problem”, with many voices tending to obscure the message, Mr Praet says he would favour to convey the content of the debate and the balance of views of Governing Council members.

Mr Praet concludes by explaining that the value of clarity in central bank communication is particularly evident in a financial crisis. He emphasises, “But communication – no matter how clear – only works if the communicator is credible. The ECB has a track record of following up words with deeds, and we intend to maintain it.”

07/03/2014
Yves Mersch:  Externe Unternehmensfinanzierung im Euroraum: Herausforderungen und Chancen
Rede von Yves Mersch, Mitglied des Direktoriums der EZB, GEFIU Tagung, Hause der Allianz, München, 7. März 2014
03/03/2014
Mario Draghi:  Hearing at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament
Introductory statement by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Brussels, 3 March 2014
27/02/2014
Mario Draghi:  The path to recovery and the ECB’s role
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the Symposium on Financial Stability and the Role of Central Banks organised by the Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt am Main, 27 February 2014
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Summary

The euro area has made considerable progress on its reform agenda, says ECB President Mario Draghi. Speaking at a conference organised by Germany’s Bundesbank in Frankfurt he emphasises that euro area governments have improved their fiscal positions despite recessionary headwinds and stressed euro area countries have become more competitive. “In parallel, the architecture of EMU has been strengthened in ways that many would have considered inconceivable two years ago”, says Mr Draghi. The move towards a banking union is crucial not only for the functioning of the financial system, but also for the conduct of monetary policy.

Since the beginning of the crisis the ECB’s Governing Council has taken decisive steps to engineer a monetary policy stance that is commensurate with the subdued medium-term inflation outlook. But standard monetary policy in the form of rate cuts was not enough to ensure an appropriate monetary policy stance, because unwarranted fears of euro break-up impaired the monetary transmission, he says. Against this background the ECB announced Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT). Like all the ECB’s monetary policy measures, OMT served, says Mr Draghi, to ensure compliance with the bank’s price stability mandate.

“And it builds on an established monetary policy doctrine that has gained prominence not least through its successful adherence by the Bundesbank for several decades,” Mr Draghi says. “Namely that the central bank should be endowed with a clear price stability mandate and, within this mandate, should be allowed – in fact obliged – to use its instruments in full independence to deliver price stability.”

26/02/2014
Yves Mersch:  China: Progressing towards financial market liberalisation and currency internationalisation
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB Renminbi Forum Luxembourg, 26 February 2014
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18/02/2014
Peter Praet:  Reforms and growth in the euro area
Speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Panel intervention “Fixing finance”, The Economist‘s Lisbon Summit, Lisbon, 18 February 2014
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13/02/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Exchange of views of Benoît Cœuré with ECON on troika matters
Introductory remarks by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Brussels, 13 February 2014
12/02/2014
Mario Draghi:  Financial Integration and Banking Union
Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the conference for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the European Monetary Institute, Brussels, 12 February 2014

Summary

Banking union will create more sustainable financial integration

Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
at the conference for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the European Monetary Institute,
Brussels, 12 February 2014

A banking union will contribute to more sustainable financial integration in the euro area, says ECB President Mario Draghi. Speaking at a conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the European Monetary Institute in Brussels, Draghi explains how stronger supervision, cross-border banking integration and resolution frameworks can reduce the risk of financial fragmentation. It was that kind of fragmentation which contributed to the recent financial crisis.

Draghi explains that financial integration is necessary for an effective monetary union. But “the euro area did not succeed in achieving sustainable financial integration”, the ECB’s President says. “And we can see the importance of financial integration all the more in its absence.”

According to Draghi, financial integration before the crisis was incomplete. While the interbank market was fully integrated, retail banking remained fragmented. That led to a situation where banks used short-term and debt-based funding to increase lending to favoured domestic sectors such as real estate. “As banks’ assets were not well allocated, nor well diversified geographically, they were more vulnerable to domestic shocks. And as their foreign liabilities were mainly interbank, they could not share the subsequent losses with other jurisdictions.” So when the crisis hit, the cost of repairing balance sheets fell largely on their domestic fiscal authorities. “The result was the infamous bank sovereign nexus”, Draghi says.

A banking union will generate a higher quality of financial integration. The Single Supervisory Mechanism will enable supervisors to mitigate the possible destabilising effects of financial integration. It will also help to maximise the benefits of integration by creating a policy framework more conducive to cross-border banking. If problems still occur, the planned European resolution framework will help by improving private risk-sharing while insulating sovereigns. To reach that aim, Draghi makes a case to improve the design of the Single Resolution Mechanism and the Single Resolution Fund. The proposed ten-year period to mutualise national compartments into a single fund “creates uncertainty”, the President says. “We would see merits in doubling the pace of mutualisation to have a genuine European fund within five years.”

07/02/2014
Yves Mersch:  Reviving growth in the euro area
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Institute of International European Affairs, Dublin, 7 February 2014
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03/02/2014
Sabine Lautenschläger:  Confirmation hearing for the Vice-Chair of the SSM Supervisory Board
Introductory statement by Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Strasbourg, 3 February 2014
31/01/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  The structural aspects of euro area adjustment
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at Ljubljana University, Ljubljana, 31 January 2014
30/01/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Is eurozone governance fit for purpose?
Keynote speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at a dinner organised by the Centre for European Reform, London, 30 January 2014
23/01/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  Risks in CCPs
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the policy panel during the conference "Mapping and Monitoring the Financial System: Liquidity, Funding, and Plumbing" organised by Office of Financial Research and Financial Stability Oversight Council, Washington D.C., 23 January 2014
22/01/2014
Benoît Cœuré:  The “fourth stage” of EMU: laying the foundations for a sustained recovery
Speech by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Interparliamentary Conference on Economic Governance of the European Union, in the context of the European Parliamentary Week, Brussels, 21 January 2014
15/01/2014
Yves Mersch:  Opening of the New Face of the Euro Exhibition
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Deutsche Bundesbank, Saarbrücken, 15 January 2014
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13/01/2014
Yves Mersch:  “Europe after the warm reboot”
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Munich Seminars, Ifo Institute for Economic Research, University of Munich, 13 January 2014
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13/01/2014
Yves Mersch:  Unveiling the new €10 banknote
Speech by Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, Frankfurt am Main, 13 January 2014