Only a More Active ECB Can Solve the Euro Crisis

Centre for European Policy Studies Policy Briefs No. 250

8 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2011

See all articles by Paul De Grauwe

Paul De Grauwe

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: August 4, 2011

Abstract

This paper asserts that the contagion currently afflicting sovereign bond markets in the eurozone can only be stopped if there is a central bank willing to be lender of last resort, i.e. willing to guarantee that the cash will always be available to pay out the bondholders. Until recently, the European Central Bank performed this role either directly by buying government bonds, or indirectly by accepting government bonds as collateral in its liquidity provision to the banking system, but it has made it clear that it is now unwilling to continue to do so. The author argues that this reluctance of the ECB to take up its responsibility as a lender of last resort is the single most important factor explaining why the forces of contagion in the eurozone’s sovereign bond markets have not been stopped.

Keywords: eurozone, market, bank, central bank, European Central Bank, government

Suggested Citation

De Grauwe, Paul, Only a More Active ECB Can Solve the Euro Crisis (August 4, 2011). Centre for European Policy Studies Policy Briefs No. 250. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1945766

Paul De Grauwe (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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