When the European Central Bank first announced that it would buy government debt last May, it looked as though eurozone governments had pressurised it into doing so. This from the FT’s James Wilson and David Oakley:
The most recent bond purchases extend a dramatic ECB policy U-turn this month in the face of what it said were “dysfunctional” markets, a result of fading confidence in Greece and other heavily indebted eurozone countries. Buying government bonds was an emergency step that the ECB was highly reluctant to take, fearing it would compromise the bank’s independence and thus damage its credibility.
The central bank likely regards it as far from ideal that it has had to restart its purchases of government debt. Even less so that it has now had to buy government debt of the eurozone’s third and fourth largest economies. However, at least this time the ECB was able to exert some pressure itself. This from BNP Paribas’s Paul Mortimer-Lee: