So the ECB is offering three-year loans with a cheap interest rate. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Where do I sign up?
Not so fast. Only eurozone banks, or in ECB parlance “counterparties”, can get hold of the central bank’s cash.
OK, so say I’m a bank, how much can I borrow?
The sky’s the limit.
The ECB has said the size of its longer-term refinancing operations, or LTROs for short, is unlimited. That means the banks can ask the ECB for as much as they like above the minimum amount of a cool €1m. Most borrowers have tended to ask for something closer to a €1bn.
In times of crisis, cash is king. So what stops the banks borrowing tremendous amounts? Read more