Daily Archives: December 21, 2011

Claire Jones

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

Claire Jones

The eagerly-awaited results of the ECB’s auction of three-year loans are in. The €489.2bn offered is way above market expectations of between €250bn and €350bn.

That will no doubt bring some cheer to markets, who were concerned that banks would shy away from using the facility over fears that they would be stigmatised for doing so. Read more