bond buying programme

Michael Steen

Yves Mersch. Getty Images

Yves Mersch, the former governor of the bank of Luxembourg, whose elevation to the European Central Bank’s six-person executive board became the subject of a row about the lack of female central bankers, has given his first interview since taking up the post on Monday.

The ECB normally publishes transcripts of these on its website but has not done so this time, presumably because the interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung was conducted just before he formally took up post. So as a service to Money Supply readers, here are some of the highlights.

Mr Mersch attempted to pour cold water on speculation that a cut to the ECB’s main refinancing rate (currently 0.75 per cent) is imminent. Read more

Ralph Atkins

One of Mario Draghi’s first acts after becoming European Central Bank president on November 1 was to make clear the limitations of the ECB’s government-bond-buying programme. It would be temporary, limited and aimed purely at restoring the functioning of markets, he said at his first press conference. The ECB would not act as “lender of last resort” to governments, he said – helping reassure sceptical Germans. The impression he gave was that the ECB had serious misgivings about setting the wrong incentives for governments and would wind down the programme as soon as possible.

So how is he doing? Read more