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How Much Fiscal Backing Must the ECB Have?: The Euro Area Is Not the Philippines

Author

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  • Ansgar Belke

Abstract

The ECB has accepted increasing amounts of rubbish collateral since the crisis started leading to exposure to serious private sector credit risk (i.e. default risk) on its collateralised lending and reverse operations ("repo"). This has led some commentators to argue that the ECB needs "fiscal back-up" to cover any potential losses to be able to continue pursuing price stability. This Brief argues that fiscal backing is not necessary for the ECB for three reasons. Firstly, the ECB balance sheet risk is small compared to the FED and BoE as it neither increased its quasi-fiscal operations as much as the Fed or the BoE nor did it engage to a very large extent in outright bond purchases during the financial crisis. Secondly, the ECB's specific accounting principles of repo operations provide for more clarity and earlier recognition of losses. Thirdly, the ECB can draw on substantial reserves of the euro area national banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Ansgar Belke, 2010. "How Much Fiscal Backing Must the ECB Have?: The Euro Area Is Not the Philippines," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 996, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp996
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Belke, Ansgar & Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Does government ideology matter in monetary policy? A panel data analysis for OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1126-1139.
    2. Marvin Goodfriend, 2001. "Why we need an "accord" for Federal Reserve credit policy : a note," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 23-32.
    3. Buiter, Willem H., 2008. "Can Central Banks Go Broke?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Ewerhart, Christian & Tapking, Jens, 2008. "Repo markets, counterparty risk and the 2007/2008 liquidity crisis," Working Paper Series 909, European Central Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Belke, Ansgar, 2013. "Impact of a Low Interest Rate Environment - Global Liquidity Spillovers and the Search-for-yield," Ruhr Economic Papers 429, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Belke, Ansgar, 2017. "Central bank communication: Managing expectations through the monetary dialogue," Ruhr Economic Papers 692, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Christian Fahrholz & Andreas Freytag, 2011. "Realwirtschaftliche Aspekte der gegenwärtigen Krise im Eurosystem: Ursachen, Wirkungen und Reformansätze," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 21-2011, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. Jakob Korbinian Eberl, 2016. "The Collateral Framework of the Eurosystem and Its Fiscal Implications," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 69.
    5. Ansgar Belke, 2014. "Exit Strategies and Their Impact on the Euro Area - A Model Based View," Ruhr Economic Papers 0467, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Ansgar Belke, 2013. "Impact of a Low Interest Rate Environment - Global Liquidity Spillovers and the Search-for-yield," Ruhr Economic Papers 0429, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0467 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ansgar Belke, 2014. "Exit Strategies and Their Impact on the Euro Area – A Model Based View," ROME Working Papers 201401, ROME Network.
    9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0429 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central bank independence; central bank capital; counterparty risk; repurchase agreements; collateral; fiscal backing; liquidity; haircuts;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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