The ECB's Balance Sheet Is Now The Size Of Japan's GDP

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday was a landmark day for the ECB. First, the central bank disclosed that its CSPP, or corporate bond, holdings rose above €100Bn for the first time. As DB's Jim Reids notes this morning, to put things in perspective, a similar market cap company would be the 18th largest in the Stoxx 600 and 42nd largest in the S&P 500. It's also roughly equivalent to the annual national output of Kuwait - the 59th largest economy in the world as of 2016."

Assuming that the previously disclosed percentage of bonds purchased in the primary market, or directly from the company, has not changed since our report a month ago, this means that the price indiscriminate ECB has directly injected approximately $15 billion in various European corporate entities in exchange for bonds, bypassing any middlemen in the process.

As for the ECB's other notable "achievement" according to the latest update, the ECB's balance sheet now stands at €4.23 trillion, making it the largest central bank holding in the World. As Deutsche Bank notes, this is the same as the GDP of Japan (€4.3 trillion) - the 3rd biggest economy in the world and a decent distance ahead of Germany (€3.02tn) - the fourth largest.

The news takes place one month after another memorable event for central-planning took place, when both the ECB and BOJ balance sheet surpasses the size of the Federal Reserve's.

Jim Reid's conclusion conveys our sentiment too: "It's staggering to think of it in those terms."

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Soul Glow's picture

The crash of the bubble will be greater than the bubble itself.

Blue Balls's picture

Keep printing it will work sooner or later.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Look at that last chart.  

I have been saying it on ZH for years.

The race to the bottom has been replaced with syncronized diving.

Germany, like Japan, are post-war pawns. Their currencies are DESIGNED to be debased, as and when needed, to achieve synchronized diving with the pound and dollar. If Germany wasn't in the Euro, its prior experience with hyper-inflation would prevent it from debasing when instructed to do so (obviously not a problem with the Nips).  Both countries go along as willing pawns simply because they have been re-created post-war as export nations totally reliant on weak currencies.

BandGap's picture

Yes, you did.

Once the currency wars started it was inevitable.

Dollar has the lead right now.

Look! A squirrel!

ejmoosa's picture

The ECB is going to blow apart as their beloved Union fails. 

No wonder they were so stressed over BREXIT.  They cannot even afford a sneeze, let alone an economic flu.

Xredsx's picture

The EU is like a corrupted middleman and Britain is cancelling their contract. Its as simple as that. But we can't win by defeating either the deep state or the EU. It has to be both. 

meditate_vigorously's picture

This calls for some well deserved bonuses to the bankers at the ECB.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Chump change. I thought one of the last figures out of the BIS, the total combined derivatives market was like 28 times the GDP of every nation on earth

CorporateCongress's picture

At this point, what difference does it make.



DavidC's picture

And this can carry on?


xrxs's picture

Have you seen USDJPY today?

Rick Cerone's picture

Japan doesn't have any net assets on their balance sheet. That was easy math.

small axe's picture

demonic morons at work.

they want it all

Bill of Rights's picture

Good luck runing things, they will need it.

venturen's picture

The serpents eating their tails 

medium giraffe's picture

If Janet 'Lifetime' Yellen is still alive we're all good.

Doom and Dust's picture

Only in dollar terms.

Interesting though to see the absolute sizes of cb balance sheets converging. They wouldn't be.. colluding??

Countrybunkererd's picture

If all the balance sheets are seemingly equal a globalized CB default to say the IMF would be more easily palatable to serfs all around the world.  That 1987? cover of the Economist makes more sense now.  Prepare to refuse that mark they will want you to get.

What happens to the price of Gold, Silver and Bitcoin when they completely move the goal post to another field on another continent?

youngman's picture

and so it goes....trillions more....this graph will show the race to the top worry is what do we do with another 50 trillion in paper money out there...

UnschooledAustrianEconomist's picture

Blow, booze and hookers. Have some fun on the way down.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

We will need some form of toilet paper for as long as we eat.

Yen Cross's picture

  Draghi is going to shart the bed on Thursday.  The euro front running is laughable. As the US economy slows China manufacturing slows.,The euro area which is a yuuge Chinese trading partner slows.

  Well, now you can see the knock-on effects of deflation and a strong currency~ And don't get me started on sovereign bond yields if there's a hint of tapering.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Yen, did you mean

Papering instead of Tapering

Because that's what they're doing. It's only a letter off

DavidC's picture

Try unwinding THAT Draghi. Fuckwit.


Yen Cross's picture

  Agree 100%.

  P.S. I enjoy your posts. :-D

Cordeezy's picture

Maybe this is why people are piling into Europe for investments.

Too-Big-to-Bail's picture

They priced in there is still room for more

small axe's picture
Solidarity among thieves... Germany made over $1 billion euros out of Greek debt crisis

Since the beginning of Greece’s crisis in 2009 Germany’s Finance Ministry has cashed in to the tune of €1.3 billion as a result of its loans to Athens and its debt buying programs reports Euractiv.

Eurozone members initially agreed to hand any interest back to the Greek central bank as a point of EU solidarity. However, when the second bailout program started in 2015, the pay-back operation was halted. The interest was not mentioned in the German federal budget that year, and therefore the interest was never paid back to Athens. ...  

The European Central Bank collected more than €1.1 billion in 2016 in interest payments on the nearly €20 billion-worth of Greek bonds it holds, showed the report.

hooligan2009's picture

the ecb owns 100 billion in corporate paper.

by what right did they select corporate paper and not retail consumer debt to subsidize with ultra low interest rates - like credit card debt at 15% or pay day loans with rates ranging from 50% to 12,000%?

the ecb is operating beyond the remit of a central bank by favoring one non-bank sector over another.

why should corporates get interest rate subsidies and not real people with real problems?

it is bad enough that central banks have monetized government debt (proven to cause economic collapse and depressions) but to venture into politics of supporting the rich over the poor is not only unforgivable, it should result in prison time.

the ecb charter contains no language that permits the purchase of non-government debt, and also does not say that one demographic of the eu-bloc should be favored over another.


Edward Morbius's picture

Do you really need to ask that question? You know the answer.

Fartboxbuffet's picture

Fuk just give every person 10 million in bank acoount we have one big fukin party hookers blow new cars what a rip

Iconoclast421's picture

Dont stop at one. Make it two Japans. Or hell, 3. Why not. BTFATH!

zzzz88's picture

rigging the market and printing is like fuck other men's wife----

dangerous, challenging, and exciting/

maybe this is the reason cbs can not stop

Stormtrooper's picture

I'm sure that the elite at the BIS will work out a system for central banks to unload their balance sheets onto one another and then declare that their balance sheet has been "normalized".

Edward Morbius's picture

Robbing Peter to pay to Paul so that Paul can then be robbed to pay Peter...

tribune's picture

to quote "Bridge on the River Kwai"- madness, madness

katagorikal's picture

to quote "Apocalypse Now" - the horror ... the horror

Grandad Grumps's picture

Because Draghi is a wild and crazy guy who is going to "pump you up"!

U4 eee aaa's picture

So they are basically taking turns printing in order to keep the heat off. For Yellen to say she is reversing QE is a lie because they are all working in unison. Unless they all get stopped as a group the claim they are deleveraging is a big fat lie