Earlier today we speculated that the latest ECB monetization tally of insolvent PIIGS debt would be between €10 and €15 billion. Well, the final number was below the bottom end of the range or €6.7 billion (with €1.3 billion maturing). This follows €22 billion and €14.3 billion in the past two weeks, bringing the total under the ECB's debt monetization facility to €120.3 billion, a number that Germany must be simply ecstatic about. Keep in mind this is debt that local banks can not pledge to the ECB in return for 100 cents on the euro, and in essence removes liquidity from the system. What was hilarious, however, is the immediate defensive posture by the ECB's Trichet who said on the subject of whether ECB taking on too much risk, that the increase in ECB's balance sheet not as large as Fed or BoE. He also said that "Everybody understands that particularly in the present situation that the ECB would maintain a solid anchoring of inflation expectations,” Trichet told the European Parliament’s economic committee during a special session called to discuss the debt crisis. "All countries would be hampered” if they became unanchored, Trichet added. Bottom line - the most modern spin on an old maxim: "the ECB is not the Fed" - we are not sure if that is a good or a bad thing: frankly it is all central planning. What we are concerned about is that contrary to what self-aggrandizing economist PhD's, somehow the ECB did not refute the fact that there is central bank risk. Yes, even with all that fiat printing capacity.
As ECB Monetizes Another €7 Billion In PIIGS Debt, Trichet Says A Prudent ECB "Is Not The Fed"
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