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February 6th 2009

ECB Holds Rates

After "profound" debate, the European Central Bank voted yesterday to hold its benchmark interest rate constant at 2%. Despite the acknowledged fact that EU inflation has slid to the lowest level in a decade, the ECB remains unconvinced that it has been tamed. It is apparently concerned that further interest rate cuts could trigger a loss of confidence and hyper-inflationary spiral, from which it would be difficult to escape. The Bank's critics, meanwhile, insist that it is increasingly out of touch with economic reality and is falling further behind the curve, especially compared to the Fed and bank of England, which have already lowered rates to record lows. They further argue that this viewpoint is reflected in the Euro, which is losing the battle as safe haven currency with the Dollar. Nonetheless, it appears that investors accept the reasoning of the ECB, and the Euro reacted to the rate hold with indifference. The Financial Times reports:

The ECB president…said only that a zero interest rate policy had a “number of drawbacks” that should be avoided, without specifying what they were.

Read More: ECB halts rate cut after profound debate

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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Central Banks, Euro | No Comments »

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