Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Ecb. Rialzo dei tassi di interesse di almeno 50 punti base. – Kazaks.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-31

ECB Banca Cenrale Europea 001

La BCE ha bisogno di un rialzo deciso di almeno mezzo punto, dice Kazaks. La Banca Centrale Europea deve agire con forza e aumentare i tassi di interesse di almeno mezzo punto il mese prossimo per riportare l’inflazione sotto controllo. Secondo Kazaks, il mese prossimo sarebbe opportuno un aumento di almeno 50 punti base. I dati sull’inflazione di agosto, attesi per mercoledì, e le nuove proiezioni della BCE saranno fondamentali per determinare l’entità del rialzo. L’aumento deve essere forte e significativo e, al momento, direi 50 o 75 punti base.

I 25 membri del Consiglio direttivo della BCE sono diventati più risoluti nella loro convinzione di fare tutto ciò che è necessario, come dimostra la mossa di mezzo punto più grande del previsto al momento del rialzo a luglio. La prospettiva di un aumento significativo dei tassi solleva la questione di come la BCE remuneri l’eccesso di liquidità che le banche parcheggiano presso di lei a breve termine – una scorta che attualmente supera i 4,400 miliardi di euro (4,400 miliardi di dollari). Un problema più immediato è la debolezza dell’euro. Kazaks ha dichiarato di non essere contento di come si è mosso il tasso di cambio perché alimenta ulteriormente l’inflazione, mentre le difficoltà di approvvigionamento fanno sì che le imprese europee non possano beneficiare appieno delle esportazioni più economiche.

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«ECB Needs Resolute Hike of at Least a Half-Point, Kazaks Says. The European Central Bank needs to act forcefully and raise interest rates by at least a half-point next month to bring inflation back under control. A move of at least 50 basis points would be appropriate next month, according to Kazaks. August inflation data, due Wednesday, and new ECB projections will be key in determining how big a hike is warranted. The increase needs to be strong and significant, and at the current moment, I would say 50 or 75 basis points»

«The 25 members of the ECB’s Governing Council have become more resolute in their conviction to do whatever is needed, with the bigger-than-expected half-point move at liftoff in July a prime example. The prospect of significantly higher rates raises the question of how the ECB remunerates excess cash that banks park with it in the short term — a stash that currently exceeds 4.4 trillion euros ($4.4 trillion). A more immediate problem is euro weakness. Kazaks said he’s not happy where the exchange rate has moved because it further fuels inflation, while supply snarls mean European firms can’t fully benefit from cheaper exports»

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ECB Needs ‘Resolute’ Hike of at Least a Half-Point, Kazaks Says

The European Central Bank needs to act forcefully and raise interest rates by at least a half-point next month to bring inflation back under control, according to Governing Council member Martins Kazaks.

While frontloading hikes is “reasonable” as price gains near 10%, the pace at which monetary support is removed must be orderly, Kazaks said in an interview in Jackson Hole. Discussions can begin on quantitative tightening — or shrinking the ECB’s balance sheet — but action isn’t needed now, he said.

Inflation expectations “are still more or less where they should be,” the Latvian central-bank chief said, calling that “good news.” But he warned that second-round effects are becoming “more transparent and obvious,” urging a “very strong, resolute and clear-cut” response.

A move of “at least 50 basis points would be appropriate” next month, according to Kazaks. August inflation data, due Wednesday, and new ECB projections will be key in determining how big a hike is warranted.

“The increase needs to be strong and significant, and at the current moment, I would say 50 or 75 basis points,” he said.

Kazaks is the latest official to join an unfolding debate on whether the ECB should follow the Federal Reserve in deploying a three-quarter point rate increase. Governing Council members Robert Holzmann and Klaas Knot have said such a step should at least be considered, though others say an ever-likelier recession may help to tame price pressures.  

In a separate interview, Finland’s Olli Rehn said it’s “action time” for the ECB, calling for a “significant” hike on Sept. 8. Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel and France’s Francois Villeroy de Galhau urged a determined response to record euro-zone inflation that’s more than four times the 2% goal.

The 25 members of the ECB’s Governing Council have become more resolute in their conviction to do whatever is needed, with the bigger-than-expected half-point move at liftoff in July a prime example, Kazaks said. He sees rates reaching levels that neither stimulate nor constrain the economy in the first quarter, saying they could be lifted into restrictive territory if needed.

                         Determined Action

In the current, uncertain environment, he cautions against offering forward guidance, making it all the more important to understand how the ECB reacts if something happens.

“What I would very carefully monitor is inflation expectations, headline inflation, but most importantly, core inflation,” Kazaks said. That includes an awareness that “we shouldn’t rush” to retreat “if core inflation in one quarter, one month comes down.”

The prospect of significantly higher rates raises the question of how the ECB remunerates excess cash that banks park with it in the short term — a stash that currently exceeds 4.4 trillion euros ($4.4 trillion). The fear is that banks will get risk-free interest income that may impede monetary policy, while the ECB and the region’s national central banks will make losses of a similar size.

The sooner the issue is addressed “the better,” according to Kazaks, who said potential solutions could include a reverse of the tiering policy the ECB used to partially shield lenders from the effects of negative rates.

A more immediate problem is euro weakness. Kazaks said he’s “not happy where the exchange rate has moved” because it further fuels inflation, while supply snarls mean European firms can’t fully benefit from cheaper exports.

Inflation should peak this year, he said, “but of course that doesn’t mean that things will get cheap necessarily — slowing inflation doesn’t mean falling prices.”

Further ahead, the ECB must start thinking about how it will reduce the trillions of euros of bonds it bought during recent crises to aid the economy. 

“The sooner we discuss it, the better it is, but that doesn’t mean — and this is what I think the market should understand — it doesn’t mean if you discuss it today, we employ tomorrow,” Kazaks said. “The first thing we need to do is get some policy space with interest rates.”

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