European Central Bank

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Late-Night Letter Doesn't Solve Greece's Woes

European officials saying no deal until Sunday's vote

(Newser) - Greece's government appeared to be caving a bit, by way of a two-page letter sent from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last night to the country's three major creditors: the IMF, European Commission, and European Central Bank. Tsipras' letter said his government was prepared to accept creditors' proposals, subject... More »

Greece Is Dealt 2 More Blows

It won't make its payment, and Standard & Poor's cut its rating

(Newser) - As predicted , Greece doesn't have the funds to pay back a $1.8 billion euro loan installment by tomorrow's International Monetary Fund deadline, a government official there confirmed today—meaning the country may now be one step "closer to an exit from the euro zone currency,... More »

Europe Tries a Radical Way to Prod Banks

ECB introduces negative interest rates

(Newser) - The European Central Bank today announced that it's giving its banks a kick in the rear to get them to start lending again, by dropping its deposit interest rate to -0.1%. Yes, that's a minus sign—meaning that instead of giving banks interest for holding onto extra... More »

Greece Gets 3-Day Ultimatum

IMF, Europe might suspend site visit

(Newser) - Greece has until this weekend to convince the IMF and Europe that it can meet its bailout conditions, before they call off their current site visit and yank the next tranche of aid, sources tell Reuters . Eurozone finance ministers are meeting on Monday and "all agreed that Greece has... More »

Protestors Try to Bar Access to Europe's Central Bank

Police say 2.5K attend largely peaceful 'Blockupy' protest

(Newser) - Protesters swarmed the European Central Bank in Frankfurt today, with a police-estimated crowd of 2,500 gathering in an effort to to block access to the institution. The "Blockupy" demonstration comes in response to officials' approach to the region's debt crisis, Reuters reports. Anti-capitalist protesters—holding signs reading... More »

Cyprus OKs Bailout Fund, Still $4B Short

Parliament passes last-minute measures

(Newser) - Facing a Monday deadline, lawmakers in Cyprus approved two crisis maneuvers to quell its banking crisis and renew confidence across the eurozone, the BBC reports. The moves: passing a "national solidarity fund," and approving capital controls to protect the island's banks from a catastrophic run. This should... More »

Cyprus' Banks Might Never Reopen, Warns Germany

Cypriot officials acknowledge tomorrow's planned opening may not occur

(Newser) - On the heels of yesterday's crushing rejection of its controversial bank deposit tax, the what-the-heck-is-Cyprus-going-to-do watch continues. The BBC reports that President Nicos Anastasiades is in crisis talks with party leaders and examining "alternative plans." The country's banks remained closed through tomorrow, and officials now say... More »

Euro Zone Launches Bailout Fund ... Just in Case

Spain says it doesn't need it yet

(Newser) - The Euro zone officially launched its 500 billion euro bailout fund today, but finance ministers said that its first intended beneficiary, Spain, didn't need help just now after all. "Spain needs no aid program," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told reporters. "Spain is doing everything necessary,... More »

ECB Cuts Key Rate to Historic Low

Move was widely expected, but a 2nd rate cut was more surprising

(Newser) - The European Central Bank today cut its key interest rate by a quarter-point to .75%, its lowest level yet, in a move the New York Times describes as the ECB's "most aggressive" since the eurozone crisis hit. Though the move was widely expected, it does bring the benchmark... More »

Investors Rejoice as Europe Strikes Bank Deal

At summit, leaders agree to single supervisor, direct recapitalization

(Newser) - Credit markets breathed a sigh of relief today, after European Union leaders agreed to a plan allowing its bailout funds to directly recapitalize troubled banks. After a 14-hour debate at a summit in Brussels, leaders emerged with the outline of a plan to more swiftly create a single supervisory body... More »

Central Bank Chief Issues Dire Euro Warning

Mario Draghi tells leaders they need to move fast to save currency union

(Newser) - If alarm bells weren't already ringing in Europe, this would set them off: The chief of the European Central Bank has warned that the current structure of the eurozone is "unsustainable" and the 17 member states are going to have to move swiftly to rescue the currency union,... More »

Greek Euro Exit May Cost $1T

Tsipras tells Germany to stop demanding austerity

(Newser) - Europe has hundreds of billions of reasons to try to keep Greece from unceremoniously ditching the eurozone. If Greece leaves, the rest of Europe would face catastrophic losses, Reuters reports. Greece would default on the roughly $250 billion in debt held by the ECB, IMF, and other eurozone nations, and... More »

Eurozone Set to Finalize Greece Bailout

Finance ministers inching closer to a $171B deal

(Newser) - Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels today, in a meeting that they believe will finalize a $171 billion second bailout for Greece, in exchange for roughly $264 billion in Greek government bonds. "I'd like to assume that we will come to a final and definitive agreement tonight,"... More »

ECB Makes Massive $639B Loan to Banks

For a period of three years

(Newser) - The European Central Bank loaned a massive $639 billion to 523 banks for an exceptionally long period of three years to steady a financial system that is under pressure from the euro zone debt crisis. It is the biggest ECB infusion of credit into the banking system in the 13-year... More »

As Summit Looms, ECB Slashes Rate Again

Meanwhile, Merkel and Sarkozy try to drum up support for plan

(Newser) - The European Central Bank slashed rates for the second time in as many months today, ahead of a crucial EU summit that could determine the fate of the euro. Analysts had expected the cut, which brings the key rate from 1.25% down to 1%, but sources tell Bloomberg that... More »

Clutching at Straws

Euro leaders must embrace real fiscal union before it's too late

(Newser) - With the survival of the eurozone at stake, European leaders are aiming to complete a plan this week that will transform the region and save the euro, reports the New York Times . Despite major differences that remain between Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, a four-point deal is taking shape, including... More »

Sarkozy: Change—or Kiss Eurozone Goodbye

At odds with Germany over ECB, deflation, budget enforcement

(Newser) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday called for changing the eurozone treaty to make a tighter, stronger union, and demanded more budget discipline, increased help for foundering economies, and replacing countries' veto rights with qualified majorities, reports Reuters . He also called for the European Central Bank to be more interventionist and... More »

Central Banks Move to Ease Market Strains

Stock futures surge on the news

(Newser) - Central banks around the world plan to ease the strain on the global financial system by taking coordinated action to prevent a lack of liquidity, they announced in a statement this morning—news that sent stock futures soaring more than 250 points . The Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank... More »

Eurozone Agrees to Huge Spain, Italy Bailouts

Massive action would dwarf those in Greece, Ireland, Portugal

(Newser) - Europe's central banking system has agreed to buy huge quantities of Spanish and Italian government bonds in an attempt to stem the debt crisis overwhelming the eurozone, a source told Reuters after an ECB conference call today. “The Euro system will intervene very significantly,” the source said.... More »

Eurozone Mulls Greece Bailout

Officials avoid B-word while planning 'rescue package'

(Newser) - Greece won't be getting a bailout from the EU itself, officials said yesterday, but they're scrambling to put together a package of loans from member nations to shore up the staggering Greek economy. The EU charter forbids the European Central Bank and national central banks from bailing out countries, but... More »

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