ECB Announces 750 Billion Euro Pandemic Bond-Buying Program


·         Decision taken in emergency meeting Wednesday evening

·         Policy makers will consider raising self-imposed QE limits


By Jana Randow, Bloomberg 

March 18, 2020


The European Central Bank launched an extra emergency bond-buying program worth 750 billion euros ($820 billion) in the latest attempt to calm markets and protect a euro-area economy struggling to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.


“Extraordinary times require extraordinary action. There are no limits to our commitment to the euro,” President Christine Lagarde said. The euro and U.S. equity futures rose after the stimulus measures.


The decision in an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday night is the latest in an escalating global response to an outbreak widely seen driving the economy into recession this year. In Europe, officials are weighing activating a regional bailout fund to help nations with strained public finances that saw their borrowing costs surge after announcing additional spending measures.


The ECB last week agreed to pump more liquidity into the financial system and joined other central banks in a bid to ease a funding squeeze. The measures on Wednesday include: