Draghi 1, Germany 0

The European Central Bank is going to pump €60bn a month into the markets until at least September 2016. John Stepek looks at what that means.


Mario Draghi will pump €60bn a month into the markets until September 2016 at least

Let's cut straight to the chase.

If Europe is all about Mario Draghi vs the Germans, then this is a case of "Mario 1, Germany nil points'".

He looked unusually cheerful when he arrived on stage late (held up by the lifts, apparently).

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

Then the boss of the European Central Bank told everyone that he's going to pump €60bn a month into the markets. He's going to do it until at least September 2016. But it'll "be conducted until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation."

In other words, this is open-ended if it needs to be.

Also, the amount of money being printed is significantly higher than the leaked €50bn that we heard about yesterday (maybe the ECB was doing some kite-flying to gauge the market's reaction).

Did this do the job? It depends on what job you want or expect it to do.

If you expect it to save the entire eurozone economy from deflation, high unemployment, and extreme misery well, no, it won't. Quantitative easing (QE) elsewhere in the world hasn't really achieved that.

But if you expect it to drive bond prices up (and yields down) and to drive share prices higher then yes, it seems to be working.

It's also kept the euro down, which is of course the quickest way that this can help the real' economy, by helping exporters for example.

We've always said that QE was likely in Europe and that it was likely to be good for asset prices. So we'd stick with our suggestion to buy Europe and if you want to know what stocks to buy, get hold of the latest issue of MoneyWeek magazine, out on Friday.

If you're not already a subscriber, you can get your first eightissues free right now but act quickly, that deal won't last forever.

John Stepek

John Stepek is a senior reporter at Bloomberg News and a former editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He graduated from Strathclyde University with a degree in psychology in 1996 and has always been fascinated by the gap between the way the market works in theory and the way it works in practice, and by how our deep-rooted instincts work against our best interests as investors.

He started out in journalism by writing articles about the specific business challenges facing family firms. In 2003, he took a job on the finance desk of Teletext, where he spent two years covering the markets and breaking financial news.

His work has been published in Families in Business, Shares magazine, Spear's Magazine, The Sunday Times, and The Spectator among others. He has also appeared as an expert commentator on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, BBC Radio Scotland, Newsnight, Daily Politics and Bloomberg. His first book, on contrarian investing, The Sceptical Investor, was released in March 2019. You can follow John on Twitter at @john_stepek.