Europe Moves to Keep Its Economy Afloat

Mar 20, 2020 | 21:07 GMT

The European Central Bank augmented its 30 billion euro (about $32 billion) a month program of quantitative easing with a Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program to buy an additional 750 billion euros (about $800 billion) in member country sovereign and corporate bonds until the COVID-19 crisis is over. The ECB also eased for the first time collateral standards and assets eligible for purchase, including Greek sovereign bonds, and included short-term corporate bonds in its buying. It is no exaggeration to say the ECB may have precluded a potential sovereign default by Italy as it and other European governments are forced to ramp up borrowing to fight the economic effects of COVID-19 containment measures and a probable major economic downturn....

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