Bloomberg News

Makuch Says ECB ‘Can’t Carry Out Massive Bond Purchases’

December 13, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank council member Jozef Makuch said the bank’s founding treaty prevents it from making large-scale bond purchases like the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“Without a change to our mandate, we can’t carry out massive bond purchases or Fed-style quantitative easing,” Makuch, who heads Slovakia’s central bank, said at a press briefing in Bratislava today. He also said the ECB never pre- commits on future interest-rate decisions.

Asked about the impact of a possible across-the-board downgrade of sovereign credit ratings in the euro area, Makuch said it would not be “catastrophic” for the ECB.

“We will still be able to do our job, carry out operations that are needed to keep the banking sector functioning normally,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brockett at mbrockett1@bloomberg.net


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