German central bank chief criticises ECB asset purchase plan

GMT 18:18 2014 Sunday ,05 October

Arab Today, arab today German central bank chief criticises ECB asset purchase plan

Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann
Berlin - AFP

 Germany's central bank chief Jens Weidmann voiced concern about the European Central Bank's latest asset purchase plan to stimulate the eurozone's moribund economy, in an interview published Sunday.
ECB president Mario Draghi on Thursday announced purchases starting later this year of covered bonds and asset-backed securities (ABS) to inject cash into the ailing economy of the currency bloc.
Bundesbank president Weidmann told Focus news weekly that if the ECB buys loans of "weaker quality" then "credit risks assumed by private banks would be passed on to the central bank and thus the taxpayer, without adequate compensation".
ABS are bundles of individual loans such as mortgages, auto credit and credit-card debt which are sold on to investors, allowing banks to share the risk of default and freeing up funds to offer more credit.
The ECB believes the market for such securities -- an important source of financing for banks to keep lending to small and medium-sized enterprises -- has effectively dried up since the financial crisis.
Critics, especially in Germany, say it was complex financial derivatives such as ABS which were the root of the US sub-prime crisis in 2008.
A lawmaker and fiscal policy expert of Germany's ruling conservative Christian Democrats, Norbert Barthle, told Focus he feared that bad loans from crisis-hit eurozone countries could end up with German taxpayers.
"Such a redistribution of risks is not among the tasks of the central bank," he told the the news weekly.

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