President Mario Draghi gave little indication about the next steps for monetary policy in the euro zone during a speech on Wednesday ahead of a key meeting between central bankers. The European Central Bank chief seemed to have learned from his own mistakes by avoiding commenting on how and when he might bring monetary stimulus to an end. Speaking at a conference in Lindau, Germany, Draghi praised economists' research and said that adjustments to monetary policy are "never easy." However, he made no reference to how the bank might adjust its own policy to the improving economic data across the euro zone, a highly debated issue among market participants.
European officials indicated on Monday that they had few hopes for a comprehensive agreement at Thursday’s Eurogroup that will pave the way for Greece to join the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing plan, despite a French push for a deal. France’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, was in Athens Monday to discuss a proposal whereby relief measures for Greece’s mountainous debt would be strengthened when growth is weak and relaxed when growth is strong. However, he admitted that securing a deal would be “difficult and complex.”
The European Central Bank (ECB) left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday and dropped any reference to a future rate cut. In a statement it said it expected interest rates to "remain at present levels for an extended period of time," but added that it would be ready to extend its quantitative easing (QE) program if needed.
After nearly seven years from the end of the deepest global financial crisis of the postwar period, growth continues to be slow in advanced countries and falling in most emerging market economies. There is even the risk that the world may be drifting toward a new global financial crisis and even secular stagnation. These are the issues examined in this paper.
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