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Patrick Artus, Research Analyst at Natixis, suggests that the next president of the ECB, who will be appointed in late 2019, will inherit a situation where there is no longer any monetary policy leeway in the event of a slowdown in activity and will have a tough job in hands.

Key Quotes

“If growth declines, governments in euro-zone countries will revert to an expansionary fiscal policy, and, given the already very high levels of public debt ratios, the ECB may be forced to monetise these fiscal deficits (and therefore to restart the quantitative easing programme).”

“The ECB may also be faced with public debt crises, in the absence of a mechanism for risk mutualisation between the euro-zone countries, with the risk that some countries may conduct abnormally expansionary fiscal policies or may be in a situation of political crisis with Europe.”

“The ECB will have to decide whether to support these countries, with the risk of giving rise to significant moral hazard, or to not support them, with the risk of breaking up the euro.”