Belfast Telegraph

ECB credit card must be maxed-out by now

By David Elliot

Talking of loans, ones which more accurately resemble telephone numbers, the European Central bank offered up another big tranche of credit to the region's banks yesterday.

The €529bn (£445bn) they borrowed yesterday brings the total credit card bill for Europe's banking institutions to over €1 trillion (£840bn) since the scheme was introduced by Super Mario Draghi, the ECB's governor. That's a lot of zeros.

This long-term refinancing operation is designed to keep the flow of money moving and the large number of applicants in this hand out apparently suggests smaller banks were keen to take advantage of relatively cheap credit on offer.

It could also signal that eurozone banks are still struggling, but more of a worry is what could happen next.

Some economists reckon by throwing money at Europe's banks the ECB is just storing up problems for later.

Time will tell.