Editorial Director
Managing Editor
Issue Q4 2010  
How much fiscal backing must the ECB have? The euro area is not (yet) the Philippines  
Ansgar Belke
Thorsten Polleit
This paper gives a detailed explanation of why a central bank without fiscal backing can lose control of inflation. Moreover, it argues that such danger emerged only recently for the ECB due to its increasing quasi-fiscal activities. Finally we argue that it might not generally be a good idea to provide fiscal backing for the ECB. That said, the backing of the central bank’s equity capital by fiscal policy (“fiscal backing”) appears to be a viable strategy if and when the central bank’s accounting losses are not related to the state of public finances. If, however, central bank portfolio losses are a direct outcome of deteriorating public finances, preserving the central bank’s equity capital may lead to a policy of high inflation, possibly above the ECB’s target level. Abstract

Central Bank Independence ; Central Bank Capital ; Counterparty Risk ; Repurchase Agreements ; Collateral ; Fiscal Backing ; Liquidity ; Haircuts ; Keywords
G32 ; E42 ; E51 ; E58 ; E63 ; JEL classification
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