When news broke on Wednesday that the ECB was holding an emergency meeting, the market knew something was coming, it just wasn't clear what.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire implored the central bank to intervene "quickly and massively" in order to tamp down spreads and said he wanted to see Christine Lagarde marshal all of the instruments at her disposal and "quickly", at that.
Fast forward a few hours and the ECB did, in fact, act. The Governing Council on Wednesday evening announced a new asset program for both public and private securities. The new facility is dubbed "Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program" or, "PEPP" if you like.
Because everything the ECB does has to be accompanied by an obligatory caveat about decisions being taken solely on the basis of ostensible risks to monetary policy functioning, the PEPP announcement begins with the bank saying that the spread of the virus poses "serious risks to the monetary policy transmission mechanism".
As if that's the paramount concern here, right? The ECB's monetary policy transmission channel has arguably been broken for years, primarily because the bank's task (coordinating a unitary monetary policy applicable to di
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