IfW in the News

German fury mounts over inflation 'Horror-Kurve' as fears of destructive boom-bust cycle mount


Stefan Kooths wants the ECB to stop quantitative easing.

Excerpt from the Article

(...) "Germany threatens to overheat. It is absolutely clear that low rates are leading to a boom in the construction sector," said Stefan Kooths, from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Prof Kooths said the ECB has crossed the line of legitimacy and should halt QE immediately. "We no longer consider the actions of the ECB to be monetary policy. Seven years ago, in the eye of the storm, the eurozone was facing a liquidity crunch but nobody can say there is a liquidity shortage now," he said.

"The ECB is engaged in financing the government debt of countries in southern Europe that cannot raise capital from the markets, and it is doing so to a huge extent," he said.

"Yes, as soon as they stop buying the bonds, the crisis will be back on the agenda. This only shows that huge intervention has done nothing to solve the problem. They are now trapped by their own policy," he said.

Prof Kooths said the EU authorities must bite the bullet and accept a "tremendous restructuring crisis" rather than trying to kick the can down the road. "All we are doing now with easy credit is keeping alive firms that should go bankrupt. It feeds into the 'zombification' of Europe," he said.

Mario Draghi has a delicate balancing act trying to lift Southern Europe out of a debt-deflation quagmire without going to so far as to provoke an elemental revolt by Germany. It is a near impossible task. The interests of the two camps have diverged too far since the launch of the euro.