ECB’s Lagarde says we’ve probably passed the lowest point of crisis

European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde addresses a news conference on the outcome of the meeting of the Governing Council in Frankfurt, Germany, January 23, 2020.

Ralph Orlowski | Reuters

Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, believes the world may be passed the worst of the coronavirus crisis but said a return to the status quo is unlikely.

“That recovery is going to be incomplete and might be transformational,” she said during the online Northern Light Summit on Friday.

“It is likely that trade will be significantly reduced … We need to be extremely attentive to those that are most vulnerable,” she added.

The European Central Bank announced earlier this month an expansion in size and duration of its emergency bond-buying program. The central bank has committed to buying 1.35 trillion euros in government debt at least until June 2021. 

Meeting minutes released Thursday showed the ECB debated the effectiveness of its monetary policy — in an attempt to address concerns raised by the German constitutional court, which ruled in May that some aspects of the ECB’s policy were not legal.

Policymakers said at their meeting that “there was ample evidence that the euro area economy would have fared much worse without the policy stimulus from asset purchases.”

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