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More than 2 billion losses for the Austrian National Bank

More than 2 billion losses for the Austrian National Bank
The Austrian National Bank is facing a loss in the billions.
Image: TOBIAS STEINMAURER (APA)

According to “Presse”, OeNB Governor Robert Holzmann and OeNB Director Thomas Steiner referred to the monetary policy response to the crisis in recent years. After all, over the past 15 years, attempts have been made to solve every crisis by printing money.

The financial crisis of 2009 quickly became the euro debt crisis. The European Central Bank cut interest rates to zero percent. The euro member states also bought government bonds through the central banks. As a result, the money supply in the euro area rose from 800 billion euros to 9 trillion euros at times. What was initially intended as help for weakening euro states – keyword Greece crisis – soon became a permanent solution. The low interest rates also benefited Austria. The Republic has saved around 43 billion euros in interest since 2012.

However, with the flood of money, inflation also rose, which was supposed to be brought under control by raising interest rates. This results in the following problem for the central banks – not just the OeNB: they currently receive hardly any interest on government bonds, while the commercial banks deposit their excess money with the central bank, which has to pay 4 percent interest. “This means that this year we will have the largest monetary policy losses ever in the history of the OeNB,” the newspaper quoted National Bank Governor Robert Holzmann as saying.

With these losses, the National Bank is likely to have negative equity next year. Therefore, no profit distribution is expected in the coming years.

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Source: Nachrichten

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