The ECB's Balance Sheet Is Now The Size Of Japan's GDP
Yesterday was a landmark day for the ECB. First, the central bank disclosed that its CSPP, or corporate bond, holdings rose above €100Bn for the first time. As DB’s Jim Reids notes this morning, to put things in perspective, a similar market cap company would be the 18th largest in the Stoxx 600 and 42nd largest in the S&P 500. It’s also roughly equivalent to the annual national output of Kuwait – the 59th largest economy in the world as of 2016.”
Assuming that the previously disclosed percentage of bonds purchased in the primary market, or directly from the company, has not changed since our report a month ago, this means that the price indiscriminate ECB has directly injected approximately $15 billion in various European corporate entities in exchange for bonds, bypassing any middlemen in the process.
As for the ECB’s other notable “achievement” according to the latest update, the ECB’s balance sheet now stands at €4.23 trillion, making it the largest central bank holding in the World. As Deutsche Bank notes, this is the same as the GDP of Japan (€4.3 trillion) – the 3rd biggest economy in the world and a decent distance ahead of Germany (€3.02tn) – the fourth largest.
The news takes place one month after another memorable event for central-planning took place, when both the ECB and BOJ balance sheet surpasses the size of the Federal Reserve’s.
Jim Reid’s conclusion conveys our sentiment too: “It’s staggering to think of it in those terms.”