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Opinion
Brian Chappatta

ECB Stock Purchases Could Be Euro Zone’s Bold Move

BlackRock’s Rick Rieder makes a compelling case for switching focus from debt to equity, but it underscores a fundamental struggle within the region.

Only the central bank can realistically attempt to spread the wealth.

Only the central bank can realistically attempt to spread the wealth.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, made several changes among its senior executives earlier this month. Among them: Rick Rieder was added as a lead portfolio manager for the firm’s Global Allocation Fund in addition to his role as global chief investment officer of fixed income. 

Days later, he appeared to send shockwaves across Wall Street with a suggestion that the European Central Bank should consider buying stocks as a form of additional stimulus rather than sticking to the playbook of purchasing debt only. Just as he’s looking beyond just bonds for his new fund, Rieder thinks Mario Draghi and his successor should consider doing the same.