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Marcus Ashworth

Italy's Bond Investors Have a New Heroine

Christine Lagarde’s massive pandemic response at the ECB is mitigating the economic fallout of Covid-19. So far, she’s deserving of high marks.

Getting ahead of the markets.

Getting ahead of the markets.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The European Central Bank has realized finally that it needs to get ahead of the financial markets and set the agenda.

By raising its Covid-19 response to an awe-inspiring total of 1.35 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion), it certainly managed to shock even those investors who were expecting an expansion of its pandemic quantitative easing program. For now, more QE is the message — a lot more. Combined with the European Union’s still-to-be-agreed 750 billion-euro recovery fund, this all smacks of a much more coordinated fiscal and monetary response in Europe, something people have been seeking for years.