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first_imgThe ECB last week agreed to pump more liquidity into the financial system and joined other central banks in a bid to ease a funding squeeze. The measures on Wednesday include:* A temporary asset purchase program to buy public and private-sector securities, worth 750 billion euros and running until at least the end of 2020* Program will cover all assets eligible under current quantitative-easing program, and will be extended to commercial papers of sufficient credit quality* Greek government debt will be included in the program under a waiver from current rules The European Central Bank launched an extra emergency bond-buying program worth 750 billion euros (US$820 billion) in the latest attempt to calm markets and protect a euro-area economy struggling to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.“Extraordinary times require extraordinary action. There are no limits to our commitment to the euro,” President Christine Lagarde said. The euro and US equity futures rose after the stimulus measures.The decision in an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday night is the latest in an escalating global response to an outbreak widely seen driving the economy into recession this year. In Europe, officials are weighing activating a regional bailout fund to help nations with strained public finances that saw their borrowing costs surge after announcing additional spending measures. * Collateral standards will be eased by adjusting some risk parameters* Program will continue until ECB judges the crisis phase of the pandemic to be over, but not before the end of this year* The ECB will consider raising its self-imposed limits on QE holdings, and stands ready to increase the size of its asset purchase programsS&P 500 futures reversed losses and the single currency edged higher to trade around $1.0950.Investors are pushing up bond yields as they fret about the cost of the massive fiscal response to the pandemic. Italy, which already has the euro zone’s second-biggest debt burden after Greece and is the worst-affected by the disease, is especially hard hit.“We think that it is clear that central banks will use all their instruments to support financial markets and their functioning,” Ebrahim Rahbari, Citigroup’s global head of currency analysis, wrote in a note after the ECB decision. “However, we think we still need further fiscal easing and indications of absorbing private credit risk to stabilize financial markets more durably.”In its statement, the central bank said it “will not tolerate any risks to the smooth transmission of its monetary policy in all jurisdictions of the euro area.”Venturing into the commercial-paper market is a novelty for the institution. In doing so, policy makers are taking a page out of the Federal Reserve’s book.The Fed committed to backstopping the market for top-rated, dollar-denominated, three-month notes to support America’s biggest corporations in meeting short-term cash flow needs and payroll. The Bank of England has announced a similar plan.The decision to consider raising the limits on QE holdings could be controversial. The caps, set at the start of the program in 2015, are meant to address concerns the central bank would breach European Union law by financing governments.Lagarde’s predecessor, Mario Draghi, argued last year the Governing Council could loosen standards if economic circumstances warrant it. Taking that step in the immediate future faces one key complication – a German constitutional court ruling on the legality of QE is just weeks away.Wednesday’s announcement came hours after French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on the ECB to intervene “quickly and massively” using all its instruments.With yields spiraling, euro-area officials are looking at activating the region’s bailout fund to help contain the impact of the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter.That would be a crucial step toward triggering the ECB’s most powerful bond-buying power – Outright Monetary Transactions – a program designed during the bloc’s debt crisis in 2012 to purchase the debt of specific nations.That program, which grew out of Draghi’s “whatever it takes” pledge, has never been used.The coronavirus pandemic, which has morphed from a health crisis into an economic crisis as factory output is disrupted and services shut down, is now sparking a financial meltdown with investors scrambling for the exits and funding costs being driven higher.European banks took $130 billion made available by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday, helping ease the funding stress from the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the biggest use of the crisis-era swap lines since the global financial meltdown more than a decade ago. A day earlier, they borrowed 109.1 billion euros from the ECB.Topics :last_img read more

first_imgWesley Warren (left) was champion of the Charger Chassis Southern Region for IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. He is pictured with IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)FAIRFIELD, Texas – Wesley Warren saw a lot of the Texas countryside during his drive to the Charger Chassis Southern Region championship.The IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock pilot from Fairfield won nine features, plus 281 Speedway track and Allstar Performance State honors in his third season in the division.“We set goals of winning the region and state this year and we did it,” said Warren. “It was a lot of work so we have a pretty good feeling of accomplishment.”While nearly half his starts came an hour away at Waco’s Heart O’ Texas Speedway, Warren also logged a dozen 4-1/2 hour trips to Abilene Speedway, while Cotton Bowl Speedway and 281 are both about 2-1/2 hours from home.He was a three-time winner at 281, at Abilene and at Cotton Bowl, and posted 10 top-five finishes at HO’T. His first checkers at Stephenville, on March 26, came in his first race at 281 since total­ing a street stock there during the 2013 season.“I like the Hobby Stocks – they’re a challenge to drive and they’re a lot of fun, plus the competition is unreal,” said Warren, who towed with an open trailer to race frequently with the likes of Jeremy Oliver and regional rookie of the year Larry Underwood.“Jeremy has helped with setup and my driving skills,” he said. “Jeremy sharing his knowledge is the best thing I could have.”Warren finished 10th in the Saturday night Prelude at Boone Speedway and was third in IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s non-qualifier point standings.“I didn’t know if we stood a chance at Boone,” he admitted, “but the competition was awesome and it turned out to be a pretty good trip.”Largely self-funded, Warren is a pipeline operator by occupation and worked a rotating shift every other weekend. He credited his coworkers with filling in on some of the Friday and Saturday nights he went racing.“I’m going to stay in a Hobby Stock next season,” said Warren, one of the division’s biggest backers in the Lone Star State. “I want to help it grow in Texas.”Starts: 41Wins: 9Additional Top Fives: 18HIS CREW: Wife Jessica and children Mason and Haley.HIS SPONSORS: The Cowboy Hypnotist – his father Don – of Weatherford; Hammock Racing Chassis and James Hammock Jr. and Wicked Fast Transmissions, both of Lorena; and Oliver Motorsports of Robinson.last_img read more