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The European Economy: How Bad Is It?

11:11 AM, Jun 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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So bad that, as the New York Times reports:

The European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low on Thursday and, in an unprecedented attempt to stimulate the euro zone economy, said it would begin charging interest on deposits held by the bank.The so-called negative deposit rate has never been tried on such a large scale and is a bid to push down the value of the euro and encourage banks to invest excess cash rather than hoarding it in central bank vaults.

There was a time when it seemed that the one thing governments could do, almost without trying, was inflate the currency. Now, even that seems difficult.And so, the great contraction continues.

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