Germany′s central bank posts poor earnings | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 06.03.2012
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Germany's central bank posts poor earnings

Germany's Bundesbank in 2011 posted poor earnings, hitting a seven-year low, newspaper reports revealed on Tuesday. The central bank put the disappointing results down to the eurozone debt crisis.

Germany's central bank reportedly earned less than one billion euros ($1.32 billion) in 2011, according to the mass circulation Bild newspaper.

The Bundesbank is scheduled to officially present its balance sheet next week, but it's already clear that revenues in 2011 hit a seven-year low. In 2010, the central bank still posted profits of 2.2 billion euros.

The decline in revenues was blamed on the eurozone's debt crisis, with the Bundesbank forced to react to mounting market uncertainties by building up substantial loss reserves.

The bank's low earnings last year were reported to be ripping a 1.5-billion-euro hole in the federal budget for 2012. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had originally expected 2.5 billion euros to come from the Bundesbank.

Taking aim at the ECB

Germany's Bundesbank has recently made headlines by openly criticizing The European Central Bank (ECB) for its repeated large-scale lending of ultra-cheap money to ailing financial institutions in the eurozone.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann doubted the efficiency of the measure and its ability to actually prevent a severe credit crunch.

"The ECB's lending scheme may be calming the markets, but this calm could be deceptive," Weidmann argued.

The ECB last week allocated three-year loans worth over half a trillion euros at a historically low interest rate of just one percent.

hg/nk (dpa, Reuters)