ECB ready to cut rates and push banks into lending to boost euro zone economy

(Reuters) – The European Central Bank is poised to impose negative interest rates on its overnight depositors, seeking to cajole banks into lending instead and to prevent the euro zone falling into Japan-like deflation.

At its meeting on Thursday, ECB policymakers may also launch a loan program for banks with strings attached to make sure the money actually gets out into the euro zone economy.

It will be the first of the “Big Four” central banks – ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan and U.S. Federal Reserve – to go the negative interest rate route, essentially charging banks to deposit with it. Continue reading