The Lowdown on the European Central Bank's Stimulus Plans

January 20, 2015 4:01 PM

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Europe's economy could be sinking in deflationary quicksand. On Thursday, the European Central Bank is expected to throw it a rope — in the form of massive purchases of government bonds using newly printed money.

The step, known as quantitative easing, or QE, is considered a last resort in the bank's effort to pull the economy out of stagnation that could ultimately threaten the currency's existence.

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