The E.C.B Awakes

Some news even the European Central Bank can't ignore. In early November, the E.C.B. cut interest rates by a dramatic half a point.

Until then, the bank had been reluctant to acknowledge that Europe needs the kind of sharp economic stimulus the Federal Reserve has provided in the U.S. (The Fed has cut rates 10 times this year to the E.C.B.'s four.) E.C.B. president Wim Duisenberg still isn't using the R word, but he admitted that since Sept. 11, consumer and business confidence has been falling fast.

Economist Julian Callow of CSFB in...

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