Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, delivers a speech after awarding German chancellor Angela Merkel with a honorary doctorate certificate during the graduation ceremony of the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in Leipzig, Germany, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. By awarding the honorary doctorate HHL recognizes the Chancellor's accomplishments in leadership. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Nominee to head European Central Bank defends stimulus

September 04, 2019 - 2:30 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The nominee to succeed Mario Draghi as head of the European Central Bank has defended the bank's record low interest rates and extraordinary stimulus measures deployed in the wake of the Great Recession and eurozone debt crisis.

Christine Lagarde said during a hearing Wednesday in the European parliament in Brussels that she agrees "a highly accommodative policy is required for an extended period of time." She also defended the bank's new tools such as bond purchases and negative interest rates, saying they had helped create 11 million new jobs since 2013 and that without them "the crisis would have been a lot worse."

Lagarde resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund, effective Sept. 12, after European leaders nominated her for an eight-year, non-renewable term at the ECB beginning Nov. 1.