The Eurosystem’s regular open market operations consist of one-week euro liquidity-providing operations (main refinancing operations or MROs) as well as three-month euro liquidity-providing operations (longer-term refinancing operations or LTROs). MROs serve to steer short-term interest rates, to manage the liquidity situation, and to signal the stance of monetary policy in the euro area, while LTROs aim to provide additional, longer-term refinancing to the financial sector.
Currently, the regular operations are complemented by euro liquidity-providing operations with a maturity of (around) one, six, twelve and thirty-six months as well as US-dollar liquidity-providing operations. In addition, the Eurosystem has launched two Covered Bond Purchase Programmes (CBPP, which ended in June 2010 and CBPP2, which started in November 2011) in to order to purchase euro-denominated covered bonds and, since 10 May 2010, it has conducted interventions in debt markets under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP). The liquidity provided through the SMP is currently absorbed by weekly collections of fixed-term deposits.
For a chronological listing of the measures see the Annex "Chronology of monetary policy measures of the Eurosystem" in the November 2011 Monthly Bulletin [3.15 MB] and for details on the ECB's non-standard measures, including a comparison with the Fed and the Bank of Japan, see "IV. The ECB’s response to the financial crisis" of the former President Trichet's speech "The ECB’s enhanced credit support" (13 July 2009). For details on the ECB’s response to the financial crisis, see the article “The ECB’s response to the financial crisis” in the October 2010 Monthly Bulletin. For details on the ECB’s response to the sovereign debt crisis, see September 2011 Monthly Bulletin, Box 5.