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Everyone needs a Donald Trump … especially the ECB

I never thought I would say this. But reflecting on the past 48 hours - and the euphoria in financial markets around the "Trump Trade" on an expected ramp up in infrastructure spending, tax cuts and deregulation of the banking sector - I cannot help but wonder whether this reflation trade is exactly what the doctor ordered for the continually ailing European economy.

The European Central Bank has for years been urging governments to alleviate the burden on monetary policy by engaging in structural reforms.

The bank, and its president Mario Draghi, has been desperately trying to reflate the European economy through a number of stimulus measures that go by cumbersome acronyms such as PSPP and TLTRO. The slump in oil prices has created another unwelcome headache for the ECB by keeping a lid on headline inflation. Only last month we have seen EU inflation creep above 0.5 percent.


Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank
Martin Leissi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank

In June Draghi warned: "There are many understandable political reasons to delay structural reform, but there are few good economic ones. The cost of delay is simply too high.

"Of all the ways to accelerate the realisation of our economic potential, perhaps the simplest is to remove the uncertainties that hamper long-term decisions and hold back investment."

While there has been an ambitious reform drives in Spain, Italy and even Greece, the reality of bickering parliaments, and weak underlying demand from consumers have stymied the much-wished-for European recovery.

The European Commission this week cut the growth outlook for Europe in 2017 to 1.5 percent, in part because of the repercussions of the U.K's decision to leave the European Union.

Mike Collins, senior Investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income, wrote this week that "while it is difficult to project the potential size of a Trump infrastructure package, it is conceivable its size could reach 2 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) —roughly $350 billion—over the course of four years and (…) an expected widening of the budget deficit—part and parcel with the expectations for lower tax rates—of 4-5 percnt of GDP, if not higher, by 2018."

While European nations might not realistically be comfortable with such high deficit figures, as they are bound by the Maastricht criteria for not exceeding a 3 percent budget deficit/GDP ratio, Germany has plenty of wiggle room. It's currently running a budget surplus, the famous "Schwarze Null" (Black Zero) that Finance Minister Schaeuble takes pride in.

Germany, France and Italy may not agree with Trump's incendiary language and bombastic style, but why not take a page out of his playbook by stimulating the economy through a much-needed infrastructure package, lower taxes and higher borrowing.

Throw caution to the wind and get on the Keynesian fiscal stimulus train. The ECB and Mario Draghi will thank you later.

Carolin Roth is anchor for Street Signs and covers the Swiss market for CNBC. You can follow Carolin on Twitter @CarolinCNBC

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