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Europe’s top banking executives are joining politicians in a wide-ranging pushback against negative interest rates ahead of this month's ECB meeting.

Driving the news: Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing on Wednesday warned that further reducing interest rates, as the central bank is widely expected to do next week, will "ruin the financial system" and have "grave side effects" for the region.

  • UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti also joined the chorus speaking out against negative rates, asserting that they are hurting social systems and savings rates.

The big picture: Ermotti and Sewing’s comments add to growing concerns across Europe that the ECB’s monetary policy is threatening the business of banking altogether and inducing people to stuff money in their mattresses rather than holding it in bank accounts.

  • The CEOs join financial authorities from Germany, Denmark and Norway who have recently spoken out against the deleterious effects of negative interest rates on Europe's banks.

What to watch: The disquiet has even reached the ECB's expected next president, Christine Lagarde, who promised Wednesday to review the costs and benefits of negative interest rates and bond purchases, though most expect her to continue the policies.

  • In an address to EU lawmakers this week, Lagarde said that while the impact of the ECB’s unconventional tools on Europe’s economy "continues to be positive, we need to be mindful about their potential side effects, and we have to take the concerns of people seriously."

Go deeper: Negative interest rates have hurt, not helped

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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