Mario Draghi

ECB chief: low interest rates don't make inequality worse

The head of the European Central Bank is defending the bank's monetary stimulus programs and record-low interest rates against concerns that they hurt savers and favor the wealthy.

Mario Draghi said in a speech in Berlin on Tuesday that low rates are a symptom of weak investment and excess savings, which central banks must take into account. He said low rates support consumption and jobs — benefits that are "always socially progressive."

He said that, overall, "a faster return to full employment should in turn contribute to lower future inequality."

The ECB has cut its benchmark interest rate to zero, and pushed down longer-term rates through...