Negative Interest Rates – Ingenious, Absurd, or Diabolical?

downtown financial district

On January 29, 2016 the Bank of Japan announced it would join the European Central Bank (ECB) and three national banks in the negative interest club. Members in this exclusive club pay their own nation’s banks negative interest to keep excess reserves at the central bank in hopes that losing money will overcome the risk aversion banks have during uncertain economic times. Coercing the member banks to buy assets in this manner increases asset prices and decreases borrowing costs. By loosening credit the central banks believe they will spur economic growth and win the fight against their dreaded enemy – deflation.1

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