South Africa: The Absurdities of Negative Interest Rates


Evidence is mounting that negative interest rate policies are not working, are having unintended consequences and may put the global economy into a vicious circle from which it will be difficult to extricate itself. But Trump wants to go there too, even though he is confident that the US economy is doing just fine, thank you very much.

The European Central Bank took another step down the rabbit hole of negative interest rates, with US President Donald Trump eager to see the US Federal Reserve follow in hot pursuit.

The ECB's decision last week to pull out all the monetary policy stops to reinvigorate the region's flailing economy has again put the spotlight on the absurdities and unintended consequences of relying predominantly on negative interests to get the global economy back on track.

In his penultimate ECB meeting, Mario Draghi ignored push back from several of the major European central banks and went ahead with his package of monetary policy stimulation. Draghi gave markets all they expected, announcing that the Bank would reduce the interest rate to -0.5%, create a two-tier interest rate system and reintroduce bond purchases of €20-billion a month.

Trump's farcical response to the ECB's decision was...

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