More than one-fifth of the world’s total GDP is in countries which have imposed negative interest rates, including Japan, the EU, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden.
And yet negative interest rates – supposed to help economies recover – haven’t prevented Japan and Europe’s economies from absolutely going down the drain.
Nor have they even stimulated spending. As ValueWalk points out:
Japan has had ultra-low rates for years and its economy has been terrible. Trillions of debt in Europe now trades at negative interest rates and its economy isn’t exactly booming. Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland all have negative interest rates, but consumer spending isn’t going up there. In fact, savings rates have been going up in lockstep with the decrease in interest rates, exactly the opposite of what the geniuses at the various central banks expected.
Why is this happening? Simply, savers are scared. Lower interest rates have wrecked their retirement plans. Say you were doing some financial planning 10 years ago and plugged in 3% from your savings account. Now its 0%. You still have to plan for your retirement. Plug in 0%. What happens to your planning now? 0% compounded for X years is 0%. The math is simple. So in order to have your target savings at retirement, you need to save more, not spend more. But for some reason, the economists that run central banks around the world can’t see this. They are all stuck in their offices talking to one another and self-reinforcing this myth that they can drive spending up by reducing the rate of return on investments. Want to see consumer spending go up? Don’t wreck their savings plans so that they are too scared to spend. But that’s too simple. Instead, central banks use a chain of causation that doesn’t exist to try to create change 3 or 4 steps down the line. It hasn’t worked, and it won’t work. It isn’t in an individual’s self-interest to go out and spend their money on more “stuff” in order to spur economic growth.
So what’s really going on? Why are central banks worldwide pushing negative interest rates?
Economics professor Richard Werner – the creator of quantitative easing – notes: Read More: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-09/economics-professor-negative-interest-rates-aimed-driving-small-banks-out-business-a