So far, the US has escaped negative interest rates as a matter of central bank policy. Back in May, many thought a Fed move to negative rates was a real possibility. Of course, much of the world has operated under negative rates as a matter of policy for years. The European Central Bank (ECB) launched negative rates in June 2014. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced negative rates in January 2016. Both are still maintaining a negative rate policy today.
While the Fed has resisted the temptation of a negative rate policy so far, that doesn’t mean Americans have escaped the reality of below-zero real rates. In fact, the world is awash in negative-yielding debt.
A couple of weeks ago, the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below the yield on the 2-year for the first time in 12 years. This inversion of the yield sparked recession fears in the mainstream. But in an interview with Tom Woods on Contra Krugman, former Reagan administration Office of Budget Management Director David Stockman said this is really a sign of a different problem. He said we’re actually in the mother of all bond bubbles.
Stockman said the mainstream is looking the yield curve inversion through the lens of conventional wisdom, but there is nothing conventional about the current financial situation.
Negative-yielding debt surged to over $15 trillion earlier this month. This pile of negatively-yielding paper includes government and corporate bonds, along with some euro junk bonds.
In a recent episode of the Wolf Street Report, Wolf Richter called this “NIRP absurdity.” And it could be coming to America.
Negative interest rates started out as a short-term emergency experiment during the Great Recession. Now it has turned into the new normal. How will this end?
Negative yielding debt has exceeded $15 trillion globally for the first time ever.
This pile of negatively yielding paper includes government and corporate bonds, along with some euro junk bonds.
WolfStreet called it a “race to hell.”