While this used to be a theoretical concern (and most people felt that it would never happen), interest rates in Europe have started to dip below zero. The two month Euribor is currently at \( - 0.0004 \% \)! The Wall Street Journal wrote an article explaining some effects of this.

Here is some food for thought:

1) What does a negative interest rate mean?

2) If you borrowed money from someone, do you get to repay them less in a year?

3) If you have a bank mortgage, does this mean that they should pay you for the privilege of loaning you money?

4) If you had money saved in the bank, should that amount decrease over time?

5) Should you go out and spend all of your money today, since it would be worth less tomorrow?

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## Comments

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TopNewestYou can also look at this from the actual return or real rate of return which factors in inflation rate. If the prevailing rate is negative, whilst the inflation rate is even more negative, then the real rate of return is positive! ( real rate of return= interest rate- inflation rate. Example is -0.0004%- ( -0.0008%) = 0.0004%!!!!

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A sign of stagflation in the horizon?

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You are predicting that inflation will be high (and economic growth is already low and unemployment is arguably high)?

I do not think that inflation will be high as a whole (except in certain specific cities).

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@Calvin Lin , let me retract on the stagflation bit. I think I meant to say we might be headed for the opposite of an inflationary outcome.

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1.In my opinion, negative interest rate means lender pays the borrower the interest, opposite to the usual where the borrower pays interest.

4) Yes, as the bank pays us in positive interest, for negative interest they will take money from us.

PS - No idea about 2, 3 5!

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What is the difference between 4 and the rest? You can think of it as you are "lending" the bank money, though you can the option of taking it back at any time, so should accept a lower rate than a mortgage.

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It is also interesting ( at least for me) to note that the financial sector/industry has accumulated financial assets worth many times over the GDP of the world, collectively. In the case of the U.S. alone, post financial deregulation, the total fianancial assets over it's GDP is over 900%. With the profileration of new financial products, such as indices of derivatives and betting on a bet betting on a bet, you are only limited by our own imagination.

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